Getting True Strength
Marching to Save the Climate on a Hot April Day in DC

I Am Irked

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#JusticeforJuan Rally

Sometimes I forget that I’m stressed because of the racist, sexist, anti-environment, anti-knowledge, anti-all-but-the-rich, let’s just say it, deplorable administration and think that there’s something wrong in my life. But no, all is well. Well except for this persistent discomfort; kind of like the feeling you have when your stomach starts to signal its opposition to your eating choices. Or maybe like the feeling you have when you drink tainted water or breathe polluted air. There isn’t good; there are just degrees of bearable.

It’s certainly not just me. In just about every conversation I have the name t- comes up, followed by that person’s litany of his latest offenses. There’s no stopping these discharges, and I am certainly as guilty as anyone—and as strident (okay, more). As much as I want to resist going there, it seems impossible not to. This is the rage that cannot be stilled or contained for long. It’s not conversation, it’s a back and forth release of the thoughts that have collected and solidified in each of our brains since learning the latest news since the previous release. This outlet is essential because the outrages are continuous—and the build-up of tension cannot just keep growing. Between the sharing of the hit list of offensive offenses and marching (Yeah, Earth Day marchers for science! I went to protest ICE deportations) we have each been propelled to defend a moral and ethical compass. We will not be swayed or manipulated by the scales of hate, greed, and ego.

But my goodness! The imposition that politics can have into and onto one’s psyche. The horror of being faced with policies and people that represent the exact opposite of what I value leads both to that constant ache as well as a powerful need to protect and defend. There is no escapism. How do you escape from your conscience? (Thank goodness there are so many of us with consciences that encompass compassion!)

I know that throughout human history there have been times of trial, and this, unfortunately, seems to be our trial. It is not on the scale of the degradations people have faced—and are facing in other places, but faced with the potential of worse to come, it is uplifting to see that the rage simmers within so many of us. The rage that cannot let our minds rest. The rage that is a paroxysm of openness opposite one that confines. This is the time when we must answer our pull to make a positive impact on our world, in whatever ways suit us. This is the time when frustration and anger need to be converted into the acts that will define each of us, and which, together, will create a groundswell for good.

We need to create a world of individual Venn diagrams that overlap in wondrous layers where we interconnect, interact, and stabilize—ourselves and each other—to resist that dark vision, and to create one that glows with hope and potential.

The potential to transform our stress into engines of growth that outstrip his/their push to suppress is the truest driving force. A transformation that (fingers crossed) happens before we all have nervous breakdowns.

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Upriver from Mount Vernon, George Washington's home and farm

Comments

Margaret Lesh

Laura, I honestly don't think it's possible to be a thoughtful person and not feel consumed by -t and the damage he is wreaking on our country and the world. I can't have a conversation with my sisters, son, spouse, friends without the state of affairs cropping up at the least and dominating our talks at the worst. At best, there is a low-level anxiety within me.

Yesterday, I was speaking with a business owner in East Los Angeles (an area with a large number of undocumented immigrants), and he told me fear and anxiety have taken over the community since the election. He asked me, "What do we do?" Many people feel helpless. I told him, almost reflexively, "We speak up; we march, we treat each other with kindness and compassion; we don't lose hope."

Thank you for marching for Juan.

One thing about this administration, it's caused a groundswell of activity. People are becoming engaged and politically active at a level maybe not seen before.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

An entrenched repub congressman here has decided not to run for re-election. It probably would have been a tough fight for him this time around. People need to be active but they must also VOTE. That's the key--and try to stop the insane voter suppression. You see, it's a horrible cycle, one outrage leads to another. Good for you, too, for speaking and marching and being compassionate.

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