Sunday, April 26, 2020

Driving Toward Oblivion

Here's a poem:


Most of us hungry at daybreak, sleepy by dark.
Some slept, one eye open, in water.
Some could trot.
Some of us lived till morning. Some did not.

Jane Hirshfield, Ledger
Support independent bookstores: buy here.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trump Flanked by Dante, a Vortex

The Map of Hell from Dante's Divine Comedy,
illustrated by Sandro Botticelli,  1485

Non avere paura; il nostro destino non può essere tolto da noi; è un regalo.

I nove gironi dell'inferno sei

Because your question searches for deep meaning, I shall explain in simple words. (Dante)

The Nine Circles of Hell are 

And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleansing? (Trump)

The Levels of American Stupidity are
the followers
the marketers and admen who must jump in to clarify for the followers (Don't drink bleach - Burger King tweet)
the lawyers who must be consulted
the people in Power who support dear Leader
dear Leader

I was asking a question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen. (Trump)

Do not be afraid; our fate cannot be taken from us; it is a gift.

50,000 people have died in the United States, most alone without loved ones.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

It's Not Funny

Huntington Beach, CA

In fact, it comes to this: nobody is capable of really thinking about anyone, even in the worst calamity. For really to think about someone means thinking about that person every minute of the day, without letting one’s thoughts be diverted by anything- by meals, by a fly that settles on one’s cheek, by household duties, or by a sudden itch somewhere. But there are always flies and itches. That’s why life is difficult to live.”
Albert Camus, The Plague 

It's a privilege to be able to stay inside, quarantined, with enough food and supplies for weeks, a virtual job, a pretty backyard and neighborhood in which to walk and a pile of masks that an industrious friend has given me. Not once have I thought my rights and freedom have been infringed upon, and this, too, is a privilege. My heart goes out toward those who are truly suffering from the virus, from economic hardship, from uncertainty and fear about the future. Most of all, though, it's a privilege to do something for others, to have the capacity to quell panic and anxiety in myself and in others, to know that what I am doing is actually something. It's a privilege to meditate, to laugh at silly cartoons, to bake a chocolate cake for a beloved friend's birthday and to bring it to her doorstep, to stand outside her house with other beloveds, at a "safe" distance from one another and to sing her birth. It's a privilege to coach my son through a new dinner recipe that he's trying by himself, thousands of miles away, to see his beautiful face. It's a privilege to follow the counsel of those wiser and more knowledgeable and experienced than myself, and it's a privilege to be openly derisive and contemptuous toward the leader of this country and the idiots that support him.

I had to write all those things to quell my anger and make sense of my contempt. I would like to be positive or not too angry or even optimistic, but I am not. I am angry and feel contempt toward the zeitgeist of this country and the insatiable greed of the powerful. The inadequacies and injustices that have always been present laid bare and yet, and yet. Still. Always the transactional. I am not optimistic and don't believe optimism is a virtue which means I am not a good American. I don't know what I am, actually, but it's not about me, and that, too, is a privilege. I wish for a sea change, or as the great Seamus Heaney said... On the far side of revenge. Believe that further shore. Is reachable from here. Believe in miracles. And cures and healing wells.

The evil in the world comes almost always from ignorance, and goodwill can cause as much damage as ill-will if it is not enlightened. People are more often good than bad, though in fact that is not the question. But they are more or less ignorant and this is what one calls vice or virtue, the most appalling vice being the ignorance that thinks it knows everything and which consequently authorizes itself to kill. The murderer's soul is blind, and there is no true goodness or fine love without the greatest possible degree of clear-sightedness. 
Albert Camus, The Plague 

I appreciate the sentiments expressed here, written by a New Yorker and posted on Facebook:

Dear protestors, 

Y’all realize that people in NYC have been holed up in tiny ass apartments the size of your car garage for twice as long as you guys have? They don’t have any beaches and most of them don’t know what a “porch” is. Restaurants being shut down means most of them have to cook in kitchens that are built for instant ramen at best. Almost nobody has a car so they can’t hoard toilet paper like you fuckers or escape to a nearby town to take a walk in a park by a lake. 

