I woke up thinking I can’t possibly survive this.
Our Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Everything is topsy turvy. The racists are out in full view. The Trump supporters are walking vestiges of a last ditch effort to cling to white supremacy. And I truly reside in a disappointment in my fellow man.
I opened the back door to walk the dogs and was hit by the most beautiful weather. An owl hooted twice. The elephant ears in my garden are waving at me. Has there ever been a more beautiful fall day?
And there it is. Maybe even the secret of life.
The good and the bad mix together.
The worst moments of the history of our presidency weighing on the backs of all marginalized people in bold faced type against a glorious backdrop of clear skies, fresh air and a soft breeze.
I need to focus on the latter for a minute or two. If not I may drown. I recognize the privilege I possess to have the ability to shift my focus during wildfires, hurricanes, racism, police brutality, unrest, mourning, and polarization. But here I am giving myself permission to smile, maybe even grin or hum to music.
I will share what is making me smile in the hopes of imparting light.
I cannot endure to waste something as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.Nathaniel Hawthorne
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love- that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. -George Eliot
How beautifully they show us the process of change … just as we’d never try to stop leaves from turning, we can allow joy, sadness, happiness and pain to cycle with in us, safe in the knowledge that peace comes with letting go. -Christy Wheat
There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves. -Joe L. Wheeler
If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then Autumn would be the magic hour.- Victoria Erickson
Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop. -Rumi
(Mim and Katie would never worry about dead leaves.)
And if you are like me, you might be missing someone. A kid goes to college. A parent goes to heaven. A friend goes silent. The high schooler closes her door. HGTV is a rerun. What’s a girl to do?
I made a playlist- which I totally recommend as a wonderful activity for lifting me out of a funk. Harkens back to the days of mixed tapes but with technology all the aggravation is gone.
Here’s one for the road-
Oh- just one more.
Hmmm. Quotes, music. What else do we need?
Favorite books lately-
Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she meets the human condition head-on. By the time Taylor arrives in Tucson, Arizona, she has acquired a completely unexpected child, a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots. Hers is a story about love and friendship, abandonment and belonging, and the discovery of surprising resources in apparently empty places.
Travel to far flown cities with a journalist who is privileged and takes a leave of absence. Cooking class in Paris. Geishas in Kyoto. The Jane Austen Society in England. Allows me to disappear for a bit.
And sometimes even better is a picture book.
I could go on. It is my alternative to a gratitude list. I think if I write down things I love, things that make me happy, that everything will be ok. It isn’t. And it is. There it is again the secret of life. Back to that old mix of the good and bad. Life is the hard mixed with the wonderful.
Tonight, I cry myself to sleep because a work project is messed up and my dryer hasn’t functioned since March. Both of these issues could have been solved had I reached out to a professional consistently. I called. I emailed. I tinkered. I youtubed. I waited for appointments and repair men. But here I sit, with wet laundry draped across every surface of the living room and a with unclickable links on my mess of a homemade online library website.
Maybe if I cry the pain will pass. The sadness. The feeling of I can’t.
I ran into a podcast tonight on the radio and it helped for a while, I felt some grief and hope. I admired my own vulnerability and wept over unfelt feelings. Give it a listen. The theme is that vulnerability and reaching out for help is courageous. Good night. Fingers crossed, I shower tonight instead of telling myself I will wake early to wash my hair. We both know I’ll hit snooze. Clean hair. Puffy eyes from crying. Another mishmash of life.
Yes. You nailed it. The awful and the wonderful, happening at the same time. And the need to protest/change/fix the awful AND the need to enjoy the wonderful.
For the record, your original library site did get kids excited to read. Annika got excited seeing the book jackets and we checked Fox the Tiger out of DeKalb library. She loves it.
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Oh Gosh- thanks for reading and for encouraging me.