Mary Beth Writes

Check out Fresh Air for March 7, 2022: 'New Yorker' cartoonist David Sipress. He mentions this cartoon that he created back in the 1990's. 

 3/8/2022

Boy, the news, huh? Pretty easy right now to feel overwhelmed. Ukraine is sucking up all the air in the room and if we stop being fascinated and aghast at that story – we remember the other stuff. Local dirty politics and where’s Covid and global climate meltdown and let me see – am I going to say the rising cost of gas is our place to be in solidarity with the people of Ukraine-  or is this oil companies gouging us while blaming it on a crisis? (Read more here.) 

I keep asking myself this question, which I will not be precisely answering for you because I don’t know how.

What does my spirit need? What do I need to get or do or be to enjoy my life and be a helpful person on this earth?

Not - how shocked and angry and astounded am I - but what do I need?

I am very sure we are not here to be outraged and depressed – though we are not going to fault ourselves and our friends when this is where we end up.

Being a human in any time and in this time is a gift, a disaster, a trick, and a challenge. 

..

Here are two things to remember if you, like me, feel assaulted and tired.

1. Go outside. We are animals who we need to walk around in our world. We get sick if we don’t.

I sometimes think all the messages about exercising and speed walking and running marathons and weight lifting and treadmills and YouTube yoga, yadda yadda, are valuable because obviously, we need to move. But these messages have also trained us to think that going outside requires specific outside activities.  We have learned to think of the world as a place to drive through or a gym where we exercise.

I remember my long-gone days when I smoked. A half dozen times a day I’d go outside to sit on my front or back steps with a cigarette and then not think about much for seven minutes. I’m never going back to smoking but I did love and still do, sitting outside by myself, watching the world flutter. We don’t always have to have a purpose but we do need to let the universe touch us.

2. Be generous.  Send money, donate stuff, give to worthy causes addressing the crises in our world. Bring home bakery cookies to give to the neighbors. Buy your pets treats. Give flowers for no reason. Maybe to yourself.

ICYMI today is International Women’s Day. I remember when I was a girl feeling ashamed of being a girl because it meant I was not going to be as valuable or important as a man.  Not kidding, I thought this. Thank you to all the women who risked their comfort and safety to show girls then and girls now how awful and stupid sexism is.  Just saying, none of us are strong all by ourselves.

If you feel like commemorating today, when you go outside to sit on your steps (see above) don’t come back inside until you’ve remembered some of the women who helped clear the path for you.

National Red Dress Day, the first Friday in February, is the day to wear red in honor and support of women’s heart health. (I knew it was out there but I had never really logged in on what day it was.) 

In January I had 2 1/2 days when my heart fluttered weirdly and my new Apple watch ECG app said my heart rate was “inconclusive.”  One thing and another, today I am wearing a Holter monitor which a very nice tech stuck on me yesterday. It’s small - about the size and thickness of half a granola bar with a thin 3” tail - all of it is stuck to me. Tomorrow I pull it off, put it in a small box that fits in a postage paid envelope which I mail back to the cardiology department at the medical center.

Wow.

My dad died of a two heart attacks in three days in 1967; no one ever knew exactly what happened to his heart. He was not overweight, he didn’t smoke or drink, he even jogged sometimes for exercise.  His mother would die from strokes. My brother died of a heart attack in 1999. My uncle died of a heart attack. All these Danielsons worked hard, were bright and fine and loved, had some good and some bad habits until they keeled over way too young.

And now a watch and a little stick-on gizmo are going to tell me an enormous amount about the health of my heart. I expect my results to say my heart is fine. Nothing has thumped or fluttered since January.  I think I had too much coffee one morning and then I freaked out at the Inconclusive readings.

Anyways. If people around you talk about “the good old days” please thump them upside their heads.

While culture wars have been spinning on, scientists have been busy and we who have access to medical care are damn lucky.

.

And here is my latest cat scan.

 

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Comments

Hoping the miraculous Holter monitor brings reassuring information. One thing it cannot reveal is the miraculous nature of you and what you bring to us all with your writings. That miracle is revealed straight from your heart to our own.
Mary Beth's picture

Awww... I'm sitting here grinning. Thank you.

Looks good to me! And you have nice clear and bright eyes! Peace
Mary Beth's picture

Laughing..

You have a very good heart, Mary Beth. Sometimes in this difficult world, we are a bit irregular, why not? That will be addressed, if need be. But I am going on record saying your heart is good.
Mary Beth's picture

And you knew it when it was young....

Love this. A very good read!
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks, Pal!

What Karen K, said. I thank your heart. Patricia

Well, that has to be the most conclusive cat scan I have ever viewed. Just looking at the sweetness makes my heart rate slow down. Here's hoping your heart is in great working order and the weirdness is gone for good. I love the cartoons...I can relate to each one! Got my chuckle for the morning in. Thanks.

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The Lies We Live By

2/20/2024

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)

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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

 2/7/2024

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

1/25/2024

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

The Republic of False Truths

1/19/2024

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?

1/19/2024

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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