Yet they’re all making silly videos on FB, shouting thanks to healthcare workers at 7pm every day while you motherfuckers block the paths to hospitals, and they’re coming together like a community to defeat this thing despite going through hell. You know why? 

Cuz you guys are a bunch of fucking pussies. You snowflake ass Motherfucking pieces of shit need to whine about your rights getting trampled on cuz the government is telling you what to do with your bodies?! Seriously. Fucking puke in my mouth. And all those guns and ammo vests n shit? Who the fuck are you gonna shoot? The virus?! Doctors?! Put the fucking guns away, you psychopathic, insecure, ass hats. Go the fuck inside and stay there and stop fucking protesting. 


It's really, really not funny.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

All Things Bookish

I read this today from Louise Erdrich's new novel The Night Watchman:

And Patrice thought another thing her mother said was definitely true -- you never really knew a man until you told him you didn't love him. That's when his true ugliness, submerged to charm you, might surface.

Oooh boy. 

On Friday night I joined a virtual silent reading that I heard about from my beloved friend, poet Heather McHugh. The thing originated at a hotel somewhere in Seattle and was a yearly affair where you basically showed up, I think, at the hotel bar, alone with a book. And then that was it. You sat at the bar or in the bar at the little tables and just read your book. Alone. For two hours. While a man played the piano. You could drink and eat little plates of food, but mostly you read and looked up and around at the other solo people reading and what they were reading. And then back down at your own book. So, this year given The Pandemic, the Silent Reading was virtual. I signed up, paid a small donation and joined the Zoom thing at 6:00 on Friday night with nearly 300 people. Reader, this is the kind of thing that makes me truly and perfectly happy. It's the ultimate reading dream. I made myself a plate of sheep's milk cheese, crackers, soppressata, french fries, olives and a glass of wine. I read The Night Watchman and I read from Sharon Olds' new collection titled Arias. I peered at the tiny thumbnail portraits of all the people sitting in their homes reading. I lay my head back on my chair and closed my eyes and listened to the piano music that poured out of this guy for the entire two hours. I saw Heather's smiling face in early evening light and the book she was reading, something by Borges and once again felt overwhelmed by her beauty and what she's brought to my life since I've met her. Understanding. Humor. Caregiving. Poetry. She's got a fabulous new website/podcast thing going in anticipation of her new book of poems, Muddy Matterhorn.  Check out her sound files here.

What else? I guess the usual -- vacillating between a strange ennui and ridiculous industriousness. Noticing everything that is ugly and stupid and false about our country in particular and so not anything like or ever has been shining on a hill even as the oak hydrangea flowers chartreuse, the acacia tree leafs out, the succulents thrust their onanistic blooms three feet in the air overnight and the hummingbirds clash with one another in irritation or ecstasy who knows but the bees are profuse and there's a Coopers hawk nesting in my neighbor's tree, the Orthodox family next door has five laughing screaming children and the Los Angeles sky is empty of planes. A loved one misunderstands who I am or confirms again that I am not known, digs around in an old place only just barely buried under dark dark earth. I worry for my sons, vacillating like me between ennui what's the point, confusion, and the delight of new recipes (a lemon-parmesan emulsion for pasta!) Their dark brown eyes. I imagine how the world might use two incredibly beautiful men with hearts as big as the sky. I dream of firemen not doctors.

