Why is it that the best-laid plans never work out… or, at least, they don’t work out like you planned them? More to the point, why haven’t I learned this lesson by now? I always find myself surprised that the things I thought were a ‘done deal’ tend to crumble quicker than coffee cake. What I have learned is that when things do appear to fall apart, it is generally meant to be, and opens the door for whatever comes next.
It has been ten days since I left home, having said farewell to my daughter and grandkids and rented out my condo for the six months I plan to be on the road, Searching for Occupy. The people I’ve met, places I’ve stayed, stories I’ve heard, issues I’ve covered in just the first ten days have far exceeded any expectation I might have had. I have to pinch myself and wonder how I am going to do justice to the extensive first interview I had with Banned in Boston radio hosts, or the projects to aid the homeless and subvert PR campaigns of corporate power suggested at the Occupy Boston Strategic Action Assembly. And, Maine… well… any doubt I might have had about whether or not Occupy was still around was totally dispelled in Maine. The activists there, both in Occupy Portland and Occupy Augusta, in Veterans for Peace, Earth First, 350.org, Thanks But No Tanks… as Denise said, the folks we met in Maine set the bar. They’re out there doing what needs to be done for the environment (check out their Jan. 26th Tar Sands convergence at http://world.350.org/maine/tars-sands-action-january-26th/  ), to fight war and lobby for peace (see what Bruce Gagnon is up to http://www.space4peace.org ), keeping tabs on government surveillance, fighting illegal foreclosures… and on and on. I didn’t know Veterans for Peace actually started in Maine until I was having dinner with one of its founders. But, after meeting folks who came out in droves in a white out blizzard to welcome us and tell us their tales of Occupy, it doesn’t surprise me. After Maine, there was the Petrovich home in New Jersey… a lovely suburban house near the shore covered from top to bottom with gigantic signs saying things like ‘Stop Bombing Children and Schools’, ‘Health Care Not War Fare’ and ‘We, The People want a National Moratorium on Illegal Foreclosures’… conversation starters with folks in the neighborhood. The latest stop was D.C. during inauguration where the there were so many actions happening at the same time, we couldn’t possibly cover them all… and, each one will require its own blog…
It has, indeed, been rewarding to see so much going on in every place we’ve stopped. It has also been overwhelming. And, a couple days ago, my partner, Denise, realized that she needed to be home. She and Joseph (her partner who also designed our website and has been doing constant updating and troubleshooting) will continue to give me logistical support… but, when I left Virginia today, Denise stayed behind to catch a plane back to Texas tomorrow. I admit that I shed a few sad and fearful tears last night. I will miss the company, but as Wilma and I set out early this morning I recalled the words of Dud Hendricks, the Maine VFP member who with VFP Occupier Peggy Akers, organized our stay there. He told us how grateful they were to us for recording the history of this movement and this time… history the mainstream media will never cover. He thanked us for our part in connecting the dots that might help this movement unify and grow. With all that they are doing, they thanked us.
As I took off solo today, an hour before sunrise, I scratched Wilma behind the ears, breathed in the fresh Virginia air, and allowed myself a moment to revel in a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction to have privilege of meeting and giving voice to some of the people out there whom, I truly believe, might just save our world.