Monthly Archives: November 2016

Ten on Tuesday

  1.  Screw the US media.  From now on I’m getting all my news from BBC.
  2. I haven’t knit in a week and I’m getting cranky.
  3. The current state of our politics doesn’t make me embarrassed to be an American, it makes me embarrassed that we have the political system we do that allows this to happen.
  4. The President-Elect is acting like a nasty little boy who runs into his mother’s dinner party and takes great joy in overturning everybody’s drinks and smashing all the dishes knowing that nobody will reprimand him.
  5. Thanksgiving was absolutely wonderful and I’m taking my time decorating for Christmas.
  6. Turkey croquettes made with leftover stuffing is an amazing thing.
  7. This was the first time we’ve ever had leftover stuffing.
  8. The turkey soup was damn good, too.
  9. Why does putting on a pair of black tights make me feel like I weight 20 pounds less?
  10. If I didn’t have tea, I think I would be a much more unstable person.  And that is saying a lot right there.

 

 

 

november-morning

This was my living room at 7:30 this morning.  Kind of how I feel.

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Thanks, Nature

Today I took a hike.

Older Daughter and I drove to a state park and walked a few trails.  We saw an enormous deer trotting away in slow motion, barely making any sound even though the ground was thick with dried leaves.  We saw impossibly small berries still clinging to ashy grey branches, stirring with the slightest of breezes, as red as sun-struck church windows.  We saw spongy neon green moss wrapped along tree roots like blankets tucking in for the winter.  We saw bare white birch trees arching up and up against a sky so blue it was impossible to stop looking at it while breathing in the beautiful crisp fall air.

It was perfect, even when I fell.  I landed on my hip and my wrist, but I didn’t wreck the camera or my phone or my sunglasses.  Later I found out my leg was bleeding, but thankfully I have a prepared traveling companion who calmly assembled the neosporin and the correct-sized bandaid, applied both in a very businesslike way, and was done in less than a minute.  No kiss for my boo-boo, though, so maybe not totally perfect.

But it was a necessary and welcome balm, because I realized no matter how much my world may be turning backwards I would always have this.  The absolute beauty and centering of nature, the quietness of thought and observation, and the chance to remember that though I am but one, I am at least one and I can do many things.

Tomorrow we shall feast, way too much food for just four people, and watch movies and football and parades and remember how much family means to us.  We will remember there’s never a lack of hope or a path to take, and that we will never be alone.

I am thankful.

2016-05-22 11.22.19

Love these nut jobs.

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Well, now….

The only thing I want to say is this:

Please stop using the phrases “Get over it!” “Deal with it!”  “Move on already!”

People don’t necessarily rebound that quickly, and everyone grieves at their own pace in their own way.  You should be able to experience your feelings about any situation and not be scolded with impatience by others.

When my mom died, it was a sudden and unexpected shock.  My dad grieved and experienced things he’d probably never encountered before as he was not a man who was “in touch” with his emotions – Greatest Generation and all that – and so he probably suffered even more.  Can you imagine how awful and embarrassed and ashamed he must have felt after two months when his boss told him “you’re not bouncing back as quickly as I would have expected.  I need you to snap out of this.”  He felt worse.  He felt as if his already dicey emotions were being rated and calibrated for someone else’s inconvenience and he was found wanting.  On top of that, he was concerned he’d be fired simply for mourning his beloved wife.  I felt so much anger on his behalf.

It happened to me, on a much smaller scale.  I called the leader of the volunteer group I was a member of (after the fact) to explain why I hadn’t been available the previous week.  Her response?  “Oh.  Sorry about your mom.”  Wait for it.  Pause.  “But in the future, could you maybe let us know ahead of time you won’t be here?  We only had five people at the meeting and it was really inconvenient for everyone else.”  I bit back the response I wanted to give: “Sure.  Next time my Mom dies you’ll be the first to know.”  It was tempting to walk away from the group, but I didn’t.  I stayed and made it better.

