On My Facebook Anniversary

facebook-anniversaire-benjamin

On My Facebook Anniversary –

Earlier this week I was notified by Facebook, who obviously keeps track of such things, that I had been a member for eight years, and that, indeed, it was time to celebrate an anniversary.

I’ll bite, I thought, and remembered the time when I, ever so reluctantly, signed up. I did it to please a friend, who posted daily, or hourly so it seemed, pictures of her grandchild. Not, mind you, that I was against seeing the progress of this incredible infant as she smiled, cried, slept for the camera.

And then, over time, I connected with friends, honest-to-goodness friends and that was lovely – keeping in touch, painlessly, as well as being able to see pictures of their restaurant meals. I learned a lot, because, of course, I had never seen a picture of rare steak before.

Gradually I found acquaintances – friends of friends, artists, other writers, and it was interesting to see what was going on in their lives, their experiences, travails. It made me feel connected. It felt good.

Then the interest groups – hurrah! Historic Baltimore groups, history groups, writing groups, Zentangle groups, and, these last months, political action groups. What a difference this has made, to me, to my work. The idea for my latest historical novel, Echoes from the Alum Chine, was born when someone posted an article from the Baltimore Sun about ship being loaded with dynamite that blew up in the harbor. I had not heard of it before, and it stayed in my mind. I knew I would one day write about it, and more than two years after I first saw the article, I put pen to paper. Now it is finished. All because of a Facebook post.

When I follow poets and novelists, including poet- and novelist-wannabes, I receive affirmation and encouragement to continue, even through those dark days and nights.

And in recent times, I have taken solace in postings from like-minded, wounded, troubled, wondering souls like myself who still can’t quite believe the outcome of the November election. Pantsuit Nation, Wall-of-Us – just two of the groups that helped keep me sane, told me that I was not alone in my feelings, my disbelief, my grief. And so it was strangers, as well as friends, who helped my through, although I don’t believe that we are through by any means.

So, Facebook, I am celebrating this anniversary. Joyeux anniversaire, Facebook. I know you can be a blessing and a course, but, for this time, at least, you’ve been a blessing.

Another Sunday, http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

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On PantsuitNation, Facebook, and Surviving This Election

Closed safety pins on a blue jeans denim fabric

On Pantsuit Nation, Facebook, and Surviving This Election

Like many, I am shell shocked and grieving for this decision our country has made. Those five stages of grief, I haven’t worked through to acceptance yet, not in my heart, though my brain tells me what has happened.

My world has been held together by my friends, my lovely daughter, and by a Facebook group of women and men called together for a cause – thank you Pantsuit Nation. You’ve been a lifesaver. As the voting period began, I was struck by the number of women, of all ages, who reported tears as they voted for Hillary, so symbolic was it for them. And then, the outpouring of disbelief and heartache on Wednesday.

I surprised myself that I cried for two days, thinking that I was old enough, and jaded enough, to understand that life works in mysterious ways, that good does not always triumph. But, really, I never thought that this could happen.

But happen it did, and even with the bitterness of Hillary garnering the popular vote, the Electoral College is what we have. And so it goes. We cannot say that the president-elect did not tell us who he is. And those who hide their racism behind whatever excuse they use, as Frankie said to Grace, “I call your bullshit.”

And now to channel this throbbing energy into something positive, toward a direction that can neutralize the racism and misogyny that believes it has full throttle by the election results, I am doing something, however small. I’ve set aside contribution dollars for those groups that will need support now more than ever, and I’m wearing a safety pin. Not much, I know, but it is something. And something is all each of us can do.

We will get over this. But we will never be the same.

Another Sunday  www.cynthiastrauff.com