Mary Beth Writes

1/7/2021

Lincoln gave a speech in January of 1838 to Americans alarmed by mob actions.

He begins: “In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American People …

… I hope I am over wary; but … even now something of ill-omen is amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. … Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country, from New England to Louisiana;--…. Alike, they spring up among the pleasure hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order loving citizens of the land of steady habits.--Whatever, then, their cause may be, it is common to the whole country.

The question recurs, "how shall we fortify against it?" The answer is simple.. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; …”

This is the whole speech: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/lyceum.htm

Read the backstory here. LINCOLN AND THE "MOBOCRATIC SPIRIT" (theattic.space) This article is from the Attic to which you might like to subscribe. “Sick of the news? Come rummage in The Attic to find a kinder, cooler America.  Here you’ll find common ground, not minefields.  Updated weekly, The Attic features short profiles of American artists, writers, dreamers, inventors, visionaries, and more. … The Attic does not suggest where America should be headed; it only captures the human interest of being American.”

I didn’t write yesterday for this profound reason. I came upstairs to work but Weijia was asleep on my office chair. She looked so incredibly comfortable that I decided to let her nap a bit more.  I found my book that I was (then, pre-cat) in the middle of. When I finished it 5 ½ hours later the cat was napping elsewhere but I was out of the writing mood.

This is a recent quote by me: “We are not wasting our retirement by being overly productive.”

Earlier this week (#661) Reader Heather listed a couple things she missed because of quarantine. Then she commented about herself: “WHINE WHINE WHINE.”

Heather, I don’t know you personally, but boy do I know that WHINING feeling.  Gah! I am so tired of being prudent and careful and mostly at home.

I’ve been listing some of my WHINES.

  • I want so very, very much to go out to eat at an ethnic restaurant with friends.
  • I want to visit my kids without planning ahead, discussing options, doing covid tests and creating plans worthy of military forays.
  • I want not to have gotten the text I did last night that one of my kids and her family are suddenly all positive for covid. They have been so careful but how can one avoid it with two jobs and one daycare center? The three-year-old had a runny nose for a week so they suspect he may be the carrier and thus is already past it. (Though they tested him several times and the tests were negative, so who knows?) My WHINE? I want Len and I to be able to go to their house a few days to help take care of them … but we can’t.
  • I want to drive away on a road trip.
  • I want to Zen out at Goodwill.

I can think of more WHINES but you get the gist. People who are always grateful and who always have perspective and grace – gah, sometimes I personally, just need to whine and complain.  What about you?

What do you want to WHINE?

Comments

I’m whining about winter weather. I know - I live in Indiana. I’m whining cause I don’t want to worry about Covid anymore. That’s it for now.
Mary Beth's picture

They say one of the best ways to deal with pain in one place is to concentrate on the pain in another place. I remember when the birthing classes said to concentrate on something else than the sensation of giving birth - and how hilarious that is once a person has been through that adventure. One doesn't "choose" what to feel when giving birth. Which is probably similar to quarantining and winter in the Midwest.

I love this post!! It lifted me!! I wish i could cut and paste the entire thing! I'll try just posting that wonderful Lincoln post. Watched Doris Hearns on Rachel th other day and she also mentioned Lincoln. It gives me hope! xx's
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you a zillion times. It's freezing and grayer than an elephant's underpants outside and I'm about to go for one more damn walk because I will go bonkers if I don't. Reading your comment raised the temperature a couple of degrees in my heart. Thank you..

Refreshing to whine without guilt!!!! TY

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Three Things / Story, Eclipse, Brando

1. I scheduled my Substack story to go out at 8AM this morning. I just looked to see why it didn’t show up and it says it is going to be sent at 8:49 tonight. I’m going to leave it like that. Maybe 9PM on a weekend night is a good time to send short fiction. Let me know if you have an opinion.

2. I read this quote by Marlon Brando who said this early in his career. “I’m not afraid of anything and I don’t love money.”

Even though this is probably not exactly true of me and you, I do love the bravado.

Peace Like a River / Book Report

4/3/2024 She Writes

I just finished reading Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and I am going to talk about it for a little bit before I forget how profoundly interesting and evocative this book was and is, at least to me.

I get emails from Boswell Bookstore (2559 N Downer Ave in Milwaukee). They host artist events pretty often and Monday evening, April 15th Len and I will be there for the Author Evening with Leif Enger. You can look up more of the details if you are interested. (Tickets are free but you need to reserve them.)

My Grandkids & 'Wandering Stars'

4/1/2024

The past month has been jam-packed. The week in Mineral Point. Len’s two-day seminar in Chicago. Last week we had various grandkids here for three overnighters and yesterday our family came to Easter dinner here in our house which was clean after a week with grandkid overnighters so you know that was a piece of cake. Len smoked two hams (yes, hard to keep them lit) and I made the largest amounts of from-scratch scalloped potatoes plus macaroni and cheese that I have ever made. As in, I grated four pounds of cheese Saturday afternoon. “On Wisconsin.”

Ghost on a Post / Poetry with Third Graders

3/12/2024

This is what I texted to Len this afternoon after I finished the poetry class with third graders. “I’m done and back. The kids were great and I’m a limp washrag, Teaching forty 8-year-olds for 90 minutes is way more energy than Everest.” I then drank half a beer (I NEVER drink in the afternoon) and fell asleep until the Mineral Point afternoon ‘change of shift siren’ shrieked for several minutes. It’s been a full day.

How 2 Write a Poem (3rd grade edition)

3/7/2024

Next week is my Writers Week at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, WI. I won this when my story “How Crow Got Out of Jail” (Read Here) won first prize in the 2023 Wisconsin Writers Association Jade Ring contest for short fiction.

Winning that contest motivated me to open my Substack account. So far I’ve published 17 stories and only published once twice. (Who noticed that?)

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