My Marching Orders Continue

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I spent last Saturday morning at the Women’s March. If you were at a march as well, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Where were you? Who did you march with? And finally, the big one: Why did you march?

That’s the question, isn’t it? Why did we march?

While the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington did an excellent job of laying out a positive and comprehensive platform, I think every person participated for their own reasons.

Here are some photos I posted on Instagram that day, where I explained some of mine.

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Obviously, I was proud of Finn for rallying with us that day and being such an active participant. I didn’t set out to raise a feminist son, (and he still doesn’t love the title), but his actions speak louder than words.

Here are some other signs, photos and groups I saw and enjoyed that day.

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Here’s part of Tim’s take, which if you follow him on Instagram, you’ve already seen. If you don’t follow him, you probably should.

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An armchair quarterback, whom I love and respect deeply, posted this article from The Guardian the day after the march. (I call him an armchair quarterback because he’s really good at critiquing the plays, even when he’s not in the game himself.) The author argued that the organizers and participants in the march need to capitalize on the energy of the event and translate it into concrete goals and actions. Too many rebellions start with a bang and end with a whimper. His point was well made, so a friend immediately shared the 100-Day Action plan supported by the organizers of the march to keep the momentum going.

If you haven’t taken a look at it, especially if you marched, please do. What I most appreciate about Step One – The Sending of Postcards – is that they leave space for each person to fill in what is of greatest concern to them. They are not trying to make a blanket statement, or speak for everyone.

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For some, the march was about women’s equality, for others, respect and kindness in our civil dialogue. For many it was about women’s reproductive rights. I saw signs in favor of earth care, the ACA, common sense gun laws, LGBTQ+ rights, Black Lives Matter, respect for science, and Love Wins. I’m not saying Trump is personally against all of those things, but the voting and governing coalition he put together certainly is as a whole. I did see more than a few signs about our new president and his disparaging comments about women and his coalition’s desire roll back women’s healthcare access, but they were by no means the dominant message.

For me, the march was about all of those things and more. That doesn’t mean I agree with every single person in the march, but I wanted to lend my voice, time, body and energy to a movement of women – for women, by women and supported by men.

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This sign was courtesy of Elizabeth Gilbert on Instagram.

I want women of all ages, colors and faiths to have a bigger seat at decision-making tables, starting with those in their own homes. Don’t tell me they haven’t earned it, aren’t ordained to it, or don’t care enough about it. None of that is true, except through the filter of those who feel threatened by it.

So, onward sisters and brothers of all political persuasions. Stay in relationship with one another. Keep Loving, keep talking, keep trying to find your way to common ground. It may seem further away than ever this week, but I’m not giving up hope and I pray those on the other side of the aisle won’t either.

Post Script:

Over the past week, the Women’s March on Washington has been fetèd and critiqued. I’ve read essays about how wonderful it was, how white it was, how effective it was and yet ultimately, how it won’t change a thing. I don’t pretend to know what the effect of the Women’s March will be on political policy as a whole. I only know what I experienced and how it will play out in the choices I make and those are all good.

 

 

 

An Advent To-Do List

“Get up! Go into the world and live in the flow of Love. Forgive, show mercy, be compassionate, care for the poor, tend to the earth as family; find your inner wholeness in the Love of God, and create new wholes in your midst, in your communities, your workplaces, at shopping malls, and jazz fests. Live in the energy of the Spirit; let yourself be led…. Stop playing with your toys, your electronic gadgets… Do not lose yourself to consumer products that blind your vision, or distract your attention from the whole. Get up because you are too old to be asleep… Grow up because it is time to move on. The world is begging for new and more abundant life. The life of the world is your life, and your life belongs to the whole of Life. Stop trying to preserve yourself; lose yourself in something more than yourself…Live to the point of tears and don’t be saddened by sin, misunderstanding, weakness, and hate. Omega Love [God] is in our midst, and this Love is our power, our hope and our future. Remain in this Love…Be the co-creator you are made to be; emblazon the world with the grandeur of God.”

Ilia Delio

Okay, admittedly, it might take me a little longer than this Advent season to live into this call, but as I wrapped up Ilia Delio’s brilliant Making All Things New: Catholicty, Cosmology, Consicousness this past week, I knew I had found my marching orders for 2017 and beyond.

In the face of so much division and adversity in our nation, it can feel overwhelming to figure out, “What is mine to do?” the question I asked last month. But that’s what I love about Delio’s list. Anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and adds Love, life, energy, goodness and wholeness (understood as healing and holiness) to the world is yours to do! The only thing we can’t do is shrug our shoulders and go on with business as usual. Delio’s exhortation reminds me of Joan Chittister’s response to people who ask her what they should do to make the world a better place. “Do something!” she pleads.

It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

This season, if you are waiting in expectant hope for something new or better to come along, keep this call in mind. Print it out. Tape it on your bathroom mirror. Stick it over your coffee maker, or tea kettle. Read it every morning. Reflect on it every night and realize:

We are the something better we’ve been waiting for.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Joyous Kwanzaa to you, my dear friends! And if none of those apply, Happy Holidays! I wish you an abundance of whatever it is that warms your heart, tickles your fancy, fills you with gratitude, and encourages you to start anew.

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Image from Amnesty International Christmas cards, 2016