Youth Climate Strike & We the People March & Margaret Atwood & Nancy P

My goodness.

Last Friday, after watching early Twitter returns of Global Climate Strike marches around the world, I hastily made a sign, pulled Jack from school early, and took him to the start of DC’s march downtown near the Capitol. The turnouts in Berlin, London, Dublin, Australia, New York, Uganda, and elsewhere across the globe were unbelievably moving. Greta Thunberg, the teen climate activist from Sweden, is such a heroine of mine. Did y’all see her speech at the UN? HOLY SH*T! Greta, I salute and support you!

The DC turnout wasn’t as large as I’d hoped but the energy was appropriately enraged and energized, and Jack and I saw some great signs. On the walk back to the Metro, he admitted to being extremely scared about the future he’s growing into. “Really buddy?” “Well, yeah, of course. The science is terrifying.”

While his worry makes absolute sense to me, it’s not something he’s articulated before, and my heart pinched even more than it already was.

That afternoon, two of my best girlfriends arrived from out of town in anticipation of the We the People March Saturday morning and afternoon and Margaret Atwood’s discussion of her new book and sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, that evening. While Saturday’s March was again not as large as I’d hoped (though the organizers said there were 10,000 people there), there were a number of satellite marches, and at ours the energy was fabulous. Signs too! And I met in real life an online friend of many years. Such a cathartic treat all around. I believe it is crucial that we keep up the pressure in support of American democracy as it seems imperiled in so many ways, and honestly, it really feels good to use your feet and voice to literally push your way forward sometimes.

After a huge lunch and much-deserved drinks, we rested, showered, and headed back downtown to The Lincoln Theater.

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Y’all, Margaret Atwood is 80 and she is a boss. Sharp as a tack, funny, extremely intelligent and well-read (as you’d expect). Rebecca Traister, who I love, was interviewing her, but Margaret was all anyone could watch. A couple weeks back, I’d started rereading The Handmaid’s Tale to be prepped to read The Testaments. As the new intro reminds readers, nothing in the book is fictional except the characters and the way MA has woven together horrible truths from the world’s past. Reading it is.not.easy. It doesn’t seem outlandish or remote, just a bit removed.

Margaret cuts to the chase. She has zero time for bullshit and neither should we. Her words and wit are calls to action, they are funny at times, lacerating at others. She is thought-provoking, frightening, and utterly real. We were all enthralled.

And today, another strong woman, Nancy P, announced a move towards a real impeachment inquiry. I think all of us who marched on Friday and Saturday, all who applauded Margaret and who read her words with eerie trepidation and consideration, all who speak truth to power, and all who are sick and tired of America’s toxic, grifting, ignorant, bigoted, cheating, lying, nepotistic, assaulter-in-chief have a bit of hope right now.

Hope. It’s a powerful thing.

It's been forever: memorial service, a salon, a protest

Gosh, y'all, I've never gone this long without posting here. Not while sick or abroad or in the weeds of any sort have I missed more than 4-5 days. But so goes life, and there you have it.

We're renovating our kitchen so have been mired in plans, and the boys finished school last Friday, and I went to New York on Sunday for Peter's memorial service and returned first thing Monday, and Christmas is a'coming, and on Saturday Jack asked with the most darling sincerity, "Mom, can you take me to the salon so I can get a new hair style?" and the orthodontist and this horrid tax bill and resistance, and a new venture, and so on.

I am deeply thankful to have been able to return to New York for Peter's tribute. I got to stay with my dear friend of nearly twenty years, Shawn, and time with dear old friends you don't see often enough is the absolute spice of life. 

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Fourteen people shared their memories of Peter: how he'd believed in and supported them; how he'd changed their lives; how he was a rock, a touchpoint, the reason to stop and smell the flowers while running across a bustling campus. I know that I met Peter just when I needed to, at a time when I wavered internally, unsure of so much. He was a strong, funny, wise guidepost who kept me anchored and forward looking, even when I didn't know it. It was a gift to sit and listen to all who offered their reminiscences to us, a gift to hug Peter's wife and say thank you, a gift to see former colleagues and friends, a short moment to breathe and simply be present, with and for friends. 

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This morning I spent two hours with a remarkable young woman. I have just opened the doors to a new business, an editorial consulting company of my own. I seek to help others make their written work shine. From college and graduate school essays to resumes and manuscripts, I am an eager partner and absolutely love the work. More about all of this soon.

After our work, I took Jack to the orthodontist to get new brackets and Christmas-themed rubber bands before heading on to my hair stylist for my big boy's first trip to the salon. 

Tom has cut both boys' hair for all these years. Jack has never been to a barber, and Oliver has just twice. When Jack said to me the other day, "I love that Dad cuts my hair, but I have had this do forever, and I just want something more me, with some lift," I both nearly died over the darlingness of it all and felt happy to make an appointment with Michael.

As I knew he would, Michael listened to Jack's vague vision with such seriousness. Then, he began. And now, my boy is thrilled. He has stood a little taller all day and he has reapplied his "product" with admirable restraint. I thought Oliver might want a trim after all this, but no. No amount of pride and preening from Jack could get Ol before hair scissors.

After an hour's rest, the boys and I crafted signs for tonight's protest at the White House, Caroling for Impeachment. My good friend, Karen, and a friend of hers, Emily of The Handmaid Coalition, were co-sponsoring the event with March On. Karen rewrote classic Hanukkah and Christmas songs with a decidedly #resistance slant, Emily brought handmaid costumes, and March On advertised and organized.

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We marched, sang, and delivered post cards with messages of good tidings and swift impeachment. It was a great way to combat feelings of horror and fury over the current tax "bill" and general devolution of our democracy and also a great way to teach democracy in action: one cannot take it for granted, and using our voices to gather and protest is absolutely our Constitutional right!

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It was a gorgeous evening, and the White House looked so beautiful. I felt sad that such ugliness lives inside, but my hope is not gone, and I guess that's something. 

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