presently, i am a mama- a mama to 4 girls (one of whom will turn 13 this weekend). and though it was a long 26 years ago – i remember being twelve, being on the cusp of the teen years. times were so different then, than they are now: to get in touch with a friend who lived far away, i wrote letters….or called them up on the telephone (that had a cord and rotary dial). i didn’t know anyone who had a computer. soap and water were our anti-bacterial hand sanitizers. we drank red hi-c “fruit” punch that you poured out of a big can. i got perms…and then curled my hair with a curling iron, and sprayed it stiff with hair spray. we never or rarely wore bike helmets or seat belts. we kept a cb radio in the car for entertainment and information on long car rides. at midnight, each night, all the local tv stations ended their programming with the national anthem, and then….static….which i would turn off as fast as i could, so i wouldn’t end up like the girls in poltergeist.
on the eve of my eldest daughter’s birthday, i reminisce about the time and place i was in during the dawning of my teen years. 1986.
so, i became curious about the history/herstory of the year 1986. what was going on socially and politically? well, here goes:
the united nations declared 1986 to be the international year of peace.
yet, south africa declared a state of emergency.
the united states challenger space shuttle blew up in the sky, killing everyone on board.
1986 was the year of the chernobyl disaster.
frauds and deceptions led to the iran/contra affair.
the oprah winfrey show made it’s national debut.
the united states was bombing the libyan capitol of tripoli.
5 million people, from nyc to long beach ca, joined: hands across america to bring awareness to the issues of hunger and homelessness.
so, once i compiled this list of news headlines….the stories we were recording – the stories of 1986….i saw many connections between then and now. these connections allow me to see that the stories we tell ourselves, don’t change a whole lot.
we have lots and lots of people on this planet, in this country, who say they want peace. yet, there is still war. natural disasters happen. unnatural disasters happen. oprah was hired and now she’s retired. some of our leaders and politicians abuse their powers. we s…t…i…l…l…haven’t made friends with libya.
the list reveals the macrocosm of 1986. what about the microcosm of 1986? i am certain that if each one of us thought for a moment, we could tell a personal story of 1986. what was going on for us in our day to day lives? were we happy? were we healthy? were we prosperous? etc etc.
this brief look back has given me a deep appreciation for the cycles of life – the passing of time and generations. i am honored to share this journey with my beloved isabel. she is the greatest gift i’ve been given.