It feels as though this is the world we live in at present: all interpretation, no facts.
Your story. My story. History.
Who can keep up anymore?
It's frustrating. It's dispiriting. It's...well, frankly, it's humiliating.
And here's some irony for you...just as I mourn America's devolution from citizen of the globe to nationalistic protectionism, I sense myself withdrawing from engagement with my world at large in favor of a more inward glancing reflection.
For better or for worse.
As you might have gathered from the illustration above, I participated in the Women's March in my city this past weekend. I woke up Saturday morning with the vague intention of maybe walking the three blocks from my front door to the State Capitol to check things out. But then something weird happened. I found myself strangely nervous about telling my husband, whose political views are traditionally polar opposites of my own, that's what I planned to do.
I twisted about it for a time as I busied myself with routine things, until finally saying, "I'm going to run a few errands. And then I'm going to the Capitol to check out the march."
His reaction was to not react, to just toss off an easy, "Okay, have fun," or something similarly benign, and I immediately felt chagrined for worrying about it at all in the first place.
Sometimes I can be really, really...dense.
I went to the march, solo, and as I walked onto the grounds I ran into several women I love and a multitude of others I admire. There were nearly 3,000 people there. At a rally, in Charleston, West Virginia. Do you know how enormous that is? Just being in their collective presence, this mass of feminine humanity who SHOWED UP to stand up for what they believe in, together, was enormously empowering. Inspiring. Energizing.
And you know what? At the risk of coming across as overly melodramatic, being there, bearing witness, filled me with a hopefulness I feared might be lost forever.
That's just truth.
I confess to being utterly perplexed by the roiling vitriol coming from some women who opted not to participate. I don't understand it. At all. The feeling is certainly not mutual.
I completely respect any choice a person makes for themselves.
We all have to follow our own true North.
That's kind of why I chose to march, to be quite honest.
I rarely - as in never - post political stuff on my Facebook page. I've explained here before...that's my safe space, my touch base space, my friends and family space. But on Sunday, I posted several pictures from my experience at the march. I shared them with a fairly innocuous caption and received nothing but kindness in response.
The next day, I posted pictures of my dog.
We now resume our regularly scheduled programming.
Tonight, an old high school classmate who I find a little bit creepy in adulthood (based solely on my encounter with him at our last reunion) left a comment on the older post.
"What are you standing up for?" he asked.
I thought about it for all of 2.5 seconds before responding.
"What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace." John Wesley, unintentionally speaking to why I marched Saturday.
I marched for tolerance, equality, peace, and truth. Because these are things I'd like to see humanity embrace, for every generation to come. Not hate, division, fear, and lies.
"But the greatest of these is love."
It's really just as simple as - and not one ounce more complicated than- that.
Why do you ask?
You can interpret that any way you like.
But it's a fact.
*Title quote from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.