protesting detention camps

Wearing a Coded Message

I want to tell you a secret.

On the day of the midterms, I texted back and forth with my sister. She texted that she waited over an hour and a half to vote. I told her that I had voted in the comfort of my living room and dropped the ballot into a box by the library a week earlier. She voted in a sea of red. I voted in a sea of blue.

That isn’t my secret.

It was her birthday but I hadn’t even figured out what to give her yet.

That isn’t my secret either.

Every year, I am late sending her a birthday present. I’m derelict that way. As kind as she is, she always says that it’s okay. It’s really not. Finally, as I sat on my cozy couch anxiously watching election returns, texting her encouragement as she waited, I suddenly knew what I wanted to send her.

I wanted to give her a big blue tsunami for her birthday.

It would be hard, considering the conflicting reports I saw on television. I was just a single drop.

So, while my sister sporadically texted me about her progress toward the voting booth, I sat down at Amazonsmile, searched ‘silk scarf tsunami,’ and found this lovely silk scarf. It was patterned after the Japanese print, The Underwave off Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai. This one was going to take three weeks to reach my sister. It was coming from China.

That’s not my secret either.

My secret is that after I ordered my sister’s birthday present, I bought one of those scarves for myself. I wanted something to commemorate my tiny blue drop in this blue wave, whether or not it succeeded. I wanted to wear it to remember that moment in history.

I pictured myself at ninety, telling my grandchildren about the years I fought tyranny that somehow crept into the White House, how I worked to protest as loudly as I could. I would show them the book I wrote, Angry Housewife Fights Tyranny, the posters I carried when I marched in the Women’s Marches, the March for Truth, and the March for Science. I would show them the letters I wrote to the editors and to my representatives. And I would wear my blue tsunami silk scarf as a reminder of the days I watched midterm returns unfold into a blue wave that I hoped would be big enough.

Finally last week, it arrived. It was perfect, beautiful and soft. It matched almost everything I wore so this past week, I had to stop myself from wearing it every day.

But that’s not what feels so right about wearing my new blue wave scarf.

After the example of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I wear my blue-wave scarf to continue to protest the way trump separates children from their parents at the Mexican border. I protest the cold rooms in the detention centers. I protest lobbing tear gas at groups of women and children inside Mexico. I protest bringing troops to the Mexican border. I protest the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and trump’s weasel response to the Saudi prince’s involvement. I protest the incursions into the freedom of speech, our First Amendment right. I protest interference in Mueller’s investigation. I protest Mitch McConnell who refused to allow a vote on a bill protecting Mueller’s investigation. I protest the way trump treats Muslims, women, and people of color. I protest almost every single tweet he posts, except an occasional one that was obviously written by one of his staffers because it contains words trump couldn’t spell.

I protest still.

So, when you see me wearing my scarf, you’ll know my message, that I protest. If I see you wearing one, I’ll know that you protest too.

Thank you for listening, jules