Here’s a very expressive email I received the other day, printed here with Laurie’s permission.

Dear Friends and Family

John and I had a truly warm and heart-nourishing Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, and we hope you did too. However, out of the blue while driving home yesterday, for no reason I can pinpoint, the full crushing pain of the recent election and the current tide of madness in the U.S., suddenly hit me once again. Thus, this letter to you all.

Like many others I had managed to shut down the part of me that connects to the greater world after the election, and just focus on recovery, and on the blessings that are in my life. Cocooning, I guess it’s called. But now the New Year has begun, and resolutions are being considered, and the old pain returns, reminding me that we cannot expect to keep this democracy we treasure unless we STAY AWAKE.

One thing this horrid election did is wake a lot of us up, but the temptation to depressed slumber is almost over-whelming for me at times. I HATE THIS! I DON’T WANT TO STRUGGLE TO KEEP MY COUNTRY! I just want to live peacefully and creatively, focusing on my life, my family and my little community and let the democratic government I’ve often taken for granted do good in the world and keep us all safe and thriving.

FAT CHANCE. Sleepy democracy is over. We must all rise, and stay risen. The stated aim of the neo-con Republicans now in power is complete domination of all branches of government IN PERPETUITY. They have already succeeded beyond our darkest nightmares, and we have less power to resist through elected channels everyday.

I myself am not sure where to put my ‘peaceful warrior’ energies. I’m not drawn to be part of large organizations like the Democratic Party (though I contribute), nor am I great on the front lines of conflict, but I know I must find a place to focus my love of our democracy and not fall asleep again. I could use some help! What are YOU doing? Do you have words of wisdom or encouragement? Have you heard any news that has cheered you up, or allowed you to regain your power and intention? (One area I will put energy into is the work against election fraud. When computer voting machines with no paper trail are all in Republican control, the democracy game is finished.)

So, after a brief slumber in the arms of family and friends, I’m blinking awake again to the country’s nightmare, and looking for courage and companions. These are extraordinary times. I’ll be sending you things via email once in awhile – not a lot, but as I am moved or am asked to by organizations I trust, like MoveOn. (For those with MoveOn already, pardon the redundancy, as I will yours.) If you want to get off my list, just let me know – no problem. Otherwise, it helps a lot just to know I’m doing my part to keep our web-based democracy alive.

Thanks for listening,

Much love to you all and courage for these new times,

Laurie Slade

Below is an action, if it moves you. The tortures at Abu Graib ripped my heart and made me so ashamed of the U.S. I had to sign this petition. See what you think.

Hearings on the appointment of Alberto Gonzales to attorney general of
the United States will begin this Thursday, January 6. Serious
questions still remain regarding Gonzales’ apparent advocacy of
torture as a legitimate practice by American soldiers, government
agents and contractors.

Several organizations including MoveOn, Act For Change, Faithful America,
Win Without War and True Majority are calling on Alberto Gonzales,
nominee for chief law enforcement officer of the United States,
members of the U.S. Senate, and other responsible government officials,
to sign a Declaration Against Torture, unequivocally renouncing all forms
of torture and abuse as instruments of American policy.

Click here to sign the petition at MoveOn.