Somehow, 2 weeks have gone by without me posting.
Falling behind in my goals, once again. (What’s new?) I haven’t exactly been cracking under the pressure, but the constrant strain of the news cycle has certainly been wearing down on me.
I haven’t managed to work on my next essay for the 52 essays project. Honestly, the news of travel ban knocked the wind out of me. One blow among many coming from this new regime, but one that hit hard, because it affects so many issues that I care deeply about. It affected so many lives. I haven’t yet found the words to write about that yet. Or I haven’t yet managed to gather all the words I’m finding into a coherent group of words.
But I did want to post something. It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos. I’m not feeling quite cheery enough to post cheery photos. Looking through my collections, I found I had a lot of photos of cracks. Somehow, my eye is often drawn to breakage..
I find beauty in the irregularity of cracks. I am drawn to the imperfections.
I chose these from among dozens of related photos as they show a range of materials: wood, stone, brick, asphalt and concrete. All of them hard and solid, used to build walls or roads. Yet all of them still susceptible to the forces of time and weather.
And all have gained a more interesting story to tell than the original unblemished whole.
It’s time of year when my phone fills up with photos of ice. This time of year is, naturally, close on the heels of the time of year when my phone fills up with photos of leaves.
It may not shock you to know that in this transition from late fall into winter, I sometimes also take photos of leaves and ice together.
This morning we awoke to the surprise of a world blanketed in white. (I suppose I could have checked the weather last night, but I didn’t.) In any case, I found myself drawn to the details of snow and the various plants it landed on and around. The last of the colorful fall leaves peaking out into the snow were particularly eye-catching.
I went on an excursion into Boston today with my mother (visiting from California) and my son. My son has a school project this year for which he is encouraged to visit various historic and culturally significant sites in Massachusetts. We went to the State House (just the outside), hit a few more landmarks on the Freedom Trail, and then headed to the Boston Public Library. Getting out of the T station at Copley, we were greeted by banners at the beautiful Old South Church proclaiming: “Love thy (Muslim) neighbor as thyself.” I was very heartened by this message of love and inclusion, what I see as an overt and beautiful response to the islamophobia that is running rampant among many in this country. (And which is sickeningly encouraged by the President-elect.)
I have been running behind in my enumeration of gratitude, which I had intended to post here daily this month. However, tonight, it is easy for me to say that I am immensely grateful to live in Massachusetts: a state not only rich in history, but which has frequently shown itself to be on the right side of history. While not everyone in the state feels the same way I do, Massachusetts voters by and large choose social progress. And there are many, many people in Massachusetts speaking out loudly for these ideals.
After the push of the last few days, getting organized for Thanksgiving festivities with a house full of guests, it was nice to have a day that was almost entirely unscheduled. I did take my sister and nephews to the airport at 4 a.m., which was 2 plus hours round trip. And we had a puppy obedience class at 6. But between those hours, we didn’t have any scheduled commitments. What we did have was a bunch of things still to wash and put away.
In any case, the kids and I and my mother (who is visiting) played some card games and did a jigsaw puzzle together in between clean-up and organization tasks. At one point, my mother and I went in the kitchen to make some tea before starting a game, and I guess we were gone a bit longer than expected, discussing various place setting issues that had come up for last night’s dinner for 12. My daughter asked: “What were you talking about.”
“Oh, dishes,” my mom said.
“And utensils,” I added.
“I can’t wait to be an adult,” my daughter quipped.
It’s true. The ways of adulting are multifaceted and glamorous.
Our neighborhood flock of wild turkeys has been coming around frequently again lately. Their numbers seem to have increased, as well. About a week ago, I counted 35 turkeys in our back yard.
This morning, a few of them stopped by the bird feeders for their Thanksgiving Day feast. It’s fun to see them jumping to reach the bird feeders.
My family’s Thanksgiving feast is also finished, and included fewer seeds, and much less jumping. We had family visiting from California, and a few local friends joined us as well for a total of 12 for dinner. It was another long day of cooking and such. Tomorrow morning, I have to drive my sister and nephews to the airport at around 4, so I am once more short on time to write.
At the end of another long day of household tasks and a house full of guests, I find myself without time or energy to write. I open my laptop, and get caught in a sequence of news articles about the election and its fallout. I follow trails of hope, trip over infuriating updates, and then stumble back into pits of gloom and doom.
I want to write more, but I think I really need to sleep in order to keep functioning. I can’t tell whether I am getting sick, or am merely sick with tiredness and worry. The gratitude will have to wait once again.