Mary Beth Writes

This photo is of Milwaukee's 'Dancing Grannies'. Some of them were killed and hurt yesterday. 

11/22/2021

Yesterday, as most of you know, a person in a red SUV plowed through the Waukesha Holiday Parade, killing at least 5 people, hurting at least 40. Today downtown Waukesha is cordoned off because the whole damn downtown area is a crime scene. There is evidence to gather, people’s stuff to be removed from sidewalks– blankets and strollers and so much more. There’s blood to be washed away. Schools are closed today. There will be a vigil tonight at 5PM in Cutler Park which is the green space around the library.

Today is November 22. Many of us remember 11/22/63 as the watershed day when Kennedy was shot. The US we lived in before that happened felt different than the US we have lived in since. The way we believed in and trusted our society before it happened is different than the ways we have trust ourselves since.

The last few years have felt brutal, haven’t they? We try to not be alarmist. We recognize that if we feel less trusting and safe in our lives, this is the shadow of what others have experienced and tried to tell us all along. Black people. Asian people. Many, many (all of us?) women. Native Americans. Our friends and citizens and neighbors with brownish skin and/or maybe with accents. Our friends who are not “straight” whatever that even means anymore. This has never been a safe and cozy nation.

The super-rich have always exploited our diversity. As long as politicians and oligarchs and oligarch-owned politicians can keep convincing us that the problem is “those people” – well, they can keep taking our wealth, resources, labor, and the sweetness of the lives of the rest of us. We need to burn the phrase “those people.”

Once again, it feels as if the big tent we are all living in came loose at a corner. A stake blew up and blew away and once again the floor beneath us is heaving.

I have two things to suggest.

1. Support people who support education.

The fastest way to lessen security in a nation is to cut education. This society has decided, more or less by default, that schools are the place we advance society. It’s where we started with anti-segregation. It’s where we do whatever health education we do. It’s where we (used to, sometimes still do) teach home-making skills and how to fix thing skills and physical education. It’s where we feed kids and provide social workers and nurses. It’s where we teach and integrate kids with mental and physical challenges into society. And yet, all these budgets have been cut and cut and cut again.

Remember when we received annual hearing and vision tests in school? Yeah, that used to be a thing. Remember when college kids could pay most of their own college costs with summer jobs and working campus jobs during the year? Back when states subsidized tuition because educated people were considered our best resource? Politicians cut those taxes and thus cut funding for college and now they tell us our kids should avoid education debt and they list the alternatives - none of which include sending our kids to the colleges that they send their kids to. Hmmm?

Support education. Support taxes for education. It’s where the heavy lifting of this society happens.

Work and vote for people who vote for education.

2. Talk. Don’t preach (unless you are a preacher and they pay you for it). But talk to yourself about what you are experiencing. Talk to your partner, your friends, your kids, your cat. People who come through emotional trauma best are the kids and grownups who process what they experienced. Don’t just zip past yesterday if, yesterday, you were blown back by what was happening. Take the time to write or say what your experience was and is.

If you would like to say your story here – please do. Use the comments section. Even if you usually state your name, feel free today to claim anonymity. Say your piece of the story here. What did you hear? What did you see? Were you stuck in one of the lockdowns? Did you spend minutes or hours worrying?

No one has to answer - but if you could use a place to unload where others will care, here we are.

As always, I monitor comments and will delete names or claims not verified.

 

 

 

Comments

I’ve quit listening endlessly about the political travesty we all “get”. I cannot listen anymore to the counts of gunshot victims “last night”. I’m keenly aware of these painful facts and it is killing my spirit. But I am writing letters to politicians who offend me. I send money to organizations and campaigns I support. I help to resettle Afghan refugees who have been terrorized in Afghanistan..and I pray that will not happen here too. I believe there is goodness in many people who don’t know how to proceed because it is so overwhelming. But doing anything is better than standing by, like watching a red van careen through innocent bystanders. That was horrific and I don’t mean to suggest anyone could have stopped that. But so often it is a simple as speaking up, saying hello to a stranger, or writing to a senator. If only we all believed our small efforts could make the difference. It’s been one heckofa week.
Mary Beth's picture

That feeling that what we do as one person isn't enough to make a difference - to me these days - that's what I consider when I say I am a person of faith. Not what religion will save me from hell - but what congregation and what beliefs will keep me doing one small action at a time.

I thought you lived here. Seems trite but not meant as such...... I'm so sorry this and your personal loss. Just sending air hugs and lighting candles. fuck...... Hold on to your family....
Mary Beth's picture

Isn't it crazy that once upon a time these horrific events moved ALL of us for a LONG time - but now we stop and consider if we now anyone in that particular melee.

Thought of you and Len immediately when I saw the the news. I have other friends who lived there, have visited more than once, was shocked that yet another seemingly safe place is not. Is there nowhere safe anymore? I know that for many folks, there has never been anywhere that is safe -- is this what it takes for Americans to understand that. I just started reading Jane Goodall's book about hope -- hoping that it will help me to hope.

I thought of you guys when I heard of this. I cannot imagine, grandmas and small children— death. Your state must be in shock. God Bless You All.

Yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to find myself at a church where my daughter decided to have her children baptized. When I asked her why, she said she wanted them to feel a full part of this community that she has come to value. Community, that I understand completely; my only antidote some days to despair.
Mary Beth's picture

I once preached to my own congregation about why we belong to our church. Maybe you would like to read it. https://www.marybethdanielson.com/content/sermon-why-do-we-attend-church-um-i-cant-remember

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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola groceries Guatemala gum guns happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Thing Three Things ThreeThings TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria
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