I was born at dusk: 5:47. Sixty-three seems an impossible number but there you have it! It was a good birthday with ice cream cake, roses, “Little Women,” and calls from both boys.
(If you’re a parent to millennials, you know what a big deal a call is).
A string of grey grey days. I’m back to editing. Back to working on C’s quilt, which I am lap quilting in six pieces. Back to trying to ignore loud construction noise.
Today, the news unsettles me more than usual. Is it because we’ve arrived at that moment when a lawless leader has done so much damage to our institutions (think: the Senate, the DOJ), that he is, for all intents and purposes, a dictator? Nothing to hold him to account.
I worry about the press. I worry about the Freedom of Information Act, especially given how little disclosure is coming by way of the courts. I worry about the election in November. I worry about violence. I worry about how far and wide our petty leader’s retribution will run.
Please don’t tell me how little good worrying does — worry is not lessened by being made wrong for doing it! And, as you know, it’s not ALL I’m doing (though — HA! — I worry that whatever things I manage to do won’t matter enough to counter this tide of corruption).
On the plus side, I read a piece by some pundit opining that whoever the Democratic candidate ends up being matters very little. Turn out is everything. Not the freakin’ swing voters. Turnout. Not the policies. Turnout. That idea takes a little pressure off finding exactly the right (electable) candidate.
The press, the House, and a huge majority are the last places of hope.
Feels an appropriate moment to share this lovely and suitably profane gift from Deb Lacativa. We both know it references not caring about who thinks what about our views. The caring about outcomes, about the future, runs deep.
And then there is this gift from Michelle. I’d sent her my banner from Mo’s project and unexpectedly, she sent me hers. I walk by it many times a day. It cheers me up!
Lastly, thank you so much to all who took the time to read or listen (or both) to an excerpt from my novel. Thank you thank you. Your encouragement means more than I can say!
If you look for it again, don’t be surprised to find it gone. Publishers are weird about what constitutes publication so out of an abundance of caution, I will mark it private at week’s end.
Loved the look/read of your book. A subject close to my own life’s journey. All best going forward to publication.
These times do chalk.. living in the one always blue spot on the map of Montana, finding a comfortable place within as my peace and justice advocacy moves forward is a daily journey that encourages a practice of silence, peace, writing and creating. Staying the course after 55 years of voting, marching and writing is my choice.
Love reading your blog posts even when I don’t write.
Peace and love,
Why is it a subject close to you life’s journey, Kristin?
Dee, My public work regarding racism began when I was 15 and spoke at the Board of Realtors in north King County, Washington. My wonderful English teacher could not purchase a home close to our school because he was black, even though it was against the law to deny housing purchases by people of color. My father stepped down from the board of our tennis and swimming club because a fine black dermatologist who lived in a beautiful neighborhood was denied membership because folks did not want to swim in a pool with folks of color. My protesting, activism and hard work for people of color has never ceased. For 12 years I managed a library on an Indian reservation, and I currently tutor adult and children learners from the Congolese Refugee community here in Missoula, and I am part of the team working with Welcome Back, a non-profit that works with folks returning from incarceration to find employment and housing, the preponderance are folks of color even in this nearly lily white state. I am, and have been a practicing Quaker for over 45 years of my 76.
So a bit of a window into my life’s commitments.
A stellar resume. It doesn’t surprise me, somehow. Brava. Such good work. I am still in the loop between education and action and it’s one of many reasons I can’t wait to finish this novel. Since I’m a lawyer there has got to be some good way to plug in (without going back to the practice of law). I’ve thought about teaching writing to female inmates.
(((Dee))) happy birthday may 2020 be the year of clear vision
Yes and clear air, right?
Feliz Cumpleanos Dee, Happy Birthday in Spanish. My son in law’s British Dad, my dearly loved Harold who lived to be 91 also had a birthday in February. Some years I would call him in England, other years send a small gift and card but always on his birthday, I would send an email with the words, “Well how is it going my dear Harold” and he would reply,” Ah Marti, it’s another year around the planet and it’s been good, even when it hasn’t”…so I like to hold to that, that even when we worry, and believe me there is worry, I try to find a pocket of time where I can suspend the worry and try to find a few moments of quiet joy so my wish for you Dee is that I hope you were able to do the same on your birthday and it sounds like you did.
