After a week in Ireland I came home to a handful of mail. In addition to a bank statement and a Chinese restaurant coupon, I also had a few personal LETTERS. Not holiday cards, letters. Juicy, handwritten, thoughts from a few dear friends. It’s inspired me to respond in kind:
Like everybody, I’m really, really busy. My inbox is brimming with unanswered emails. My To Do list is not realistic. And all the different platforms for correspondence feel completely overwhelming. I need to practice. And, oh yeah, parenting a 6-year old is still my main gig.
So when my friend Kerstin–who has THREE kids–took the time to write a nice letter to me, it was easy to take the time to read it. I opened it up, sat down, and enjoyed reconnected with her, seeing her handwriting. It was nourishing.
And when the Women’s March put out a call for 10 Actions in 100 days, I was delighted to see that step one is to send a POSTCARD to Senators. Okay, I’ve written letters and made calls and sent emails about various concerns. But I like the idea of a coordinated effort to flood elected officials with Women’s March correspondence (writers have photographed postcards before mailing them, and shared using #whyImarch ).
I like having the freedom to author my own note, while still working together to make a bigger impact together. And I took the opportunity to make the cards with my son, and to talk to him about his concerns. From there we made our list (I did cheat a bit and typed out our list so it would fit on a postcard.
We asked them to support:
* Universal Pre-K (starting in MA)
* $15 Minimum Wage (starting in MA)
* Affordable Health Care (Protect the ACA!)
* Arts & Culture Funding (especially in towns w/ rampant hate crimes)
* Rules that support small businesses
* Less tax evasion for wealthy people & corporations
* Support of Sanctuary Cities (like Boston!)
* Mass Transit Upgrades (start with Boston!)
* Penalties for polluters/Rewards for Green practice
* Upgrading Water lines & drinking water standards
Now, I am lucky to write to Senators whom I adore. I am so grateful to Senators Markey and Warren for supporting equality, rights, and services for women, parents, immigrants, and refugees. And there’s so much they can both fight for, right here in Massachusetts. It felt empowering to write out some of my concerns–and to talk with my son about it. (He helped with the list).
It feel good to write it out. To write the world. To right the world…
Writing is warming. It’s cold in a lot of places right now. Being inside can be isolating. It can also be an opportunity to set up a snuggly, beautiful writing corner–a connection corner. To take time to reach out by hand. To take time to write down a few joys, concerns, stories… or just a Haiku.
It is nice to write a note
Painting words takes time
Shannon: You write as well as you play music and make podcasts. And you give free advice on how to see Ireland. Nice to make your acquaintance.
Thank you for your encouragement, Steve! I’m looking forward to reading your book “Next Up at Fenway.”
Shannon: looking forward to your show at Club Passim Dec. 7 — with my wife, kids and their spouses. Since we met at AIR last year I managed to launch my podcast, “That Championship Season”. steep learning curve, lots of fun. The last one, about the 2004 Red Sox, might interest you because of the Irish history. It’s about how an old fight song, “Tessie”, from 1903, was reincarnated into a 21st century inspiration.
Nuff Said McGreevey! Amazing. I like how you shaped the narrative around the Dropkick Murphy business, too. Way to go with the episode, Steve! It IS a lot of work. And so gratifying to write for the ear. I keep learning.
Have you heard my latest Irish Music Stories installment??:
Thank you for sharing. And looking forward to seeing you and fam at the Xmas show!