Mary Beth Writes

I wrote this in the first week of 2014:

A is for apple.

Well, we made it through the first Monday of the year.  Did you twirl brilliantly through your Monday? If so, the rest of us salute you.

Over here in my corner the best I can say is that I didn’t get hurt. I did pretty much what I was supposed to do and I’m going to bed sober and tired.  For many, that would be a very good day, indeed.

But I didn’t write anything profound. I didn’t glean an inmate story that moved my heart or his. 

I ate too much bread. Probably because I made five loaves yesterday – 3 loaves of zucchini-cranberry-walnut and 2 of all the whole grains I could find, which in this house is considerable. So tonight I feel somewhat like a fish who escaped the baited hook – in order to swallow the sinker.  In my defense, it isn’t that I ate bread all day long – just that I had it for breakfast, then for lunch, then for dinner. 

Len and I each take a sliced apple to work every day for our lunch. Apples are healthy, crunchy, sweet - a simple food straight from Mom Earth to us.

Every day I eat my sandwich, and then I eat my apple pieces. 

Except, about one day per week I don’t eat my apple. Maybe guys come in while I’m eating at my desk. Maybe I’m not hungry right then and I forget later.  Maybe I’m stuffed on whole grain bread.

I try to remember to eat it in the truck on my way home, but today I was wearing mittens; it just wasn’t going to work.

Do you have ordinary health-full, reasonable things you do most days -- but not all of them? 

This is just about humankind’s oldest question. Why, if we know something is a good choice, why don’t we always make it?  Why do we sabotage our own health and happiness by skipping the brisk walk, over-indulging in too-rich treats, not doing the next thing on our list of needful things to do, skipping the apple?

I don’t know why, when we see what it is we ought to do, we don’t always do it.

But it does mean that we are here on Mother Earth. And tomorrow is the first Tuesday of the year and I have an apple ready.

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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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