Mary Beth Writes

This evening Trump is speaking to a political rally in a Tulsa venue that can hold 19,000 people. There will be no social distancing. The place is enclosed. Masks are optional. Boggles the mind.

Yesterday morning I went to a local Stein’s garden mecca to see if they have marigolds on sale yet. They don’t even have marigolds NOT on sale!

But this happened.

I wore a mask. There were only about six other people shopping while I was there and they were all masked, too. The clerk, working outside in that 85-degrees of drenching humidity, was also wearing a mask.

There we all were, believing science and taking care of ourselves even when it was kinda uncomfortable to do so.

It took the cashier a long time to check me out because of a store protocol and a mistake. I told her no problem; I wasn’t in a hurry and it was too hot to stress. These days one sees so many people caught in moments of ugly, stupid entitlement that one feels like a hero for being patient and saying thank you.

I’ve been walking pretty often along the street I formerly didn’t walk on. (Diary #71) I’ve said hi to a few people, had one mini-conversation with a dad and his two daughters, and greeted the same woman three times in this past week. She sits on her porch a lot. She now waves when I walk by.

I read this excellent essay this morning.  Rebecca Solnit: The Slow Road to Sudden Change  

“A great public change is the ratification of innumerable small private changes; the bonfire is a pile of these small changes lit by some unforeseen event. Looking back on the American Revolution, this country’s second president, John Adams reflected, “The revolution was in the minds of the people, and in the union of the colonies, both of which were accomplished before hostilities commenced.” Adams was a waffler on slavery, both opposed to it and opposed to strong measures to abolish it, but he offers a useful description of how change works: the revolution was in consciousness; the war with Britain was just an outcome of it. Chateaubriand said something similar of the French Revolution, that it “was accomplished before it occurred.”

Maybe the world we will live in next year is happening now in the small but persistent choices we make towards justice, science, knowledge, and our neighbors.



PS: The roses grow on That Block.




What is ain’t exactly clear, there’s a man with a gun over there, tellin’ me I got to beware. Kept hearing this song earlier this week. Time is getting closer for this old mostly white lady to get up off her backside, mask up and wade to the front of line. Will cops kill old ladies who look like their grandma? May need to find out.
Mary Beth's picture

They arrested a white woman today in Tulsa for wearing an "I can't breathe" t-shirt. She had a ticket for the rally, was sitting silently on the ground - and for this they arrested her. The irony being that in two weeks there will be humans throughout Oklahoma, in the hospital, on their sofas, in bed, coughing and saying, "I can't breathe."

While trump is out in the world holding rally's to build up his already inflated ego while needlessly exposing thousands of people to this virus, Mr. "B" and I are slowly getting to know each other... Wednesday was date number two for Mr. "B" and I... It was a simple day without too much fanfare... No Gardens to visit or homes to look at or even a park to have a picnic at... Just sitting around drinking Hibiscus Tea and talking, a whole lot of talking... . Dating in the age of Covid, I can't think of a better way to ride out this storm then to create a new and exciting relationship... More to follow...
Mary Beth's picture

And tonight the world turns from Spring to Summer.

Sounds wonderful, Franc! Good pacing. I know your evening was more enjoyable for you and Mr. B than for the Orange Menace and his ego. Blessings, peace
Leonard's picture

The bonfire will be exciting, because it is hard to say which way it will go. The pandemic is giving us time to walk on new streets - that is, streets that were always there, and always nearby, but which we never had the time to visit. What else is near-at-hand, but not explored? What are the values and beliefs that we have always held, but not really looked at or evaluated? I hope that this is a time to find that values like compassion and equality are still important. That mutual respect, like you had with the cashier, is more important than selfishness and carelessness. De Tocqueville warned that America was in danger of "the tyranny of the majority," that would blind us to abuses to Native Americans, African-Americans, and anyone outside of the mainstream. It's easy to see how that is at work today, with LGBTQ, immigrants, and others. Now is the time for creative thinkers and writers to call up those values that will preserve the community for everyone.

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Quarantine Diary #141 8/5/2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain.  It is a remarkable book that asks more questions than it answers.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s and grew up grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mother would simmer stones for dinner so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not realize how poor they were.  (A whole different take on the children’s tale “Stone Soup.") The violent and terrifying Cultural Revolution that Chinese citizens lived through is over but memories of it are in everyone’s minds.

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

Quarantine Diary #124 7/17/2020 As if it makes sense …

Our family lost a friend this week. I won’t go into too many details other than Tom died of a bike accident on a sunny day while riding in the country with friends. His wheel somehow got stuck in gravel, he fell, the fall twisted, and he died.

This is not his obituary or eulogy. This is a just a reflection on losing friends and how do we make sense of this?

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