Bye sweet Michelle

I will miss so much about you! Your forays into the city, your embodiment of Buddhist teachings, your humor, the constancy of your attention, your love of the written word.

Michelle Slater of mscomfortzone.com

We lost such a generous and bright soul this week! I like to think that the finger on the card she sent me years ago now points to her own face in the clouds. At peace. All-seeing.

PS I pulled the card out of a drawer earlier this week and placed it next to where I write. I suppose on some level I knew she was leaving us. She was one of my most loving and clear-sighted champions!

NOT a cutter

To hear Deb tell it, a cutter was coming my way. It was too this and not enough that but feel free, you know, to chop it up.

Huh? I love it. As my mother might’ve said, “it’s a good transition piece.” And pockets to die for!

It’s a gorgeous day here in the Northeast. Sunny and warm. Our street is blocked off from whatever utility work the city’s doing, but the machinery’s still. I can hear the crickets and I can hear children on the playground.

Came down early this morning. Lit the fire table and worked on the laptop in order to change a bunch of Eliza’s reflective queries to statements. Sharp reader pointed out that the form got wearisome (to be frank, Eliza gets tiresome, too, but that’s a different issue).

I folded all the cloth in the front closet yesterday. Wow. It’s what most would consider a decent stash. For me, it’s just the stuff that wandered upstairs during a handful of projects. We might put a few little shelves in there.

Shelves! Long desired! Functional! Simple!

Minors forms of progress feel so necessary right now.

It’s Saturday, right?

Befriending process

Yesterday, between the frightening news about trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine our upcoming election and a new construction project in an abutting neighbor’s backyard, I sought solace in the basement. It was cool. It was quiet.

First came two hours of writing class, then frustrating attempts to attach pieces of the giant global warming quilt. I decided to surrender to the difficulties, in a way, by working fast with top-stitched machine zig-zag. The results were disappointing. Some sections had three layers, some two, some one. Uck! I don’t want to mess with this shit right now and maybe not ever.

It’ll be separate, smaller pieces, then. I just spent a fair amount of time making C’s blanket which involved less than satisfactory technique — the sashing, the lumpy quilting — or I might have more patience for such rogue improvisation.

With the world on fire, tried and true techniques feel like a kind of safe-haven. Self care, even. Things are hard enough.

I wrote this post last night. It looks like I’ll be spending today in the basement as well — unbelievable noise — near jack hammering (not the slightly muffled kind we’ve had a lot of the summer up on route 9) and incessant trucks beeping in reverse. A true noise hellscape. Moments ago: helicopters and sirens. The backyard neighbor’s construction crew hasn’t arrived yet.

* Handwritten quote above from Krista Tippet interview with Stephen Jenkins.

Where we are — fall equinox

All the junk that goes with being human — the sweaty parts, the sour refusals, jealousies ocean-sized and petty, the worm of veins as aging wears out the body. We try, though, don’t we? We try to manage expectations, to overcome the vast array of annoyances, to face our fears as we watch the burning hellscape that is America.

To get up and fight.

It might be our turn to fall. If so, it won’t be from from hubris, but from a toxic blend of corrupt greed and epic stupidity. Plus Facebook. While Oleg Deripaska funds aluminum plants in Kentucky, a passel of white people in Pennsylvania storms Target yelling about their freedom not to wear masks.

Huh?

Outside, a pounding — perhaps a new deck for a neighbor? Maple leaves ruffle in the wind. They will crisp and yellow and before long, fall and litter the fence line. How do your hold your suffering? With what secret thoughts or unsustainable compromises? Winter, as has been said, is coming.

By the time the neighbor’s new deck is nailed together and stained and holding chairs and company, the election will be upon us. The massive efforts to steal it, already in motion. If only this… if only that… How to do enough?

How many things have you lost of late? What of them matter? Where does Hope dwell in your body?

I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want us to hold fast to Hope with a ferocity past all reason. Don’t you?

Collage made WHILE in labor

Prompt: write for five minutes about all the junk that goes with being human.