Sunday, January 22, 2017

holding up the sky

Springfield Metro Station, VA

Am sure that later I will be more articulate about participating in a global phenomenon, but wanted to write about participating in my first protest march while things are still fresh in my mind.  Our school group left the wilds of Virginia around 7:30 a.m.  By the time we got to the nearest Metro station, the lines were already a HOUR in length.  We parked and joined them. 

There were Metro employees at every single ticket kiosk to help people buy their tickets. Despite the very long wait in cool/damp conditions, people were unfailingly polite and patient and jovial.

We finally squashed into a very full car and were on our way.  The mood was exuberant and yet full of unexpected choking up of tears.  To feel, to see~this many people of all ages/ethnicities/view points all united in this outing was overwhelming.  One woman was passing out a huge bag full of home-made pink hats for anyone who didn't have them.  By the time, we finally got to a station that would let us out (there were a few that were closed because there were TOO many people for us to even climb the stairs to exit), everyone in the car was wearing pink.

Some of my students riding the escalator.

It took us another couple of hours to even get out of the Metro station and work our way to the streets where we could hear:  Angela David, Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer introduce Madonna, Alicia Keys.  I was bummed that we were too late to hear Gloria Steinam. 

We were wedged on 9th and Jefferson, in front of the Smithsonian Castle for a couple of hours~there was far too many people to do the actual march. 

 My students did me proud~not a peep of complaint during an intense 14-hour field trip.

Looking at the Washington Monument through the mists.

Standing amidst so many people kept us all warm.

I am realizing~to my chagrin~how complacent I have been with my civic engagement. Despite the economic reality of being a musician by trade, my life has been very privileged. 

I had numerous conversations with strangers from all over the country~from life-time locals to people who flew/drove here to the very few police I saw & also with some students that I hadn't really talked to before this trip.  It was just a gorgeous day on all levels.

Incredibly tired, yet energized by what I just witnessed and participated in.  (Our Spanish teacher knitted hats for all of us to wear.) 

The Metro station on the way homewards.  I still don't have words as to what it felt like to stand with half a MILLION (mainly) women in a peaceful, exuberant, and resolute group and say "NO THANK YOU" to the imbecile who has taken power in the past few days.

I hope this energy will galvanize us to real action tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next.

Let us continue to stand with her and her ideals.


  1. Sure wish I could have been there, too.

  2. It was incredible. And, as I'm reading all the reports from around the world~they were all peaceful gatherings!

    1. ...well, there was a reason for them being mainly peaceful; mainly because it was organized not by people of color. Unfortunately, policing is done in different ways for different people. This doesn't discount the wonder of it being peaceful, however! I just wish that if it was a march protesting the murdering of unarmed black people that it could be seen as non-threatening as a march of women... And, I hope that next time - and unfortunately, there will be a next time - there's another basic murder of a person who had the misfortune of being black and in a policeman's way that there will be this community outrage and engagement.

    2. Yes, I am seeing push-back against the "Snowflakes".

      However, it still remains a stunning day. And if only a fraction of us new to this stay active, things may change.

      Although, I just saw that 8 states are introducing laws that make peaceful protests illegal.

  3. I think it's wonderful that you got to participate in this epic event. Watching it and listening to the speeches made me feel like there is still hope.

    1. After this week, it's feeling a little less hopeful. We've got a lunatic in leadership.