Wow, there is a lot to stand up to and for these days. Racism, police reform, gun control, electing a good leader and staying healthy are just a few.
My own laziness is coming to an end. Where do we begin, how can we help. I’m going to start small, with a goal to do at least on thing a day to bring reform. Make a call to officials, sign a petition, walk in a rally, write postcards to promote voter registration in suppressed areas, check in on my black friends, watch a movie, ( If Beale Street Could Talk ) to educate and put myself in other’s shoes or read a book, listen to a podcast for the same purpose.
Today, I have signed the petition, Justice for Big Floyd , care to join me?
This morning, my friend K Lynn had a request. It was prefaced with how hard it was to ask. She asked if I could be on her list of people to call when she is scared for her life. She doesn’t feel safe out in the world. She is black. Her vulnerability and sharing brought me to a whole new level of understanding. The ramifications of yesterday’s events in NYC central park, Central Park incident , and Minneapolis George Floyd incident , bring up lifetimes of pain and injustice.
KL is beautiful, smart, funny and strong. Some of my better healing belly laughs have happened with her. Those characteristics are missed by some because of her color.
She explained, they see me, but I don’t see them. I don’t know which policeman is racist and which is not, which grocery store clerk is or isn’t, if the paramedic who is called if I am having an emergency is or isn’t. “They see me, but I don’t see them.”
So yes, I will be on her call list. I will stand up for injustice when I witness it and otherwise.
I share this conversation with her permission.
This picture came up as a memory today. Elizabeth has been at the forefront of my mind lately. She raised me from infancy until 6 years of age. We had the days to ourselves in the midst of a chaotic, dysfunctional family. I was the youngest of 4 and there were 7 years difference between me and the next sibling.
Once everyone was off to school and work, she put me on the kitchen counter, served me toast with honey and coffee with cream and sugar. (I’m drinking my coffee with cream and sugar as I write this) I was content as she went about cleaning the kitchen. I was her side kick all day. Life was peaceful and full of love during our hours together.
A friend of mine is doing ancestry.com. I asked her to look Elizabeth up. After no avail, I am going to start my own research on her background. She is who I am interested in. The woman who loved me, sacrificed time with her own daughter and gracefully put on a white uniform, got on the bus and arrived at our house to help make it appear beautiful on the inside and out.
I already know my grandfathers on both sides were corrupt. My maternal grandfather was director of war bonds under President Taft. My paternal grandfather became sheriff in the south during prohibition. He had a check on his desk the day he went into office from the bootleggers. No pride in that.
I’ll let you know what I find out.
This what I got today. Highly recommend cranking it up and dancing. Give ourselves one more chance. Give love one more chance.
I keep hearing of people wanting to find ways to help out. Blood can be donated, I did that. Word has it they have a surplus supply because people are giving blood and not much need for it right now. Staying home is a way to help, but not very satisfying.
There are some excellent artist and local businesses that could use our support. Here’s a list of some dear to my heart in Oregon and Montana mainly.
Tsunami Books – local bookstore in Eugene, order and pickup available.
Also, features Annie Heron ceramics. Annie sells at Tsunami and also through her website.
Susan Carlson – amazing mixed media artist from Missoula, MT.
Lee Rizzo, go fund me album – beautiful singer, song writer.
Sweet Life Bakery – Sisters, Catherine and Cheryl, create artistic baked goods and employ locals. Craving a cookie and expresso, open and following sanitation guideline
Paula Jeans Garden – from Paradise Montana, Paula’s lavendar creations are magical.
Steven Begleiter Photography – award winning photographer, also publishes instructional photography books.
To be expanded upon. Feel free to add any of your favorites in the comments and I’ll add them to post.
Susan Carlson’s mixed media:
Feeling good again after not feeling good for a few weeks. I was tired and sleeping a lot, got an upset stomach for a few days, headache, coughing. Doctor ordered a Covid test last Saturday. The results came back Tuesday as negative. A relief, but not convinced. After feeling good for a couple of days now, I know I had something. Could have been any virus really. Could have been a False negative.
I suppose mainly, I would want to know in order to protect those around me, the cashier at the grocery, the gas attendant, the friend I had a six feet apart lunch with outside in the yard. Meantime, keep washing your hands, keep your physical distance, but stay close in other ways.
Keep on loving.
Some of you know I have a Toyota Dolphin motorhome. I love it, it needs a lot of work. During downtime, youtube has been a source of entertainment. I came across this Renovated Toyota Dolphin
Aubrey, who redid this Dolphin is living the life I’d love to live. And she has a dog. I found her on instagram, Adventures in huck phinn. She has put some miles on Huck Phinn. Presently, she is in Baja.
Little roamer , lives, travels and works in her dolphin. Her dolphin is the same layout as mine.
These two have got me dreaming about this lifestyle. It could be my tiny home for when I am not house/pet sitting. Kevin, here in Eugene, does restoration on campers. He did some work on Finny, my dolphin. We’ve chatted. Finny has dry rot and other issues. May not be worth the time and money to fix her up. Meantime, Finny and my stuff, are in Montana. Thinking I’ll at least use Finny to get my stuff to Eugene, then assess the situation.
This is once everything opens up a bit. Presently, travelers who arrive in Montana, must quarantine for 14 days.
Comments, suggestions are encouraged and welcome. Know anyone who does camper repair?
We all have individual rituals. If I miss my morning coffee ritual, which doesn’t happen often, my whole day is thrown off. I have a couple friend, who take a nap every afternoon for 15 minutes with the timer set. Another friend, does yoga daily. We now have the ritual of picking out the perfect face mask for the store outing. All of these help us feel grounded and add to our individuality.
Then there are the collective rituals; weddings, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, baby showers, graduations, baptisms, cheering on a sports team, dancing at a concert, Friday prayers and funerals to name a few. In participating in these, we bond, we are allowed to express emotions in socially acceptable ways. We can feel relief, inspired, connected and full of love sometimes during rituals. All these rituals will come back and certainly some new ones are being created at this moment. I’ve had a couple of 6 feet apart lunches outdoors with a friend. That’s a new one. Zoom conversations and workshops.
A few years ago, I became estranged from my daughter and grandchildren. It’s been a lonely grief process at times. Aside from my friends, who have held me, listened, and loved me. I certainly felt at a loss for an appropriate way to express my emotions at times. It’s not the kind of grief that is talked about often. Shame can be a hinderance. I was going to join a grief group once, however was told that since no one had died I couldn’t join in. Understandable, but where do I put this grief? It’s not the kind of loss that is talked about often. I feel for those who have lost a loved one to Covid19. I hear stories of virtual funerals. Meantime, they need a hug.
This poem from my collection: Snippets on Estrangement
I Need a Funeral
I need a funeral
Bring food and flowers
Cry with me
Tell stories of those we love
No one has died
But they are missing
May never be seen again
Photo credit, Fscott images, ritual gathering for sea turtle release.