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Wednesday, July 05, 2017


I'm on vacation now, sitting in an airport before flying from a road trip alone with U to meet up with ND and my parents back home in Portland, OR. I just now wrote a posting from my last piece of activism and am reflecting on what a year it's been.

Last summer ND and I planned to go to Portland to regroup as we do every summer. This times are critical for me, not just to relax, but to regroup, to come back to myself after a school year in frenetic Jewish Bergen County. This last year was different than usual.
As soon as we arrived at the Newark airport I received word that my grandmother was dying. It wasn't a surprise at all. In fact, it couldn't have been better timed. Over the last number of years I had wondered when this time came whether I would be better off coming to the funeral in Texas or to stay with my mom afterwards as she recovered. I had wondered whether ND would be able to come or if she would be too young or distracting. In the end, it was all decided for us as she and I were already traveling together and with my family at just the right time.

That said, it threw off my normal time of renewal. I had very little time in Portland and one of the few people I visited was my friend, Koren, who I always made a point of seeing, however short the visit to Portland. As usual, her health was not strong and we connected over the understanding of illness and how sometimes others don't understand how it affects us. She didn't realize at the time just how sick she was. She would die of breast cancer a few months later.

Just weeks later I would dedicate my vote to her, hopeful for the first woman president to give a boost to my morale. Hours later the unthinkable happened and my fellow citizens elected the symbol of greed, misogyny, white supremacy, xenophobia and war-mongering to represent our country to the world.

To sum, it's been a deeply painful year.

I dedicated myself to 100 activist acts but, as you can see, I have only logged 35 thus far. I haven't even mentioned here the work I've been doing as a teacher, the classes I'm taking online even during this break to finish my special education endorsement. I haven't mentioned the new struggles that I've been understanding now as a parent.

Just now as I emerge from my first part of vacation, a 5 day road trip with U, I realize just how exhausted and beaten down I've felt. As I sit in the airport with free time, I start to realize that I want to get back in the game on my activism. I want to re-engage. But I also really deeply need this break. I deeply need this time in Oregon to just do the bare minimum... to just be.

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Anonymous Alissa said...

I hope you get enough of just being. I had that for a few days last week and was so glad I got it. <3

12:07 PM


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