Monthly Archives: November 2016

Three Truths and One Wish

#postcardavalanche

#postcardavalanche

1. Truth: I sent 10 postcards to Donald Trump. It was part of a larger project where people from all over sent the same with a simple message, “Not Bannon.” I added a short message, a plea to “keep white supremacists OUT of the White House.” I don’t pretend to think there aren’t already white supremacists in the White House, or that my postcards will make any difference, even when added to all the others, but I’m willing to try it, to at the very least register my disagreement in some small way.

2. Truth: I sent an email to President Obama. I’ve heard that it’s more effective to call, but I was at work and didn’t want to be interrupted, yet wanted to say something — again, to at the very least register my disagreement in some small way. Here’s where you can submit a message: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact My email said, (feel free to copy it or use it as a script if you call, I’m happy to share if it makes it easier for anyone else),

President Obama,

It has been a blessing to have you as our leader for the past eight years. I voted for you both times, with my whole heart. The first time you were sworn in, I watched live online and sobbed. I’m crying now remembering it.

Over the past eight years, you have been the voice of reason, sanity, and compassion. I know that you’ve done what you could under difficult circumstances. You did so much good, and I know you’d hoped to do so much more. With you in the White House, I believed that we all were moving in the direction of wisdom and compassion, that things would continue, with our good effort, to get better for all people and for our planet.

And now, the bad news (besides that other terrible horrible awful news we got on election day) — In these final days of your time in office, I find myself disappointed in you. As Bernie Sanders said in a recent open letter to you, “It is deeply distressing to me that the federal government is putting the profits of the oil industry ahead of the treaty and sovereign rights of Native American communities.” I don’t have to tell you all the things that are wrong with the Dakota Pipeline Project, (but just in case, here’s the short list: a white community rejected the pipeline near them because of the risk to their water supply when no such option has been given to those at Standing Rock, the way the pipeline has been permitted is not just unethical but possibly illegal — building it a little at a time to avoid the environmental studies that would be required for such a project if submitted as a whole and ignoring standing treaties about the land — and the oil transported by the pipeline is going to be sold to another country so the only purpose of the line is the profit of a select few).

What has me so distressed, so disappointed in you, is that in recent days especially, there have been clear human rights violations happening on the site. These good people who are protecting their sacred burial grounds, their land, and OUR water are being horribly abused.

I’m begging you, step in. Stop the abuse of the water protectors. Stop the pipeline. Make sure those involved in illegal actions are prosecuted and held responsible. And when that’s done, apologize to those at Standing Rock for not stepping in sooner. Please, please make this right.

3. Truth: Yesterday was Giving Tuesday. I didn’t spend any money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but yesterday I gave $10 to an older gentleman standing out in the cold who’d asked for “.25, .50, anything.” Then I was Christmas shopping and saw the cutest, softest stuffed kitty. Dexter would have loved it so much, and I totally wanted to buy it, even though the dogs we have now can’t have those kinds of toys, (Ringo is a murderer). For a brief second, I considered buying it for myself, but even my broken little heart knew how dumb that was. Then I saw a Giving Tuesday link for one of my favorite animal shelters, Richmond Animal League. Problem solved! If I give them $25 dollars, they don’t just give a dog a new toy, they give him new humans and a new home, and that’s so much better. Then I gave a month’s worth of meals to Rams Against Hunger, a project “aimed at eliminating food insecurity for students at Colorado State University by providing five nutritious meals a week from the CSU dining halls to students in need” because school is hard enough, life is hard enough without having to worry about being hungry too. Then I gave my first Kiva loan. I’ve wanted to give a loan through Kiva before (https://www.kiva.org/) , but every time I go to their website and look, I get so overwhelmed and leave without giving a loan. Yesterday, I tried again, and was successful. First, I filtered to “women” and changed the results to show by “amount remaining.” My goal was to be the one who completed someone’s loan. I looked a bit, and was feeling that same sense of overwhelm, “how am I ever going to choose,” and then I saw her face, and I can’t explain it, but I knew this was the woman I’d help. “Tahira is 37 years old and is from Sialkot, Pakistan. She is a hardworking mother of five young children. She is working hard to ensure a good life for them.” She wanted to buy a sewing machine and some fabric so that she could start a little business to help earn some extra money, and I helped her.

One wish: May we all continue to try, to not give up, and to do what we can with what we have where we are.

