Women’s March: Sandy, Oregon

Life

Friday morning started normal enough. I crawled out of bed poured my coffee and opened up the New York Times app on my phone. 5:55 am. That is the exact moment reality hit me like a ton of lead. In a few hours Trump would be sworn in as president. This was really happening.

I think that I’ve been living in denial for a long time. The reality of this man as our president has been too bizarre to wrap my head around. But when the reality hit me I couldn’t hold back the tears. I cried all day long. It was hard to even find something to keep my mind off of it. I had this weird compulsion to go online so I could connect with my friends and talk to them about this, but at the same time the online world was not doing anything for my mental health.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling a sense of dread. I searched my mind to find a reason to get up. A reason to be happy but I came up short. Several of my friends were going to the Woman’s March in Portland on that day but I couldn’t go because I am a Saturday Librarian.  I honestly wasn’t super excited about the women’s march, to be honest. Again, I think that denial caused me to not care about much of anything. I think I felt powerless and not seeing the point of protests. I didn’t even knit a pussy hat, and I’m an avid knitter! But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get excited about it.

Regardless, I learned a few days ago  that my small town was having it’s own women’s march. My schedule worked out that I was able to take an hour off to check it out. I thought, if anything, It would be an opportunity to shoot some film.

I am generally very shy about doing social things by myself and I was so tempted to just not go. But something deep inside compelled me to get away from the desk and start moving in the direction of the meetup spot. I honestly didn’t expect much because I live in a conservative town. I thought maybe 25 people would show up. But as I started walking I noticed small groups of women with pink hats walking in the same direction I was. My heart started beating faster. I found myself smiling a little bit. As I walked closer a small, pink headed crowd was gathered in the square.

Untitled

I was instantly heartened by the positive vibes and the crowd waiting to start. As I walked up I saw the faces of a few good friends. We hugged and talked about how happy we were to be able to march together in Sandy. We talked about how difficult the day before had been. And to see all of these people here, ready to march, seemed to have the same effect on all of us. It woke us up and empowered us a little bit.

Love is Patriotic

More and more people gathered and when it came close to 10:00 my friend said, “Gloria Steinem is doing a minute of silence at 1:00 in DC, we should do that here!” So the organizer quickly made this happen.

Moment of Silence

Then we were off! As we started marching I saw more and more friendly faces. My heart filled with so much joy. I can’t even begin to express how wonderful it was to march with my fellow townspeople, these people I have known and served at the library for 7 years. And we were all part of a much bigger thing. But we didn’t have to travel outside our town to be a part of it. I was in awe of the moment, as my fellow marchers were. And I was so grateful that the Universe conspired to get me to this place, despite my best effort to not be there. I needed this moment desperately. As I watched the news over the rest of the day and saw all of the women march in solidarity all over the world, the millions of women who came together, well, I am speechless. I have tears in my eyes even thinking about this and writing about it now. It is truly awe inspiring. We are powerful together.

It was a peaceful march. Around 200 women, men, and children marched. We stayed on the sidewalk and even waited for the light to cross streets. Many cars honked encouragement as they whizzed by us on the highway to Mt Hood. A few people yelled, “Trump” out the window but you know what? They weren’t aggressive and they were expressing their opinion. It was all good. Generally really good energy. I can honestly say it was one of the best hours of my life.

Here are a few more iPhone photos from the march. I also brought an Olympus Trip and took several portraits. I will post them when I develop the film.

Women's March on Sandy

Love Trumps Fear

Women's March on Sandy

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun damental Rights

In Our America Love Wins

Now we fight

Thoughts and Opinions

My iPhone seems to have taken on a personality of it’s own the past few days and decided to, randomly, play protest songs for me. It has been kind of weird but it has also brought a smile to my face and has emboldened me to fight against hate. I’ve lovingly referred to this as my iPhone’s “Fight the Power” playlist. Here it is so far.
Renegades of Funk. Rage Against The Machine

If the Kids Are United. Sham 69

All You Fascists. Billy Bragg and Wilco

White Riot. The Clash

 

Megalomaniac. Incubus

Like everyone else, I am moved to do what I can to support those doing good in the world. I don’t have a lot of extra money at the end of the month so I am trying to be intentional about where it goes. I have already set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood because that is just a no-brainer. They provided me with health services when I was in my twenties when I didn’t have health insurance so I owe that organization a huge debt of gratitude. I should have been donating before now!

I feel that I really need to support good journalism right now. Freedom of the Press is one of our greatest rights and I want to support it. At the moment I am trying to decide which paper I am going to subscribe to. I am leaning toward the New York Times because I have always admired the journalism there.

I am also planning on making donations to the ACLU and the NRDC.

And because I am committed to promoting peace in this world I have re-subscribed to Tricycle so I can be exposed to ALL OF THE DHARMA.

I am fired up and ready to fight. And, apparently, I have the approval of my iPhone.


About the featured photo:

I was trying to find a suitable photo for this post  and came across this photo I took in Dublin. I can’t remember who the artist is but here is a video of him putting it up, and here is a better shot of it on IG. I keep seeing ADW Art associated with the piece.  The piece is a response to the Dublin coat of arms and it’s motto (according to the video).

I love it.

