I am no greater or lesser than anyone else, but it is by these things I identify myself:
- I am a Woman,
- a Mother of 3, one of whom was first my foster child as a teen,
- a Single Mom, divorced and content with staying single!
- a Homeschooling Parent, to a wonderful teenaged daughter
- a wolf-pac.com volunteer, dedicated to overturning Citizens United and bringing back Democracy,
- I am also a member volunteer for the Vermont Workers’ Center, supporting Workers Rights and Human Rights for all.
- I am a member of my local Time Trade organization –trading equal time given in exchange for services provided by others.
- I am a Person living with Disability, but that doesn’t define me. It’s something that pushes me to find new ways to live as well as possible.
- I am an Occupy Activist to this day, having lived in a tent on Freedom Plaza, in Washington DC, with my daughter, in the middle of winter. Many people may think Occupy was destroyed, but in fact it diversified, and grew, and endures through social action everywhere!
Writing was once a very private process for me, used to draw out and clarify the ideas, feelings, and opinions that swirled about in the chaos of my own mind, helping me to add shape, definition, and purpose to my life. I wrote with pen on paper, with long and slow scrawl, filling thousands of pages, culminating in dozens of journals, which were stored, hidden away from view. In college, I became the proud owner of an electric typewriter, one that even had the ability to erase an entire line of script with a single tap of a key! And journal writing transformed into short stories, scripts, and the beginnings of my college thesis.
Then, before my senior year, I was introduced to my first IBM computer, in a small room with half a dozen others, with oversized monitors and large keyboards, all networked to a noisy dot-matrix printer. The strange language of DOS had me adding symbols and letters before and after the lines of prose, forming tabs and paragraphs, line spacing and margins. My typing speed grew to 110 wpm or more, and allowed the thoughts to flow like a raging river, pouring onto the black screen before me with glowing, yellow-white light characters, and saved onto large, flat floppy discs. I had a fine lack of computer programming skills, but I was content with filling 5″ floppy discs full of typewritten files. As I completed a college thesis, I let go of the solid, slow pace of hand-writing my thoughts onto paper, and embraced the keyboard and glowing screen with an academic rapture, instead.
For the many years that followed my keyboards and monitors changed, as did the purpose of any writing I did. I wrote partial scripts for stage, then grants for non-profit groups, then a few letters to the Editor, and finally landed in chat rooms. As discs got smaller and smaller, and kilobytes became Gigabytes, I pecked away less and less. Mostly, I wrote only for myself, then filed those thoughts away…away from the world. While I dreamed, like so many others, of one day pulling all those tidbits of thoughts and ideas together, to finally produce something –like a novel, or a book of poetry, or Broadway-worthy play– nothing ever came of it. One day I finally gave up dreaming that my writing would be of any worth to others, even to myself. If I couldn’t produce something of value for everyone, I thought, what was the purpose of writing at all? I’d written volumes, but really, I had very little to say. Or, so I thought. Eventually, the litany ceased.
Fast forward through a life: a child, a house, a marriage, another child, a divorce, taking in other kids, adopting an older kid, –in that order– and now I sit on this precipice; half-way, perhaps, through whatever time remains of my potential life span, with my youngest child thinking about boys and college and far more computer savvy than I’ll ever be. I’m blessed to still be independent, intelligent, and aware, but not as naive… nor youthful. But when I look around to see what I’ve done thus far with my life, and judge its merit on what I have given for future generations, I find it is lacking. The quality of life offered to me, simply by virtue of living in the US, and the opportunities that were within my grasp, are not as available to my children. Something went wrong while I was asleep at my keyboard.
Inherent, inalienable human rights have been taken away –even lost–while unfair, unearned debts are lined up to crush any hope for future security. The fictional story “1984”, by Orson Wells, has been birthed into reality. And all the while, many of my generation have remained idle, ignorant or blind to it all! Instead, they seem interested only in having “more” in material possessions, even at the expense of all our children, and our children’s children.
So, with all this technological wonder at my fingertips, providing programs and pathways to an endless virtual world, I finally realized that regardless of ailment, injury, and ache, there is another way I can participate in making a better future for my kids. I can do even more than march, yell slogans, and sign an endless slew of petitions. I can….I can…. I can stretch out my fingers, crack my knuckles, and…write
I did fear that the years of repressing my writing had left a void– a wordlessness– within me, leaving behind only a shell filled with trepidation and timidity in the empty silence. My Thesaurus and Dictionary had been left alone, untouched and forgotten under a duvet of dust on a bookshelf for too long! The cacophony of opinions and retort, theories and perceptions, that once flowed freely and effortlessly out of the confines of my mind, had been held back by a mental dam with immense walls; I wasn’t sure that what spilled out would make sense any more. Semi-colons? Metaphors? Subjective tense? They had lost definition.
Recently, however, I found that lost and lonely bit of Courage by the way-side, and I brought it into my Self, to feed it and nurture it. In return, it snuggled its way inside my heart and mind, and nuzzled away some of those self-doubts, encouraged me to give freedom to my words, to release to all those silenced thoughts. At last, it stopped mattering if the words were “worthy” to a whole world; it only mattered if I knew the words were true. Isn’t that what we really need to make things better in this world? Truth. “Truth to Power”, or so I’ve heard.
So, what I offer may be nothing new to you. The intellectual level may not be as high or as stimulating to the very educated and worldly wise person. It’s very likely that I won’t meet the standards of editorial excellence one expects in a publishing world (darn dangling participles, and all that). But it’s a hell of a lot better than flipping TV stations, and definitely better than just hitting “Like” and “Share” on Facebook.
I don’t think I’m alone in my beliefs, and sharing them is one way for me to an active part in the change I want to see in the world. The dam has finally cracked, and the flood is certain. This, is my activism now.
And maybe…just maybe…I am a voice for someone else who has been afraid to speak out against the injustices of the world. Perhaps I will help to open someones eyes, or encourage someone else to speak out as well. Too many people believe they are powerless, so they choose to do nothing. I can be here to say: YOU Are Not Powerless. I Am Not Powerless. WE..are not powerless. All of us, working together, can make the world a better place for our children, and for each other. Let the words out. Let them sing. Let them shine. Let them be loud. Let them be the flood of Truth that drowns out the Lies.
oh yeah, and
- I am a Citizen Journalist of all that I experience (thanks to that good little Courage!)