Something Good

morningparksky

1. A twist on the mannequin challenge, DOGS! This one is my favorite, because Cattle Dogs are the best.

2. Recipes I want to try: Zucchini Carrot Fritters, and Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup, and Loaded Fried Mashed Potatoes, and Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli, and Pull-Apart Holiday Monkey Bread.

3. Kendrick Eagle: Message to President Obama. “A message from a young Indigenous man, Kendrick Eagle, who met President Obama in 2014 and was promised the president would have his back.” #NoDAPL In related news, Dispatch from the front lines at Standing Rock: Call your President. And if you don’t know what to say when you call, this might help, Official Press Release for Oceti Sakowin, or Cory Booker’s letter to the Department of Justice. And, At Standing Rock and Beyond, What Is to Be Done?, which asks, “What kind of machine produces violence to meet prayer, and prison in return for demanding resources to simply live? What kind of machine responds to those trying to protect their water by spraying them in subfreezing temperatures with water?” And this, Sioux Tribe Leader Responds to Army Corps Eviction Letter With Ominous Warning to US Gov’t. And this, Portraits from the Standing Rock protests. Also, did you hear that a group of military veterans are going to Standing Rock to offer support the water protectors? This post made from Zhooniya Ogitchida me cry.

“I am a 10 year, 2x war veteran. I am not a protestor, I am an Ogitchida, I am here to protect these people from you. I am a defender of the constitution. I came to see this for myself. I seen the rubber bullets, I seen the gas, I seen the attack dogs, I seen the water at freezing temperature. I seen the riot gear and the violence inflicted on so many U.S. citizens. I seen how you’ve been mistreating my people. I am the first of many warriors to come.”

4. Making America White Again from Toni Morrison. “The choices made by white men, who are prepared to abandon their humanity out of fear of black men and women, suggest the true horror of lost status.”

5. Gaslighting Is a Common Victim-Blaming Abuse Tactic – Here Are 4 Ways to Recognize It in Your Life. In related news, 7 Tactics of Emotional Abuse Used By Trump Supporters Post-Election.

6. A Thanksgiving Blog (for people who suck at Thanksgiving).

7. President-elect Trump finds himself learning what the job really entails from SNL.

8. Christmas Time Is Here – Daniela Andrade ft. Cutest Dog in the Galaxy. It’s time. This, on repeat.

9. The 10 Best books of 2016, according to The Washington Post.

10. How You Can Help The Standing Rock Sioux Fight The Dakota Access Pipeline. Please, please, please, do whatever you can. In related news, Thousands of veterans are traveling to Standing Rock to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline — and this man is leading them.

11. Secret Life of 4 Year Olds: Cuddles and Coleslaws. OMG, these kids are so cute.

12. 13 Intersectional Grassroots Organizations To Donate To Right Now.

13. 6 Quick Questions to Help You Simplify and Free Up Time for What Truly Matters.

14. “Self-help,” from Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive.

15. The Mental Habit of Feeling Rushed & Overwhelmed from Zen Habits.

16. How one restaurant nourishes the soul.

17. Two Kinds of Quiet from Jena Schwartz.

Take your anger, your grief, your fear, your overwhelm — whatever states you find yourself cycling through — and let them be guides. Show up without knowing what you will write or say. Trust your instincts: join up with people you can learn from and move away from people who make you feel unsafe or crazy. And if the quiet of really listening for where you belong is trying to get your attention, let it.

18. How To Be A Person by Shane Koyczan, (thanks to Kirsten for reminding me). And if that isn’t enough, Instructions For A Bad Day by Shane Koyczan

19. Closer – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey (Boyce Avenue ft. Sarah Hyland cover). I love this version. And if you really listen to the lyrics of this song, it’s the saddest thing ever… “We ain’t ever getting older.” *sigh*

20. Wall of Us. “He promised a wall. He will be stopped by a wall of us. Four concrete acts of resistance delivered to your inbox each week.”

21. A wish from Maya Angelou, “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

22. Body Positivity is Political and Other Things to Know & Do.

23. Why I Left White Nationalism.

There are millions of Americans who don’t understand why anyone might worry about the effects of this election. They see it as ‘feelings’ versus their own real concerns. Those of us on the other side need to be clear that Mr. Trump’s callous disregard for people outside his demographic is intolerable, and will be destructive to the entire nation.

