Mary Beth Writes

This evening Trump is speaking to a political rally in a Tulsa venue that can hold 19,000 people. There will be no social distancing. The place is enclosed. Masks are optional. Boggles the mind.

Yesterday morning I went to a local Stein’s garden mecca to see if they have marigolds on sale yet. They don’t even have marigolds NOT on sale!

But this happened.

I wore a mask. There were only about six other people shopping while I was there and they were all masked, too. The clerk, working outside in that 85-degrees of drenching humidity, was also wearing a mask.

There we all were, believing science and taking care of ourselves even when it was kinda uncomfortable to do so.

It took the cashier a long time to check me out because of a store protocol and a mistake. I told her no problem; I wasn’t in a hurry and it was too hot to stress. These days one sees so many people caught in moments of ugly, stupid entitlement that one feels like a hero for being patient and saying thank you.

I’ve been walking pretty often along the street I formerly didn’t walk on. (Diary #71) I’ve said hi to a few people, had one mini-conversation with a dad and his two daughters, and greeted the same woman three times in this past week. She sits on her porch a lot. She now waves when I walk by.

I read this excellent essay this morning.  Rebecca Solnit: The Slow Road to Sudden Change  

“A great public change is the ratification of innumerable small private changes; the bonfire is a pile of these small changes lit by some unforeseen event. Looking back on the American Revolution, this country’s second president, John Adams reflected, “The revolution was in the minds of the people, and in the union of the colonies, both of which were accomplished before hostilities commenced.” Adams was a waffler on slavery, both opposed to it and opposed to strong measures to abolish it, but he offers a useful description of how change works: the revolution was in consciousness; the war with Britain was just an outcome of it. Chateaubriand said something similar of the French Revolution, that it “was accomplished before it occurred.”

Maybe the world we will live in next year is happening now in the small but persistent choices we make towards justice, science, knowledge, and our neighbors.



PS: The roses grow on That Block.




What is ain’t exactly clear, there’s a man with a gun over there, tellin’ me I got to beware. Kept hearing this song earlier this week. Time is getting closer for this old mostly white lady to get up off her backside, mask up and wade to the front of line. Will cops kill old ladies who look like their grandma? May need to find out.
Mary Beth's picture

They arrested a white woman today in Tulsa for wearing an "I can't breathe" t-shirt. She had a ticket for the rally, was sitting silently on the ground - and for this they arrested her. The irony being that in two weeks there will be humans throughout Oklahoma, in the hospital, on their sofas, in bed, coughing and saying, "I can't breathe."

While trump is out in the world holding rally's to build up his already inflated ego while needlessly exposing thousands of people to this virus, Mr. "B" and I are slowly getting to know each other... Wednesday was date number two for Mr. "B" and I... It was a simple day without too much fanfare... No Gardens to visit or homes to look at or even a park to have a picnic at... Just sitting around drinking Hibiscus Tea and talking, a whole lot of talking... . Dating in the age of Covid, I can't think of a better way to ride out this storm then to create a new and exciting relationship... More to follow...
Mary Beth's picture

And tonight the world turns from Spring to Summer.

Sounds wonderful, Franc! Good pacing. I know your evening was more enjoyable for you and Mr. B than for the Orange Menace and his ego. Blessings, peace
Leonard's picture

The bonfire will be exciting, because it is hard to say which way it will go. The pandemic is giving us time to walk on new streets - that is, streets that were always there, and always nearby, but which we never had the time to visit. What else is near-at-hand, but not explored? What are the values and beliefs that we have always held, but not really looked at or evaluated? I hope that this is a time to find that values like compassion and equality are still important. That mutual respect, like you had with the cashier, is more important than selfishness and carelessness. De Tocqueville warned that America was in danger of "the tyranny of the majority," that would blind us to abuses to Native Americans, African-Americans, and anyone outside of the mainstream. It's easy to see how that is at work today, with LGBTQ, immigrants, and others. Now is the time for creative thinkers and writers to call up those values that will preserve the community for everyone.

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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.


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. 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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