Photo: So, I asked my friend about her hoop of stitches last Friday and asked for clarification. “Is it really one stitch a day? Or are you doing more than one?” I asked her. She informed me that she thought the rules meant at least one stitch a day, which makes a lot more sense… much less limiting (but could be a cool, different sort of challenge in the future). Anyway, she already had a very elaborate motif going. I’m sitting pretty with purple blossoms in the soil. An idea of a vision is growing in my head, though… don’t you worry. It will get more interesting as the year progresses!
Everywhere I went this week, I encountered a person wondering out loud: Am I doing enough?
Mourning has melted away, anger has risen and burned brightly. The coals are now crusting over with that sustained, ashen color, even in temperature and ready for work. So what to do now?
It’s been interesting watching the different solutions that people have chosen. I have friends who are preparing to descend upon DC to join the marches. I know others who are staying local for “satellite” ones. Some, in their professional capacities, are offering services to people pro bono or joining up with organizations that do such work. Knitting friends are knitting hats, which I think is just fine indeed. Warm the heads, sustain the voices, paint the streets pink, black, rainbow’d… let the streets be colored by us all in however ways necessary.
One thing that I think is a particularly cool idea worth sharing is that I have a friend who is collecting feminine hygiene products and donating them to a local organization that will distribute it to women’s shelters, organizations that help homeless teens, and schools throughout the state. Delivery date: Inauguration Day. I love this cause so much because it’s Women helping women, women seeing women, women serving women. If you can, Dear Reader, consider doing something similar in your own community. Next time you are in the store to buy that box for yourself, buy a second and drop it off at your local women’s shelter (or church, or anywhere you know will get it to the right place/people). For too many women in our country, dignity in menstruation is cost prohibitive.
Every time I have been asked if a person’s contribution is “too small,” I have smiled and said “not at all.” Now isn’t the time to be self-conscious about what we are giving and how we are choosing to give it. We shouldn’t be self-conscious about the where, either. There are places for resistance on every level, leadership on every level, and workers/sustainers for every level as well. Local, state and national, there is something for everyone. There should never be an ounce of regret for reaching out, extending the self, putting in the time and the energy, and making your presence known. There are many lanes here, many causes, many understandings of the great needs ahead of us. No need is too great, no person too small.
And that’s where my Quiet Thoughts are tonight: about how much is needed, how overwhelming it is. But the call to action is thunderous, and the opportunities to step up are so numerous that there is no way to ignore it. I’m reminded, as a student of history, that the opportunity for resistance, for beautiful acts of humanity, come from times like this. Little acts of selflessness, paired with stunning acts of courage, are powerful tools toward holding things together when it seems like the world is falling apart.
We’ve come to the event horizon. Take a deep breath, reach out your hand, and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people around you. No matter what, when you act with humanity, bravery and sincerity, never think that your actions are too small. Remember, yours is an important contribution to a larger, powerful collection of great work.
It is a chilly Friday, with a beautiful moon rising from the East. My fox will be out hunting tonight as the naked trees will cast long shadows across the yard. Crystals of ice will glitter in the silver light. Two little boys will be bundled up under blankets and I am sure I’ll be asleep before the end of the hour. Nights like this are made for wishes. Let’s start with wishes warm feet thanks to thick socks under a favorite blanket. I wish you busy hands, knitting or embroidering or quilting if that’s your thing, maybe writing if that is better, or turning the pages of a book you simply cannot put down. I’m reading a fantastic collection of short stories right now, Flying Lessons and Other Stories. Choosing to revel in the stories and worlds of excellent diverse writers is a wonderful act of resistance. I wish you tea, decaf and spicy, warm in the hands and soothing for the soul. I wish you a sigh of satisfaction, a yawn of relaxation, the warmth of a hand in yours for a bit of time this weekend. I wish you the soft, lingering warmth of a kiss on the cheek, a loving whisper from a favorite person, and a smile from across a crowded room meant for no one else in the entire world but you.
And don’t forget to tell someone you love them this weekend. Don’t forget to do something loving this weekend, too! When’s the last time you wrote a nice card, or a letter, or left flowers for an elderly neighbor to enjoy in their home? Spread a little warmth this weekend, Dear Reader. It always comes back to you ten times fold.
Oh, and do I even have to tell you? You are loved. What you do in this world matters. Go about your weekend knowing this. Let it light the way for you in the quiet moments, the dark ones, when all you can think is that you aren’t doing enough. You are. You’re fine. Keep up the great work, Dear Reader.
Until Monday, stay safe, stay warm, reach out and take care.