The reason why such pronouncements are inappropriate should be crystal clear, but as I’ve just illustrated, it’s not.  Let me help:

“Please don’t presume you know how I feel.  Please don’t put your agenda ahead of my feelings.  Please don’t pronounce what is good for me based on what is good for you.”

And, may I add to all those on various sites who feel they’re doing their civic duty by explaining to everyone else in simple terms what has really happened to our country, you adding “Period.  End of story” does not make it so.  Even if Captain Picard said it, it would not be so.

America is an ongoing conversation.  Everyone gets to speak, everyone gets to feel, everyone deserves respect for the same.

What are you doing to make it better?

2016-05-22 12.28.40

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So What Did I Miss?

(Gotta love Hamilton for all the phrases it gives.)

 

I have been amazing myself with how little I’ve commented on our present situation, how I have vastly reduced my presence on the VagueBook, and kept to my own counsel on the tweet machine.  At first, I figured “who cares what I think?”  Then I realized people did care, if only so they could rip me a new one.  Then I kept quiet more as a sanity-saving strategy, and reduced the number of websites I would normally (obsessively) check.

But what I’ve come to realize is, this is not a him-or-her situation, nor is it a D-or-R situation.  It’s a moment frozen in time where we are defined clearly not by who we support but HOW we support.  I’m not talking lawn signs, either.  I’m talking the response we have when confronted with a difference of opinion, and what that says about us.

I’ve observed some severe and completely out-of-proportion responses to something as banal as a question regarding voting times.  I’ve seen a vitriol-laced insult to someone posing a possible scenario.  And any disagreement from “the other side” led to hysterical promises of what would, in any other time, be noted as a potential threat to safety.

 

I call this the Super Bowl mentality.  It’s not enough to compare the facts, the statistics, the record, the analysts; no, we have to portray unwavering adherence to the team with a fervor bordering on hysteria or we’re not TRUE fans.  And we are so sure of the outcome, that we are on the side of the TRUE winning team, that there is no room for any disagreement.  We shout down our opposition because of course we’re right, and if you think the opposite then you are clearly demented.

This is worse than the Super Bowl, though.  This is not being a fan.  This is rabid and foaming-at-the-mouth hatred for anyone and everyone thinking differently.  This is raw and naked detestation coupled with venom and enmity towards those who have simply voiced a different opinion.  Why has it come down to such a violent way of thinking?  Why is someone’s way of thinking either right or wrong?  Why is it necessary to put down in the most acrimonious way somebody’s point of view?

 

I believe this can all be chalked up to a lack of thoughtful discourse, or, to go even further, a lack of thought.  Some of us don’t think carefully before speaking; we don’t even let the speaker finish their thoughts before we rush in with our assertions that “I’m right and you’re wrong and if you disagree then you’re just a _______!”  (Please insert your label of degradation here.)  When was the last time we heard an exchange such as:

Sam: Isn’t it amazing how beautiful the green air is?

Pete:  (Thinks a moment)  Is the air, in fact, green?

Sam:  Of course.  Don’t you see it?

Pete:  Well, no.  Can you describe it to me?

Sam: It’s……green.

Pete:  Interesting.  Like, a grass green?  Teal?

Sam:  I don’t think teal is considered to be in the green family.

Pete:  That’s interesting.  I always thought it was.  What would you call it, blue?

Sam:  You know, I’m not sure.  Maybe?  And you think it’s green?  Maybe I’m mistaken.

 

No, I can just see this happening today:

Sam: Isn’t it amazing how beautiful the green air is?

Pete: What are you, some sort of @%$!*&  Only a %^# would say something like that!  Are you one of those *@^#%$*@?   God, I’m so SICK of you &^$#&*@!!!  You are the reason why this world is the way it is!  Why don’t you smarten up and realize the only true air color is RED you moron!

Sam:  [backs away]

FIN.

 

Maybe instead of things like mandatory health care or taxes or car registrations, we should have mandatory book reports.  That way we’d be sure people are reading something that expands their worlds a bit and exposes them (without the “news” channels and social media gangs) to varying viewpoints that don’t threaten anyone.  You know, something they can put some thought into.

 

educate-ass

Nothing like a smart butt

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