I am at the Grand Canyon. Right Now. It is my first trip to the southwest and I am vacationing with my family, doing my best to unplug and disconnect from work and the world. It is truly my goal, made all the more achievable by the fact that wifi and cell service are hard to come by out here. Still, news of Justice Kennedy’s retirement reached me.
Before starting PWITP, I was not a political person. So many of us tell the same story pre-2016. I rarely read the news. I couldn’t name any senators besides my own. I probably didn’t know who my congress person was and definitely didn’t know my state reps. (I moved around a lot, so let’s attribute my ignorance to frequently changing addresses.) I knew the importance of the Supreme Court; cheered when Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed and hissed when Clarence Thomas was. (My feminism was always in place.)
This morning I woke at 4:11 a.m. thinking about the Supreme Court. This is not normal for me. I don’t sweat things like the Supreme Court because I am very much a person who leaves things that seem beyond my control off my plate of worries. I worry about the state of my garden, my teen daughter’s hygiene, and if my tires will make it through another season.
But we are on the verge of being saddled with the most conservative Supreme Court ever. That is not an overstatement. I awoke FURIOUS at the people who voted for Trump because they could not bear the thought of voting for Hillary. This is misogyny of the highest order and I HOPE THEY ARE HAPPY NOW. Because their children and grandchildren are about to experience a restriction and constriction of their rights none of them have witnessed in their lifetime. I could easily become consumed by this anger, but my TMJ can’t take it so I meditate instead.
And then I remember the other side of the equation, namely that, in so many ways, we are in the midst of a beautiful cultural and social renaissance. The majority of people in the US is experiencing a broadening and widening of understanding, and, everywhere I look, the country is becoming more loving, more accepting, more generous. I am naturally an optimist, I guess, but my optimism seems justified when I attend the marriages of my gay friends, see trans and queer Americans gain more and more acceptance and understanding, watch activists go to airports to protest the Muslim ban or the border in support of families torn apart. Women, who have always been strong to put up with the everyday bullshit of the patriarchy, are showing their strength in increasingly public ways by running for office in record numbers—and winning. Everywhere in this country, people are opening up to the HUMANITY of others.
The sun rises at 5:15 at the Grand Canyon. I am not a morning person by nature but when I found myself tossing and turning at 4:11— the sky steadily brightening outside my window— I decided to get up and go to the rim. Sitting there with my feet dangling inside the canyon, I was met by Hummingbird. In many indigenous cultures the hummingbird archetype represents the 3rd eye—inner wisdom. I watched the sky brighten, illuminating the golden pink rock faces, and felt the peace that comes from knowing the Earth is still spinning, the birds are still chirping, and the trees are still holding steady.
The message I got from Hummingbird is this: I cannot control—or even influence— the outcome of the Supreme Court justice nomination. But I can continue to help smart, strong, creative, passionate and compassionate, problem-solving women get elected to all seats in the nation. Perhaps therein lies the solution. Perhaps the solution has not been thought up yet by a leader who has not been elected yet. We never know who the change-makers are until they make the first change and we realize that we’ve been yearning for their solution all along and that the world is never the same tomorrow as it was yesterday.
2016 will always be remembered as one of those dividing years. We’ll remember history as Before-2016 and After 2016. Revolutions are always hard-fought. This one is no different. If you’re with me, here’s what you need to do.
- Register to vote if you have not. Encourage your friends, neighbors, 2nd cousins-once-removed to register to vote. And then VOTE. In primaries and general elections. There is so much good and accessible information online now, not having the information is no longer an excuse. We need to remove all of the old guard who do not speak for us.
- Support our CrowdPAC which is raising money to make videos for women running in state and local elections. These elections are so vitally important and the campaign budgets are very small. Our simple video is a great way for candidates to introduce themselves to their voters. We want to make A LOT of these (1,000 to be exact) and we need financial support to make it happen.
- Stay true in your convictions. Stay open to love and acceptance. Remember that WE are the MAJORITY.