The Day After (the debate debacle)

Big Bird debuts in Afghanistan.

I went to bed feeling like I’d been at a funeral. (Or an awkward 30th high school reunion.)

Still, it was great to see old faces… all those friends who came out of the woodwork to chat on Facebook–some that I haven’t seen or spoken to in decades.

Did democracy just die?

Did you feel it too?

Thank God for Twitter!

Many of us were able to cut the pain with laughter.

But even the snark evaporated as the agonizing hour passed, and the Twitterers fell asleep.

“Wait,” I typed, “He’ll bring it home.”

But he didn’t.

He still has time.

I woke feeling differently.

Not about Obama or Romney, but about us.

About the election.

Maybe about democracy?

Forget t.v. ratings, but if Obama had been the clear winner, my Republican voting friends who came across the aisle to talk to me on Facebook would be discouraged; and those of us who support the Democratic choice, would lose what little edge we still have.

If nothing else, that debacle made us desperate for “human” contact–of any party.

The absence of charismatic leadership or  at least political entertainment forced us to rely on each other. And Big Bird.

(Can you believe he combined Big Bird and Lehrer in one sentence? Or that he gave the same schoolgirl, “I like you,” to something as considerable as Green Power?)

Honestly, these debates don’t mean much to me and not because I’ve “given up on politics,” but because I know the difference. I know the taste of pure water.

And it’s not Obama.

And it’s certainly not Mitt Romney.

(I couldn’t follow either of them, and I have a college degree.)

Though the jaded say there’s no difference between the parties or their candidates, those who struggle know that’s not true. And if you’re too comfortable to feel the difference, ask your friends around the world… especially in the places where humanity is really hurting.

Maybe this debate wasn’t such a disaster after all, or maybe it was the disaster we needed.

Kelly Salasin, the day after, October 4, 2012

(And may both candidates refrain from using any further anecdotes about that “woman” they met in…  and hey,  if you are that “woman,” please stop talking to them.)

Mothers in ACTION!

Dear Women Warriors,

One of the rituals I delight in most is my annual selection of a new calender. As computer oriented as I am, I’m still in love with all things paper.
Over time, my calenders have represented the emerging aspects of self… from Impressionists to National Geographic to Thich Nhat Hanh to Rumi.

This year’s choice represents a shift from art and spirit toward politics and activism. The family wall calender is titled “Barack Obama, Words of Hope and Inspiration,” and includes quotes from leaders over the ages as well as milestones in our the history of our beloved nation.

My personal engagement calender, “The Moment“, is from a group called MAU, Mothers Acting Up. Though it failed to meet much of my practical needs in terms of features, the spirit of it captured my heart. It’s title page reads,

This calender is your personal invitation to include advocacy for the world’s children as an essential component of your mothering roles.

If that didn’t get me, the next page’s manifesto brought it home:

We realize that we live in a world that does not prioritize or protect our children’s wellbeing and that this will not change without each of us finding the courage and commitment to speak out on their behalf. By mobilizing our gigantic political strength, we can ensure the health, education, and safety of every child, not just a priveleged few. Let us:
WHISPER this to each other;
SING it out on the streets;
YELL it from the rooftops;
DECLARE it in our houses of government-
We will protect our children with our personal and political strength, wherever they live on earth!

This is our Moment. This is YOUR Moment.

Each week features a profile of a visionary and includes a corresponding “Take Action” box. This week’s action is to tell three friends about MAU, and to share my vision for the world’s children in honor of International Women’s Day this Sunday. Hence this posting to you!

Having just finished viewing the absolutely fabulous, can’t recommend it highly enough (if everyone hasn’t already seen it)- “SICKO” (about health care issues in the US),
I’d have to say that my vision is that we provide health care and family support for all in this country and that we get our butt in gear in taking care of the world’s children.
Everything I reads says we are capable of this NOW. I’m so encouraged to hear that there is movement taking place in Washington too.

I’m not entirely sure of my role in this vision which is why this calender comes in handy as I seek to define my participation.  In honor of International Women’s Day, I celebrate each of you in the process.

How timely that Sunday is the day that we set the clocks forward, bringing more light into each day!!! It’s also my neice Brielle’s 18th (?) birthday and my new neice Susannah’s “due date”. The themes of “coming of age” and “new birth” are welcome ones indeed!

Kelly Salasin

“It is this open and tender heart
that has the capacity to transform the world.

Lama Chogyam Trungpa

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