24. Safety Pin Box, “a monthly subscription box for white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation. Box memberships are a way to not only financially support Black femme freedom fighters, but also complete measurable tasks in the fight against white supremacy.”

25. Garbage singer Shirley Manson on beauty and social media. “There’s so much pressure on young women to be beautiful, to put a photograph up on social media and have people go, ‘Wow, you’re so beautiful.’ Unfortunately it’s such an empty pursuit, really, to be told you’re beautiful.”

26. Dogs are the best. These 9 hilarious comics remind us why. Not that I needed the reminder.

Day of Rest

lastbitofgoldI took this picture the day before my birthday last week. It was one of the very last days that any of the trees still had leaves on them, and this one was the last lingering bit of gold in an entire field of otherwise bare trees. It had been one of the last ones to turn color and the morning was windy, so I knew it wouldn’t last long. Something about that was so beautiful, and so sad.

Now it’s winter. The trees are bare and we’ve even had a bit of snow. This is always such a strange season for me, and somehow even stranger this year because it took such a long time to arrive and the world feels so … weird. In winter I feel myself slowing down, but in that shift I also feel so many new ideas and plans bubbling up, the next new year ready to be born. I spent the last few days resting a bit more than usual, after a really busy week (semester, year, life), but today I felt myself turn towards Monday. I finally cleaned off my desk after too much time knowing how badly it needed it, and something about that renewed space, clean and free, felt ready for something to begin.

dreamwithfeathers

Gratitude Friday

Sam helps me make a wish

Sam helps me make a wish

1. Birthdays. I turned 49 and Ringo turned 3. On mine, I slept in, had a lazy morning with the dogs, gave meditation instruction to Susan Piver, video chatted with one of my favorite writers, had tea and cake (with candles!) with one of my best friends, talked to my mom and brother on the phone, and went to dinner with my favorite. Then, the next day was Ringo’s turn. He did pretty much what he always does, but that’s just because his life is already really good.

Does he look older?

Does he look older?

2. Morning walks. Because we are both on a tiny break from work, Eric and I get to go together, and we’ve been stopping at the little dog park.

morningriver06parksky

3. The Happy Holiday Hearth DVD. Tis the season. We bought it originally as a joke, but it’s actually so awesome we use it all the time. I swear I feel warmer sitting in front of it.

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4. Being lazy. I don’t do it often enough, and could learn a thing or two from the dogs, who are really really good at it.

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5. Eric taking the dogs hiking. They love to go and I love having the house all to myself.

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Bonus joy: Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, a new season of Gilmore Girls, clean pjs, Solange’s new album, 2 Dope Queens, four days off from work, quiet, clean water, people willing to risk everything to protect the water, Put Your Hands Together, crying, meditation, sleep, cuddling with the dogs, making Eric laugh.

Something Good

View this post on Instagram

“I want to remind us all that art is dangerous. I want to remind you of the history of artists who have been murdered, slaughtered, imprisoned, chopped up, refused entrance. The history of art, whether it’s in music or written or what have you, has always been bloody because dictators and people in office and people who want to control and deceive know exactly the people who will disturb their plans… And it’s something that society has to protect. When you enter that field, no matter where you enter… it’s a dangerous pursuit. Somebody’s out to get you. You have to know it before you start, and do it under those circumstances, because it is one of the most important things that human beings do. That’s what we do.” (Toni Morrison) tee by @dopeciety #CreateResistance

A post shared by Create Resistance (@createresistanceco) on

 

1. In The Bubble, life continues for progressive Americans as if the election never happened. From SNL.

2. This 4-year-old made an unlikely friend at the grocery store. I’ve posted about this before, but this video gives a bit more of the story, and way more cuteness.

3. More about the Dakota Access Pipeline: Who’s Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline? and “We have alternatives to oil, no question. We do not have any alternatives to water,” and Robert F. Kennedy explains exactly why the Dakota Access Pipeline is being pushed so hard, and Breaking: DAPL Construction on Hold Pending Further Review and Tribal Consultation, and the news archive page on the Stand With Standing Rock website, and Feeding the Fight at Standing Rock, and This Gorgeous Short Film Takes Us to the Heart of the Dakota Access Pipeline Standoff, and How to Contact the People Sending Militarized Police to Standing Rock, and Hundreds of Water Protectors Injured as Police Fire Water Cannons in Freezing Temperatures — which happened just last night. In related news, Gas pipeline project headed to Suwannee River leaks into Georgia waterway; sparks environmental worries.

