A few weeks ago I had the privilege of having many conversations with several different wonderful women. We talked about everything from being therapists to the having the privilege to say we are going to burn it all down to intergenerational trauma to mean-girl alpha-ing behaviors in feminist spaces. These conversations have been fortifying and replenishing and nourishing and I have been deeply grateful for them.
All of these conversations, except one, were via this lovely box I am currently typing on (mostly through Skype, but some textual exchanges too). And while I thank the gods and goddesses above and below for this here modern technology and the ability to have these conversations and see the other person’s face, there is also nothing quite like being in the same room with someone and the intimacy and focus that comes with that.
The one conversation I had in person was with one of my bffs who happens to also be a professional photographer. And while and between taking new photos of me for my website, we caught up on All The Things, which seriously filled me up in all the Good Ways and I need to remember to make in-person time with my besties more of a priority.
At one point in the shoot we put on the song 99 Red Balloons by Nena on repeat. I don’t know why this song is so… something… for me. It both gives me life and gives me angst and I had fun dancing furiously to it and flipping off and punching at the camera in the process.
I have loved this song since it was first released in 1984. Since I was in 7th grade. So you know, a lot of years.
The year I was in 7th grade was also the year the movie The Day After was released and aired on TV. My dad didn’t allow me to watch it, because he felt it was anti-communist propaganda and figured it would give me nightmares. He was probably right. (He also refused to let me see the movie Red Dawn in the theaters, even though it had all my crushes in it, for the same reason. Again, my father was probably right in this decision.)
My point maybe being that I grew up in a time when nuclear annihilation was a given. I pretty much assumed that I would not live to see my 18th birthday because there would be a full scale global nuclear war. In 9th grade, maybe because the middle school I attended was close to the air force base, we did air raid drills in the event of a nuclear attack.
I grew up assuming we, humans, were fucked.
Then in 1987 the Berlin wall fell. And eventually the Soviet Union also collapsed. And in all this the fear of a nuclear holocaust also disappeared. At least from my own psyche. Yes some of our world leaders seemed to be war mongers, but it also seemed even in their need to conquer they had a deep respect for that red button. (At least it’s always red in the movies, I have no idea if it’s really a red button or even an actual button at all). And so, while we as humans are flawed, I came to a place of assuming we would all survive and live into relatively old age (barring disease and car accidents and being murdered and the like).
Over the last month plus, every time I read a headline I am back to believing that we are so fucked.
And maybe that’s why I needed to talk with my bestie and dance furiously to this song while flipping off and punching at a camera.
But in this We Are So Fucked-ness, I also am getting to see such gorgeous humanity. While the current leaders of our country seem hell bent on killing us all, I am witnessing revolutionaries I never thought would be the ones to save us pop up. The park rangers, the scientists, the lawyers.
And the every day people like you and me.
I don’t have a moral or some neat little message to wrap all these words up with a bow.
Except maybe to remind us all that what we do matters. How we spend our time and energy matters. And while we have the short game right in front of us of disrupting and resisting the fuck out of the current regime, we also have the long game of building something new and different and tearing down the existing infrastructure that got us to this place today.
So let’s remember that. Let’s remember that there is a short game AND a long game. And people are needed in both arenas. And maybe you are able to play in both arenas right now and that is amazing and thank you so fucking much and maybe all you have time and energy for is the long game right now and that is also amazing and thank you so fucking much.
And please, can we also remember we are in this together? And we don’t need to destroy each other in order for a single one of us to rise? That too would be amazing and awesome.