I didn't adhere to the golden canvassing rule I tell everyone I train-- I didn't keep it short and sweet. I wanted to talk to her. She carried the lonely air of wisdom that many elderly people have-- that many of us young refuse to acknowledge or respect.
I asked her, What issues are important to you? What would you like to change about Santa Fe?
She told me about the drainage problems on her road. She referenced the nearby military cemetery, and how it was quickly filling. She told me that her grandsons are about my age, and that they don't listen to her when she tells them that they're not going to have the future or the comfort in their lives that she had. They don't hear her when she says my generation is dying, and it's up to you.
That's when she started to weep, and that's when my canvassing partner appeared. She bid me farewell.
Moments like these are the real essence of politics. How the sincere conversations between people about their lives and what is wrong in the world get transmuted into the circus we typically see depicted as American politics is as profound a question as how to achieve the philosopher's stone.
After the canvassing there is usually an event to attend. It typically involves people and circulation. Every year that you do this work, you find it easier to seamlessly introduce yourself to complete strangers and get them to discuss the issues and ideas that are most important to them.
Never come straight home from a campaign event, or else you will be seeped in the omnipresence of the energy of every hand you shook, and all the things you have to do and think about and say. If the event was particularly profound, the moments are brazen memories you can't exile from your mind.
Early drinks or late dinners are always wise.