I was on the “better late than never” plan for yesterday’s demonstration at City Hall and the Boston Common. Given my druthers, I would have stayed in bed all day. I felt it important to show up, however, to protest family separation and the travel ban. Despite feeling depleted and antisocial, I was spurred by anger, sadness, and more than a little guilt. While my greatest anguish over my children is that their pictures don’t show up enough on the camp website (seriously, they don’t!) I cannot rest while there are parents who have been forcibly separated from their children. I sometimes have the sense that the other side is counting on our exhaustion. I can’t be part of that. Even though I am truly exhausted. My tradition teaches welcoming the stranger, not as a platitude, but from the earned empathy of having been strangers in the land of Egypt.
Armed (haha) with my usual slogan, I set out for the T.
Maybe it was the heat, or maybe others were feeling the same marching fatigue that I’ve been feeling, but the energy on the train was muted. It was clear to me that we were headed for the same place but that perhaps this week, on top of the previous 75 weeks, had momentarily dimmed our spark.
Still, I saw glimmers – even felt a few of my own. People showed up, some of them looking as bedraggled as I felt. Although there will always be clever protest signs, the ones that really caught me up this time around were the plaintive ones.
I really have no words to add to these. That they would even need to be written in a society that purports to civility boggles the mind. Knowing the longing that I feel for my sons, my no-longer-baby sons, even when I know where they are and when I will see them next, urges me on. Seeing that the woman on the left feels the same longing for her parents as I feel for my children is all I need. It should not be a privilege to know where your children are, and to share your life with them.
Meanwhile, across the street in the Boston Public Garden, I saw this:
It is perhaps discouraging that it’s easier to support swan families staying together than human families.
We must continue to show up, march, call our representatives, write to the newspapers, donate to the campaigns of politicians we feel can make a difference.