Sunday, February 26, 2017

it's the little things

finding joy in the little unexpected gifts from longtime bloggy friends. thank you so much! small acts of kindness, generosity and love like this are getting me through these mad political times. the kitties think those little fabric kitties and bunnies are for them! and now all of my pagemarkers will be kitties! 

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it seems i'm not the only one with post-election stress disorder.

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meanwhile, in an alternate universe:
the hillarybeattrump website

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i do hope gates & buffet are right about a return to a fact-based reality.

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best troll of the week:
the guys who handed out russian flags to the stupid crowd
listening to the cheeto's speech at the cpac meeting.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


about right now:

~ there is a (disturbingly large) segment of the population that is wilfully, proudly dumb. that's disconcerting. people who were dumb used to want to conceal that fact. i wish they would again. i blame reagan for the fact that they no longer want to do this. and doubly so dubya. and now, we see the results of it with the current dysfunctional administration.

~ sometimes it's fun to go against your own nature and just quietly observe instead of jumping into the conversation with your own stories. or rehearsing them in your head before it's your turn and then not really listening. this is also hard. but undoubtedly good for you. and by you, i mean me.

~ when your own mother is losing her mind, it's always interesting to listen to someone else's lightly racist mother reminisce. being able to remember is a good thing.

~ husband took a disgusting manufactured (albeit locally) plastic-wrapped cake of the sort that will be what survives a nuclear war (which these days, is closer than we might think/hope) to his meeting instead of the beautiful homemade cake that i made for him. he took the cake i made for him along, but "forgot" it in the car. the purchased cake was a joke. apparently. (tho' i fail to see the punchline if one doesn't reveal that one has actually brought a proper cake.) but i'm not bitter. or maybe i am. seriously, wtf?

~ i would feel better if we just had a few days of sunshine. i'm definitely in an end-of-winter-darkness funk. and probably have a serious vitamin d deficiency.

finding solace in poetry

i've been looking for solace in the face of the political climate. it hasn't been easy to find. but there are bright spots here and there. and one of them is the poetry of mary oliver. i've often said i'm not a poetry person, but these times call for beauty that's complex and deep and which speaks directly to a parched and wounded soul. and nothing does that like poetry. funny, i'm also not a morning person, but these two poems lauding the morning both spoke to me and soothed my soul. i even worked them into my art journal today. soul soothed. at least for the moment.

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety -
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light -
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

- Mary Oliver


Salt shining behind its glass cylinder.
Milk in a blue bowl. The yellow linoleum.
The cat stretching her black body from the pillow.
The way she makes her curvaceous response to the small, kind gesture.
Then laps the bowl clean.
Then wants to go out into the world
where she leaps lightly and for no apparent reason across the lawn,
then sits, perfectly still, in the grass.
I watch her a little while, thinking:
what more could I do with wild words?
I stand in the cold kitchen, bowing down to her.
I stand in the cold kitchen, everything wonderful around me.

- Mary Oliver

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

feeling blue about old my blue room

i've been in an intense adobe premiere pro course for the past two days. my head is full and i'm quite frankly exhausted. i was searching my flickr for a photo of pretty paper to use to encourage folks to participate in an art journaling workshop this weekend and i stumbled onto photos of my old blue room. and i got a bit, about it. i miss that beautiful space. somewhere i could leave projects out and where i could have multiple projects going on at once. somewhere to light a merry fire in the wood-burning stove, listen to music and hang out with friends and drink wine. and then cyndy sent me a blog post she did about my blue room long ago, which included a SONG that she wrote about it. i swear i don't think i knew about this song before now. i think that may have been during that period when i was feeling invisible. maybe it's just that the universe knew that today i would need to both laugh and cry at the same time. thank you so much, cyndy. it was precisely what i needed.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

a beautiful mess of a weekend

what a weekend. it was full of laughter and gin and playing cards and making good food and father-daughter time and travel plans. and while we laughed about trump's remarks on a fictional swedish terror attack, we mostly stayed away from the cheeto's latest antics, for the sake of our sanity. and it was good. it was a beautiful mess of a weekend. and we all needed that.

* * *

how much do we now love the (former) swedish prime minister?
and more humo(u)r from/about sweden.

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i normally don't think much of these "reduce your stress" lists,
but this one made sense.
and in these times, odin knows we need to reduce our stress.
it might have helped that it was in harvard business review.

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i'm not sure what i make of this.
it seems a bit like left-leaning conspiracy theory.
but on the other hand, it also seems plausible.

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i must say that i think buzz feed was right to publish the russian dossier.

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dangerous and nasty. that's what we get with the cheeto president.

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andrew sullivan on the madness of the cheeto.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

self-care in the age of trump

i am genuinely distressed by the trump presidency. i spent years loathing ronald reagan and the younger bush, but they seem so tame now in comparison. i think it's made even worse by the fact that obama, who was the very epitome of grace and erudition, preceded the cheeto. the contrast is stark.

my stomach is in knots, i wake up at 3 a.m., wondering what he's done now, and i'm still clenching my jaw. i can't even have the fillings i lost due to all of the grinding of my teeth fixed because i can't open my mouth wide enough for the dentist to work on me, thanks to what is beginning to look like permanent tightness in my jaw. and i realize that i need less facebook and more self-care. i need to do something other than obsessively refresh the nytimes website. it's time to take care of me.

so i snuggle with cats. make up fresh combinations in the juicer (grapes, carrots, oranges, ginger and turmeric). i got out a beloved sweater that's developed a few holes and i'm working on visible, pretty embroidered repairs. i read some of the mary oliver poetry that i bought and a jo nesbø thriller that i picked up at good will for a dollar. i put down a few ideas for what i'd like to do photographically in the coming year. i finished and put away all of the laundry (and yes, this is self-care - it feels so satisfying to know the laundry is done). i stayed in my pajamas all day. new pens. netflix (i'm almost done with season 2 of how to get away with murder). a long, hot shower. i have candles lit all around. and best of all, i took a bit of break from facebook, if only for a few hours.

i think i'll be ready to rejoin to the real world tomorrow.

how will we ever get through this?

we saw this sickening sight when we visited the national building museum two days after the inauguration funeral.
they have hosted 19 inaugural balls since the late 1800s.
as we landed yesterday in billund, the final leg of my long journey home, i listened to an inane conversation in a thick, countryside danish accent taking place behind me as i scanned the front page of the new york times i grabbed from the rack as i left paris. my eyes filled with tears as i felt very intensely that mid-atlantic feeling - the one where i feel i belong neither here nor there.

the damage wrought by donald trump in one short week is incomprehensible. as i checked in for my flight home to denmark at washington dulles, on the floor below, people with valid green cards and visas were being turned back on the basis of their religion and nationality. on the way to the airport, my uber driver from ghana told me about how he was going to finish his master's and go back to ghana (he had been in the u.s. for 25 years and even had citizenship). in line for security and again on the train to the terminal, i had a pleasant chat with two muslim women about how sensitive the security machines are - they even picked up the little metal ends of a cord on my dress and i had to be patted down as a result. we parted ways and wished one another a pleasant journey. i didn't think to ask where they were from and i hope that they will be allowed back in if that's what they want.

i feel that much of what's happening renders me speechless - i can't find the words to express how embarrassed, mortified and powerless it all makes me feel. so i obsessively read the words of others - on facebook, on the nytimes and washington post, on blogs and such - voraciously consuming other people's words. and feeling that i no longer recognize the country of my birth. and it's only. been. one. week.

how will we ever get through this?