I would’ve like Harold I think. I had a British grandparent but I never spent much time with him. Albert. One of 11. Came through Ellis Island then worked in the smaller chambers of ships because he himself was small.
Happy Birthday!! ( Mine was Saturday)
I, too, find myself worrying more, but less about what others think. Is it purely “age”; or finally becoming who we are?
We watch & listen, we really, we weep. We stitch.
Love your images, your words.
Thank you for sharing.
We rally. We weep. Words for the age, I think. Happy birthday to you, too, Jenn! I don’t know that many other Aquarians for some reason.
Dee~ Your birthday sounds lovely and those roses are gorgeous! I really loved reading the piece from your book. I wanted to say, “More, more, more!” I don’t remember if I did or if it was a day with no comment box. Ah, oh well. My daddy’s birthday – Feb 15th and childhood BFF (well as it turned out just BF) – Feb 10th (today). Our joke was, she was older (by 2 months), but I was taller (not by much). A lifetime ago. And I have always been a worrying sort and always told not to. Fat lota good that did. xo to you in your Birthday Season my friend.
Thank you Nancy. BtW I loved your hiking blog posts… and I love Bonnie Raitt, too. She was one of the only musicians that I recognized at this year’s Grammys (talk about feeling old!)
Hey Dee, I should have shared my often shared worry quote:
“Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere”. However, on second thought…does rocking really get you someplace? My mom (the English, not logic -obviously- teacher!) loved that quote when I shared it with her.
That’s the thing about worry, isn’t it? How fundamentally useless it is.
what a present from Deb !!!!
(stitched with her own dirty threads ! lucky you !)
And so many sweet WORDS for you from everywhere 😉
Yes with her own dirty threads and beautifully applied stitches!
Happy birthday, dear girl. I can call you that, I think. Take the best, fuck the rest. <-Another sampler in the making.
Yes you can call me that. And best advice ever. Something my father might have said.
I hardly ‘think’ but I do ruminate, and thoughts occur to me in full couplets as I’m walking…More relevant to ask what I feel. I feel weary in the second month of my seventy seventh year (Aquarius too)…the usual complaints of rusty body parts, lost friends and family, rotten weather, noisy neighbors too close and terrible world news. I s’poze I ‘worry’ that the health care system will collapse completely just when I need it most. But since I can’t predict when that will be, I usually turn to another channel. Happy for your roses and calls from ‘kids’, your novel moving forward and that the banner makes you smile when you pass it. You deserve to smile.
I do thoroughly Hope spring for you brings some cheer and respite. I know you have your zendo (and thank goodness) but the every day kind of ease seems a little missing.
Belated best birthday wishes (my family could tell you that late birthday wishes are my specialty) … what a perfect landing spot for Deb’s effing pillow. Are those wrapped backstitches??
And I do hope you get to record the audiobook version of of your masterwork someday … you knowing where every pause, every nuanced word should/must be
I asked Deb about the stitch method. It looks like couched threads with a dense whip stitch in the same color but maybe you’re right? She said she’d make a little video to show how.
how awesome … I hope there’s an audio track so I can hear her New York meets Georgia accent
Happy Birthday!! And I do have a boy out in California who makes an effort to call his parents on their birthdate and on mother’s and father’s days and Christmas. He calls early (there) before getting ready to go into work. I love this sampler of Deb’s and will now take a screen shot and make one for myself.
Yes it’s a great quote. Would be suitable for a vintage dainty hankie, too, a la the Tiny Pricks project. And thanks for bday wishes. Calls are minor miracles anymore.
I have a boy like that, same holidays, calling in the opposite direction, as I am the one in CA.
First – happy birthday. You’re my elder by four and half months or thereabouts.
Since I have the distinction of living in the town who had the most per capita Trump voters mid-state – I see you worry and raise it to two thirty in the morning silent but very potent freakouts on the regular.
People … still tell those of us who worry not to do so? Wow. That’s quite discouraging to take on board.
Oh Dee, I’m so glad my computer has been mended in time for me to read/hear your chapter. What an evocative writer you are! I can hardly wait to read the whole story. Happy Belated Birthday to a fellow worrier and February-born.
Oh Dee, I am so glad my computer was mended in time for me to read/hear your chapter. What an evocative writer you are! I can hardly wait to hear the whole story. Happy Birthday to a fellow worrier and February-born.
Happy birthday to you, too, Dana!