“We are being called, like our mothers and fathers, to be the moral defibrillators of our time,” [Barber] said, as the crowd rose with him for the umpteenth time.
“We will shock this nation and fight for justice for all. . . .We will not give up on the heart of our democracy, not now, not ever.”
-Rev. William Barber, DNC speech
What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?
What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor?
What if all the mothers who came before us, who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, political oppression and sexual assault, are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear: You are brave? What if this is our Great Contraction before we birth a new future?
Remember the wisdom of the midwife: “Breathe,” she says. Then: “Push.”
Because if we don’t push we will die.
If we don’t push now, our nation will die. So let us take one another’s hand and push together.
-Valerie Kaur, via Groundswell
“On Friday we wept, on Saturday we marched, on Sunday we rested. Today we get to work. What will you do today?” – Valerie Kaur
I live in the very, very Southwest corner of Florida. Not near Miami, or Orlando, or Tampa, where you might find some blue dots in our red state. No. I live where it is not weird at all to see a dude driving his pickup around a parking lot with a shirtless dude in back waving a flag larger than my garage that says “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” Totally normal. Totally happened in my local Ace Hardware parking lot.
Because of this lack of blue dots in a very, very red area of the state, I almost didn’t attend my nearest sister march for the women’s march. I was certain that it was going to be me and the usual twenty aging white hippies who usually show up at these things.
I WAS WRONG.
As I approached the march location there was a fair amount of traffic. There were tons and tons of cars parked on lawns illegally. There was no way this was because of the march, I thought. Not in this long-established republican stronghold where the last democrat to win the county was Adlaid Stevenson II in 1952. (Source: Wikipedia.)
It turns out the crowd, the traffic, it was in fact all for the march.The organizers expected 300: At least 2,500 people showed up.
YES, that is right. Over two-thousand people in our sleepy little vacation town showed up to march. Thousands of people marched and chanted past the tony vacation homes and high-end boutiques. The retirees in sports cars gawked. The passer-bys on their way to brunch bristled.
It. Was. Amazing.
There were elderly marchers being pushed in wheelchairs, young marchers being pulled in wagons. Families, singletons, teens, twenty-somethings. Men! Women! And yes, a lot of white sixty-something women. But not just the aging hippy-sisters-who-paved-the-way oh-so long ago. We couldn’t have been here without them, but we need more than just them to move forward.
The best part was that the tone of the crowd wasn’t angry (though we were angry, yes); it wasn’t sad, or defeated or gloom and doom. No, it was…joyful. Jubilant even. It was downright spiritual: we were transmuting our pain with art, with dancing, with music. And levity! (The signs were hilarious, no?)
(And in case you missed it, the baby marcher with her crayoned-protest-sign. THIS. This is what we need.)
Let’s keep doing it. Let’s keep showing up for each other. Let’s keep giving light so others will find the way. And let’s do it with much rejoicing.
Did you march, sisters? (And brothers!) Tell me your stories!
We were made for these times.
I’m excited to announce that starting today I’ll be posting daily for the first 100 days of the Trump presidency with a new project I am calling “#100daysofhope.” I decided to embark on this creative project as a way to shine a light in darkness, at a time of deep division, fear, and turmoil in our country.
And as fate would have it, I received an email several days ago with a template that allowed me to fully articulate this goal (see below, and template available here.)
Most of my posts will be on instagram at 100daysofhope, and I invite you to follow along there! On the blog, all posts related to the project can be found under the tag “#100daysofhope” or at https://mourningdovemotherhood.com/category/100daysofhope/.
What do you pledge? What do you believe in and what do you hope to dream into being for our democracy in these coming weeks and years? How can you share your own gifts?