Mary Beth Writes

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?

Maybe we are experiencing, at a visceral level, what it feels like to not be insulated by privilege. To be a native American shopping in a Walmart in the Dakotas. To be a black person walking into a diner they’ve not been in before. To be a person who “looks” LGBTQ. To be a not-preppy teenager, a person who is too short, too fat, too sick, too handicapped. To be a poor person in a developing nation still governed by the corruption of post-colonial power.

Time for us to acknowledge the American Dream is to feel safe where we live. This is not a birthright. It’s our hope, goal, and best wealth when it happens.

We are in a pandemic. I preached on Julian of Norwich two years. She lived through the astonishingly horrendous European Bubonic Plague of 1348. And other awful things. This is my sermon. Read here. 

The leading photo is of St. Julian’s church. The photo is from Susan Bergmann who belongs to my UU congregation. She grew up in Norwich, England and often walked by Julian’s church.

All this week I feel as if I have been chased by my to-do list. I’m writing more which is good for my sense of who I am, but also takes a lot of time. I need and like to walk a lot, but that also takes hours. There are appointments to keep and make. Friends to reach out to or respond to. Supper to make. Laundry to do. Cat litter to change. Order the groceries, pick them up, carry them into the house, put them away. Realistically, that’s about two hours a week. I’m grateful for the food but that’s a long chore.

Everything gets done, but not everything gets done promptly. Things I care about fall to the shoulder of the road.

There are so many cheap and expensive ways to get one’s life organized. But behind the organizational tools, how do you balance your spirit and what it needs to do – and the things that simply need to get done – and the things that help you put your love and talents and service out into your part of the world?

How do you decide what to do and what to do next? I know we have different answers and I'm curious. 

FYI from the Washington Post today: 10.6 million Americans have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. This is 9.60% of the prioritized population and 3.20% of the total population.

Our nation's population is 329 million. About 250,000,000 of us are over age 18 and thus should be vaccinated.

Took us about six weeks to get this far. You can do more of this math is you want, but boy oh boy do we need an organized federal response right now.

Because 25 times six weeks is too long.

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Leonard's picture

Many states have expanded their lists of who will get the first dose of the vaccine based on the Trump administration's decision to "release the vaccine held as reserve for the second dose." Well, those states are about to have their plans changed, because that reserve HAS ALREADY BEEN USED UP. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/01/15/trump-vaccine-reserve-used-up/

I try, most days, to spend a few moments in quiet reflection over that first coffee. No news, no screens, yet. Gratitude; I made God’s “wake up list” another day! And intention, maybe a little more presence, a little more kindness. After that, the “what’s” fall into better place, it seems.

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Quarantine Diary #350 A Petition to Sign & a Pink Frog

I have now had both Covid vaccinations with no miserable side effects after either of them. Color me grateful.

I read recently that some people with long-haul symptoms are finding surprising relief after receiving the first vaccination. Have you heard this? I hope it’s true.

Living through this Covid pandemic; waiting for scientists and politicians to find a vaccine and then get it to us - this has been walking on water WHILE looking for a miracle. What we needed yesterday is what we are trying to figure out today.

Two Books & One Movie / Reviews by Me 2/24/2021

Go ahead, ask me what I’ve been doing lately…

The movie we watched is Nomadland directed by Chloe Zhao.

In 2018 I wrote this review of Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. (Read here) The book is nonfiction and was so powerful that two years later, it still affects how I think about being old in our nation.

Disaster Prep - Find Your Pack

The disaster unfolding in Texas right now is on my mind. How about yours?

On Twitter I saw several lists of where to donate to organizations. When I finish this post, I will donate to Austen Urban League - https://aaul.org/

Stress & Violence

 I have been reading about the people who attacked our nation’s capital on January 6th.

These two articles are good.  From The Atlantic (Read here )  and from The Lowdown, a blog by Jonathon Low  (Read here) 

Quarantine Diary #337 Moira the Dog & Movies Review

The picture is from a wonderful picture book, A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert. 

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