So, yesterday I forgot it was Friday. I am very surprised that I did this, partly because I do not normally forget the day of the week, and partly because I didn't neglect any of my commitments except for writing this week's post, which I said I'd do on Friday because I had no time or energy for it on Monday. I don't know how this happened.
Anyway, I could write a real post now--I have a little time--but I'm not going to because the past just simply isn't on my mind. Instead, I'll tell you, briefly, what I've been up to in the here and now.
I told you that last weekend, a group of us took three days and went to the Science March in DC. This weekend, a different group of us took four days and went to DC again, for the Climate March. I hadn't really meant to do that. June and I took Carly to the last one, in New York, but this time, because we'd just gone to DC--and because DC is about five hours farther away for us than DC is (one way!)--we were all set to go to a satellite march instead. That's what June and Carly did today, and I haven't yet heard how it went for them, other than that their march is over and they are both fine. But yesterday morning, Steve Bees called me up and asked if I wanted to go DC with him and David. Rick,who is living right outside of DC at the moment (and hating it) for complicated reasons involving his work, had invited us down for the march. I haven't seen him in forever (he was not able to attend the Science March), so, I called Breathwalker--he gets along well with Rick, too--and we all went down together.
As a writer, my work is somewhat portable, so I haven't had to take any time off for this trip yet. I just leave the driving to the others and use my laptop in the car (something I couldn't really do last weekend, with my young daughter on board). So, we're kind of having a guys' road trip, or something. Tomorrow, we're doing the tourist thing and spending the whole day checking out museums and such, and catching up. We'll head back on Monday, except for Steve, who has some work here to attend to for a few days.
But the primary reason for coming was the march, which was large, appealingly chaotic, as these things tend to be, and distinctly angry in a way the last climate march was not. Of course, we had a friendly and competent president, then. Today was also, quite fittingly, much too hot. I'm still all but exhausted from coping with it, and my head hurts.
We never used to do things like this, when I was a student. We were insular, as I said. Now, there is hardly a week that goes by that one or another of us isn't at a protest or a political meeting of some sort, and usually there's a whole bunch of us that go--by "us" I mean the larger community, not just the group I talk about as "characters" on this blog. Most of these events are local, of course, and most of the time we attend as members of one or another non-school related groups we happen to be members of. The school, as such, isn't involved with politics directly. But we see each other at political things as often as we do at more strictly community functions.
It's mostly David's doing, David's and Steve's. And, lately, my sister and her wife (yes, they've gotten married, so now there are three Kretzman sisters-in-law). They've been doing most of the organizing, most of the insisting that the rest of us get involved, not that we've been reluctant followers of their leadership. We started getting involved a couple of years ago--and probably the very beginning of it was Greg's public workshops after 9/11--but it's just grown exponentially since Donald Trump was elected. Activism is now one of the primary pillars of our community. The threat he and his backers pose is so great that our responsibility clearly lies in the world, not apart from it. Activism is now part of our ministry, our healing, our meditation, and our magic.
Steve calls it the social gospel. That phrase has a Christian history, but I do not think he means it in that way alone--he's never been uncomfortable with the non-Christian majority of our community. I asked him what good news he's referring to ("gospel" mean "good news").
"The good news that we can do something about any of this," he said.