It's Time For Noise
by Anna Pappas
If you want a piece of quiet, go upstairs!
These were the words of my Greek mother as I sat in the kitchen doing my grade nine English homework bemoaning the racket of the vacuum, the mixer, the washing machine and the bleach-infused cloth dragging across the kitchen table. I can't concentrate. I need some quiet.
I have been thinking a lot about that quiet these days. I like silence. My process of idea to action has always evolved out of silence. But the rising sounds seem to be turning my head, lately. It became clear to me last Saturday, as I marched down University Ave. in Toronto with those tens of thousands of people, that my time for quiet was over.
It was surprisingly powerful, this acting in unison - a kind of chorus united in social media. And then there was the afterglow of the close-knit: hats and friendships and common purpose. I will fully admit, it changed me. But more importantly, it gave me hope. Something I hadn't felt for a long time.
With that hope came the call to action - to write letters, call government, run for office.
Wait...what? Run for office. Really? Do I actually have to run for office? Oh god... will my tired face be on a giant lawn sign? Will political analysts ask me hard questions? Will seasoned members of parliament test my knowledge on policy, while I justify guns in the event of grizzlies? And if I don't run for office, would my entire involvement have just been an Instagram photo op hashtag sham? SHAME, responds the crowd congregated in my head. Would I be wandering from outlet mall to outlet mall looking for Pinwheel crystal and Doulton figurines on sale, morally bankrupt and wondering how I got here?
But what if I do call and I do write and I march and yell and challenge? What if I make theatre and give women the stage to tell their stories. What if that theatre creates the platform for them to work and lead and speak?
Can I do that? Because I will. That's what I will do. Slowly and steadily. With no shutting up.
I will work with Ergo Arts Pink and all the young women who have art to share. We will not shut up. We will continue to do what we do at the ground level, making the noise we need to make, with the full knowledge that we will finally go upstairs and enjoy our piece of quiet.