Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Boston checkup, Boston Women's March all good

I really didn't know until the last minute if I could go to the Boston Women's March, getting the OK on Friday, just a day before I drove with three friends and packed in with a crowd estimated to be up to 175,000, quite a bit higher than the 70,000 expected.

Like it was for others, it was a major antidepressant, an energizer, after the gloomy Friday of Inauguration Day. Fittingly, the sun came out while we were squished onto the outskirts of the Boston Common, straining to hear the speakers but exalting in the mood and messages against a certain person's divisive agenda.

With Sue, Carol and Len
I had been worried earlier in the week that the graft on my ankle wasn't healing properly. It hurt a little more, not less, and as I said previously, it looked pretty bad to me. I sent a photo to the Mohs office and didn't hear back until Friday morning that I would have an appointment that day, too late to get a ride.

I finished a story that I was writing for HCC and hopped into the car, heading to Jamaica Plain and the Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery Center. Normally I would listen to NPR, but I knew it wasn't safe because the inauguration was on. I listened to some music and rode in silence (which a child of mine considers to be a disordered behavior). I checked in at the exact moment when I heard, "Donald J. Trump is now President of the United States."

Then I listened to part of his horrible American Carnage Speech and decided that riding in silence would have been better.

At the Mohs center, a doctor who said the spot on my ankle looked just the way it was supposed to look. I asked about going to Boston and she said that I should and that she was going to Washington.

That was good news, but I wouldn't have minded if they told me over the phone. I guess it was better to see it in person. In any case, I got a great club sandwich at a cool place in Jamaica Plain, and, a reporter still at heart, managed to eat it on the way home without creating a mess.

The next day was the best. We left bright and early to park at Diane and David's house and walk down the block to the T stop to get the Green Line into Boston. Little did we know that people would have already packed the trains. One after another stopped, only to open the doors onto people jammed in. After about an hour of this, we were lucky to get an Uber to get us as close to the Common as possible. Our march consisted of walking there because once at the rally, we couldn't get out to do the formal march. But that was OK because we got to hear the speakers' determination, such as Attorney General Maura Healey telling Trump that if he takes away women's rights, "We'll see you in court." And we saw a lot of great signs. The mood was festive and determined.

A couple of times, my friends helped me find a corner of a bench to rest on. People were very kind, asking if I needed food or anything. Though we couldn't get to the marchers' route, we managed to push our way out of the crowd and "march" to the T, which was free for the day.

It was invigorating and tiring. Sounds oxymoronic, but you can be both at once.

Back home, I lay down on the couch and talked to my cousin, who had marched in New York. She said it was all over TV.  I turned news on after a long blackout and was additionally energized by watching marches all around the world. It is little hard to figure out were to go from here. Information and ideas for action are flowing in from everywhere.

Today,  David Brooks missed the mark by wring that the marches can never be an effective opposition to Trump. He said they focused on the wrong issues: reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change. This makes no sense because those are all important issues.

If you think too hard about it you can lose the glow and get depressed all over again. Hopefully this 10 Actions for the First 100 Days will yield results.

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