Friday, April 17, 2020


I'm all over the place. Perhaps. (condition) Filled with vitriol and judgement and sadness masked by bitter humor. I know this in parts (not part). It must be irritating to listen to someone compare a disabled person and her caregiver to a pandemic's dictates. To constantly draw parallels. Parallels. One line tilts at some point must tilt at some point in this madness we call living. Sophie knows everything about isolation and confinement. Her journey is not mine nor are there parallels. But tilt. Because she is my heart I can understand how deep. Fathoms. Unfathomable. Unfathom is not a word, but I am learning unlearning to do it because of her. When she was a baby and screamed for hours I rocked her in a brown and cream-checked chair from the life before her, chanting Breathing in I calm myself, breathing out I smile.  Tonglen. Breathe in all the world's pain and suffering and breathe out good. When I forget -- tilt and the unfathomable depth of her eyes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dispatch from the Left Coast

Do you know the art of erasure? I don't mean the art of disappearing or being invisible or making something or someone invisible, although that'd be awesome. I'm talking about taking a piece of writing -- a newspaper, the back of a cereal box, a page in a magazine, an advertisement -- and whiting out random words to create a poem. You should try it, especially if you're tired of or hate doing jigsaw puzzles. I hate doing jigsaw puzzles, and I'm busy enough teaching and taking care of my family, but I do love the art of erasure. Let's all do it and report back tomorrow with your creations.

I told Mary Moon that I feel anger and depression in equal measure but what rules me is dissociation and its close cousin, anesthetized cheerfulness, because what better coping mechanism do we have than the ability to let go and smile? I've perfected the art of dissociation after watching tens of thousands of grand mal seizures over the last quarter of a century. I'm not talking mindfulness here, although it has a place right alongside the dissociation. I believe both are distant cousins of the stick your fingers in your ears and hum method. Now that I'm thinking about it, though, I'm never cheerful. Optimistic, yes, but I can't stand cheerfulness. I really can't stand a Pollyanna. I prefer the darkly humorous and bitter people of the world who still manage to be incredibly kind. For instance, I'd rather be dying alongside someone who is sweet with a gallows sense of humor and dark view of mankind than someone who is sweet but claims to be a Pollyanna.

Who the hell is Pollyanna? I really, really, really can't stand the Pollyannas of the Pandemic. So much better to say, What the fuck? at the absurdity of waiting in line at the Costco for your giant jars of mayo than I actually LOVE the solitude and am enjoying making elaborate food for myself and then watching a corny chick flick! The queen of WTFs is my friend Sandra who has been posting her WTF lists on her Facebook page, recounting life in the Pandemic with a severely disabled kid. The thing is after the hilarity and dark humor of that, she tells us something for which she feels gratitude, and that gratitude is all the more beautiful for its WTF frame. She wrote come amazing commentary today about what it's like caring for a child with complex medical needs during the Pandemic. Turns out it's not that different than caring for him during typical times, something that we've been sort of Cassandraing about for decades. Read it here.

I don't know what I'm talking about anymore. I thought I might have caught the Covid on Sunday. I just felt OFF. Evidently, I don't have it, though, at least not yet, because I felt better on Monday and Tuesday after dosing myself up with elderberry syrup, Yin Chao and prayer. Just kidding on the prayer. I lay in bed for hours in the darkest hours before dawn making elaborate plans for when I got sick. I won't regale you with these as it'd be about as interesting as me recounting a dream. I did a lot of mindful panicking in my tiny little mother mind™ before I conceded to the powers of the earlier-mentioned dissociation and concluded the whole session with a dark nod toward imminent death and the cessation of present troubles. Last night I woke in the middle of the night with the most intense headache I think I've ever had. I stumbled to the bathroom and shook out two Advil (even though my mind balked because I've heard that Tylenol is better than Advil for the Covid) in the dark and then stumbled back to my bed where I lay for hours, wondering whether this was a precursor to Covid or a stroke, but I eventually fell asleep and woke embarrassed in the light at my earlier histrionics.

Reader, what's up with you? If you're wondering, that photo is Oliver multi-tasking. He went to CVS to get Sophie's medications while attending "class."

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Day Whatever

It rained for days here in southern California. Tomorrow it's Easter, the day that our POSPOTUS predicted would be a fine day for all of us to pack the churches. My aim is to not come right out and condemn/blame/call out but to note things, observe things, state the facts, ma'am. The facts include nights of very weird dreams, including one the other night with James Dickey characters, the threat of death in the back-seat of a truck, joints passed around and me smoking for the first time in thirty-five years to avoid whatever torture was coming my way and then the cab of a school-bus moving in slow-motion right into the truck with me. What the hell?