4. As the lights wink out… “Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes and in that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

5. Islamophobic Myths: Shutting Down BS with Muslim Women.

6. Good stuff from Patti Digh: Walking into this new day, and What is the unmet need that has just been expressed?, and 37 Days of Activism, and The Art of Activism: Hard Conversations Book Club 2017 (even if you don’t sign up for this one, check out the reading list from the last session, start your own book group), and Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism.

7. Van Jones: “Hope for the Best, Expect and Prepare for the Worst” How the country can survive a Trump administration, and in related news, How Van Jones Became a Star of the 2016 Campaign.

Consequently, Mr. Jones didn’t want people to infer from his election-night comments that he thinks all of President-elect Trump’s supporters are bigots. At the same time, he thought it was essential not to brush aside the role of racism in Mr. Trump’s ascent. “If you only focus on the toxic crap, you’re not being fair to the Trump voters,” Mr. Jones said. “But if you deny all the toxic crap, you’re not being fair to the rest of Americans.”

8. Advice from Angela Davis in the aftermath of the election. At her recent lecture at University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel, Davis read something from James Baldwin, “If we know, and do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name. If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own—which it is—and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”

9. Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui Pens Open Letter to Donald Trump Voters: ‘I Am a Bisexual Cuban-American Woman & I Am So Proud of It.’ “We are not ‘whining’ about our presidential choice losing, we are screaming battle cries against those whose political and personal agendas threaten our lives and sanity. We are making sure you hear us, no matter how much it bothers you, we EXIST.”

10. Colson Whitehead Has Some Advice for Getting Through the Next Four Years. “Be kind to everybody, make art, and fight the power. That seemed like a good formula for me, anyway. So B, M, F, and if you have trouble remembering that, a good mnemonic device to tell yourself is, They can’t break me because I’m a Bad Mother Fucker.”

11. Amazon Tackles Islamophobia In Heartwarming Christmas Ad.

12. Suggested reading: The Stop Trump Reading List: Arm Your Mind With These 16 Books, and 50 Necessary Books for Your Anger and Your Action.

13. He’s a professional hugger, and he’s out to change the world one hug at a time. Knowing the origins of his free hugs project only makes me love him more.

14. Best Day Project, “seeks to find people in their lowest moments and show them that it’s possible to go into the world and live life however is best for them.”

15. Kohl’s and Mudd – stop stealing the work of independent artists. This issue still hasn’t been resolved. Sign the petition.

16. Let’s all pledge to register as Muslim today. I’ve heard people say this won’t work, but I’m willing to try.

17. 5 Things You Can Do Post-Election to Regain your Sanity Bit by Bit, a video from Susan Piver. Also from Susan, Don’t Bite the Hook: Five things to remember post-election.

18. A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump. In related news, What to Do About Trump? The Same Thing My Grandfather Did in 1930s Vienna. “When the levers of power are seized by the small hands of hateful men, you work hard, you stand with those who are most vulnerable, and you don’t give up until it’s morning again.”

19. Somali-American makes history with election. “State representative-elect Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature, talks with Rachel Maddow about the demonizing of her community by Donald Trump and how her election is being received by the public.”

20. “We’re His Problem Now” Calling Sheet, a Google doc.

21. The Right Heart is More Important than the Right Analysis in Fighting Racism.

22. 25 ways to be politically active … beyond the safety pins. I’m currently writing a similar list for introverts and highly sensitive people.

23. Twitter suspends alt-right accounts. More of this, please.

24. Black Lives Matter issues a statement on Trump’s election.

25. How To Call Your Representative To Protest Steve Bannon’s White House Appointment. In related news, Donald Trump hires man with ties to white supremacists, a post from Dan Rather, and this, White Nationalists Rejoice at Trump’s Appointment of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon, and More than 150 House members urge Trump to rescind Bannon appointment, and 6 Things You Can Do To Keep Steve Bannon Out Of The White House. Here’s a petition you can sign.

26. Holy Fuck. The Fucking Election. “That piece of shit known as Donald Trump won the election. But that doesn’t mean it’s fucking over.” This is a great website.

27. A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support.

28. This dog lived outside on a chain for a DECADE — and he had the sweetest reaction to being set free.

29. White Women, You Need to Talk About Racism.

30. January 20th, 2017 general strike. No work. No school. No shopping. No fascist USA.

31. What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do. ***Spoiler alert*** “When you don’t know what to do, help someone else.”

