Notes from the Woman's March... ish

I almost didn't write this. It feels silly to write about something that happened almost a month ago... like I should be looking forward instead of backwards. But my mother wrote her post. And Fable did, too. And I had this whole plan where we would write these posts about our different experiences and put them all in one place and remember what it was like to join hands and represent different points of time moving in the same direction. But that was yesterday when I was stronger -- high on the adrenaline of middle fingers and girl power and #RESIST. 

Today, I am struggling. The road ahead feels arduous. My muscles are sore. My heart is broken. 

Tomorrow will come and there will be new fights to begin even though the old fights were never resolved, like cleaning out one closet only to seek another one in which to store the same shit -- packed tightly in boxes to make room for more.

I am packing. And I am throwing things away. And I am putting things in closets to deal with later.

Does this get thrown away?


One more in the maybe pile... I'll save this for later. Oh, wait. This post is about The Women's March. Did I march? Yes. Am I still marching? Of course. And yet...


I can't get this song out of my head. The kids are playing music in the other room and I rock and sway like a person who doesn't know where she is. Fable started taking piano lessons and Archer is playing Bowie's Changes and Revi is dancing with a Brio train track as a microphone and Bo balances on the back of the couch with a drum in her hands. 

If that's all there is, my friend, then let's keep dancing... 


I am two women since November 8th.

Woman A is ready to fight. Willing and able to do whatever it takes to say NO and RESIST.  Hopeful and excited to raise children during a time when complacency is not an option. LOOK ALIVE, KIDS. WE MUST ACT. STAND UP. STAY STRONG. BELIEVE THAT HUMANS ARE INHERENTLY GOOD! SOLIDARITY!

Woman B is paralyzed.

I keep nudging her. "Wake up!" I say.

"Remember how we marched?" I ask her.

"Remember how we surrounded a city with our voices and our signs and our power? We're still doing that! Look at us go! We are fire!"

We are fire. 

She throws pillows at me in the night. Tells me I'm pathetic -- a cheerleader for the losing team.

"But there are so many more of us than them," I tell her.

"But I'm so tired," she says, reaching for a cigarette. "And it feels so hopeless sometimes, you know?"


I am shaking and silent, unable to respond when a Tr*mp supporter talks about killing protestors -- his body touching mine as we're squished together on the same shuttle leaving LAX.

"I wish I could run them all over with my car," he says kicking my sign.

"I'd flatten the faces of libtards if given the chance," he explains loudly to his son. "Target practice...You and me. Shooting them all down in a line. Melt them with my blowtorch... "

His son laughs. He's not much older than mine.  The sound of his laughter scares the shit out of me. Even the me that claims to be fearless.

"...Snowflakes melt fast," his son chimes in.

They both laugh as I hold my hands together to keep them from shaking.


I can't listen to the press conferences. I know I should because THIS IS HAPPENING AND WE ALL NEED TO BEAR WITNESS but he makes me fucking puke. Literally, he makes me throw up. I haven't had sex in months because I feel like America just got into bed with an abusive sociopath and his abusive sociopathic friends and my entire body has sealed itself shut.

I want to fight with all that is in me and curl up into a ball all at once.

So I do both.

"We are at war," she whispers to me as we're sleeping. She is myself and I tell her that everything is going to be okay.

"We will fight this. There are more of us than them. Resist. Persist. Insist. EXIST.

"But we're at war..."


Large groups of women used to scare me. Now they are the place I feel most safe. I hadn't expected to feel SAFE in D.C... Not like THAT. I assumed I would be claustrophobic and overwhelmed. Instead, I wanted to live in that crowd. I wanted to swim in a sea of pink -- surrounded by both female and male voices... and the safety of being amongst people who believe in autonomy -- who refuse a white-male patriarchal standard. Who believe in FREE CHOICES and FEMALE VOICES.
I remember first learning about the Washington Monument as a child. I thought it was beautiful.  I was impressed that it was the tallest building in D.C. -- that by law, nothing could extend higher than the tower pointing to the sky. But as I marched in its shadow, it became something else...
I imagined it coming down. Not physically... but metaphorically. I imagined all of these women lifting one another up so high, the monument disappeared. The phallus. The patriarchal symbol of white male power in this country.

