I haven’t written much lately. Not because I didn’t have anything to say. There are just a lot of folks out there who do have something to say and can say it better than I can.
I have a lot of thoughts. Sometimes they keep me awake at night. Sometimes they are good actionable thoughts. Sometimes they are fractions of memories that make me happy or maybe queasy. My brother asked me the other day if I had any regrets regarding my behavior when I was younger–or even into middle age. I said I did. But, the past is not changeable, nor should it be dwelled upon. So, I just try to do better going forward.
Below are a few articles or books I’ve recently read that I think are worthy to share:
Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t? Michael Gerson writes in depth about the embrace of faux Christianity with politics. He doesn’t mince words. “Surveying the transgressive malevolence of the radical right, one is forced to conclude: If this is not moral ruin, then there are no moral rules.” He lays out what is and isn’t acting like a Christian or any other decent, moral human being.
The Overstory by Richard Powers is an amazing book about people in love with trees. “We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men. . . “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
From Asymmetry: A Novel by Lisa Halliday” When, then, does one man’s delusion become the world’s reality? Is it every generation’s destiny to contend with a dictator’s whims? “By shrewd and constant application of propaganda,” we read in Mein Kampf, “heaven can be presented to the people as hell and, vice versa, the wretchedest experience as a paradise.” But only when the people in question fail in their duty toward vigilance. Only when through inaction we are complicit. Only when we are sleepwalking ourselves. Another swig. “Baby? Baby, where are you?” Somewhat appropriate for these times, wouldn’t you say?
You know who is a great thinker? Patti Smith. I love her poetry, her songs and her books Someone asked me who I would like to be in another life and I said just like Patti Smith. Check out her Wikipedia page for information on all her works. Prepare to be amazed.
Since cave men allegedly conked a woman on the head and dragged her back to his cave, women have been treated as sex objects, slaves, non-persons except in their context of ‘mothers’. I believe that women rock this world in more ways besides with their hand on a cradle. Strong women are my sheros. From the VP of the United States Kamala Harris to the single mother who is raising her children to rise above any hardships–reminding them that they are loved and important human beings.
Heather Cox Richardson, a historian and writer of true, strong words in her post today: But “Mothers’ Day”—with the apostrophe not in the singular spot, but in the plural—actually started in the 1870s, when the sheer enormity of the death caused by the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War convinced American women that women must take control of politics from the men who had permitted such carnage. Mothers’ Day was not designed to encourage people to be nice to their mothers. It was part of women’s effort to gain power to change modern society.
Julia Ward Howe, the true originator or Mothers’ Day asks all women (mothers or not) “Arise, women!” Howe commanded. “Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.“
I hope your 2022 is going well so far. But, just in case it isn’t, there is another new year to jump start from the beginning. The Year of the Tiger. What does that mean?
The year 2022 in the Gregorian calendar is designated the Year of the Tiger.
The Luna Year is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, Lunar New Year is also celebrated in Korea, Singapore, Mongolia, Tibet, Vietnam and in Asian communities worldwide. Read more on c/net
It might work out better as a Tiger can symbolize strength and being brave.
Although, if you have made it thus far since February 2021, you have probably been fairly brave.
This post is also a reminder that it’s never to old to learn new stuff. Lately, I’ve learned several things that made my brain hurt at first, but is now really cool.
1.The hubby and I received Echo Dots and smart blubs. LOVE IT! It helps me sleep by playing lovely classical music at a mere request. Dot–our nickname for her, reads the hubby’s audible books. The bulbs have a safety feature so you can ask to turn on a light when entering a room. For older folks who have had a tendency to fall lately, this is a good thing.
2. When you learn something new you are exercising your brain, which can help improve cognitive functions such as concentration, attention to detail, memory recall and problem solving, and also reduce the chance of developing dementia. I hope I can remember that! Check out more.
2. Somehow, I allowed my self to become the treasurer of the Board of Friends of Spare Parts. An art, education, environmental nonprofit I have volunteered for at least 10 years. It is challenging to say the least. But, an article from CNN Health and other articles say: “As we age, we are better able to anticipate problems and reason things out than when we were young. Small’s research shows that our complex reasoning skills continue to improve as we get older.”
Sometimes in social media there are posts on finding joy in your life. Often we are asked to list every day what constitutes a joyful experience for us. I never lasted more than a day or two of keeping track. Today, I did think about it because… it’s Sunday.
Recommended watching: This past Thursday, the last season of The Expanse(on Prime) premiered. It’s based on James S A Corey’s novels The Expanse. In all my considerable years, this is the most amazing and thoughtful sci-fi show ever.
Humanity is out in space. Unfortunately, we still haven’t learned to get along. There are the inners (Earthers), Mars (who want to be free from Earth), and the Belters (Beltalowdas) those who live on the outer moons and asteroids. Before the premier, fans from all over the globe did get along thru a ZOOM meeting to discuss aspects of the show. It brought me much joy to see and hear the ‘expanse’ of the show’s fandom.
Recommended reading: Amor Towles’ Lincoln Highway. A tale of travel, discovery, heartfelt characters and a quite emotional ending. At first, I didn’t think he could outdo his A Gentleman in Moscow. And, while this book is different, it is that same irresistible unfolding of a good story.
