Mary Beth Writes


We both took Covid tests this morning and both of us still have pink lines. I asked the internet what this means and it says I might be pregnant.

I have a call into my doctor’s office to discuss. I feel so much better that if I didn’t know I have Covid, I wouldn’t know it. I’ve been sicker than this after too much pie.

Curiously and FYI, after I stopped taking OTC meds yesterday, I made myself some Linden tea. It has a lot of admirable qualities, one of which is to address congestion – and my congestion pretty much went away. Be careful though because too much can upset heart rate and tummy issues. You can read about it at various fairly trustworthy places on the internet.

This is not the first family get together Len and I have screwed up with our health this year and we are feeling kind of low about it. I mention it only because I think the world tells us a lot of things, but I’ve encountered very little about how to be great relatives when one becomes not 100% reliable. It twists in you.

This is just a random photo of a car I saw at the library last week. Sadly, neither Batman nor any other superheroes were in the library, Unless you consider librarians superheroes, which I often do. 

Last night we watched the astonishing 2016 movie: Arrival. Highly recommend if you tend to feel melancholy about love and loss and memory. It’s not a weeper, I didn’t cry. It’s more of a “Wow, I get it now.” The genre is science fiction and the message is to be brave in relationships. If I tell you more, I will wreck it for you.

We streamed it at Prime, though it’s on some other sites, too.

I WILL tell you these two theoretical things I thought about while watching Arrival.

ONE - Do you wonder about Biblical apocalyptic literature? How could Jesus’ preaching about radical love and service evolve into tales of horrendous mythic beasts and battles?

There is an intuitive answer in very good sci-fi stories and movies. Simply, when you are living in dark times that affect you and your family and community, what do you need to hear? Do you need and want stories that galvanize you to believe in, protect, and defend your community? Yeah, probably.

Do you need stories that tell you that caring, helping, and loving are the greatest courage? Yeah, probably.

Prophecy that is ‘used’ to tell us when this world will end and who it will destroy in the process - is always about power. If someone preaches “believe it my way or go to hell” - that’s what’s technically called BS.

That weird old Biblical prophecy was very akin to our best sci-fi is to us now. It’s about exploring and claiming how to have hope when hope doesn’t seem very possible.

TWO - Watching Arrival reminded me of watching Nope. I was sitting on the edge of my seat and paying serious attention. I could feel my forehead wrinkling as I tried to take in what was happening. I’m pretty sure that’s how the arcane and weird prophetic texts first hit the ears of its first listeners. Tell us a good story that lets us try out hope and love via a galloping adventure.


It's always time for a walk in the woods with a friend. 



The plot, once you figured out the time thing, reminded me of "Slaughterhouse Five," although the tone was a lot different. Comparing it to the apocalyptic give a much better sense of how the movie felt. Uncanny and terrifying but not exactly hopeless.

Love your photo of the trail through the sparse woods - my days of existential contemplation or memorizing my lines for Chekov's "Uncle Vanya" from my youth when living in the Midwest.
Mary Beth's picture

An Uncle Vanya trail. This will stick.

I'm honored, but not as much as I'm sure as Anton Chekov is.

My middle daughter had it for the second time three weeks ago and she tested positive for 12 days. Felt awful the first five, fully vaccinated as yourself. I keep wondering what it all means - no real data collection regarding strains and length of positives, etc. as she didn't go to the doctor, just tested at home. Oh well... wishing you an abrupt switch to negative soon!

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The Lies We Live By


Aristotle wrote a lot of important stuff, very little of which I’ve read. But this Aristotelian idea is cool and I don’t know why we are not taught this in high school. It helps untangle the importance of what we read and watch.

Fat Tuesday & Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday (says it all)


I think today has to be a Three Things. You probably don’t even know I have Three Things scaffolding in my secret writing toolbox of organizational tools, but I do. Sometimes it’s how thoughts present themselves, you know? Things to say, but not for too long.

(Now that I've finished and read what I wrote, I guess this is five things but some days, in our expanding universe, the math just works this way,)

Successful & Failed Artists


Last week I finished reading Woodcutters by Thomas Bernhard. (I discovered this book via Librarian of Burgos Instagram because I am her fangirl now.)

If you like to read a book that has a recognizable plot of sympathetic characters moving forward through a problem to a solution– you will likely not enjoy this novel. Heck, I’m not sure if I ‘enjoyed’ it.

Animals of Winter


Last week I invited you to submit pictures of animals who are visiting your life these days.

The Republic of False Truths


I set a goal for this year to read one translated modern novel every month. I’ve been following ‘Librarian of Burgos’ on Instagram and this woman keeps hyping and explaining books I’ve never heard of, which intrigues me mightily. I think she might be a reader’s reader. Anyways, she is European, has transcendently luminous skin plus several master’s degrees and a doctorate in history. Sometimes she even recommends books that are not, sadly she says, not yet translated into English. Cracks me up.

Who's In Your Backyard?


It’s been a wowser of a wintery week. We had the deep and blowing snow last Friday which turned into the heavy-as-concrete snow on Saturday which turned into a deep and frozen crust on Sunday - and here we still are. Last week’s snow still limns the trees and branches. A foot of snow still covers every roof. When I walk (why yes, I’m still going out for strolls) it’s a matter of life and limb navigating the jagged piles between sidewalk and street. I do use my “Alpine” walking stick these days.

Change is coming but not today.

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