What is it about a parade or a march that is so exciting?! I know. Some of you probably hate that stuff. People have told me that they don’t like crowds; they feel claustrophobic; they dislike the herd mentality.
But not me. I love a march!
I started my more-or-less adult marching career in college. Of course as a child I marched in the Memorial Day parades as a girl scout. I felt resplendent in my excellent uniform.
But in college, we would travel hundreds of miles to stand near the White House and shout obscenities. Ah youth.
Since then, if it is a holiday or if it is a cause I don’t disagree with, I really am happy to join right in. I just cut right into the middle and begin to shout whatever, marching along blissfully. I have marched against the Vietnam war and against the Iraq war, for women’s rights and against gun violence. I had a good time talking with the Occupy Wall Streeters and the anti IMF-World Bank folks. When I was in Tel Aviv in March, I was lucky enough to be there for the Purim parade. It was like a Halloween parade with all kinds of crazy costumed people dancing down the street. Great fun! And this weekend, I got to mosey around enjoying the Gay Pride parade.
But my point here is not political. It is more about Noticing the vibe of the marchers and paraders. There is always solidarity, whether the march is for fun or for a serious issue. And if it is a serious issue, you feel that at least you are trying to do something, so there is the good feeling of getting off your butt and taking some kind of action. (Hey! I heard you mutter “useless”.)
I have also Noticed that people in a parade/march are always nice. They let you in. They make space for you. They tell you the chants. If you trip and fall (which seems to be my hobby), they help you up. The march becomes a community.
It’s fun being in the action. It’s fun shouting in the street. It’s fun waving signs to the beat of chanting.
Then it’s fun to go home, take a shower, and chill out in silence.
©2015 Margery Leveen Sher
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