Friday, June 13, 2008

strong is what we make each other

random thoughts after a wickedly busy week that has left me both inspired and exhausted...

we kicked serious butt out in the field on tuesday. 125 motivated and dedicated volunteers. 8 counties. 35 polling places. more supportive, pro-LGBT ID's from a single day's action in our organization's 25-year history. the mountain of work leading up to primary day paid off in an astounding way...we were nearly flawless. i was so proud of our volunteers, so many of them digging deep and putting themselves in situations that were far outside of their comfort zones. it is never, ever easy as a queer person to have someone look you in the eyes and tell you they don't believe in protecting your humanity. yet so many in our community were willing to stand inside of that incredibly vulnerable place. that kind of courage moves and inspires me like nothing else can. it's what motivates me every single day.

the diversity of our volunteers on tuesday was just awesome. an 81-year-old man in cumberland county sat for almost 12 hours at the polls, taking only a short break in mid-afternoon to attend a senior citizen's luncheon. oh, and his replacement for those few hours? his lovely wife. nice. we had young people from civil rights teams and GSA's setting up tables at polling places, others canvassing the busy streets of portland. in hancock county, 19 of the 24 volunteers were straight allies...in windham, all of them were. stunning.

M. flew in to help for a week, and her amazing energy and organizing skills brought our work to a whole different level. what i love most about her is her tireless dedication to building our community, a community she just loves with her whole heart, and to empowering the people within in it. for her, it has little to do with politics and almost everything to do with our humanity. she motivates me in ways that no one else can and and having another opportunity to work beside her is an absolute gift for me. she is just an extraordinary human being with a profound and lovely soul and spirit, something i've always known and was just reminded of, in big and beautiful ways, over the past seven days. and our little trip to acadia yesterday was just the perfect way to end her visit...an incredible memory that will sit in my heart forever. she leaves today and damn if i don't miss her already. sigh.

at the root of all of this...i just adore and respect and admire the people i work with, from my amazing boss and my colleagues at EQME, to the phone bankers and canvassers and polling place tablers and data entry gurus and cookie bakers extraordinnaire. and on and on and on. it just blows my mind that all across this state on tuesday, in little places like etna and frankfort and ellsworth and rockport, in bigger places like sanford and scarborough and saco, more than 100 beautiful and brave people were all asking the same question...do you believe in equality for LGBT people? thousands of people said yes i do. thousands. in one single day.

why anyone would believe they could stop this amazing swell of humanity in its most beautiful form just confounds me. let them try. we are out of our closets forever and we aren't going back inside. right will win, and wrong will lose. and i am learning, day in, day out, that we are not standing alone. that most of the world has opened their arms, their hearts, to us. they are standing with us and embracing us, supporting us and loving us.

i keep hearing marge piercy's voice in my head. Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse. Only water of connection remains, flowing through us. Strong is what we make each other. oh this journey, it ain't gonna be easy. the work will be hard and the days will be long and sometimes we will feel like all is lost. we will need so. many. more people to push themselves to places they never imagined they would go. But we will get to the other side of this, and when we do, our strength, our community, our humanity, will be lifted in ways we have never seen before.

bring it.

5 comments:

Dawn on MDI said...

What a great day to be in the park! Yesterday was magnificent. Glad you seem to be back among the living after the past week (month).

Oh, and next time you're in Acadia, call, will you? I know a decent tour guide. Jeez.

toklas23 said...

yeah, it was an incredibly beautiful day. put some serious wind back in my sails for certain.

and yes, i will call the next time i'm in your neck of the woods. it was a last minute trip...and i kept hoping i would somehow bump into you when we were walking in downtown bar harbor.

damn girl you live in a beautiful place.

Dawn on MDI said...

The mystics claim that MDI is the heart chakra of Maine. I have no idea what that means or if it means anything, but I know there is magic here. People come on vacation to eat ice cream and lobster, but something else here heals the soul and sends them home refreshed in a way that cannot be explained in a photo album. To live here is to be blessed indeed. You are welcome any time.

Jenna said...

I keep saying, I will volunteer, and now I feel guilty for not being in town. I wish I was around on Tuesday. Hopefully I will be back in time for election day in Nov from my trip west.
JG

Laura said...

I wish I had felt better and been able to stay my whole shift. I was greatfully that there where no Mickey's and lots of support while I was there.