Mary Beth Writes

This painting is by Andrea Kowch  http://andreakowch.com/

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Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

These are Crazy Times. When you your anticipate some kind of good ending, that’s hope. When you don’t what’s going to happen, that’s Advent. I guess we are in Crazy Advent Time now.

Remember back the olden days when we had one or two crises at a time, and we all talked about it for a couple days or even weeks? I sit down here to write about one horrible thing; they literally took breast-feeding babies out of their mom’s arms at the border. Trump PAID those 400 people at his “rally” yesterday- where did he get the $? In my district some voters received ballots that don’t have my Democratic candidates on them. Senator Ron Johnson says Covid isn’t that big a deal, then he got it, he’s not said much lately, apparently one of his kids-in-law owns a corporate jet on which he flies Dad so RoJo doesn’t have to mix with the hoi-poi. Friends went to a demonstration last night against the cop shooting of Alvin Cole. Friends left at 7;30 with people leaving in orderly fashion, as heavy armor including a tank rolled into the area. Who's instigating violence?

 It’s Just This Crazy. Being a reasonably sensitive and caring person in this time is like living with bees in your head.

I think this is the part where I should tell you what to think and how to address all this. Hah. I don’t know.

In 2018 I wrote a sermon about Julian of Norwich. I think of Julian often  when I’m overwhelmed. This time we are in is not as horrendous as her time was. She spent her adult life considering how to respond to suffering and loss and craziness. Maybe you’d like to read my old sermon. Right Here. 

Goofy News: I mentioned that I was going to wear colorful clothes for a week to see if it made any difference in my daily life. It didn’t. But Judy suggested I feature fashion photos of “what I wore this week.” Which seems like a good way to lighten a mood.

Monday – I met some friends outside and this worked.

 

Tuesday I forgot to take a photo, but this is the shirt I wore.

Reaping nasturtium pods for home-grown capers. Orange pants are camouflage when sneaking up on nasturtiums.

We hiked at High Cliffs State Park. Note my sporty clip-on glasses.

My daughter lived in Egypt one summer. That’s the Arabic alphabet on the scarf!

A casual Saturday.

I’m ready to wear a black t-shirts again. Thinking about what to wear every day was above my paygrade.

After uncovering the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer this week, the FBI released a list of the white nationalist men accused of this crime. I grew up in Michigan. I perused that list to see if I would recognize any of the names. I don’t.

But isn’t this telling about what’s real and what’s not real in our nation?

To live in a propaganda state means one absorbs what the media puts in front of us. We learn to be anxious or afraid or racist around whomever the state/media designates as “scary.” Adult Black men and women. Asian people, no, I should say people of Asian heritage. Anyone with tawny skin speaking a language we don’t know - as if most of us could recognize Arabic from Urdu from Vietnamese. People speaking Spanish. A woman wearing hijab. A person with disfigurements. A person talking to themselves with what might be mental illness.

Most of us who are not the above, are NOT anxious around scruffy white men. Even though, right now, the FBI is telling us that white nationalist terrorist groups are our most serious threat.

We need to readjust our brains. The danger isn’t where the stereotypes insisted it was. It is exactly this close – that when we see a list of white national terrorism suspects, we scan the list.

This close.

And this. If one has too many green tomatoes. Ahem

One can make a very tasty bread by using your banana bread recipe … but … replace the mushed banana with diced/smooshed green tomatoes.

Comments

Love your outfits! I wear the same 2 shorts or jeans since march 17th when I learned classes would go to online. My dress clothes lie in a wrinkled heap on closet floor. I am bored with myself and I love the idea...will try it this week. Thanks for another piece full of intriguing truths.

Good pictures. Good read. Flu shot and voting is on my agenda for the week.

I love your wedding photo, and your nasturtium-camo outfit!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks! Our wedding was on a very steamy, hot June Saturday which one can sort of tell by looking at my enthusiastic hair.

I just love the humour, mettle, political insight and sheer goddamn determination to live in right ways in these 'crazy times'. So though we've never met, many thanks for sharing all this, and cheering and making human our days. Juliet from Oxford
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks right back at you, Juliet from Oxford. Sigh, I miss Endeavor. Anyways, thank you for your comment and thanks to all of you who respond. Without readers, writers are a sorry lot.

The photos are making me smile --- a bit of fun in the middle of all of this. You look great, and the photos of you & Len made me think of our many good times together. Those dinner conversations are much missed, and wouldn't we have lots of topics these days:) We are voting early, in person next week -- can't wait to get this party started! Keep writing, when I see your post to let us know that something new has been added I have this conversation with myself --- should I read it right away or save it for something special later? Hugs!

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Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.

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 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.

 …

Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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