The march was amazing. Sarah, Jesse and I drove down Friday night courtesy of Jeff's many Mariott points. We were the 'last stop' on the train, so the first stop going in and by the second stop in the train was overflowing with pink hats and people of all stripes.There were some amusing side trips but in the end we made it to a really good spot about a block from the stage and watched as people filled in around us. I think we were in place by 830 and managed to hear the first 3-4 hours of speakers. I was impressed by the crowd size and general politeness (distressed by the complete trampling of plants, but there was absolutely nothing to be done about it). My person to watch ended up being Kamala Harris - senator from California and someone I feel has a good shot for the top of the ticket in 2020. Ashely Judd's performance of Nasty Woman was excellent and gritty (which I kind of love from a clean southern gal), and the heartfelt outpouring from a lot of speakers really had me thinking.
It did strike me how white the crowd was and I thought two things about that - 1) this could mean that white people, and white women especially (though I did see a lot of white men) are waking up. It's late, hopefully not too late, but there are stirrings. 2) there were two instances where a black woman was staging photos of themselves in the white crowd. One was when we were standing patiently listening to the speakers and it stood out to me because the woman taking the photos (white and possibly going through chemo though I am obviously not sure on that) kept taking photos and I realized the young woman on the other side of Jesse was doing a very good long stare and then had her eyes downcast. it... stood out. it felt wrong. why it felt wrong though I'm still working through because good lord, the last three months has forced me to face my racism in ways I have not had to previously.
I had a couple moments of choking up while waiting for the rally to start. Every so often a chant would start up from the wings, like YES WE CAN and I had a ... just prayer maybe, that if Clinton or Obama felt like somehow their efforts had failed, they could or would see what was happening and take some comfort in this gathering of wills. And that prayer morphed from being about the figurehead to the people who have been living in terror for longer than the election.
Even though it was mostly a mild day, after 4 hours we were feeling the effects of standing in one place and I was starting to have glimmers of panic about the crowd size. We tried to leave which ended up taking an hour and a half and was possibly the biggest mistake we made the entire time. We would later discover that the crowd had gone from expecting it to reach to 7th or 14th street to reaching to 23rd and winging out for blocks on either side of Independence. In hindsight I now understand why crowds freak everyone out when it comes to disaster preparation. The police and national guard that were there were not in riot gear and were mostly cheerful. We watched when the procession started to spill out, across the mall on 7th Street - people had climbed the poles and posts to get an overhead view and were directing folks and calling out information, drummers standing to the side of the sea of people chanting call and response WHAT DOES DEMOCRACY LOOK LIKE? THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE.
At this point I had gone from participant to onlooker, comfortably. We realized that the crowd was coming in from both sides of Independence, flowing onto 7th, and marching towards constitution ave and eventually Pennsylvania. And then when we looked behind us, to the capitol building, we realized yet another sea of people was marching down Madison to merge with the crowd we came from. We headed to the National Gallery steps to get a better view, and then made it through the other side where we hit a shot that I sincerely wish I could have gotten a picture of.
Constitution and Penn Ave merge directly in front of the Newseum. For those who aren't familiar with the building itself, the Newseum has the 1st Ammendment etched into its facade and a large jumbotron in the interior. From our view at the National Gallery, there was a sea of merging people from Constitution and Pennsylvania in front of the First Ammendment with Trump's inauguartion playing in the background. It was a stunning, stirring sight.
These are not people who will go quietly into tyranny. These are not people who will go quietly, period.
We found our way around DC for the rest of the day, mainly looking for food because wtf and every place was packed. Corianne came to the rescue and gave us a spot to recharge my phone and pointed out a strip of food places - we found a burger place and made it in just before a huge crowd decended. Refreshed and recharged, we hit some sites including the Lincoln memorial which will always be one of my favorites. His words are potent in the best of times and right now is not the best of times.
Later we would hear the numbers and see the footage. Let Republicans dismiss this. Let statesmen say this is astroturf. Let them all carry on and show themselves for who they are, let them be known by their deeds and their anti-democratic ways. Their shadows are long for now, but the light is coming.
It is easy of course to say the light is coming. The reality is I have been needling between furiously angry and depressed since November, and maybe more so now. I am aware of normalization and aware that I am acclimatizing to the new reality. There are levels to things that I'm working through and sometimes being a person drawn to peacemaking means louder voices win out. I dislike infighting. I do not pretend that I am going to agree with someone who idolizes ronald regan, but I *want* to work on the common ground and spin from there. Not... force us to agree on everything.
Ok. Enough of that for now. The rest of it then.
Brody went in for his teeth cleaning and surgery to remove his lump. All good on that front though there is a chance that because it was a blood filled tumor (hematoma? something) that it could reoccur. Skye is on a different medication because the previous meds weren't doing a whole lot. There is a bit more pep in her step but it's a very small bit. I notice it. It is not ... obvious otherwise.
The cat integration is going mostly well. Still having literal pissing contests at times but it's sorted for the most part. Henry is becoming more and more a lap cat which I find funny and slightly disconcerting at times.
Work is not awesome. We finally convinced Ed to hire an admin for us and ... a week has passed with nothing beyond him sending out a request to the temp agency and they haven't responded to him yet which means they didn't get the message or they can't hire anyone.
I cannot do what I am doing for much longer. We are rolling out a system that requires handholding of the recruiters which means I spent thursday and Friday on the phone walking them through everything - something I do not have a problem doing actually! - but it means LESS TIME DOING EVERYTHING ELSE. AND I'm entering shit into four different places.
I am literally back to doing what I was doing when I first started with them.
The insurance situation went from bad, to really bad, to wtf is going on and that is taking Ed's full attention at this point while he's throwing us into the deep end with changes.
So that is frustrating and unsustainable.
In the meantime, i'm planning a stay-cation for myself to get a whole lot of house projects done. It is not the vacation I wanted by a long stretch but given the changes happening for Jeff and ... eventually for myself, it needs to be done and I need days at a time to sustain focus on it. Kitchen will get done, bathroom will get done, a whole lot of sorting (I'm looking at you attic), garden, and maybe some painting. We'll start off the week at a friend's wedding in Elmira and then dive into the rest of the projects.
We have a lot of debt right now, but ... this has got to happen. And so. A-happening it will go.
Rescue... no. not now. Cannot. Or family. Those two will have to wait.
And I guess that is that. I spent yesterday running errands and then put in the time in organizing the kitchen and the bedroom a bit. Today I have a long list of things to sort but I think I will start with making some banana bread before diving into the basement organization.