Some Days, I Can

Some days, I just can’t.

I sit stunned while women I counted on to say “no” say “okay” to destructive people--even to someone who himself acknowledges he is not qualified--although all adults know that saying “no” early prevents all those uncomfortable contortions to justify your bad decision.

I am less stunned when people pass legislation to prevent women everywhere from having information to make the best decisions for themselves, never mind ensuring that they have adequate medical care, never mind ensuring support and encouragement so they can contribute their gifts to this planet, which so desperately needs all gifts.

I am even less stunned when women shout “jobs” while enabling antiquated visions of exploitation and pollution, instead of adhering to their best vision and principles to support innovation and conservation.

Some days, I can foresee disappointments.

Some days, I just can’t.

Fortunately, I also can’t predict acts of courage.

Yesterday, a lone woman (or possibly a man) sat forward in her office, defying a gag order to broadcast facts about how our reckless behaviour is killing our planet.

Yesterday, that woman (or possibly a man) reminded me that on some days, I can.

Some days, I can show up: to the page, for my clients, for writer-friends at meetings where we acknowledge that what we do won’t by itself ensure reproductive or voting rights, where our words alone won’t protect our planet from destruction, but what we do is still our work to do, it is still what is in front of us to be done, and we need to do it.

Some days, I can listen: to the women who spoke up last Saturday, to the women whose voices weren’t welcomed or heard last Saturday, to women whose wives and sisters and mothers and daughters are missing, threatened, incarcerated, entombed, to women who fight to contribute their ideas and skills in rooms where they are still surrounded by men.

Some days, I can applaud women who say “no.”