This blog writing can be challenging. And maybe not in the way you are thinking. I have found myself wanting to write a post, but my ideas and thoughts are all over the place. I’ve been trying to gather them in some cogent way. I think I’m going to give up on that idea and just write. Maybe a bit of a stream of consciousness. Fair warning. You can stop reading now…
It’s October. I can’t believe it. Where is our time going? I find myself a bit emotional and it’s coming from somewhere between sadness when I think about leaving Brooklyn and excitement when I think about returning to Walnut Creek. GAT and I have tried to stay in the moment. I think we’ve succeeded…so far. Part of my confusion of emotions is because as we speak, Glen is in California – WC and Chico. I was supposed to go too, but circumstances changed so it’s just Dug and me in Brooklyn. I’m not exactly jealous of Glen…but maybe envious? And yet…
Here I am working on my independence again – fear or familiarity? Remember that so long ago? Well, I can report that I have conquered the subway (I only took one wrong train yesterday!) and I am filling my days with adventure out and about in Manhattan and Brooklyn. In fact, tonight I am going to “Six” on Broadway so yes, even the subway alone at night!!! (Don’t tell Earl, our next door neighbor. He would not approve.)
Our days here have been so full and we still have so many adventures to complete before we leave. While our list is getting shorter, it is also infinite. That’s what I love about New York. On Monday, we went to The Met Cloisters. It’s a beautiful, serene place up on the bluffs over the Hudson at the top of Manhattan, further north than we have ventured. I can truly say that I never would have made it there on a “regular” trip to NYC. Having this time is such a luxury. Which brings me to another mix of emotions.
Glen and I live with such abundance. Family. Friends. Finances. Freedom. (How’d I end up with four Fs?) We try to make the most of our good fortune, acknowledging that it was through hard work, effort, and careful planning (Glen’s) that we have arrived here. AND I know that we had a leg up on our path based on the color of our skin. Being in Brooklyn, I have become so aware of the privilege that I enjoy. I understand how much easier it is to be “blind” to my privilege when I live in a place where I don’t have to “see” it every day. So as I look around here, I am forever thinking, how do we make this life, our life (or whatever the preferred life is) available to everyone? How do we change a society that is so entrenched in its mores?
Then my friend Sherry posted a story on FB (yes, THAT FB – ugh). It was a familiar tale of a professor opening a law class in an unusual way – taunting the class by kicking out a student for no obvious reason, then asking them if he’d been right to do so. The obvious answer was no, but the students had stayed silent. The professor asked them about the purpose of laws. Their answers went from creating order, to providing justice, to protecting rights. The professor asked if he had done an injustice when he kicked the student out for no apparent reason and the students agreed, yes. Then he asked, “Why did you all stay silent? If we have laws, what do they mean if we don’t practice them?” Is there a connection between laws and dignity?
And there’s my answer. We can change society. We speak up. We call out injustice. We act. We engage. We be an upstander, not a bystander. We actively work to make our community – wherever that is – a safe and abundant place for all, in all ways.
Last Sunday, I woke up thinking about the Women’s March. I’ve marched in every march since January, 2017. I was hesitating to march because they say “never march alone” and here I am in Brooklyn without my usual cadre of marchers. I found myself feeling very emotional about Roe v Wade, the law that is being threatened. Therefore I decided I had to follow that emotion and march. And engage. And use my presence as an act. So yes, I marched – alone and with thousands of people.
I marched because I can’t stay silent. I’m glad I did.
I wish dignity, justice, hope, and abundance – for all.
PS “Six” is a fabulous play with a powerful message of the importance of telling your own story, standing up for yourself and each other, working together. And “girl power”. Go see it when you can. You won’t stop singing.