Mary Beth Writes

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.

I said I was going to end this Covid Quarantine Diary when Len and I started going out and about again and I think are almost there. I went to Goodwill this week. I wore a mask, moseyed 40 minutes, and spent $9. It was not fireworks and dancing kittens, but it was good. I spent time by myself looking at things that were neither home nor trees.

I feel as if we have a path forward now. Continue to wear a mask. Be alert. Don’t crowd into a crowd.

Soon we will spend some time with our kids and grandkids. I’ll poke my toddler grandson in his little round tummy, and he will laugh, and that will be my fireworks and dancing kittens.

When it’s warm enough we will eat on the patios of restaurants. Still not quite ready to eat inside, I suppose our nerve for that will return at some point. There are still so many unknowns.

I feel changed. Do you?

I feel less convivial. Not antisocial, just more aware that being alone or being with others should continue to be a choice more than an obligation.

I read a lot this past year and I’m smarter than I was. I’m way more aware of the interconnections among people, and peoples, nature, our fiction, our science, art, and the stories that happened before us that still affect us mightily. A year ago, I thought racism and sexism, for example, were isms that politicians, teachers, and other leaders should address and fix. This was the year when I understood all this stuff is our story. What we won’t address in our personal lives is exactly the stuff that channels how our lives will go.

Oh, and white privilege. Sheesh, see it one place and then you can’t stop seeing it everyplace. Out there. In here.

Here is a place some of you can fight the racism that is institutionalizing one specific young man. Would you consider signing this petition? I’m never going to know whether you do or not, but right now the petition has close to 700 signatures and the hope is for it to grow to 1000.

This is from our church emailed announcement (why rewrite what has already been written?)

 “In Fall 2019, 17-year-old Tyrone Smith transferred to Waukesha South High School in Wisconsin. As a new student with documented disabilities, Tyrone also had an IEP (Individualized Education Program). Shortly after his arrival, he experienced ongoing intimidation, verbal abuse, and threats of violence. The necessary steps needed for Tyrone to be successful were never implemented by the school, and little was being done about the bullying he consistently faced. According to Tyrone and his legal counsel, on December 2nd, 2019, Tyrone brought a BB gun to school to intimidate his school bullies. After discovering the BB gun, all students and staff were removed from the classroom. Instead of the school practicing holistic care for Tyrone, they called law enforcement who have a well-documented history of violence against Black and brown boys. The School Resource Officer (SRO) and other officers on the scene confronted Tyrone. Tyrone, a child with known disabilities, was following commands to the best of his abilities, but the officer shot him three times, once in the leg, and twice in the arm. Portions of his body are shattered from the violent confrontation, and he now has permanent physical disabilities as a result.

Tyrone, now 19, sits in jail and is facing ten years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines for a BB gun that was never fired. He is a young Black boy with disabilities growing up in a suburban white community. The school system failed him, and he was forced to take a stand to protect himself as a result of persistent bullying. Ten years in prison is not an appropriate or a just response!

Please join in supporting Tyrone Smith and calling for his immediate release.

A new petition is being circulated calling on District Attorney to drop all charges. Click here to sign the petition:

https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/freetyronewaukesha-disabled-teen-stands-up-to-school-bullying-and-faces-10-years-in-prison?share=0d3bd1f0-0946-4bfb-becc-e1f145d2e433

Tyrone is in jail now, waiting for his trial. He never fired his BB gun. Kyle Rittenhouse is a young white male of the same age. He shot three men, killing two of them. He is free in his community right, waiting his trial. He’s been photographed at a bar, flashing racist symbols, drinking alcohol.

Injustice hurts.  

A friend suggested I download this app. It’s free, ominous, funny, and thoughtful. The app is WeCroak and their icon is a pink frog. The point of the app is to remind you - five times a day - that you are going to die. (!!!) When you click into their warning, they give you a cool quote.  I just got an alert that, “You don’t live on the earth, you are passing through it.” Rumi. 

“Anybody have plans to stare at their phone somewhere exciting this weekend?”
― Nitya Prakash

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Badlands

4/29/2022

The Lakota call this land "mako sica" which translates into "badlands." They and many other wanderers and settlers named it this because it is so hard to travel through.

Wade in the Waters

4/28/2022

This is a small announcement that could be a lot of fun for some of you.

For the past two years Len has been a volunteer Wisconsin stream monitor. Once per summer month Len and another guy (with whom he has become friends) check water quality and stream-bed life at a few local sites. Before they started, they received clear but uncomplicated training in order to understand what is being looked for and how the testing equipment works. And they received hip waders!

Who's in the Mirror? Representation Matters

4/19/2022

Who’s in the Mirror? Representation Matters

Old story, I’ve probably mentioned it before: In 1977 I was visiting a friend in Ohio for a weekend. We went to her United Methodist Church on Sunday which is in itself amazing since we were two single 20-something women who had been out drinking the night before.

In just spring

4/13/2022

We know what the “Signs of Spring” are, probably because we did so many "Signs of Spring" art projects in grammar school. We know what to notice. Green shoots. Birds singing. Kids playing outside with kites, jump ropes, and jacks.

Why do we celebrate Signs of Spring but not Signs of Winter? Hmmm? Maybe Winter ought to look into this and make a complaint?

Meantime, Karen K sent these photos. Look at these lovely pale-but-not-boring colors and hues.

The Day I Moved Into Chicago

4/8/2022

Franc and I had a conversation about men who won’t or don’t explore their feelings over in yesterday’s comments section. If you want to chime in that topic is still wide open like a swanky whale swimming through swales and swells, swilling for krill. (I don’t know where that came from either. Follow the muse.)

Also, I suggested that if you have photos of Spring where you live to send them to me and I will post them. David sent this from Raleigh, NC. Drying puddle. Yellow aura of pollen. Yup, it’s Spring.

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