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January 21, 2017: We are Not Alone

My dispatch title seems like a contradiction. I mean, if we are we, how can we be alone? This is more of an assertion than a blanket statement. I have been feeling very alone since the November election. I do well at being alone, but I don’t do well at feeling alone.

What happened – the election of a mysgonist/racist/homophobic/bigoted individual to the highest office in the land, in the most prosperous country in the world, left me feeling stunned. How did this happen? This man wasn’t speaking for me. He’s not for woman’s reproductive rights, isn’t at all concerned about the effects of climate change, eschews the use of renewable resources, and is opposed to the affordable care act. I felt, as things made themselves apparent, like I was being hit in the head with a hammer.

Today, here in Palmer, 800 or so of us turned out for the Woman’s March. I am sure there were many who because they had to work, care for kids, parents, or had transportation issues, who were also there in spirit. It was cold, and there was considerable snow on the ground. Some might say that overcast skies were a bad omen. But I don’t think anyone felt that way. The good energy was palpable.

Our local showing was significant because Palmer is a medium-sized Alaskan town. There was another march going on in Anchorage, and in nine other towns. And there were marches going on all over the US and in other countries. I felt solidarity with each and every marcher, far and wide.

I felt solidarity with my friend Barb Dixson, a Quaker, who marched in Wisconsin, with my friend Eva, a rock star (!) who marched in Buffalo, and with my sister Eleanor, an elementary school teacher who marched in Portland, Oregon.

It was El who a few days ago said “we are going to be wearing out more than a few pairs of shoes before this over.” This statement was one that I have taken to heart. Yes, we all have our work ahead of us. I am not good at being a political activist, but I am going to do my part, of this I am sure.

No, we are not alone. We are together, now joined at the hip by the prospect of having a dictator remove the words “human rights” from our vocabulary. Imagine it, waterboarding (torture) being an acceptable form of punishment.

The odd thing is, the woman’s movement has been so successful that we now take certain rights for granted, rights that our grandmothers did not have. Now we are going to have to fight to keep those rights. This wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have these rights in the first place. But we do have them and they are well worth fighting for.

I cried previously because I was so depressed about what I believed had come to be. Today I cried because I am hopeful about what I know will come to be.


Next: 22. 1/22/17: Greatest Of All Time

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