Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Musings

The news is bad, badder and baddest.

So I'll lead you here instead:

  • Harvard Law School is celebrating the high number of black students enrolled currently!
  • We had a lovely coffee with our new neighbors down the hall.  Our affection is mutual.  Feels great.
  • My daughter's family adopted an adorable pup from a kill shelter and they are over the moon.
  • I've been listening to the phenomenal Marvin Gaye all afternoon.  Beautiful soul.
  • Friends are traveling and showing pictures of Italy, Mexico and France.  Love it.
  • In less than a month, we are going to be in France, in the Alsace region before heading to Paris

Tonight, on PBS, Frontline will air a special on the Mueller Report.  Of course we'll watch because Frontline is a top-notch news program.  I have all kinds of questions about what the released conclusions mean.  I'll bet you do, too.

We went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, for the express purpose of making pictures.  Here's one that makes me happy.  Hi Cutie Pie eating berries.

Balance the darkness with the light. 

It is only with the heart that one can see
rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

-Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

L to R: My great grandmother Tilley, My great great grandmother Bigelow, my Great Aunt Lou Goodale, GG Grandfather.

Friday, March 8, 2019


Many of us are hearing a new term, a new concept, called "cultural appropriation."  I've been confused about what it really means, and after some research, I am learning that appropriation v. appreciation can be an extremely nuanced thing.  I have some learning to do, and the first thing to learn is to get over my own defensiveness.  For instance, when black women complained that white women wearing hoop earrings was cultural appropriation and we should stop it I reacted defensively.  Wait.  I wore hoops back in the seventies.  After doing my research on that, I discovered hoops have been around for generations.  In 2,500 BC Sumerian women wore them.  Even cats in ancient Eygpt wore hoop earrings. 

Trying to learn here.  Interesting that, if I wear a piece of jewelry with cultural significance, my INTENTION is everything.  If I got to know the artist, heard her story, etc. that is appreciation.  But how does anyone else know my intention behind wearing the piece?  They could assume I'm appropriating instead of appreciating. Oy.  Oh, wait.  Is that appropriating?  I'm not Jewish but I speak some Yiddish (more than my Jewish husband).

Also, being of Irish ancestry, I've always taken offense at the celebration of St. Patrick's Day in our country.  What a farce.  An excuse for people to get drunk and act inappropriately.  But have I ever stated this?  No.  People would tell me I'm a party pooper.  I can hear them now, "Lighten up."  "We're only having fun."  "Get a life!"  I can also afford not to make an issue of it because, hey, we Irish are not exactly discriminated against in America -- at least not any more.  Plenty of signage, back in the day, "Irish need not apply."  Along with Germans, Italians, etc. etc.  We're always playing catch-up and learning that people are just people.

For people who grow up in small towns of 100 percent whites and don't get out much, I can imagine that all of this is even more confusing.  If I, a college educated, advocate for equality, urban Californian get confused, then anyone can.  Do I get sick of all the fighting?  Sure I do.  But I'm not sick of the people who ask to be seen and heard -- I'm sick of all the people who make it necessary for the disenfranchised to continue the fight. 

Despite our troubles, we are the most diverse population on the earth.  We are the melting pot, the land where people risk their lives (still) to come to.  We are the beacon of hope for many, and it's been this way since our founding.  This is where lives begin again.  I would do well to remember this when the tumult overwhelms me.

Baba Ram Dass: "The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves, where we can look at all that is happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization."

I've had a pretty good week, and saw my doctor today and it was a great visit.  She is ON it!

Have a happy weekend.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Monday Musings

I think my old enemy is back.  Depression often times manifests as physical and mental fatigue, and I'm fatigued to the max.  Moving around is extremely exhausting; I wake up exhausted; I'm just tired all the time.  And I ache. 

It's been difficult to sort this out, given my health issues of the last ten months, but I've finally made an appointment with my GP to get this sorted.  Last May I stopped taking an antidepressent that I've been on for 23 years because my cardiologist says it is aggravating my PVCs.  I think I made a very smooth transition off the drug and was happily surprised, as previous efforts to stop it have not been effective.

Now, however, I'm dragging my ass through each and every day.  I'm sure the doc will do a thyroid function test.

I just want to feel proper again -- the normal amount of energy and no aches and pains.  It's weird that this is often a sign of depression, but it is.  I do force myself to get out of the house, to walk the dogs, do grocery shopping and run the essential errands that life demands.  But it takes a huge amount of effort and positive self-talk to make these things happen.  And I do give myself mental pats on the back for doing what I can do.

A new symptom is emerging, which is also tell-tale:  I am weepy.  Sure, there's stuff going on in the world to weep about, but I know this is different. 

I don't know why I share this, though I do know that depression thrives on secrecy and isolation.  I don't want to hide this part of me.  I also use my blog as a journal and find it interesting and informative to look back on my posts.  So, I am planting a flag here and now for the future me.

Seven years ago, for instance, I was really ill.  It helps me to know that and to see that recovery is possible -- and probable.  Here's a couple of drawings from that time.
I know I'm better than when I sketched these as part of an art therapy class.  It's good for me, now, to keep that in mind.  And it's a reminder to take care of myself and ask for help before this gets completely out of hand.

So, that's my Monday.  Looking forward to better days.  Thank you for 'listening.'

You Can Go Home Again

 I took a vacation in the first week of May.  I went back to my high school and college stomping grounds, still populated by many friends of...