Recommended human contact: Man, these past almost two years have been rough as far as in person contact. As more folks are vaccinated, lately I had the total joy of visiting with several friends in person. A few of these folks are long-time friends and catching up was glorious. Thru the Messenger App we saw our grandchildren look for candy canes and an elf in their Christmas tree. Also, a group of volunteers I work with met for a small party and White Elephant gift giving. I got this!
Recommended outdoor exercise: I try to walk everyday along the city trails near my home. I see the season changing finally to Fall. And, there are deer! All sizes from little guys to big bucks. They are so domesticated they will amble right in front of you–expecting you to wait till mom and her kids cross the trail. Yesterday, the squirrels were fussing at me as they seemed to be chasing each other perhaps in some squirrelly mating ritual.
Early this Sunday morning, after I let the cat out, I went back to sleep for a while. I dreamed I was in a church. It was a large, crowded church and I couldn’t find a seat. The choir was singing, the preacher preaching and everyone was swaying and raising their hands. I went to the back of the church and visited with the others left out in the lobby.
I am a firm believer that church can be anywhere. It’s not a building, although most denominations seem to have buildings. Church doesn’t belong to one certain denomination. It’s more like that faith lives inside you. You can abide faith as well.
When our kids were elementary school age, we took them hiking every Sunday to a trail on what was then the outskirts of town. We’d stop at the very top, sit on bench in the small covered shelter with all the Daddy Longlegs spiders. Looking out at the trees, birds, and sky, we proclaimed to now be in church. This picture of Colorado looks like church to me as well.
As many, many peoples do, I have a ‘little altar’ in my room. It helps me focus and quiet my mind. I think, give thanks for my life and my parents. I pray for all those who are sick or having troubles. I pray for peace.
According to 1st Thessalonians 5, Jesus said to pray without ceasing. Questions: Do you believe prayer works? To whom do you pray? Is it just a universal plea or to God? What or who do you pray for? When do you pray? Let me know
Patti Smith begins singing her amazing “Gloria” with “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine.” Quite a thought on Easter morning, I guess.
I do believe Jesus lived and died for forgiveness. This week is a testament to forgiveness as we celebrate a reunion of my husband and his daughter who had been ‘estranged’ for somebody’s sins, but not mine. Her husband and our beautiful granddaughter are met with a feeling of increasing love as our family grows. Between the hubs and I, we now have seven grandchildren–I did not see that coming.
The last time we saw Linda was about 20 years ago, though we have been very close with her sister. The total soap opera storyline of how this all came about was based on perceptions. Forgive me for not giving details.
A forgiveness for all of us for not doing better. A forgiveness for hurting each other.
Easter brings forgiveness and hope going forward. That’s the message.
New Year’s Eve in San Antonio sounds like a war zone. Sleep is disturbed, our pets run under the bed or cower in a closet. But this year, I didn’t curse the noise, or even what I’m sure was some gunfire as well. I was hearing it as a proclamation that 2020 was done and the possibilities of a better year are on the horizon.
Five suggestions for the New Year
Here in Texas, we eat our Black-eyed peas for good luck. I think it works, I forgot mine last year and look what happened!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: means stop buying stuff from Amazon or anywhere except thrift or reuse stores; make interesting meals from left-overs; repurpose things around the house. Some great ideas for materials reuse are on the Spare Parts webpage.
2. Do some yoga. There are lots of resources online. I personally use the chair/standing classes available on the Silver Sneakers Facebook page. You don’t have to be a member to view the videos. Also take a walk everyday outside if you can.
3. Find activities that give you joy. Modify or quit doing those that don’t.
4. Appreciate what you have. Help others however you can. Pray for those in need.
Entry for the Nineteenth Day of the Tenth Month Since COVID 19 Virus Came to America. (Assuming it was February 2020)
For those of you who’ve read the latest novel from Susanna Clarke, Piranesi you’ll know I ‘borrowed’ her format for a journal entry. Piranesi possibility alludes to Giovanni Battista 1720-1778. Italian artist whose etchings of Rome’s ruins contributed to the revival of neoclassicism. His depictions of cavernous imaginary prisons influenced later romantic and surrealist art.
So, Thanksgiving approaches, and from what I see at the grocery store, way too many of you are planning big dinners with lots of folks–indoors. I believe this is irresponsible and could even border on reprehensible. But I realize I’m either preaching to the choir or speaking upon deaf ears. There seems to be no in between. How about reassessing the possibilities of illness and maybe death to innocents in your sphere?
You could just go fly a kite or eat the whole dang pie yourself instead!
This was a constant refrain on road trips when we were kids. Now in the 21st week of most folks’ isolation life we are asking “are we done, yet?” NO we are not done—not even close.
There are still lots of folks who deny there’s a very contagious disease out there. In a week or two, when some schools start up with in-school classes, we’ll see another wave of infections–this time in children, teens and adults. I can’t imagine the complexity of the question whether to attend school or not. That it is possibly a life threatening decision, makes it even more difficult.
I like this chart of suggestions, though some of these may be easier said than done. Alas, we are slow dancing this pandemic so we have time to work our way through. Because it didn’t just disappear, it’s not going away, and, no, we are not there yet.