Middle Passage Marker Boston

Labor Day seemed an appropriate day to visit the new display marking the Middle Passage down on Long Wharf, Boston. It is yards from the Atlantic and the site where Africans were unloaded from ships and sold.

I took a lot of pictures, so that I could read later. Why? Parking fees were obscene. I set my timer for 35 minutes, determined not to pay more than $18. But we didn’t really want to pay even that, so we didn’t dally. Made it back in under twenty minutes. High fives at the parking pay kiosk.

Rowes Wharf, approaching Long Wharf

Most of the business along Long Wharf these days is tourism.

Almost all of the marker’s text was devoted to highlighting local luminary African Americans, like Phyllis Wheatley (blogged about here). I expected the narrative to reveal the horrors of the slave trade, so this surprised me a little. Did you know, for example, that the Guinea ships could be smelled from four miles off, so vile was the hygiene and carnage? Or that a loss of life in the neighborhood of ten percent was an acceptable margin in terms of turning a profit?

If you read my Facebook post on this yesterday, you’ll have seen the LONG laundry list of ways that the North profited from slavery, pictured below.

Next time we go, I’ll bring flowers and we’ll look for on-street parking.

‘all good words lead to silence’

Annisquam, 2021

From the drafts folder. February 10, 2010

So the joke is, when I opened the draft titled “all good words lead to silence,” there was nothing there. A blank screen. Get it? Now you’re in on it too.

I had to scroll all the way back to 2010 to find this revised post because it turns out that if you edit a draft, even one from 11 years ago, WordPress publishes it on its original date. It isn’t enough to hit “Publish Now,” you also have to change the date on their calendar.

Annisquam, over Labor Day weekend, was lovely. We walked a long time.

Parallels to 1812 plus plants

From the DRAFTS Folder — June 2017. Mostly pictures.

I gathered the pictures for this post seven months after the disastrous 2016 election, but wrote nothing.

My city of Newton was trying to decide whether to submit a formal recommendation to the U.S. House in support of an impeachment investigation. It wasn’t openly in favor of impeachment, it’s important to note. It was in support of INVESTIGATING the possible bases for impeachment. And yet, it was controversial.

Of course, the second trump was inaugurated, both emoluments clauses were being violated due to his undivested business interests. By the summer of 2017, the abuses of power and other egregious behaviors had piled up to a ridiculous degree. I will spare myself (and you) the litany.

My small but focused Indivisible Group appeared before the City Council to support the measure. Our philosophy was to show up. Do what little thing you can. It seemed to matter. (Does it still, I find myself asking in today’s Texas-Handmaid mood).

Most people were going to tick off trump’s impeachable offenses, as if to say: HOW CAN WE LET THIS STAND? I wanted, instead, to specifically address one council member’s objection — that is, that it was not the business of states to makes suggestions to the U.S. Congress. I hunted down an example.

What I found was that the citizens of Cambridge, Mass. formerly implored Jefferson to undo the Embargo of 1807. The federal trade restrictions stopped U.S. ships from conducting business in foreign ports. The embargo was meant to both prevent war with Britain and to make the economies of Britain and France suffer. Unfortunately, the embargo hurt our economy as well, particularly the merchants of the Northeast.

The petition stated in part: “But such is the unequal and oppressive operation of the embargo that we cannot believe that any real, true-hearted American can consider passive obedience and non-resistance a virtue.”

Timeless words, were they not?

It seems so long ago. 2017, I mean.

A Remonstrance, if you don’t know, is “an earnest presentation for reasons for opposition or grievance, esp. a document formally stating such points.”

Clouds and collage

K went into the office this morning and Finn and I accompanied him to the T. The cool gray 7:00 am hour was quiet. Pleasant. And, since I didn’t really sleep last night, it was good to get the walk in before I crump.

Came home, vacuumed studio and then cranked out a few collages. The clean up and organizing around here is gaining momentum. Garage and basement. Ooh boy! This rhododendron-hand collage has two sides. In part, this represents the long-standing quilter’s appreciation for the “other” side of compositions. It’s also a result of watching with curious interest as Jude creates two-sided quilts — each side with composed patchwork, the stitching going through.

I’m liking torn edges and learning to place dark colors under them to showcase them. When flipping a collage over, I find the serendipity of the other side of magazine pages fun — in this instance, the dishes in the lower left. Here, I made two variations of the rhodie/bubble digital collage and then split up a single Natl Geo page of an ancient sculpture. So the two sides are thematically related.

I’d already been working on the photo of bubbles provided by the Paris Collage Collective this week, using — what else? — house images. There are : some old photos of a house form stenciled in reverse on a page of the NYTimes, a collage from Acey’s 2019 prompts and, in one of them, a red version color xerox of a collage creates in SF of a Northampton house I lived in. Further down, are variations using three different house quilts.


We might get as much as one inch of rain an hour starting this afternoon. But it isn’t likely we’ll lose power. It took SIX TRUCKS working all day to repair the toppled street light and busted transformer around the corner that I mentioned recently. I cannot begin to imagine how long it’s gonna take Louisiana.

Communications seems to be up as an issue right now. My own and others’ blunders. Expectations dashed, then revised. Opinions yanked around. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and suck my thumb.

Let’s Count – dog walk edition

One – number of trucks driven under low hanging wire, number of telephone poles pulled down by wire, number of transformers that blew, number of blocks away I was, number of screams that came out of my mouth.

Also one – number of flamingo puppets lying out, number of chipmunks seen flying into a hole, number of trains that passed while walking on Braeland Ave.

Still one – number of statues of the Virgin spied in a garden. Number of times Finn barked at a dog and looked at me for a treat (denied!)

Three – number of times I gave Finn treats for reasons unrelated to other dogs or for no reason at all.

Also Three – number of times I gave Finn treats for seeing other dogs and not reacting.

Five – number of people I recognized from making the Langley/Cypress loop regularly. Also roughly the number of times loud noise interrupted my peace and annoyed me (not counting the transformer explosion).

Nine or so — number of neighbors that spilled out of their houses after the big electrical POP. I recognized more than half of them.

Eighteen – number of rabbits counted at the Fun Corner Yard, but I’ll bet there were more.

And then there was the view of the woods that made me pause and the burdock that offered up a rhythmic patterning that somehow thrilled me. Both resist the count.

Have a good start to your week! I’ve determined that being disoriented to season feels a lot like sadness. Or maybe it’s the other way around?