Saturday, August 24, 2013

I remember the olden days

The weather here explains everything. Yesterday was thick and dank smelling, a non day of gloomy overcast with an occasional, spitting rain. It was not hot but so muggy I closed all the windows and used the A/C. Just like the weather (of course) I was dark and moody, only rising out of my malaise to work.

The weather gathered a bunch of crappy energy, then swept it away with the rain, leaving the landscape fresh and crisp this morning. The air was light. It was silver and gold, very unusual in August. My mind and heart were full of silver and gold light, tra-la. It was a glorious day that felt divine and ethereal, kind of perfect for the gathering to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Every time there's a sizable demo, busses bring demonstrator/marchers to RFK stadium, on the eastern edge of Capitol Hill. The people walk from there to the mall, through Lincoln Park and down East Capitol street. The vibe, depending on the demo, can be sweet, inspiring, frightening or creepy. God bless America that we can express our opinions openly. We are very lucky.

Sadly I was unable to get down to the mall to check out the energy, but I chatted briefly with a few of the people who walked past the chateau on their way. Lovely people.

I only saw my mother cry three times. Once was the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was a very scary time. The president was assassinated and his brother, and then MLK. It felt like we were about to fall into the abyss. My parents were very brave to work openly for Civil Rights.

I'm thinking of them today, honoring their courage and integrity. And I marvel at all that has changed since that day. I know there's more work to do, but in my life so much has happened. It's kind of miraculous.


People on their way to the mall. That woman on the far left, facing away, arms akimbo - she was here 50 years ago. She was very spry.


Steve Reed said...

Actually, and not to quibble, MLK was assassinated before Bobby Kennedy -- but only by a couple of months. It WAS a very scary time. When I was growing up in the late '70s I always admired the drama of the late '60s, which compared to my era of economic malaise seemed so exciting. But to live it at the time, with the disaster of Vietnam and all that social unrest, must have seemed frightening and uncertain.

Pam said...

I remember well those assasinations -such a foreign concept to Australians. Bullet proof vests only came into use on our political scene recently with Prime Minister John Howard's government buy-back scheme of guns - not popular with a lot of the gun lobby, but it was instigated, enforced, done and dusted. Each public appearance in that time he used a bullet proof vest.
I thought flower power and the Beatle's flirtation with transcendental meditation was truly pointing the world in a different direction - but then the drugs, Charles Manson, assassinations, Vietnam, it was all like being in a tumble dryer, instead of floating along on a cloud of peace and love.
We used to wear flowers in our hair as we went to high school. I could never afford the vinyl L.P's or 45's though - just watched the television in fascination as our rock heroes made the pilgrimage to London and Carnaby Street, while other young men were conscripted to Vietnam, most unwilling, much to their fathers' disgust.

Reya Mellicker said...

I wasn't trying to be chronological, but appreciate the correction, Steve. I was 10. It was really scary for me.

I'm not clear there is such a thing as a cloud of peace and love on which we can float. A time of shake up includes everything. Just like now!

ain't for city gals said...

My parents were not activists but in their own way ...through example...I truly believe I grew up prejudice free and for that I am grateful.

Barbara Martin said...

I was at home ill when JFK died and the news came out. It was a shocking time for everyone. In my teen years I was an activist for different things, and now tend to stand up for issues that will assist others.