Category Archives: democracy

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.

Rage donating*

A click. A clack. I throw my few bucks into the blue bin.

It’s sweatshirt cold this morning. Last night I dreamt about a murder in the woods, knowing that we are planning to go to a wooded park on the North Shore today. It wasn’t really a nightmare, somehow.

Three-eighths of binding done on C’s quilt. Agatha Christie Miss Marple the choice of the afternoon.

A 4.5 earthquake in Southern California hours ago. I wish people would stop asking, Can 2020 get any worse?

Because of course it can.

As much as the anxiety of these final weeks is a metallic tang in my mouth, I am also genuinely curious to see how the judicial nomination plays out. Careers will be made and lost over this.

*not my term. Twitter, of course.

Rage donating*

A click. A clack. I throw my few bucks into the blue bin.

It’s sweatshirt cold this morning. Last night I dreamt about a murder in the woods, knowing that we are planning to go to a wooded park on the North Shore today. It wasn’t really a nightmare, somehow.

Three-eighths of binding done on C’s quilt. Agatha Christie Miss Marple the choice of the afternoon.

A 4.5 earthquake in Southern California hours ago. I wish people would stop asking, Can 2020 get any worse?

Because of course it can.

As much as the anxiety of these final weeks is a metallic tang in my mouth, I am also genuinely curious to see how the judicial nomination plays out. Careers will be made and lost over this.

*not my term. Twitter, of course.

Digital collage

Obsession really. I made another mini-movie but I know WordPress won’t upload it. So here are some pix from it put together in mosaic groups or singly, instead.

It’s rainy. This was the second hottest July on record. I didn’t walk at all today, but there were pancakes on the side porch (not on the patio because neighbors had a bday party in their backyard), two crossword puzzles, kitchen counter bleaching. I talked shop with another author. Visited a local friend and sat out on her back porch. Tea. Apricot jam and crackers.

So sad that HBO’s Perry Mason is over. It was intense, stylish, well-acted with interesting takes on what Mason’s backstory might’ve looked like.

But Endeavour is on, so that’s good.

I ran out of olive oil today so put in a second grocery order with Amazon fresh. I am certain I shall go to carbon footprint hell for all the packaging. It’s bad. I’m bad. And at the same time, I feel like I might never grocery shop again.

Rant or Lament?

Can’t tell if this is a rant or a lament. That may be evidence that I badly need to get out of the house and go camping or it may signal something about this extraordinary age. Probably both.

That’s when I got the idea about sleeping out in the forest: pine needle pillow; pricks of stars visible through the jagged, vertical pines; shadows. Hoots and cricks, some scary, some soothing but all better than the eternal thrum of the AC system and its chill result. What are we? Slabs of meat in the walk-in cooler waiting for the sous chef to grab and fry? The heat knows no bounds. Or at least, previous bounds exceeded. 90, 91, 95, 97. Even the dog gets tired after a block.

I drape my bra on the back of my chair — convention set aside. Where am I going anyway? I can speak to a neighbor at the lot line with my arms across my chest.

The deck at night offers no alternative because of all the AC generators littering yards nearby, thrumming into action at regular intervals. Plus traffic two blocks over. You don’t hear traffic in the daylight because of all the suburban sounds of improvement and maintenance — yawing, sawing, polishing, blowing, hammering, trimming, and trucks, trucks, trucks.

The place of my birth always lies to the north or west. Where I write in community in August quite nearly on top of my birth town and so the geography speaks to home as little else can. When no single school, no single neighborhood, not one state, even, claims your history, let the rolling hills and the clinging mists at dawn speak to home. Those hills. Old, old mountains. Not the majesty of young upstarts like the Rockies, but the soothing ancient rolls of tree-covered dirt and stone. That’s where I’d like to sleep.

After a long solitary walk away from the conference center’s line of Adirondack chairs. A creeping fear of bears. A constant look-out for the bite of a tick. Scraping through damp grasses until shadow and branch take over. What happened to our primitive selves — the musculature of the hunt, the wary nervous systems of vigilance?

We’ve been scrambled. First by too many interior hours, then by a wicked remove from food sources and now by the glowing blue light of our devices. How many sleepless nights do I succumb to the news feed — holding the phone above my head, working my arm a little, my thumb a lot, knowing the whole while that I’m entering an insomniac’s hell — a damnation so complete that it might keep me awake until the early doves start calling out to each other and the passerines twitter with their timeless chatter. If the eyes manage to close at three, the continued scroll under the eyelids represents a modern form of torture — not just for the delivery system with its pituitary-disturbing glare, but because of the tsunami of terrifying content.

We are fourteen Reichstag fires into the creation of a fascist state. We are frogs, boiled, boiled, boiled. We are pretend pundits, all, twittering our outrage in fear and pretend hope that something, ANYTHING, we do might forestall the total collapse of the Republic.

How much, then, I might prefer the clicking rattle of a venomous snake or the crackling approach of a large mammal to lying in bed in the glare of news. Dying riddled with poison or after being mauled by a bear, alone and in pain, somehow more right than the accretion of damage to our nervous systems wrought by today and tomorrow’s political fuckery, which of course is not merely political, but personal. DID 1970’S RADICAL FEMINISM TEACH US NOTHING?

So okay, those circles of advocacy were hideously, egregiously white, but now here we are all, arms extended to any and all who would prefer liberty, or let’s say “so-so democracy,” to kleptocracy, hoping to grab each other and sing, not unlike the yellow-shirted moms in Portland trying to protect protesters with their bodies, which is what good moms have always done — tried to protect their young with their bodies. Look how they turn the BLM chant into a lullaby — “hands up, please don’t shoot” — knowing how the nasty, cameo-clad soldiers must not be angered and really, must be soothed.

I’ll sue, you’ll sue, the AG’ll sue, the ACLU will sue — but the delays and the chances of meeting a radical, unqualified right winger on the bench grow by the minute. We’re frogs. We’re boiled. Our organs are near to exploding.

Let me walk, therefore, barefoot on rocks still warm with summer sun and risk disturbing a rattlesnake. Let me enter the deep, cool shade of the forest and lie down there as the sky inks black. Let me be surrounded by the old sounds, even if bringing ancient fear with them. Let me lay my head in the bracken ferns, aware that I crush a few fronds for my comfort, but prepared to do so to save my soul.

  • Collage above made sometime between Zimmerman’s acquittal and Michael Brown’s death.