Reader, have you been cooking a lot? If so, what? Last night I made roasted chicken thighs and carrots. They were seasoned with Za'atar, lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil and when still hot dumped on a bed of greens. So, so good. I think the recipe was from the New York Times food section, something that I'm a tad obsessed with --

Reader, have you been reading? I just finished Lily King's new novel Lovers and Writers and am now reading Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman. I also read Glennon Doyle's Untamed and will read Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Of Love and Other Demons that I think I read back in the last century, but I can't be sure. In other book news, I've started a project of cataloguing my books. My sons are horrified, but it feels to me as if it's the closest I'll ever come to being a librarian, and that's one of my main regrets (along with not learning to surf and vaccinating Sophie with five vaccines when she was two months old). The Bird Photographer made me an Excel sheet with categories: Classics, Fiction, Non-Fiction General, Poetry, Memoir, Biography, Art and Cooking. Also Location: Bedroom, Dining Room, Living Room, Hallway, Bathroom, Kitchen. I read an interview with Fran Leibovitz last night who was described as living in a NYC apartment with 11,000 books. This thrilled me.  I've also been slowly catching up on articles in "The New Yorker" and highly recommend the issue about the pandemic, especially a strangely comforting one written by a guy who was quarantined with his family in China during theirs. I'm finished with spring break this weekend and begin teaching online again next week. I am so grateful to have a job right now. So, so grateful.

It's a weird, weird time, and I find myself only able to watch two episodes of any given series on the TV in any given day. I did watch all of "Unorthodox" which, of course, reminded me of my days teaching at the religious school. I feel rising bile in my throat at all organized religion, though, and I have to calm myself down even when I see it/god invoked for people dying. Prayer works, they say, or I will pray for you, him, her, and here comes the acid. I am old enough to know I must observe this impulse toward hatred/disgust/contempt as being more about me. Why does any mention of religion right now bother me so much, make me feel so angry? I think I have enough Catholic in me -- however shredded -- to feel guilt and even shame that I just don't believe and then there's just plain, old-fashioned longing.

It's weird how when you're wearing a mask and smile at someone walking toward you, you don't know if they know you're smiling, but Oliver and I experimented and realized that our eyes smiled and that we could just tell.

Speaking of The Bird Photographer (earlier), I want to tell you a little story that he told me the other day. He was walking down in Santa Ana at a beautiful point that overlooks the Pacific, a place where falcons nest and fox kits frolic (I'm not kidding), and everyone at this point is wearing masks and social distancing and so on, but as he was walking, a woman walked by him yakking on her phone, and she said, Well, it's because The Blacks don't ever go to the doctor, and he said that he couldn't believe he'd just heard that but he knew he wouldn't/couldn't say anything because it wouldn't have been good. A black man can't berate a white woman. I said, If I'd been there, I would have picked up the closest rock and sharpened my tongue and then just lit into her. 

Also, read this.

Here's a poem:

Miracle Fish

I used to pretend to believe in God. Mainly, I liked so much to talk to someone in the dark. Think of how far a voice must have to travel to go beyond the universe. How powerful that voice must be to get there. Once in a small chapel in Chimayo, New Mexico, I knelt in the dirt because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. That was before I learned to harness that upward motion inside me, before I nested my head in the blood of my body. There was a sign and it said, This earth is blessed. Do not play in it. But I swear I will play on this blessed earth until I die. I relied on a Miracle Fish, once, in New York City, to tell me my fortune. That was before I knew it was my body’s water that moved it, that the massive ocean inside me was what made the fish swim.

