Near the close of March and the opening of Spring's little pink mouth, students (& other invested folx; though, the focus here, for now, shall be the student BODY, the bodies of students, piling in protest) took to the national stage. What they brought forth, a #neveragain youth movement spreading into and infusing other ignored movements, was no 9th-grade rendition of Macbeth, either. While many throughout the U.S. (including our very own Mar-a-Lago loving man in charge... which by the way, yes, that's exactly where he was, bogey-ing away, during this past week's historical youth protests) were diving into pools of blue and breaking into Spring in their own gone-wild ways, these students took Spring Break by the balls, and marched for their fucking lives.
"Mental health is a global issue... so why are school shootings happening only in America?" asked one of them from behind a mic and flashing cameras. "Why does my 10-year-old brother need to know how to protect himself from being murdered?" screamed another.
And the floodgates, already opened, broke at their hinges. And the bodies of students already piled onto these floodgates, rode them swiftly downstream.
Send us your broken floodgates, your ignored movements now finding leverage, your thoughtful protests in progress. Please.
Restore Chaos and Order
March 19, 2018
This Saturday my thirteen year-old daughter and I attended The Writer’s Collective of Central Oregon’s Writing Salon, hosted by Irene and Mike Cooper. It was St. Patrick ’s Day, so our collective wrote from prompts inspired by Irish words. My choice: Malapropism, usually “the humorous misuse of similar sounding words which have the opposite meaning.” Not surprising former president George W. Bush gave our country an earful of malapropisms. I chose “It will take time to restore chaos and order.” We free-wrote for ten minutes. The following passage erupted from my brain.
“It will take time to restore chaos and order,” I mean chaos and disorder, I mean…damn I’m not sure what I mean. You know I make this shit up. I never thought I’d be elected, though my buddies said I would. Remember high school speech class and how nervous you were? Well I’m the president and there’s like 135 million people in the U.S. or is 1.35 billion, wait that’s China. Oh wait the guy in my ear says 325 million. What the hell. All those zeros. Million. Billion. What’s the difference? Israelis. Pakistanis. Saudis. Global warming. The housing market. You know I just say what they tell me to. No I don’t really always know who “they” are. Maybe my dad’s friends. Maybe just voices in my head. The one the other day looked familiar, but crap I haven’t slept more than a couple of hours a night since they swore me in. How much longer do I have anyway? Mrs. Bush, she’s rolling her…something. I don’t know. I forget why I wanted this job. What was I supposed to do here again? When I was young I thought I could make a difference, you know, make it all fair, peace in the land, a good growing economy, everybody nice to each other, well fed, drinking good water, and kids with clean faces who smile like they’re proud of their parents. That’s what we all want right? For our kids to pat us on the back and say we did a good job. Right? But what do they know? They don’t know how much we’ve done for them. How much we sacrificed. What we went through for them. Even if it doesn’t always show, how much we love them. Shit I’m messing this up…
KATHRYN ENG lives in Bend, Oregon which is a mere six hours from her rural hometown Issaquah, Washington, two towns east of Seattle, where much of her upcoming memoir “My Time as a Cop’s Daughter” lives and breathes. She is a freelance technical writer. Her work can be seen at the website WildGreenSoul.com “Kitchen Confessions of a Vegan Yogi” where she blogs and posts random essays about her experiments with whole plant-based food, daily spiritual-physical practices and healthy habit formation. She earned at Bachelors of Science Liberal Studies at Oregon State University Cascades with a theme social science, literature and writing. She has a minor in writing, with an emphasis in women’s studies, culture and personal perspectives. “Cop’s Daughter” is her first book.