Reflections From a Lifelong Activist Who Spent Jan. 21th at Home

It’s Saturday the 21st of January and I’m at home. For those of you who’ve known me a long time, it’s not in my nature to miss a rally so in line with my values.

The truth is I did a cleanse all week and felt too run down this morning when the time came to start to get ready. So, as a thunderstorm raged outside with such force it reverberated through my home and rattled wine glasses in the cabinet, I decided I would not make the 40-minute track up to Atlanta.

I thought I was doing what I needed to do to take care of myself. After all the real work comes after today when all the protesters go home and make sure they don’t fall into complacency, despair, and non-action. I don’t necessarily think I made the wrong decision to stay home; put your mask on first and all. But as I watch my Facebook feed fill up with the post from friends at marches around the country, and many who are in DC, I’ve struggled to not fall into self-shaming. So much so that I have some hesitation about even posting this.

I have been politically active, attending marches and protest, since I was a child. Somewhere I have a newspaper clipping of my 5-yearold self, painting a sign at a protest for world peace. I was part of the anti-apartheid movement, protested the 1st gulf war, the WTO, marched in Take Back The Night rallies; the list goes on and on throughout the years. So, for me to be sitting here at home, in bed typing, not marching, not chanting: “Ani’t no power like the power of the people ‘cause the power of the people don’t stop” is hard on my soul.

It’s amazing to see the photos of the, literally, millions of people who marched in solidarity today, it’s moving, it’s encouraging and healing. And yet I still sit here thinking I messed up. I too should have been out there on this historic day. Today may prove to be The March on Washington where Dr. King gave his I Have a Dream speech, of my generation. So how the fu___ could I have missed it? Me. The girl who thought of MLK as my hero by the age of 8. The teenager who debated politics with my elders because I was sure they were just misinformed, uninformed, and surely I could change their mind if I told them what was happening. The woman who at times has gone to protests alone because friends are busy, but I still felt compelled to stand up for my beliefs. Why, of all times, did I just not rally?

Part of it is, yes I was not all the way through this cleanse. And part of it is, to be frank, and I know that this may sound bad of me, but I’ve recently moved to the South (just outside of Atlanta) after spending nearly half of my life on the “left coast” and the first half in New England. And I didn’t know what to expect at a protest in a political landscape that, generally speaking, is markedly different than what I am used to engaging with. Chances are it would remain peaceful, and I believe that it did. But I have seen a protest turn on a dime; go from a peaceful protest to a riot before most people know what is happening. I was not sure I was up for having to prepare for the possibility of teargas, pepper spray and having the number of the ACLU emblazoned in Sharpie on my arm. These kinds of precautions are wise to take at any protest, anywhere in the country, but I just do not yet know what to expect in my new state and had some apprehension.

There’s a third part of this too. A part I didn’t become aware of until I started writing this. There’s some small part of me that has not accepted the election went the way it did. That the proposed executive cabinet being compiled is real. There is some small part of my brain that’s waiting to wake up from a bad dream. Part of me cannot admit this is the new normal. And a part of me that feels like somehow we’re all stuck in a dystopian film and none of its real. But it is, I know it is. And yet I caught myself as I watched Facebook Live videos of the protest today and the one last night in NYC that felt like none of it was real, or that I could fast-forward the video to see who spoke next.  But the future had not yet happened there was nothing, nowhere to fast-forward to, the video was of the moment. And maybe that’s one of the problems. The televised, Facebook-ised, Twitter-ised engagement with the world is not real. And is keeping us removed from what is real. Seeing the world that way is void of chi, life force, truth in some way.

So now what? What do I do? It’s now after  7PM here on the east coast the rallies are done for the day in this part of the world. So, first I will move out of self-shaming; that does nothing good for anyone. It makes me feel like crap and impairs my ability to help other people. I took care of me so I can march on with strength and health in the days, weeks and months to come; so, that I have the fortitude to go the distance.

And next, next to look to the sky, to the astrology of the moment; both collectively and for me. How did I, the girl who was born with a protest sign in her hands, always speaking her truth, spend today on the sidelines? And collectively? As a nation, as the world where do, we go from here?

The first thing I see is I’m so glad these marches happened while Mars was still in Pisces. That may sound kind of odd to some. Mars is about drive, and Pisces the watery dreamer and illusionist. But, if we look at it deeper it is telling us that the actions we take, when properly focused, are about the end game. Part of the meaning of Mars Pisces is a call that our actions have a higher purpose; they are greater and longer lasting than us alone. When out of balance, when coming from a place lacking integrity, we can be delusional about our behavior.

Today, today was all about integrity. And next Saturday when Mars moves into Aries our action will, yes in some ways have more intensity, but there is also a greater probability for aggressive, and reactionary behavior. Which is part of why I say I’m glad the God of action was in the sign of compassion as millions took to the streets.  As Mars ingresses into Aries, we can get a lot done, it does tend to make one too hasty, so act, but with intention. Pace yourself and let the drive of Mars in Aries feed your passions.

How lucky are we that the day before Mars moves into Aries we have a New Moon. A time of new beginnings and the berthing of that which we want to bring into the world. It will be in Aquarius, the sign of the rebel, the revolutionary, the inventor, the humanitarian. A new way, a new world is possible. I’ll write more on this later. But this has gotten long.

Before I go let me say this – if you marched today thank you, thank you, thank you. And if you wanted to, but life happens, be kind to yourself. And if you did not see then need, ask someone you know who went and learn why they did and listen to what they have to share.

And to all of us I’ll leave you with this poem by Walt Whitman:

O Me! O Life!

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,

Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,

Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,

Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,

Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?



That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.