Ada Limón (2015)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rest in Peace, Charlotte Figi

We are all bereft, gutted, filled with sorrow. Charlotte Figi, the daughter of Paige Figi, died yesterday of probable complications related to Covid-19. Charlotte was patient zero in the cannabis revolution, and Paige a mother, a friend, a mentor, a revolutionary, a life-saver and inspiration. All of our lives -- all of your lives -- has been changed by this young girl and her mother. That Charlotte should die of this cruel virus that seems to be just picking people off is bewildering and even surreal. In the epilepsy community, Charlotte's death is particularly tragic as so many of our hopes and dreams and certainly our gratitude and love is wrapped up in this child's soulful eyes and sweet smile. She is our child, too, and I think I speak for many when I say thank you to Paige and Greg and Matt and Max and Chase for sharing Charlotte with us.

Molta forza e coraggio to Charlotte's brave family. We will never forget your girl, the garden you planted, and the flowers that bloomed from it. We love you and hold you with our community -- Charlotte's web that you so beautifully spun and whose strands are stronger than loss and grief because they are made of love.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Job Counseling Pandemic-Style

Apple pie for dinner. Week four of quarantining. How's it going, Reader?

I taught my last class this morning and am "off" this week for Spring Break. I had some sautéed Swiss chard with garlic and olive oil for an extra-early dinner, along with a slice of bread that I baked yesterday, slathered in butter. I've honestly found my baking groove, something that's been a part of me since I was a little girl. Which reminds me -- I had an "interview" with a job evaluator/counselor the other day, all as part of the post-post divorce shit-show. It took 4 1/2 hours for a professional to interview me, pandemic-style via the internets. He ate a sandwich during the interview, and I stepped out of camera range to take care of Sophie when she needed something. The purpose of this "counseling?" I believe it was to evaluate my earning capacity and to make recommendations on how to better utilize my time. I am, naturellement, eager to get the results as I just know I should be doing more, making more money and better utilizing my time than teaching 20 hours a week and caregiving for 70.  I answered questions regarding my family's work history (where my parents worked, where my sisters worked) and then regarding my own work, from my very first job. Honestly, it was kind of fun to go through my work history -- a kind of trip down memory lane with a guy from Monty Python, except instead of looking at him behind a desk, I looked at him through a screen, right into his living room where he had a sandwich just off-screen and took bites, albeit apologetically, throughout.

I don't know what to tell you about this experience, other than what I took away. That is: if you're a caregiver of a severely disabled young adult, most people in the professional world are not going to know or care about the kind of work you've done, even if you've done that work for 25 years. They might ask you things like, If you were working, could you work 40 hours a week? or What would you need to work 40 hours per week? and you would answer, I already work 90 hours a week! and you'd say that three times when asked the question three times, and when the man sighs and re-words (let me put this more simply, he offered) the question in a way that would be easier for your tiny little mother mind™ to comprehend, you still stammer out that you work 24/7, basically, even as you realize from the very deep depths of your tiny little mother mind™ that it doesn't matter, it really doesn't matter because the very fact that you're being put through this means the real world doesn't understand and probably never will.

"I myself have worked all my life in such a building, and have never once.....


Sunday, April 5, 2020

I'm Sick of the Title So No More We Can Do Hard Things: Palm Sunday

found on the Internets

So, today's Palm Sunday. I marked the occasion by listening to a Fresh Air podcast -- an interview with Professor of Religious Studies Bart Ehrman who says that our ideas of heaven and hell -- or eternal reward or punishment -- are not found in either the Old Testament or the teachings of Jesus. I've always been fascinated by religious studies, even thought about getting an advanced degree in it, and since Ehrman hails from my alma mater, I really perked up this morning when I read a bit about him. He's a former Catholic and then evangelical Christian -- someone who bought the whole kit and caboodle, as they say. I vaguely remember reading something or other that he wrote about Jesus, and I admit that I'm always, always interested in reading anything that debunks what the evangelicals or the Catholics so righteously and smugly espouse, but today's interview struck me particularly hard because it was not only fascinating but intensely compassionate -- toward those very people who kind of, sort of, drive me insane. I know I can use some lessons in compassion, and I really dug the part when he says that letting people have faith in heaven is fine, but it's harmful to teach people that there's a hell.

