Story Wonders: Finding the Courage to March and Write

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STORY WONDERS: FINDING THE COURAGE TO MARCH AND WRITE

I didn’t want to write about this because I am afraid. I am afraid that people I know and care about will think less of me because I went to the Women’s March last Saturday. I’m afraid they’ll be angry or disapprove.

But every time I started to think about what to write this week, the march is the only thing that wanted to be written.

I posted before about how crushed I felt after the election. It is beyond my understanding that a man so clearly abusive to women could defeat the first woman candidate for president.

I know. These are fighting words.

As Brene Brown said: “I don’t know Donald Trump so the most respectful thing I can do is take him at his word. And, when it comes to women, immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, and our Muslim sisters and brothers, his words have been threatening and dehumanizing. I march to say that’s not acceptable or American. That is not the heart of the country I love.”

While this, honestly, got me moving that morning, something about marching against someone doesn’t sit well for me. My friend Diane helped with this.

First, she listened as I tried to tell my six year old why we were marching. I started by saying that we were not happy with the man who had won the election has said and done. My friend reframed it for both my little guy and me.

She said, “I like to think of it more as standing up for what we do want.”

Another woman had this to say:
STORY WONDERS: FINDING THE COURAGE TO MARCH AND WRITE - Mother Teresa Quote

I agree with Diane, Mother Theresa, and so many others. My best self did not go to protest Trump. I went to say what matters to me most. That was the spirit I felt in Olympia, Washington, and what I saw in the crowds of pink hats from around the world.

The feeling of being there at my smaller 10,000 person march full of peaceful men, women, and children reminded me of a step back into time. I saw folks I am sure were there in the sixties. I saw young people. I saw people in crazy outfits. I saw angry signs and ones fun of humor.

When I think on what I experienced there and what I saw in the pictures around the world, I couldn’t help but remember the Whos chanting with every once of sound they had to be heard so Sour Kangaroo would not throw them in a boiling vat.

We know the election is finished, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still here and paying attention. It doesn’t mean we don’t need each other more than ever.

Of course, I loved the marching band’s way of putting music to the words. (Didn’t the Whos have a tuba?) I would love to know who they are, so I could play next time!

Of everything I saw that day, I think my favorite was the Diane’s daughter Rena in her Captain America outfit with a a sign that said ‘Be a hero. Stand up for ALL Americans.” She even had a shield. Cars stopped to honk, smile and wave for her several times. (I wish you could see her better in my photo!)

Something about Captain America and what we tried to do with the march expressed that need to say what we meant.

I’m still scared to publish this, by the way, but maybe, Mr. Gaiman has a sliver of good news for me.

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Maybe, I’m stating to get it right because writing this sure feels more like ‘walking down the street naked, exposing too much.’ More exposing than even marching on a clear cold day for something I believe.

 

Karrie

About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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  • cathysikorski January 25, 2017, 2:37 PM

    I understand completely your need for courage here. I write a humor blog and I publish on Thursdays. I’m debating whether to speak of the March…I marched in DC and so loved it….but I”m struggling to find the humor in a way that will speak peace, importance and not alienation. I’m struggling. I guess we all are. I do not wish to divide any more, but I cannot stand by and be complicit with a divider. He’s the divider not the decider. I’m trying to find places where I KNOW we all agree..for example…who doesn’t want health insurance or just health for that matter. Everyone, right? So how do we get there? Thanks, Karrie…I know how brave you were today!

    • Karrie Zylstra January 25, 2017, 7:29 PM

      Thank you, Cathy. Once more I feel so much less alone.

      And I’ll be looking for your post!

  • chardavenport January 25, 2017, 5:11 PM

    Nothing here to be afraid of! You didn’t get arrested, and only friends took your picture! And you can’t live your life wondering what others think. Strength to you, sister-friend!

    • Karrie Zylstra January 25, 2017, 7:31 PM

      Thanks, Char. I’m so fortunate to have strong sister-friends like you. 🙂

  • AareneX January 25, 2017, 8:36 PM

    I’m happy to hear you went–and took kids–and wrote about it. The Captain America outfit sounds wonderful.

  • Beth January 26, 2017, 6:21 AM

    Glad you followed your heart and went…Glad you were brave and shared. I didn’t go to the marches…But have been uplifted by the stories and photos of those who were there.

    • Karrie Zylstra January 26, 2017, 1:25 PM

      It makes me happy to hear that, Beth. In fact, I’ll hold on to that the next time I have to pull up some courage.

  • Rena January 27, 2017, 3:36 AM

    I was proud to march with you on Saturday. When my 8 yr old Emily decided to wear her Wonder Woman outfit to the event, I was inspired by the idea of a hero’s role in standing up and speaking out to defend and protect those with less power. I wanted to make a statement about using the privilege we have to stand together for others. It meant a lot to me to be there and to share it with my Mom and my daughter.

    • Karrie Zylstra January 27, 2017, 8:36 PM

      Thanks, Rena. Thanks for marching in such a creative and uplifting way. And thanks again for letting us tag along!

  • Phil Venditti January 30, 2017, 3:47 PM

    Brava, Karrie. Keep standing up for what’s good and right and just! We may need to make a lot more marches and do a lot of phone-calling and take a lot of other actions before we can rest, but it’ll be worth it.

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