Wow, our Cincinnati meeting was fantastic! So much energy, commiseration, and so many ideas! I’m sold on the local PUMA cell idea as a result, so much so that I went and signed up to organize the group in Louisville. If you’re interested in setting up something in your area, or joining something in your area, please visit 18 Million Voices today.
It was a small group, but an enthusiastic and busy one. I know I’ll leave someone out, but here goes: Amy organized the event, and Peacocks and Lilies reader and commenter Ciardah (pronounced Kerry) was there. Also in attendance was Rachel, Diane, Joseph, and one other woman who’s name escapes me (I’m so sorry). And then there was Miriam. Miriam already runs a group whose name already escapes me (somebody please chime in with the name or the URL to her website in comments or e-mail). Anyway, her site and her group are impressive, and she’s been working for women’s causes for years. Here’s a pic of us at the Panera in Norwood/Hyde Park area of Cinti.
All of these people wanted to know what it was they could do to move this movement along. So, after we read the Declaration of Resolutions, we talked about that. We exchanged ideas on how to get out of the web, and our purposes for doing so. Recruiting, for instance. It’s so important. I suggested the Huffpost’s searchable database of campaign contributers for building a mailing list for your area. I’ve got 40 or so local names, and it just occurred to me at the meeting that I could use them, and names I gather from Louisville to solicit people for meetings. A 100-pack of postcards is just $11.99 at Staples and postcard stamps are just $0.27. Hmmm, that’s s lot of advertising for just under $40. Direct mail…where’ve I’ve heard that term…hmmm. Some of the people in attendance today also had e-mail lists they used for other purposes, they knew people, family members, and we all agreed, this thing is bigger than it can ever get while it’s confined to the Internet. And something needs to trigger that.
These are the kinds of ideas that spontaneously come up in person. Out of the Web, i.e. the Intertoobz, the Stuposphere.
Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. I “meet” people I might otherwise never have met. I read things the likes of which I will never ever see in any kind of so-called “professional” media. As a mother, I’ve spent a lot of my social life with my computer, because it allowed me to have a link to the outside world at a time when I needed to be physically in place for my daughter. And I have often loved it, sometimes hated it, but always, always, always learned something about the world, my nation, other nations, people, animals, you name it. And I’ll never leave it.
But sometimes, especially moments like these, when the house is empty, and I’m exhausted, but have had another fulfilling day, I reflect on the reality of my life. How isolated I really am, how I’ve for all intents and purposes opted out on a lot of life, whether because of risks I’ve feared to take, or because the culture at large has seemed such an unwelcoming place for someone like me. It can sometimes make me feel so alone, which is a feeling I’m used to, having been a single mother for 13 long years.
I reflect on the fact that a lot of times I feel untethered from this world, free-floating, living without meaning because every opportunity for meaning presented is run by another shyster, and no one can reason out purpose for me, that much I know. I know in a rational way that the very fact of my mothering has given my life purpose, but I also long to impact something larger than my family. I know that instilling my vision in one child is not enough–more people need to hear the knowledge being tossed out by our culture daily, before it is lost. I can help, and I want to.
I suspect I’m not alone. I suspect there are men and women like me throughout this nation, and that they could show themselves they aren’t alone if they could only risk stepping out of the shadows, if they could only demand that little bit of time for themselves in the onslaught of daily demands from others. Today showed me how important that is, how energizing it is. And I’m ready to take the next step, and organize locally. I want that energy again, and I want to provoke it in other people. I want this wave to build, even if it’s one superdelegate and one PUMA at a time.