This evening, I went to a local gas-station protest as part of a National Day of Action for an "Oil-Free" Congress. It was a good reminder that taking direct action is a great way to break through the doldrums. It definitely helped get me out of my post-play funk. I stood by the side of the road with my "Grand Oil Party" elephant sign and my stack of flyers that I passed along to any people who slowed their cars down and opened their windows long enough. The flyer detailed how our local congressman, Ken Calvert, has taken $149,399 from the oil industry, and how such massive donations to Republicans guarantee an energy policy that serves the oil industry over the public. I was very heartened by the numbers of affirming honks and thumbs up and peace signs we received from people driving by. I hope some of the people who picked up flyers will call the congressional switchboard (212.224.3121) and ask Rep. Calvert to stop taking oil money.
There were only four other people besides myself at the protest; we were spread out far enough apart that I sang almost the entire time (other than when I was handing out flyers) without anyone seeming to notice. I ran through most of my Annie songs. It felt good to sing them to the air, to the cars, to no one but myself. I'm not ready to part with those songs yet.
Annie Oakley was a real activist in her later years, teaching women to be self-reliant and strong. I was happy to wed my Annie self and my activist self. Earlier in the day, I did some editing work for CODEPINK, and that helped with the post-play blues, too.
I really shouldn't be feeling sad. I had a fun day yesterday--my mom is on a quest to buy, restore and sell Airstream trailers, and we drove out to Ramona to take a look at one that was for sale. It was located at the top of a beautiful, scrubby hill, at the home of a British man who buys and sells old cars. His property was teeming with them--it was a veritible rusty car museum. As I picked my way around the old motorcycles and tractors and Dick-Tracy-looking vehicles, a broad spiny lizard, one I had never seen in the wild before, darted near my feet. It looked like a small dinosaur. I am always thrilled to see animals in their natural habitat. My mom ended up not buying that particular Airstream--too ratty, too expensive--but it was worth it just to be there and see the lizard and the view and the swath of old wheeled things with people I love. I have always adored Airstreams and am excited by the prospect of having one of those silver bullets in our backyard (where my mom will store them.) An early, unpublished novel of mine, Scarlet, Jet and Dandy, features a cross-country road trip in an Airstream with a giant sculpture of Nixon made out of cheese. I always told myself that if I ever sold the book, I would buy an Airstream with the proceeds. It would be fun to have one regardless. Then, if the book does happen to sell, I could use that Airstream to go on tour. I doubt I'll ever craft that cheese sculpture, though. Maybe a miniature one.
When I think about it, I realize I'm feeling less sad than I am tired. I haven't slept well in a couple of weeks--too much adrenaline, too many thoughts. Hopefully I'll find a way to catch up soon...