Mary Beth Writes

Last week I had enough to say to write three posts. This week, not so much. This week I cooked and baked things to share with some friends who were having trickier than usual weeks. I wrote letters to the Third Graders. I always enclose some stickers (many from you guys) which are super cute, and I didn’t think any more about this, except, this week, one kid asked for a toy.

A toy? When a whippersnapper asks for a toy, one must cogitate. I found finger puppets online, cut them out, included a couple in each kid’s letter. Finger puppets here. 

I twice tried to exercise at the YMCA but both times fellow exercisers were not wearing masks (while ambling back and forth past the Wear A Mask signs). I gave up on the Y and went for long walks. Experts suspect vaccinated people can transmit the virus – and we are seeing some of our kids this weekend.

I thinned out more old files. I sat a while to remember my cousin who passed away recently. Char and I were each other’s first best friends. Those early years never leave one.

President Biden is competent at his job. Politics will be forever frustrating, and injustice stalks the earth like a colossus. But I no longer feel anxious and irritated 24/7.  I’m waiting to see what happens to the filibuster and then what happens to democracy.

When I was a support person to AODA programs, one of the things I learned was this. “Behind your addiction to substances is your addiction to the way you are used to feeling.  When you started drinking or doing drugs, it was to escape feelings of, probably, unworthiness, depression, guilt, fear, anger. There are a lot of rough feelings to feel, and if your life was arranged in such a way that you mostly felt negative feelings, and then you found escape through substances, well, you have some work to do now, don’t you? After you stop drinking or using, what will you go back to feeling?”

Those classes and seminars were powerful to hear from across the hallway as the counselors taught and I collated their reports.

This might be a good time to notice what your “signature feeling” is - and decide if you are okay with it.  Or if you want to experiment with, you know, feeling satisfied with yourself, or proud, or brave, or competent, or as if you have done enough and can just sit back for five minutes. Do you want to simply like your friends without having opinions about them? Do you want to think about your kids or siblings or cousins without making a list of what you ought to do for them or what they ought to do for you?  

I’m still thinking about Braiding Sweetgrass. (here)  Kimmerer talks about the way our first language and culture set us up for life. American/Western European culture tells us to keep looking at what we can get and do and fix. That Anishinaabe language enables a person to see how parts of nature, of family, of life itself mesh, interweave, and support each other.

Not sure how all these parts fit together. But it seems to me, lately, that sometimes the biggest risk is to slow down and pay attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As usual your post strikes a cord. Pondering many thoughts. Thank you. Patricia
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks for responding, too.

Just got back from Mr. P's house... The spring bulbs that I planted last year as his Xmas gift have been popping out of the ground for two weeks, but nothing like they are today... He's antsy and excited as am I to see the results of my labor... Someone told me this weekend that I'm a nice guy (Not Mr. P)... I think that choosing that as my *signature feeling* works and I can live with that... I was also asked if I would think about opening a restaurant... That doesn't work for me, I cook to show my love for those I surround myself with... Cooking at my age for money doesn't sound like fun to me...
Mary Beth's picture

I like that as a signature feeling. Nice guy. I like that you picked a name for it. I'm going to think about that. And as a person who has done jobs where one stands up all day - I vote with you. Too hard!

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Quarantine Diary #674 - MLK Day

1/17/2022

It’s Martin Luther King Day.  I read this last week (in Soul Matters for those of you who are UU). 

There is no such state of being that can be called - “I’m not a racist.”

There is only racist and anti-racist.

Quarantine Diary #668 Making an Effort

We hiked on Sunday.

1/11/2022

How was your weekend?

Have you noticed that with this omicron iteration of covid isolation – if one is not an employee - it’s tricky to tell what is a weekend and what is not? I think about what my kids might be doing and maybe we call them and that is the main way weekends are different from weeks. By what other people are doing.

Quarantine Diary #664 Whine, whine, whine.

1/7/2021

Lincoln gave a speech in January of 1838 to Americans alarmed by mob actions.

He begins: “In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American People …

Quarantine Diary #662 Janus month.

1/5/2022

I can still hear my mom saying, “I don’t know whether I’m coming or going today.” I thought of this, one of her favorite sayings, when I wrote this letter to the Third Graders yesterday.

Dear Kids!

I hope you had a fine winter holiday. Now it is January 2022. Do you know where the word January comes from?

In ancient Roman culture, Jānus was a god of doorways, beginnings, and of the rising and setting of the sun. The Latin word jānus, means doorway. Janus is where you enter or leave a space.

Quarantine Diary #661 Mistakes

This is a lemming. Make mistakes this year, but don’t make the lemming mistake.

1/4/2022

This morning, while looking in our under-the-fridge freezer for soup for supper (neither of us want to cook today), we discovered a towel-wrapped lettuce. What can I say? It’s a whole new mistake to make that we have never made before.

Quarantine Diary #657 What we’re up against

12/30/2021

I know a fair amount about the planet-killing toxicity of western culture’s “fast fashion” so I was impressed by what I read this morning in “The Day the World Stops Shopping.” (I wrote about this book yesterday in case you missed class. Hah.)

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