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The Essence of Me

What is it “really like” today?

                  On January 20th Pinya turned 22 months and plunged into his new favorite occupation. He made four pencil drawings on paper, two on velvety boards with chalk, several crayon drawings on the door, the piano, the journal table, finished two on glass chairs with collage he made the day before, and re-touched his large project: living-room “fresco.” I admired his energy and determination, tried to get him to talk about his work and made a couple of videos. We lived in a happy little world in our apartment in Brooklyn, but once I opened a news feed, it was no longer possible to ignore today’s ascent of the denier of science, the humanities and the arts (or anything inherently human for that matter).
                In the evening I attended Inauguration Day reading at Cornelia Street Café “What Were the ’60s REALLY Like?” where poets who were in their twenties then, reminisced about their youth: no food, no electricity, no decent housing, just enough drugs – fun and romantic times anyway. Their nostalgia for the times when you didn’t need things to feel emotionally and spiritually rich and their youthful positive energy made me feel better. Despite of the evening title, only one person joked about today: “if you are not paranoid, you are crazy!” But, most importantly, many of the presenters remembered how they marched against the Vietnam War. “At least we have electricity and don’t have a war,” – I said. “Don’t worry,” – my companion responded. “He’ll make sure we get into one. He has already declared a war against his own citizens.”
               Heading to “Anti-Inaugural ball” afterwards, not marching tomorrow just seemed impossible. Why would you not march? How can you not to? The Ball’s venue, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, in contrast to Cornelia, was crowded with young people. Listening to Darius Jones slowly squeezing a mournful tune from his sax, I hoped these young people will not only enjoy a free evening of experimental music, and not only donate to various proposed social causes, but also come to midtown tomorrow.
             Tomorrow Pinya will attend his first demonstration: Women’s March. With children who can “fight like a girl,” “nasty organic farmers”, “liberal Zionists,” people who "didn't escape USSR for this," socialist Yiddishists who can read his “Oy, oy, oy!” sign, and half a million other New Yorkers, Pinya will march for his mother, for diversity, for his own right to be an abstract artist.