I'm pretty sure people had a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, peace, and well, love for humananity, after canvassing in the Wards yesterday in Philly.
I love doing this work. Stating the obvious: it's ice-breaking in the extreme. Going into people's lives like this. Connecting with people that I, for one, would mostly not be connecting with if it weren't for the NECESSITY of fighting the onslaught of anti-democratic slings, arrows and laws rushing around and at us right now.
Which brings up lots of relevancies.
What digs those ruts of comfort where we stay generation after generation?
Only with urgent threats will we break out and enter the land of unfamiliarity and ring a stranger's doorbell?
[ASIDE - Actually knock on a stranger's door is more like it. Maybe three out of fifty doors had working doorbells yesterday. I mention this because incremental details get italicized during this kind of activity. A pleasant, almost silly, ding-dong (doorbells as distinct from NYC's prevalent BUZZZZers), feels less intrusive to me than banging my hands on a door. And, besides uncommonly steep, and uneven steps, Philadelphia's doors often have outer, storm, screen, aluminum type doors first. (I must have canvassed a good 25 times in West Philadelphia, so I've noticed some common characteristics.)
This is another reason why I like it when the doorbell works. Banging on a door is more intrusive than ringing a bell, but opening up the outer door to be able to get to the more true banging surface of the wooden main door feels like a double step of intrusivity. Then, there are the times when knocking on the door actually opens the door. Whoooooo. I don't know about you, but if I was in my house and suddenly the door opens and an out-of-towner with a clipboard stumbles into my living room, I might get off to a less than clubby start with them. ]
However, that was a big parenthetical. None of this really did happen to us.
I just understand that Yiddish word kvell* deeper and deeper while on these door to door trips. How many fierce looking tattooed 20 year old boys changing from zero-minus interest to extended farewells 15 minutes later does it take for us to obliterate our ghettoized lifestyles once and for all?
And that's why this work is so much more profound than a simple election victory.