Looking Back

Today I’ve spent hours going through old photos and scanning some and just staring misty-eyed at others. It’s a good way to spend an afternoon, if a bit melancholy at times.

boys & others024I have boxes of packages of developed pictures. Remember we used to have to send them off to Kodak in Atlanta and wait forever? Then when one-hour developing became the incredible, magic, instant kind of picture? (Okay, Polaroid, you tried with the instant picture thing, but you never quite made it easy or inexpensive.)

And now, you see the very picture you’re taking on a tiny screen. As you take it. Not the picture you thinking you’re taking when you look through a viewfinder. And the camera just finds faces for you and focuses? No chopped off heads? No pictures shifted slightly to right, where the lens actually was as opposed to the eye? And you carry this little miracle camera around in your pocket and send those photos anywhere in the world the minute you take them? Modern photography and sharing of photographs is a wonder.

But. Really. Can any of you really find the photo you’re thinking about any better than you could when they were actual pieces of paper, scattered around in shoe boxes? Files, folders, tags, facial recognition…sigh. Still can’t find anything.

But it’s been a sweet day trying.

Why are we marching? Really?

I’ve recently read several articles or blog posts denouncing both the women’s march, and the march for science.

“Life is great! Look at all we have! I’m perfectly happy with my life. We don’t need to keep studying this or that, it’s a waste of money.” 


“Well, look at all the rights women have compared to those other backward countries. And Americans treat everyone equally and give everyone a chance.”

Seriously? Is your blindness just ignorance or willful denial?

People are marching because even though we have things really great compared to the rest of the world, it’s still not perfect (or even close). And we’re striving for perfect balance, perfect equality. And because things have been happening that perhaps could imply that we are not going to be allowed the freedoms and rights and access that we have been.

And because we (especially women and other minorities) have to “BE ALLOWED.” We are allowed to vote, we are allowed free speech, and religion, we are allowed to be “equal.” That’s not what having rights is about. Rights are things you can’t take back. But that’s not what we have these days. And more could be coming down the line

Society can turn on a dime, and people can lose what they have overnight. With the stroke of a pen, suddenly certain religions aren’t allowed entry to the country. Or wonderful grand natural parks are suddenly no longer sacred. Or scientists are only allowed to do “approved” science.  Or a black man can’t walk the streets free from fear of the authorities.

I think all people (but especially women) would just like all people to know that we are paying attention, that we are not going without a fight. That we are out here, working on changing the culture, and will not step back into the “good old days” when women didn’t have to be bothered to vote or own property or travel unchaperoned.