32. 5 Ways to Restore Post-Election Wellness.

33. Who’s Ya’ Mama! from Dr. Vickie. “We will survive Trump’s presidency. Our fight to retain and stand up for our human rights is no different then the generations that came before us. Those generations often shielded us from the fights they had so we could be comfortable. We are no longer comfortable. It’s our turn to fight.”

34. The *new* Black Friday. “This event is my antidote to the craziness of Black Friday and the consumerism it represents. The *New Black* Friday is about taking time to create gifts that are creative, heartfelt, and impactful.” I’ve done this the past few years, and it’s WAY better than shopping. Find out more and share on the Facebook event page.

35. Embodiment from Rachel Cole. “Being in our bodies doesn’t have to be complicated, or graceful, or formal.”

36. Gandhi’s 10 Rules for Changing the World.

37. 25+ Hilarious Conversations Between Obama And Biden Are The Best Medicine After This Election. Best meme ever.

38. Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era.

39. Street Photographer Tracks Down People He Captured 30+ Years Ago To Recreate Their Photos.

40. Sisterhood and Racism: An Online Workshop for White Women. In related news, Every White Woman In The History of The Universe: A Webinar for White Women…

41. Our movements are powerful. The institutional left is not the solution. Here is what we should do next.

42. Aftermath: Sixteen Writers on Trump’s America. “Essays by Toni Morrison, Atul Gawande, Hilary Mantel, George Packer, Jane Mayer, Jeffrey Toobin, Junot Díaz, and more.”

43. Remembering Gwen. “Gwen Ifill, a journalist to her core, who served as the PBS NewsHour’s co-anchor and managing editor and, in her own words, sought to always ‘tell the stories that shed light and spur action,’ has died from complications of cancer. She was 61.”

44. Chili’s Apologizes For Taking Meal From Black Veteran On Veterans Day.

45. This teenager is giving out free meals to classmates in need.

46. The American Thanksgiving. “The Times asked 15 families from across the country to show us the holiday dishes they make that speak most eloquently about their heritage and traditions. The stories of these home cooks help tell the story of the nation, the story of who we are.”

47. The Official #GrabYourWallet Boycott List of Companies that Do Business with and/or Back the Trump Family, a Google doc.

48. I did not know it felt like this. This writing is raw and real, authentic, heartbreaking and human, beautiful and brutal.

49. The memories we rehearse are the ones we live with.

50. How to Easily be a White Ally to Marginalized Communities. “Leave your safety pins at home, and take action that will actually help the people hurt by Trump.”

51. After the Election: Buddhist Wisdom for Hope and Healing.

52. No white work friend, I won’t be chatting with you about Grey’s Anatomy for a while. “The unfiltered truth about “how Black people are doing” right now aka when #GenerationalTrauma happens in real time.” In related news, Black Woman Defines White Supremacy in the most EPIC Facebook Rant Ever, and An Open Letter to White Liberal Feminists.

53. Joy and Wisdom (Part 1 of 7), podcast with Sharon Salzberg & Joan Halifax. “Roshi Joan Halifax contrasts her experiences on pilgrimage in Nepal with her recent travels in our nation’s airports. Sharon Salzberg discusses the distinction between happiness and pleasure, and the effect that pleasure can have on our practice. Salzberg explains importance of cultivating the awareness of how pleasure can lead us to clinging.”

54. Letting Go of “Health-ism” and Related Panic from Isabel Foxen Duke.

55. Jon Stewart: ‘Nobody Asked Donald Trump What Makes America Great.’

56. Meet the Professor Who’s Trying to Help You Steer Clear of Clickbait.

57. It’s been this bad before: Civil rights activists from the 1960s have comforting words for American progressives today. “There’s no reason why the election of Donald Trump should halt activism or put an end to the legislative gains the left has made, she said. ‘You continue to live, you continue to do your work, you continue to teach and write and change people’s lives. It ain’t easy. But it’s a life’s work.'”

58. ‘Vote shaming’ Trump supporters is fair. What they have done is shameful.

59. Healing Arts: In Troubled Times, Artists & Galleries to Support.

60. How to call your reps when you have social anxiety.

61. Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency, “Inside a stunned White House, the President considers his legacy and America’s future.”

62. Grief is a luxury we can’t afford right now.

63. Southern Poverty Law Center is a really great resource, because of things like this, Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry.

