This is a piece without much form, or likely, function. You all get the benefit of reading my drafts, they are better hidden away, but these days I don’t get the urge to center and write that often, so…there you go. You get what you get.
I posted, earlier in the week, a vulnerable post about trauma, control, defense mechanisms and power. I’m the kind of person who has lived most of her life with a “Fawn Response” and of course, wound up doing well in a profession that mostly requires that to be the style of conflict management response. Non-profit professionals don’t do so well if they are constantly fighting, right?
I was talking to my son, the younger, about the piece and about my history, and I mentioned that maybe I’ve never been very courageous. He tut tutted me and pointed out many a show where I either held space for political work to occur or read my own. And, I suppose that’s true, I did that. But did it really have stakes? I’m questioning my past. Is hosting a bawdy storytelling show in a town that loves bawdy storytelling shows really that risky? I was in control of most of it, right? The place, the rehearsals, the type of work I wrote and read. Wasn’t much of it performative on my part?
A kind of You Go Girl White Feminism? Was my marching in the streets of Austin really brave? Did it accomplish anything? Looking back, I suspect the powers that were (and still are) were more amused than anything else. They, the GOP and Tea Party (in Texas and beyond), had plans within plans reaching out a decade. From 2013 surely they had some interesting endgames in place which we are now just seeing in our Supreme Court.
I wonder if our little marches were even noticed. They were tame then, even if they didn’t feel like it. These days its so much worse. So violent.
We thought we had power. Did we? Did we have it and wield it or did we just frolic about in its arms while Power nodded patronizingly and went on to create new tricksy and terrible legislation year after year.
And also, I was living two relatively distinct lives back then. I had the job job, which I didn’t want to be a career. It was a career I accidentally got into, back in 1996 or so, out of a fit of pique at a boss, leaving his employ and into the fundraising arms of another. I was encouraged to stick with Development…