Rain or Not, I March

Rain or not, I march. Tomorrow, that will be in the Women’s March Los Angeles.

From 1980 to 1982, I was in the flag corps of the North Garland High School Marching band. In the 1980 or ’81 football season, the band took the field at halftime in a pattering rain that turned into a downpour so hard the flag corps couldn’t lift our knees in our soaked long skirts. By the finale, we were fighting to spin double flags weighed down with water.
We left the field laughing, so baptized we even had rain under our hats.
I loved it, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Now, I’m not thrilled about a possible rainy march, I’m arthritic in nearly every major joint, and lots of places are not-fun obstacle courses. (And it would be WORSE and it WAS without the ACA.)

But I’m able-bodied enough to still walk, mentally, the best I’ve been in a decade. I’ll honor my gratitude that I have healthcare, I’ll be a testament that ACA brought me back from the brink. I’m walking for people who can’t whatever the reason.

I’ve played mini-golf in the rain. I photographed gravestones for an article in the rain.

I bike-slogged uphill in San Antonio, in the rain, untreated arthritis and the cold making my legs ache worse than usual, in 45F, (“Uphill! Both ways!” “You had a bike?!”) with people in passing cars mocking me, so that I could keep critical psych appointments (pre-ACA, I was seen through a teaching college).

I’m marching because every damn thing about this election was garbage. Because the lying #unpresidented has drained the swamp into our country’s management. Because he colluded with an enemy of our country and human rights.
Because Black people get terrorized by our police just for being black. They get beaten, and sat on and choked and shot and killed for nothing and white people (#mostlymen) of the right status get away with everything.
Because LBGTQ people are so loathed they’re tortured, homeless, and their families will be declared unlawful. Tens of millions of dollars are spent trying to exterminate them. (Even though gay couples are quantifiably #familyvalues #goals.)
Because the Jewish family I married into is a target for Nazis that the #unpresidented has never disavowed.
Because the #unpresidented and his Swamp believe Muslims belong in concentration camps.
Because, as if our country couldn’t be any shittier for Native Americans, the Swamp wants to poison what little land they have left.
Because our human rights are being whittled away by the 1% because they look in the mirror and see garbage and think it can’t possibly be them so it must be us.
Because they really, truly want us to die.
Because #thisisnotnormal.

You can only get so wet, then you can’t get any wetter. As these things go, if this is a test, it’s laughable.
If it’s a blessing (it certainly is for California), it’s grace coming down in buckets.

Rain or not, I march.


Laugh Tonic

Pretty much like everyone else who values, well, values, I’ve been depressed/horrified (horpresstified?) since the election of Putin’s Pet, and the cabinet picks that have followed.

Watching a couple episodes of the near-future sci-fi anthology Black Mirror. Did. Not. Help.

I use a program called Freedom to save me from the addiction of the refresh button on Facebook, and from wallowing in the 140 characters at a time swamp of Twitter.

But even with the expulsion of Twitter and the hobbling of Facebook, today I was still in a trench of gloom. I was leaving the house to go to the Y, and told my daughter (through her bedroom door) I was going. She said okay sleepily. I told her she also had a package and she was insta-perky: “Oh boy!”

She went from drowsy to excited so fast I laughed. Which made her laugh. Which rocketed me out of my gloom trench and into happiness so fast that I could see how low I’d been, which made me want to cry.

(Warning to new readers: I’m a crier. If you like criers, I’m one of the best. I cry when I’m sad, when I’m angry, and when I’m frustrated. I leak for almost any occasion.)

Tonight, I pretty much made Twitter impossible to get back into, which gave me the kind of relief that standing up to a bad situation does.

Since you can’t see my relief, have a picture of my kitten, Umbra.

Black kitten playing with a yellow feather. An Xmas tree is in the background.