Bleach

My house smells like bleach. Not because I’m cleaning, nor am I drinking it. I’ve reverted to my punky 12 year old self and to keep from screaming every time the news comes on, I’m writing an anything I can with a Clorox Bleach Pen.

I sometimes feel that my belief in the power of words, and of Democracy, is naive and will never lead to anything but yelling at the television and disappointment. But, I keep at it. I have faith that it and we can be better.

I actually do care, Melania Trump. Millions of us do.

I believe in the power of words, of fashion, of voting, and of peaceful protest.

If nothing else, bleach is an outlet, a pillow to scream in, and one more small thing I can do, in addition to writing letters to voters through The Big Send and votefwd.org and donating financially what little I can. On January 20th, I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to preserve what’s left of our Democracy and to defeat the sociopathic baby now in charge.

So, until then, I’ll just be over here with my bleach stick, pen, envelopes, and stamps, researching guillotines and trying not to scream.

Vote.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands.

Spinning

Last night I had a dream that Steve Bannon was at a party with me.  I woke and spent the rest of the night awake, tossing. At 7 o’clock I finally got out of bed, meditated, had a cup of tea, and dressed to go for a hike, without looking at my phone, headlines, or the news.

For the past eleven days I, and most people I know, have watched aghast as the Trump Administration began following through on one horrifying campaign promise after another. Watching and resisting the dismantling of our country has become addictive and, as one new Executive Order after another is issued, I find myself spinning, unsure where to put my energy, time, money, and fight.  Just sifting through the news and trying to decipher what is legit and what is not feels like a full time job.

And then yesterday I actually started to feel ill from the toxicity of it all. Instead of sleeping, I would lie awake thinking of the perfect tweet that would really “show him”. I never tweet! I began looking for ways to control situations which are completely beyond my control and in doing so, fell right back into all sorts of bad habits that I thought were behind me. My spiritual game is obviously not as strong as I’d believed it to be!

So, when is being consumed with the news beneficial to myself and others and when is it not? By making myself physically ill, I am of little use to anyone and by spinning in panic I am of no use. That has become apparent. I want to “stay woke” but in a way that allows me to actually take action, away from the rabbit hole of preaching to the choir that is social media. I donated to the ACLU and set up a monthly payment. I donated to Planned Parenthood.  I phoned my Congressmen to voice my support for the positions they have been taking. I emailed a Senator from a different state who was interested in hearing from people who had participated in the Women’s March. I phoned in to a Town Hall meeting. And, I turned my phone off, went for two hikes, sat in the sun, felt the earth underneath me, meditated, listened to music when the news was too much, called some friends, and cooked healthy food. That is all I know how to do right now.

And, into Week Two we go.

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The Pink Resistance 

I am writing once again from a cruising altitude of 30,000+ feet, on my way back to LA from Washington D.C.  How to sum up the electric energy of the past weekend? Well… it felt truly amazing and inspiring, creative and cooperative, loving and inclusive. I feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of the Women’s March on January 21st and to have seen our nation’s capital at its most capitally by arriving the night before the Inaguration. 

Exiting the deserted Metro on January 20th, just after noon, we were greeted by an onslaught of red hats. But, the sea dissipated quickly and the National Mall was actually quite empty. 

The next morning was anything but. 


Thinking we had given ourselves plenty of time by starting for the Metro at 8:30, hoards of men, women, and children were already packed into full cars and stations. As we rose to ground level, a sea of pink hats stretched as far as we could see. 

And so began nine hours of camaraderie, sharing, walking, not drinking water so we wouldn’t have to use the nonexistent bathrooms, people watching, and marching. 

Tiny hands, tiny feet, all you do is tweet, tweet, tweet. 


So, now what? 

Back home, how do we turn enthusiasm into sustained action, rather than curling up in a ball as everything we love about this country is dismantled before our eyes? 

Make it fun, somehow. Four years is a long time and if resisting starts to feel like drudgery, it won’t sustain. Find a community, create beauty and use humor, take breaks, and use the slow and steady approach. The signs at the women’s march were amazing, clever, and funny. Hundreds of thousands of people sat at their kitchen tables in the days leading up to the march with glue, markers, and paper and created signs which are now being sent to museums around the world. Many thousands of others sat in yarn shops knitting pink pussy hats. Use your hands to ground you. 

Resist, resist, resist. 

I stand with healthcare for all, reproductive rights, LGBT equality, Black Lives Matter, immigrants of all faiths and nationalities, Earth, science, art, children, Standing Rock, the rogue national park’s service, beauty, love, creativity, The National Endowment for the Arts, journalists, generosity, intellect, curiosity, joy, fun, NPR and PBS, books, the world, and love. It will always trump fear. Even if it doesn’t look like it at the moment. 

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Here We Are. November 9th.

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What a morning.  What a night.  What a time to be alive.  I went to bed with a lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach, shocked that I could be so out of touch with half of the country in which I live and that I love.  “Where are the adults?” I wanted to scream as it became clear that Donald Trump would become our next President.  “Where are those who know what is going on and how to fix it and make it all ok? How can we possibly be handing the keys over to this most infantile excuse for leadership?”

Upon waking, the reality that it hadn’t been a dream and was in fact very, very real hit me in the gut and my shock turned to a deep sadness which I can’t  remember feeling so intensely since the morning of September 11th, 2001. How is so much of our country and of the world choosing fear, walls, hate, and isolationism when now, more than ever, we need to work as one planet.  After several minutes of crying over my computer, I went for a walk, to remind myself that, just as President Obama assured us it would last night, the sun did rise this morning.

What do we do now? I have zero interest in jumping ship and moving to a foreign country, nor do I care to spend the next four years living as a victim or in despair. How can I, and we, continue to find and create beauty and peace in our lives, our country, and our world? And how do we help and support one another and this planet we call home? It is a scary thing to realize that we are the adults, the leaders, the ones on which our future depends.  As I search desperately for a silver lining, all I can come up with is this- had the candidate I was supporting won, I may have spent the next four years telling myself that everything was being taken care of and that I could just go on with my life as I always had, involved to a  point but not as much as I could or should be.  But, that did not happen.  And now I am faced with the reality that many of the things about this country that I hold most dear are being questioned and could be revoked completely.  So, it is time to get busy.  There are, and always have been, people doing amazing, quiet, beneficial work all over this country to make it a more inclusive, kinder, fairer, healthier, greener place.  I believe, and pray, that this election will be the painful reminder that there is not, nor ever has been, a candidate or person or outside entity of any sort coming to save us.  This is up to us, we are the ones we have been waiting for, and I have faith that we will not only get through this, but will come out better and stronger than ever. But, fasten your seat-belts in the meantime, this ride has just begun.

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Both original photos were found on Pinterest under search words Planet Earth and Rollercoaster