Standing Together

2018. A year since I’ve posted. Trying to regain a writing routine: fiction, bits of nonfiction. I’ve switched computers and my work is saved here and in other places and I’m trying to be ok with words spread across several electronic realms, while old partially-filled notebooks crowd the corner of the bedroom, sandwiched now between folders of resistance work: conference call notes, event dates and take-aways, political brochures. These folders I hadn’t anticipated.

It is a shock, every day.

I find myself gravitating to social media to feel connected, to confirm I am not hallucinating, to verify that these times are in fact as crazy as they feel. I think that is ok. My heart drops every time a new alert is pushed out to my phone. Sometimes it is good news, something to grab tightly for a few seconds before the next wave of hateful something announces itself in glowing text.

We wanted to be connected.

Sometimes it feels like there is very little to show.

If one person runs their shoulder repeatedly into a brick wall, in an effort to knock it down, that person is crazy. Their shoulder will shatter before the wall comes down, making this a stupid analogy.

I’ve lost count of the resistance events I’ve attended. Each time I leave for one, my husband says: Be careful. He watches the kids while I’m gone. My daughter has joined me before but all three of my kids are so young, and I’m trying to shield them as much as possible, don’t want them to witness the turmoil. I’m sad, embarrassed, angry. I want so much more for them. I am trying to clean up a mess, like I clean up every mess in their world. Not showing up, not speaking out, is not something that would have even occurred to me. It’s mandatory, just like laundry, and buying toilet paper.

On January 15, 2017, after the election but before 45’s Inauguration, Meg Tuite and Ken Robidoux published a video called “Standing Together” in an issue of Connotation Press. It is about coping in the years ahead, and I’m so proud to be included, with my one sentence I worked on for far too long and read off-camera while I filmed. I’m humbled to again be included in a project with folks I admire so very much, and am again blown out of the water by the heart of Meg and the heart of Ken and the hearts of everyone standing together. It matters.

Here’s the link to the vid:

https://connotationpress.com/crazy-rabbits-review/2962-standing-together

It’s a great compilation of thought and I love how varied it is.

2017 was also filled with lots of family activity: my grandmother turned ninety (she has since passed, Valentine’s Day 2018, reunited with my grandfather; she met him on a blind date many many Valentine’s Days before and so we tell ourselves this is part of their story); a long-anticipated and saved-up-for treat from my parents for a big weeklong family vacation rental on the Cape; two sister weddings sandwiching an Achilles heel surgery for my husband, before my daughter started full-day school for the first time and my twin boys began their first year of preschool.

Breathe.

For my youngest sister’s bachelorette celebration, we did a paint and sip night, and for some reason (wine, possibly) I ended up painting some true feelings instead of a black tree and a white moon and a beautiful night sky. So I named it “Russian disease tree” complete with a “red flag” for a moon and drops of blood red spots for stars and a tree turned ashen with flecks. A diseased Russian tree. Summer ’17, painted in our state’s capital.

IMG-1119

I like how it looks leaning up against the antique white of the playroom, a playroom still half-finished, painted when my oldest was just two (she will be seven this spring). One day one of the kids left this dog sitting in front of it and I snapped a picture before turning off the light and following them upstairs, because I loved it, and hoped I could use it for something.

I’ve secretly named the puppy Mueller.

 

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