All the May Days: Bread and Roses

Artwork by Emily Clancy.

I have always sensed there was something more precious in this world than order. Something more noble than success.

I remember once going into a house to clean and the homeowner was there: She must have forgotten it was Tuesday. I saw her there in her bedroom through the partially opened door. I knocked gently but she did not answer, so I went in and made the bed and took my time vacuuming, dusting every surface, more thorough than usual, aware she was hiding in the back of her huge walk-in closet the entire time.

But still we resist imperfectly.

There is a wonderful riff-raff that keeps May Day alive here, with puppet pageantry and smoke bomb actions, small marches through sleepy downtowns consisting of all those who still dream. But more we find our own quiet, personal propagandas of deed. Our May Days can be all the days that two working-class maids laugh back their dignity as they drive away; the days that friends lay on docks scheming and dreaming; the days that we find places where we don’t have to fight for our value because we already have it, for we are human and we are together, here, today. May Day is tonight as I stay up late to write this, long after my child is in bed, leaving dishes unwashed in the sink; a chaotic act because I am now too old and will be too tired at work tomorrow, tell-tale bags of my rebellion under my eyes, proud and shameful all at once, I refuse to give them my best. It is these moments of irrationality that help us live. These days, after all, are days to take, not be given.

Mother. Southerner. Storyteller. Bread and Roses. #race #class #poverty #gender #equity #children #egalitarianorganizing #bottomupstorytelling *views my own*

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