When I tried to type “drought” in the title just now, it auto-corrected to “fright.” Exactly!
We are finally getting some rain, but it’s been bad, really bad — super hot and dry. Even that hardiest of perennials, the hosta, has struggled. I’ve dug up four shrubs and will likely have to dig up two more. Ferns have crisped and collapsed. Astilbe try valiantly, but barely make it despite daily watering. I’ve even been watering well-established trees for fear of losing them (NB: our reservoir, the Quabbin, has high levels right now).
It’s been a close-to-home wake up call for an area relatively immune to the drastic effects of climate change. Hurricanes are rare here. Tornados happen now again, but usually out by Worcester or Springfield. We don’t get flooding or wildfires and until now, drought was something that happened out West.
A “flash drought” is nothing like the nearly decade-long drought in California, say, but it brings immediate consequences.
I read that a temperature change of 1.5 degrees would be catastrophic for forests in the Northeast.
No wonder some nights I feel the acid bloom of fear just as I’m dropping off to sleep.
Finn barks at compost pick up truck. K talks about pressure consumption. “I took the 5.6 and divided it by… ” And then pressure production. “The factor goes down, not that it goes up.”
Dog needs a walk. I need a walk.
Busy day yesterday and week feels cluttered going forward. How is this even happening?
Collage made today, below. The word I pulled out of the thesaurus as I started was “tabulate.” As in tabulate the damage done.
Brain damage. Chalk board counting quarantine days. Exotic luxury cupboard cut in half, never to go back together again. A clothes line reminiscent of domestic life during the Great Depression.
Seeds keep arriving in the mail! We have two quotes now for the backyard patio project. Some things continue apace.
I am finishing this garment tomorrow! Next up: something without pleats or plackets! Pieced a strip from mask scraps to use for collar and front edging. I like the idea but it may not follow the curves of the robe properly.
I raised the blue skirt an inch and a half and the proportions are much improved.
I went looking for a quote about how areas in our life that are the messiest are often the areas where the most progress is being made. Couldn’t find it. Here’s what I found instead. Enjoy!
“Good writing begins where there is a knot.”
“Art is not about telling our secrets… but it does have to be free to go wherever it needs to go and usually our pain comes out first.”
Pat Schneider, Writing Alone and with Others“We are large enough to encompass our losses. We are brave enough to dream again, risk again, love again. We just need the assurance that we really can do so, and this assurance will come to us in a thousand forms, large and very small, if we ask for it. But ask we must.”
Julia Cameron, The Vein of Gold
“There is no courage without vulnerability.” Brene Brown
“It is not what we do which makes us holy, but we ought to make holy what we do … ” Meister Eckhart
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
Denis Levertov, as quoted by Pat Schneider
“Any life will provide material for writing if it is attended to.” Wallace Stegner
“Anger is loaded with information and power.” Audre Lord, Sister Outsider
“We pick and choose what we think is most important, forgetting that it’s all important.” Jude Hill, Spirit Cloth
New South Wales firefighter, Greg Mullins: “I’ve been fighting fires for 47 years and I’ve never seen anything like it. But, we’ve known it’s coming for 20 years.”
“It’s climate change, it’s worldwide, and people need to sit up and take notice.” (WBUR interview)
UPDATE: I removed the two attempts at fire maps because they’re not accurate. Mo tells me the fires are burning in “NSW, Victoria, South Australia and they were burning earlier in Queensland and Western Australia.”
As Acey noted in a comment to yesterday’s post, one of the beauties of the collage process is that it brings heartbreak out of the shadows. Oh, look! To view pain in the stark terms that images allow is always powerful and sometimes healing.
Two days ago, I was wrapped up in the catastrophic missteps of our government in Iraq (still am). Not really thinking about Australia at all. And then I found this woman and her horse. She was in a stack of magazine pullouts waiting for this moment.
Of course the animal reminded me of the horse on the beach from yesterday’s post. Look at her! A warrior, for certain! I would trust her with a beloved animal. With environmental policy. With anti-corruption efforts.
The stylish woman in the upper left hand corner, on the other hand, has rendered herself frivolous by looking away.
Every once in a while, type shows up in a collage that adds import. For the word, “things” to appear next to a materialistic fashionista while the world burns around her makes perfect sense. We wonder: what will happen to HER horse?
Please consider making a donation to help orphaned and injured animals. Here’s a link for cash donations.
Even though postage to Australia is so astronomical, I know some of you will be moved to make a thing or two. For that reason, I’m offering to mail a couple of boxes to Australia if people want to make nests, mitts, or wraps and ship them to me in Massachusetts.I’m going to refer people to the FB group instead. American shipping hubs have been established.
The first picture below shows what’s needed. If you’re on Facebook, you can join Animal Rescue Craft Guild. They have a tab, “FILES,” where patterns are listed.
From a Medium article entitled, How to stay sane if Trump is driving you insane: Advice from a therapist.
“There are times when optimism is not appropriate or possible, and this is one of those times. Our President is delusional, lying, or ignorant; disastrous climate change and war with North Korea loom; marginalized people in our society are suffering.Faced with these calamities, catastrophic thinking is a rational response.”
Radical acceptance. Clear eyed acceptance. Seeing things as they are now.
Feeling the inevitable grief.
Practicing mindfulness, in particularcountering bad news with good (because pessimism is not useful either).
“You may object,“But I can’t just forget all the terrible things going on!”You are right. Mindfulness is not about forgetting. It is about shifting focus to what is most immediate and most helpful.We help no one by staying in our anguish for long.Bernie Sanders said it best: ‘Despair is not an option.‘”
These are digital collages that I made at four this morning. They incorporate quilts and photos of collages, so the layers are numerous, sometimes past counting.
The images speak for themselves but to name a few: the virgin atop a cathedral near Assisi as well as an Italian stone archway, an antique bird cagefor sale in Essex, Mass. Quilts on the line in the backyard, a woven cloth painting, and another close up of patchwork. A SoulCollage (r) card made from magazine pictures.
As usual, I used Diana photo app for double exposures and Prisma app to create mosaics.