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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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

10/13/2021

 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

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I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

So maybe I’ll just write you a quick Dear Friends. Sometimes relationships are just about checking in.

Up North 9/30/2021

Here’s why I’ve not posted anything in nearly two weeks.

Last week Len and I took a trip to Duluth, MN and Ashland, WI. We hiked seven hikes, met new friends, ate too much. (We didn’t eat IN restaurants. We ate take-out dinners while sitting in our car overlooking Chequamegon Bay.) We marinated in the breezy Up North rhythms of woods, streams, rivers, and Lake Superior. 

Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

I’ve been thinking about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for years and I’ve also been thinking about him for a week.

It’s crazy out there in the world right now and people are, I think, kinda sick of each other. Racism, sexism, and classism are the muck we walk through to get to our cars while our climate is turning into flying monkeys. And the rich keep getting richer.

So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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