64. “Will I die, miss? Will I die?” This child in Syria was a victim of chlorine gas attack. What happens to the hospital he’s being treated in, the last one left that treats children, is heartbreaking.

65. My Civic Workout. “We know that just like working out, civic activism can feel intimidating at first. It seems like everyone else knows how to use the machines, and you’re just not sure that activism is your kind of place. We’re here to help you get started with emails a few times a week that have 5-minute, 10-minute, and 30-minute activism ‘workouts’ that will help you (and America) get in shape.”

66. Trump: Making America White Again. In related news, Donald Trump’s presidency isn’t looking any better: 6 despicable things the president-elect did last week.

67. Leonard Pitts Jr.: Time to take OUR country back.

68. December Reflections, 2016. Love this challenge from Susannah Conway. I’ve done it for the past few years and it’s a wonderful way to wind down the year.

The holiday season can often feel overwhelming so this is our chance to weave some mindfulness and calm into our days in the run up to 2017. The idea is simply to take a photograph (and share it if you wish) every day in December while reflecting back over the year. I’ve provided a list of daily prompts with a mix of things to photograph — for example: light, circles, “on the table” — and things to ponder. The “ponder prompts” are an extra invitation to pause for a moment and consider some of your favourite bits of 2016. Share your treasured photos from the year alongside your thoughts. Dig further into the prompts privately in your journal. You may feel moved to create paintings or doodles, collages or poems. December Reflections started as a photo project but feel free to take it in any direction that calls to you!

Day of Rest

Chicken coop, The Farm, image by my brother

Chicken coop, The Farm, image by my brother

I think I already told you about it, but my friend and teacher Laurie shared a Mary Oliver poem on her blog that I hadn’t heard before, or didn’t remember hearing. It’s such a powerful metaphor for everything I’m feeling, thinking, doing right now, and also everything about where I come from. Then this morning, when I was suggesting to my book club that we change our focus in the next year, I thought of it again, and remembered the picture my brother took of the hen house on my grandma’s farm. The poem is called “Farm Country.”

I have sharpened my knives, I have
Put on the heavy apron.

Maybe you think life is chicken soup, served
In blue willow-pattern bowls.

I have put on my boots and opened
The kitchen door and stepped out

Into the sunshine. I have crossed the lawn.
I have entered

The hen house.

For me, this poem says everything about right now, about the reality of the situation and what has to be done. And there’s something about that little detail, “stepped out into the sunshine” that allows for the tiniest glimmer of faith, trust in the basic goodness of things, knowing that it’s time to get to work and at least for now the sun will keep coming up.

Gratitude Friday

supermoon

1. Morning walks with the dogs. We’ve been stopping at the Little Dog Park and there’s still a bit more light than before, especially with the super moon this week.

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2. Hiking with my boys. The last one was a hard hike, but I’m still grateful for it. It seemed so innocent, a hike on a “nature” trail next to a camping ground closed for the season. But the first half, the first full hour, was straight up, all the way to 7200 feet. And the way down there was one part where the trail was right on the edge of a sheer, steep drop, and that plus the stress of the past week threw me into a full blown panic attack. Sobbing on the side of a cliff wasn’t where I expected to be that morning, but I made it back down okay. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

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3. My tiny family. All three of them are just so cute, make me laugh and love on me when I’m sad. I’m so lucky.

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ringocouching02 mytherapydog ringoblueriver sweetsamcouching

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4. Birthday slippers! And, another birthday, to get to be here, to be 49 years old (how did that happen?!), to be able to get old. I’ve got some special plans today, get to spend time with some of my favorite people, and I’m grateful. My birthday, landing where it does, always feels like the kickoff to a long celebration that doesn’t end until New Year’s.

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5. SNOW!!! Finally… It has been crazy warm here for fall, with the past few days hitting almost 80, so to get some frozen moisture feels good.

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Bonus joy: phone call from my mom, text and box of presents from my brother, Mary’s Mountain Cookies (seriously, local people, what kind of evil do they put in the oatmeal chocolate chip?!), roasted veggies, space, time, all the love on Facebook (best thing about Facebook absolutely has to be birthdays), a warm shower, a cold glass of water, good books, good tv, good people who won’t give up, a new headlamp, new snow tires on their way, glasses, clean sheets, sleep, soaking in a warm tub, napping with my dogs, how much Ringo loves the snow, how much Sam loves me.