For you photography geeks: I used my Olympus XA and Tri-x film for the shot.

scattered thoughts about the election

Thoughts and Opinions

What. The Fuck.

Did we really just elect a reality tv star with no political experience to speak of into the office of President of the United States? Even worse, that he has emboldened  racists and mysogynists to show their true colors, to make it ok to hate and to bully and be violent. I am sad for us. For what we have become. Or maybe it’s more like I’m sad that I am seeing us for what we truly are: a nation of racist mysogynists.

yes, I think this is it.

Last night as I was watching in horror the numbers roll in for Trump I was still in denial. I have been in denial for more than a year. When he began his race I laughed it off and said,”Oh he is ridiculous. This will never happen.” And even as he became the Republican presidential candidate (to my utter shock) I still couldn’t believe that he would beat Hillary. “Trump will never win, ” I said to myself.

When I woke up and checked the result and Google told me that “Trump won the presidency” I was forced to believe it. There it was right there. My reaction was to sit on my couch and sob.

We fucked up. We voted this monster into office.

I realize that dismissing those that voted for Trump as “stupid” or “uneducated” is misguided and wrong. There are people in my life that I love and respect that voted for Trump. I can’t just dismiss them. I refuse to do that.

As one of my British friends said after Brexit, we need to engage. The people who voted for Trump voted for him for a reason. We need to figure out that reason. Not all of them are racist mysogynists (though, admittedly, it’s hard to say this because how can you not be one if you support one so obviously racist and mysogynistic).

Trump gamed the system. He made it work for him. He realized who he needed to speak to, and he figured out how to speak to them. He figured out what to say to them. And it worked.

We need to do the same thing. We need to find someone who understands the system and game it the same way, but this person needs to be a good person, not a hateful, racist, mysogynistic shit bag.

This person should not be a Clinton.

This may not be a popular opinion but I’m going to get this off my chest: Why the fuck did we run Hilary Clinton, with all of her baggage, against Trump? Let’s face it. The DNC fucked up. We fucked up.

And now we have made our bed and we will have to lay in it for four years. I have no idea what will happen. But it will not be pretty.

 

Thoughts and Opinions

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.”

– Justice Anthony Kennedy

So last month the people of Ireland voted for marriage equality  – the right for everyone to marry under the law, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. I followed the story with interest. I was excited to see how this vote would shake out. Honestly, I was super skeptical that it would pass. But  I was also hopeful that it would. If it passed, it would be such an incredible example to the world.

As we all know by now, the people voted yes.  It was an amazing moment, not just for the Irish, but also for everyone around the world who strongly believe in civil rights for all. I was very happy for them. I was also a bit envious because I knew that this is something I would NEVER see in my lifetime here in the U.S.A.

And then BOOM. I woke up yesterday to this news. And just like this we have Marriage Equality in all 50 states. Just like that. thanks to the Supreme Court.

Whoa. I am completely shocked. I am completely, happily shocked.

I guess the lesson here is never say never.

Barack and roll!

Thoughts and Opinions
Barack Obama Wins!

Barack Obama Wins! (Photo credit: BenSeese)

I am SO HAPPY and relieved that Obama won re-election. I haven’t been into politics for quite awhile. I used to rant about it  a lot on this blog awhile ago. But that fire has turned into a few smoldering embers at the bottom of the pit. On the eve before election day I suddenly felt very anxious at the very real possibility that Romney could actually be president. I did not like it. Not at all. Not after hearing him speak during the debates and realizing how completely out of touch he is with my hopes, dreams, and desires as an American.

So I chewed my nails down to the quick during election returns. When Obama won it felt like the biggest exhale ever. What a relief! I am so happy.

Unfortunately I quickly found out that there was a vast number of citizens who are not happy. Not at all. Not even close. There are tumblr blogs  that are chronicling the tears of Romney supporters. News sites with lists of epic Conservative meltdowns.   sigh.

The thing is that I know exactly how the other side feels. I felt exactly the same way 8 years ago. I had the same fears (except I was afraid we would go fascist) and I seriously considered moving to Canada.  I even said some of the same words I am seeing conservatives using. So I feel compassion for them. It hurts badly when your team loses. Especially when there is so much emotion wrapped up in it.

But the fact of the matter is that we got through the last of the Bush years intact. We didn’t turn fascist, like I feared. We ended up pretty much o.k. as a nation. Maybe a little scarred but we are o.k.

I  noticed that lots of the fear is rooted in the fear of our country becoming socialist. I am hearing conservatives say things like “We elected a Socialist president.” We did not elect a socialist president. Having Obama in office is not going to cause our country to become socialist. We will never, ever (in a million, trillion) years become a socialist nation. Ever. We are a capitalist country with some socialist philosophies and institutions. We will continue to stay that way. You know why? Because Americans, no matter what side of the fence we are on, like our choices.  All of us do. I, personally, like that we have some government regulated institutions (like the public library for example). I would like to continue to have these institutions, as an American. I don’t want them taken away from me. Does having government-run institutions threaten capitalism? Absolutely not.

Anyway, just some post-election thoughts. I am happy that we have four more years of Obama. Very happy. I am sad that there are many people in this country who feel that we are divided because of it. I don’t want us to be divided. I want us to work together. We all want the same things, ultimately.