It’s been over a week since the raid. I saw Marsha yesterday, her yarn survived because someone happened to be borrowing her storage tent for sleeping since the weather has been unseasonably warm. The visiting friend rescued the supplies and the folding chairs from the NYPD that strangely well-lit night.
I went to a Direct Action meeting Sunday, and met P who had been arrested. We hugged. I expressed my desire for actions that people in Central Pennsylvania could participate in, too, whether it was sending coal to Congress or trying to pull a Miracle on 34th Street… I mean, wouldn’t it be amazing if the post office brought bags and bags of letters to some interesting political place?
It’s been over a week—I’ve visited the park with Older Son and with friends and by myself. I have brought homemade bread and apples and Thanksgiving dinner for 60 to the space that used to feed three thousand.
Actions speak louder than words, but I cannot do enough: I cannot hug hard enough, peel carrots fast enough, think thoughts big enough…
I can’t run fast enough or stretch tall enough to video the revolution, and the lens carriers seem to do the most good with their instant electric efforts. I am a sitter in one place, a word puller, a rhetoric dancer after-the-fact. By the time I have something I think is worth saying, the next crisis has occurred.
I am struggling. Even the words are insufficient, but they’re all I have tonight.
It’s been over a week, and I keep thinking about the medic, describing the raid on Zuccotti and the way his hands moved in staccato rhythm with his strained voice. I imagine myself as the patient inside the medical tent, the terror I would have felt as the NYPD chainsaw sliced through its synthetic fabric and carbon fibers.
In what world is destroying a medical hospital the answer to health and safety issues? In what upside down world does that make sense?
And then my brain jerks like his hands, and I think about the action medic kneeling on the sidewalk outside the police barrier with red and black permanent markers. The red and black cross on his coat shoulders was not enough for him anymore. He drew the symbols of his vocation—the red cross, half black from smoke or the dark of the night raid—on the backs of his hands.
He looked like a medical student, long black ponytail pulled back from an intellectual’s lean face. His medical bag looked like it weighed nearly as much as he did.
But as he marked his hands, it had all the singularity of purpose as a giant putting on war paint.
These people have (literally) put their skin in a game that is rigged against them. They are getting bruised, beaten, and battered and they have bad coughs from being thrown out of their homes in the dead of a cold night.
I am not the president. I am just a Mom. And my mother’s heart looks at these young, old, tired, enraged, calm, crazy, sane, black, white, privileged, scared, bold women, men and children who do not have enough…
I look at them and I think not what my country can do for them, but what has my country done to us?