As we slip closer to becoming the dystopian world we used to chuckle over while reading the fantastical novels of our youth, I now wonder about ever leaving the house. Even then paranoia creeps in while watching/listening/reading the news. It’s melting ice caps and fire storms. It’s waring tweets from men plenty old enough to know not to taunt but daily they do. There’s corruption in Facebook, phone apps listening, and Amazon with one-day deliveries causing insurmountable mountains of cardboard. Gun violence passing epidemic proportions that not even George Orwell would have imagined. Rational stuff gone daft too, like the inability to debate issues in Congress or use Science as a base for fact. Everyone is distrustful of any branch of government. People are retreating, especially the L.G.B.T., unsure if our marriages or jobs or civil rights will stand this latest round of Supreme Court discussions.
There is more to a person’s legacy than diamonds and pearls, although seeing those valued trinkets passed down the generations does warm my heart. My mother’s real legacy is her reminder to stand back up after one has fallen into tough years, and not with her words, but with her actions through all those tough years. It is easier to reminisce about carefree summers on the beach or raising a hopeful glass on New Year’s Eve than admit to harsher seasons, but recalling how my mother navigated with 4 teenagers plus 2 younger children, a husband who was intently searching for a way out of his own angst, all amidst the turbulent 1960’s, those years show what tough really looks like. We didn’t have an easy time of it. She most of all. Family photos reveal more about the unseen than anticipated. But never did she stop believing that we would make it through to a sunnier day.
Writers avoid writing. There is always something more pressing or entertaining or distracting than sitting in the stillness to pound out the words racing inside one’s head. Always. That is until those words get so thick and fanciful or loud and obnoxious, growing exponentially inside your head, until you feel, in the most visceral way, that unless you pound them onto your screen you will know no peace.
Today is that day. Racing words are forcing me to write because ever since August 28th there has been too many to ignore. Why August 28th? Well, that date is remembered as the greatest March on Washington; on the recent anniversary, President Obama stood on the same steps as Martin Luther King, Jr. and reminded us that 50 years ago King “gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.”