On election night of November 8, 2016, I fell into a pit of despair. When I awoke in the middle of the night my despair had turned to fury. And when I got up the next morning I was determined. Determined to do whatever I can to be a change agent for good. For instance, I made a list of organizations that I will increase my support for, such as Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and The Sierra Club.
But what I do best is write. I write because I love the art form, and for nearly 20 years I’ve written for my living. “For a living” is a good phrase, but I’m changing it now to “for our lives” – my life and the lives of my children, grandchildren, and all the people I love or who live in this country with me. Artists of all kinds are often change agents. And boy do we need them right now.
I was born in 1949, one of those zillions of Baby Boomers who by the sheer weight of our numbers changed the direction of the country. We were the generation who came of age in the 1960s and 70s, the era of huge cultural change that we contributed to. We were on fire to change the hypocrisy and uncover the lies of “the establishment”. Civil rights, Anti-war, free love, women’s rights – we were angry and scared and determined, and these were our rallying cries. (We also wore funny clothes.)
So 2016 is not the only time I have felt despair, fury, and determination. In a series of blog posts, starting today, I will be sharing some of my experiences with the American political and cultural systems that has made me (and many other Boomers) the grandparents we are today. Sharing our stories is important. We are all a part of history, whether we know it or not. For those reading this who are younger than me, you too may be a grandparent someday, and your grandchildren will ask you what you did, said, or thought about the 2016 presidential election. Write your thoughts and feelings down, while they are fresh. (I also will be offering a free ghostwriting service for these stories, for those who hate to write. It is something I can do, and do well. More about this later.)
Come back tomorrow to Facebook or here on my blog www.FromTheCompost.com for Story #1, featuring my first introduction to a terrifying episode in American history, the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was 13.