|Rubbermoon image with color pencil. Not currently in catalog.|
Today I may have a new aspiration: to become a Professional Stink-maker. Can you see the buisness cards?
I learned advocacy when my mother went through heart surgery 23 years ago. Following what was diagnosed as a transient ischemic attack, she was admitted from the ER to the closest our neighborhood hospital had to an Intensive Care Unit. Not all that close.
She soon began hallucinating, which I learned in the middle of the night when they called and told me someone would have to come and stay with her in the room. Not one professional on duty was willing to take that assignment. My training had begun. I don't think I've ever been without a notepad or pen since. You never know when it will be necessary to document or quote or preserve essential facts.
Diminishing health is not the only reason behind a reluctance to confront. Many of us are simply too battle-scarred, too weary for the toe-to-toe combat needed to see our rights protected. Years ago, a friend whose job was as a court advocate for children in the foster care system suggested that to me as a career option. And at that time I felt I was too leaky a vessel to speak convincingly for any child whose trauma and abuse were likely more horrifying than my own; my skin was impossibly thin.
The aftermath of my son's illness required putting on my step-up suit again. Eventually we were strengthened by a lawyer on the front line to help secure benefits, since a civilian, even a persistent one, can only achieve so much. Today I was reminded how thick the underbrush has grown, like briars around a fairy tale castle, to keep as many of us as possible separated from what is our due as aged or disabled, in financial distress or without resources of varying descriptions.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, Aquarians, myself among them, are the zodiac's champions of the underdog. I feel the need acutely to see justice, or simple fair play, prevail. Good luck with that, right? But even in my state of limited mobility, tucked back into my reclusive and daydreaming tendencies, I have a voice, I have words and I still possess a bit of fire. As a teenager, I admired Upton Sinclair - all the more when I learned he had run for governor of California as a Socialist - and believed in muck-raking, fuss-raising, stink-making. Not on my behalf but for others.
We don't even need to explore tasks assumed during the Vietnam war. I am one of those who knew we were seeing a revolution. While visions of torches and pitchforks have faded, the awareness remains that many of our brethren would benefit from a reasonably sane, decidedly insistent voice speaking for them. There are times when thinking the call might be for me makes me cranky, but I turn my head with the secret smile, for it feels good, the chance to be of service.
This may be merely today's fancy, especially the conjured vision of business cards, or there may exist a niche in the bureaucratic maze for a creature with my specific combination of pluses and minuses; I am not afraid to look a fool, actually posses a minor talent for diplomacy and can be found, loitering at the station for the good outcome to arrive, when everyone else has gone home. At the very least it is something new to ponder. I wondered how I was going to fill all those idle hours.