Mary Beth Writes

6/30/2022

The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

We are witnessing powerful people say what they said and did when lies, chaos, and reckless power were flying. Most of the witnesses have been staunch Republicans; they were and are people who pride themselves for their morals, we see them picking their way through situations where their ethics could have and often did fling them from power. This is Shakespearean stuff.

Some of you likely know and follow Heather Cox Richardson, a history professor at Boston College. Her clear daily essay about history and politics is good; I learn new facts and perspectives constantly. Here’s my M.O. lately. When I want to learn what’s going on in the world, I check a few particular tweeters to see what they are commenting about. My short list includes Richardson, Angry Staffer, and Kashana.

So this: During the Hutchinson hearing HCR tweeted that Cassidy Hutchinson described some of the incidents she witnessed as if she was re-seeing the moment while she talked. She sees the details; she slows down to check her memory for who was present. Richardson comments she used to recall events that way also.

I replied that I did also and others have agreed. Particularly women. When a moment is strong, some people seem to “freeze” the visual around them at that moment. They see color of the walls, what they were wearing, what other people were wearing or doing. They see the way the light comes into the room (that’s me) or they see the ketchup dripping down the wall. Most of us have a way of logging into and then keeping strong experiences. I suspect, though I’ve never read anything to suggest or support this – I bet young women remember scenes and details particularly well. When one has less power and more to lose, it’s a survival skill to see clearly where one is in order to recognize this fraught situation and thus to avoid this danger in the future.

I may be making this up. Or not. But as Cassidy Hutchinson replied to questions, I was struck by how often her eyes kicked into that far-off gaze of a person revisiting a memory in order to get the details right.

No point here other than what humans do as they live through crises is interesting.

Apparently Mark Meadows sits on his sofa and scrolls.

What do you do when a moment is fraught?

What are you doing these fraught days?

What do you think you will remember years from now?

 

Comments

I’ve heard that we remember things more clearly when there is a strong emotion attached to it. Being an emotional child means I remember so much. I bet the trend of young women having vivid memories has something to do with the way girls and young women are socialized to be allowed more emotional expression than boys and young men. It’s a gift they didn’t know they were giving us.
Mary Beth's picture

I've met people who have barely any memories, often older (than me!) folks - and I wonder if that indicates the ordinary things most of us remember (where did you grow up? what was your house like? who was your fav teacher?) were so toxic their minds obliterated them. How we remember and what we remember is fascinating and weird. Literally my first memory is light spilling from the kitchen in the house we moved away from when I was four. And someone was holding me.

Sometimes I think I don’t have very many memories but for me this just means I need to quiet my mind and think. When I remember a particularly strong memory, I remember my surroundings. The surroundings are as clear as the strong memory.

I remember everything, from the emotions to the minutiae. My ability to remember is part of who I am, and often informs my future.I believe it also has made me a more empathetic person. Hard to explain what I mean. On another note, I am always the family member that is called to verify information, dates, and family history. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

I love this and I know what you mean. Since I'm the only one left of my childhood family, sometimes people ask me about "back then". I guess over the years I have had a lot of internal conversations abut what was true and what was family myth. Historical criticism was a big part of what I learned in seminary - and applied to one's own old stories, is just as interesting.

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

What Now, US Constitution?

7/2/2024

Not sure if I wrote this post for you or for me.

I was close to the end of my volunteer shift at the Food Pantry yesterday. The morning had been tougher than usual (see the upended boxes we didn’t have time to flatten) and I was tired. Then I got this text from Len, “Don’t look at the news.”

I’ve never received anything this cryptic from Len in my life. I told my co-worker Nancy I needed to look at the news because something weird was going on.

She replied, “The Supreme Court.”

Hot Weather Diary #4

6/26/2024

Guess what amazing thing is happening at my house right now? This has not happened in, I think, two weeks…

OUR WINDOWS ARE OPEN!

Yesterday evening the heat index was 100 degrees. Tonight the temperature is 70, low humidity, breezes wafting in the windows like angels’ breath.

Hot Weather Diary #3

6/19/2024

Today was another hot one and right now, it’s still 93 degrees in my backyard.

Hot Weather Diary #2

6/18/2024

“Time wasted at a lake is time well spent.”  (I tried to learn who wrote this; it seems to have arisen spontaneously on a Pinterest plaque for your cabin.)

There is an argument that civilization started on the banks of rivers, the oceans, and along the shores of the hundreds and thousands of lakes on our earth. Waterfront is where people and animals gather to drink, eat, cool off, and watch the youngsters while they play. Also, it’s where adults gather to chat, fish, breathe in beauty, and sometimes swim far out there where joints don’t ache and its quiet.

Hot Weather Diary #1

6/17/2024

We all knew it was coming and here it is. A Hot Week! We are in the news! We are important! Humans around the nation, especially in the East and Midwest, will be living through a week with temps in the 80’s, 90’s and worse.

What the Dickens?

The photo is from Barnados, a childrens charity in London in the 19th century. 

6/15/2024

Argh! I have a new phone because the old one stopped staying charged plus a few more foibles. My phone cost $400 five years ago so it makes sense that it stopped working reliably, right? If an appliance worked like this we would burn that manufacturer to the ground.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent afterlife aging Alaska animals anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine aunts baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM Blue BookReport books Boxing Day boy scout Bread breakfast BreakfastClub BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China cholesterol Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus climate change clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community confluence consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote crime CrimeShows danger DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering deer democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Dickens Didion disasterprep distraction dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Echoes Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana ferns firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Food Pantry Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fungi fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls GNTL gorgons goulash GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola Grief groceries Guadalupe Guatemala gum guns Hair happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart heaven HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope HotWeather HowCrowGotOutofJail humor hurricane Ice Cream idiosyncrasy igloos impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus jewelry JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich Jump justice Karen kites ladder Lady Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len lies Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens MineralPoint Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mounds mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha NAMI Nancy Drew Newfoundland New Mexico New York City Nomadland nope observation OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples pizza poetry Preaching privacy procrastination Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism reading recipe recipes recommendations religion Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage romance Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez satellites sci-fi ScottSimon SCOTUS sculpture scuppernong Seasons Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet St. Louis staining stars stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stream monitoring stress SUBSTACK Survival swan swim Talent taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou therapy ThreeBillBoards Three Thing Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant Umbrella UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning Vocabulary vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria Won! Wonder words Xeriscape Yellowstone Zebra
Ad Promotion