What would replace the symbol of WHITE MEN? Certainly it wouldn't look like a giant dick, erect and pointed like an arrow to the sky...
"We are at war," I think. "This is a war."

We must draft one another to speak up, to lift and love and elevate one another--build new symbols while resisting the old.

I am a white woman and I am new to this fight. I look around and I see men and women who have been fighting this war since they were born. Who will fight this war until they die. How do I use my privilege to stand guard so that they can sleep, I ask myself.

They deserve rest. We need to STEP IN THE RING, white sisters, so that they can rest.

I am working on it and I am doing my best to raise my children to do the same.

I get out of bed -- pull myself by the hair if I must. 

"Look alive. YOU WANT CHANGE? DO SOMETHING... GET UP. There is so much work to do..."

Meanwhile, my inbox is full of pitches for "tips for staying cool this summer" and I wonder how it feels not to feel like the whole world is coming undone. I look at people on Facebook--with their business as usual posts about restaurants and baby gear--and wonder which one of us is crazy. I try to understand the other side.

"Tell me how you think what is happening is okay?"

I cannot understand. Not even in the slightest.

"...Snowflakes melt fast..."

I will never understand.

To march in D.C. with my family was an honor and a privilege. To march covered in the names of women unable to attend their local marches...  It took two weeks for everyone's names to wash off my arms and my hand and my shoulders.
I purposefully avoided showers because I didn't want the names to go. Because we are at war and women feel like armor. I want to wrap my body with every name of every woman who has ever lived -- who has ever dared fight back, say no, stand up... RESIST.
I want to be with women and listen to their words and hold their hands. I want to lift them and be lifted. I want to form an army of mothers and sisters and daughters. I want to sacrifice it all for them.

"Remember what it felt like in that crowd," I whisper back to the voice... It's late at night and neither of us can sleep.

"It felt like a war, then, too. But we were many. And we were fearless. And we were PEACE and LOVE and SOLIDARITY."

It felt like a war we could win.

"It still does."

It was my mother's first time marching. And you should see her now. She leads groups. Challenges strangers.  She's devoting her every free moment to resistance. She sends letters to her elected officials. Calls for town hall meetings. SHE IS FIGHTING like never before and I am so proud to be her daughter.
It was my sister's first time marching, too. She lives in Texas where she now hosts gatherings in her house -- writes letters, makes calls, demands change. SHE IS FIGHTING like never before and I am so proud to be her sister.
Fable has always been fighting. She is the future. In her I see who I want to become. I see in all three of my daughters the women I wish to become and I am so proud to be their mother. They are the tissue holding me together right now. They are my eye on the prize. 
I want to end this post on a high note. I want to be the woman who pulls her sister out of bed and tells her to GET THE FUCK UP. WE HAVE WORK TO DO. WE ARE AT WAR, GODDAMNIT, but today I can't. Today I have a cigarette hanging out of my mouth. Today I haven't showered  and my hair is askew and I'm not even wearing pants and I'm dancing like someone who feels like she's losing her mind.  Today I am Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is.

And today I want to reach out to everyone who may be feeling the same.  For we can be warriors and worriers all at once. We can FIGHT LIKE HELL and FALL APART and still move forward. We can channel Peggy Lee today and MILCK tomorrow... 

We can march in silence. Talk in our sleep. Pack our yeses. Revisit our maybes. Do whatever it takes to move forward...  We are in this together. And it's okay to want to fucking scream and cry and DANCE LIKE THE WORLD IS ON FIRE.  Don't let anyone tell you that you can't be ANGRY and HAPPY and FEARLESS and AFRAID all at once. 
So long as we keep showing up, we can carry each other.

We can make each other strong.

We can get each other out of bed.

We can stammer around the house in our bathrobe like wtf is happening.

We can fight like hell.

And cry like hell.

And win.

We can keep going. Rain or shine. And we will. 

"We will."