This past Saturday, I woke up at 3:00 am to take a bus to Washington, DC. The return trip was later that night. Now, coming back from an insane flight schedule from Koh Samui to NYC, I thought I was prepared. And though that day and the following Sunday marked some of my most exhausted days to date, the experience was so invigorating that it made up for it. I would do it again this weekend if called to.
I went, of course, for the women’s march on Washington. I was graciously added to my roommate’s mom’s party, and even though my own family is across the country, I felt part of theirs and ultimately part of a family of women and our supporters not only in this country, but all over the world.
I was floored to see the photos of the women’s march turnouts all over the globe. Women in Antarctica (Antarctica!) even turned out. Under circumstances that have felt so dire (and only continue to feel more and more so), it was incredible to have a community of millions. (Donald Trump tweeted at us, in case you didn’t see, asking where all 2.9 million of us were on election day…Alyssa Milano graciously pointed out that he lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes. So voting booths, that’s where we were.)
I saw some incredibly creative signage, and some straight up inspirational images. Like this tiny heroine, for example, who saw herself in Shepherd Fairey’s “Women are perfect” print and broadcasted that for all to see. Now, for those of us who marched, the fight is certainly not over, and this was only the beginning. If you haven’t, check out the 100 Days of Action plan, readily available on the Internet.
Speaking of the Internet…there are a LOT of funky facts circulating these days. Here’s a helpful list of which news sources are the most reliable, and with freedom of the press being threatened, it’s more important than ever to keep up with these sources! My roommate was sporting one of my personal favorite signs, “Make America read again.” Not only should this go for reliable news, but personal accounts, memoirs of those who have fought for justice before us, and yes, definitely even fictional novels. It will only benefit us to keep finding compassion for others through books, to keep reading to have something to connect us to our fellow citizens of the world.
A personal goal of mine for 2017 is to read more books by international and underrepresented authors. Pick up something that was translated from its original language, pick up something written by a person of color, a woman, an openly LGBTQ author. We owe it to the world to be as informed as possible, but also to be as aware of other views and ways of life as possible. To imagine what it must be like to be a Syrian refugee right now- what if your creativity wasn’t allowed to matter, because the only thing you could focus your energy on was escaping your home country in order to save your life? We must create for those who can’t at the moment. Write write write, write everyday because you still can, because you have the power of a voice that can be heard (at least for now. Yikes). Remember that you stand with so many others- reach out to them! Share your work and hope that they will share theirs, or their experiences and stories, with you back. Together we can stand up against opposing forces and remind them that we stand for humanity, and the good of humanity will always win.
Your Weekly Writing Prompt is: “In the face of…”
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Tallie Gabriel is an actor, writer, and BookHive social media maven. She’s a member of InViolet Theatre and Artistic Assistant of BEDLAM Theatre in NYC.