And so I will never try to talk somebody out of a belief in heaven, but I certainly will try to talk people out of a belief in hell because it's simply wrong, and it's harmful. It does psychological damage. And when people raise their children on this stuff, it can scar them for life. And so I think that hell is something we need to fight against; heaven, I'm all for.

Here's the link to the episode: Heaven and Hell Are Not What Jesus Preached, Religion Scholar Says.

Last night I was in a funk, but the reasons why are too embarrassing to repeat, so today I've cleaned bathrooms, made bread and am thinking about cataloguing all my books, my mood strangely light and resigned and buoyed by cracks of light through dark clouds, the roses sitting in an Italian vase on my dining room table, Sophie's plum-colored pants with the baby blue, pink and red stripes down the side, a flip through an old photo album and the blessed relief that I'll never have to sit through a Palm Sunday mass again.

Here's a poem*:

Goodtime Jesus

Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dreaming so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it? A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled back, skin falling off. But he wasn't afraid of that. It was a beautiful day. How 'bout some coffee? Don't mind if I do. Take a little ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.

James Tate (1979)

This poem was brought to my attention by this very cool newsletter that I receive. It's called Pome by Matthew Ogle. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Saturday 4/4/20

Spring Break, 2020

Whelp, it's Saturday again.

Let's talk about service, shall we? There's service to one's country and service to one's god or goddess and there's service to one's fellow man or woman or non-binary human. I've been thinking that we caregivers of disabled persons have service  down. We've got it honed. Despite what you've heard probably way too often (mea culpa) about the difficulties and burdens of service, there are infinitely more benefits to have been called to do so -- to serve -- than you could possibly imagine. Yesterday some cool literary person invited me to join one of those Facebook groups for writers, so I figured why not and posted a brief introduction to myself in which I said that I was a writer and a caregiver to a severely disabled young adult. A probable well-meaning woman responded with a "heart" and wrote: "It makes you look into a mirror and realize my life could be worse and it gives you even more compassion."


Let me be of service to you, please.

Comments like that make me look into a mirror and pledge to do better in expressing myself -- to demonstrate that caring for a severely disabled young adult is the opportunity of a lifetime. It's hard as shit, especially when decades pass and you're basically doing the same stuff, but it transforms you in the best of ways, ways that others might envy rather than thanking their lucky stars.

Are ya'll thinking I've eaten too many CBD gummies?

The Virus does make caregiving more difficult because all the supports you normally have, if you're lucky -- things like caregivers, day programs, entertainment, music therapy, outings, etc. -- stop, abruptly.  It's reminded me of the early days of caring for Sophie -- the long, long hours where ritual and routine take on a whole different meaning. I find myself investing the regular routines with meaning, and the meaning is service.

The village is hunkered down, though, and our children and young adults might not know why or what's happened. I do think Sophie knows on some deep, intense level that the entire earth has tilted, and I am certain that other exquisitely sensitive souls who have no ability to communicate and are thought deficient do, too. Yesterday, the adult day program that Sophie normally attends had a music session on Zoom. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

How do you do it? people say,  or I couldn't do what you do and that makes us laugh -- sometimes bitterly with disappointment but mostly with glee because we know that we can and so can you. I don't want to wrap this up with a bow, but so can you. We can all do it, together. Serve. Be of service.

Friday, April 3, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Friday 4/3/20

From off the wide world webs

I don't know about you, Reader, but I find myself cycling through a whole lot of emotions each day beginning at about 5 am and continuing throughout the day, often capped off with a kind of easy dissociation and ending when I go to sleep (always untroubled, this is a gift I know). I woke this morning in a financial panic with apocalyptic scenarios that would make envious any thriller screenwriter, and I realized only after breathing through all of it that the panic comes from privilege -- the privilege of having everything that I need right now. Plus, the sun came up. So there's the FEAR ZONE, THE LEARNING ZONE and THE GROWTH ZONE.

Do you see how much one can grow, even in the darkest hours before dawn?

Today is a beautiful one in southern California. I've taught my students and am now ready for what we used to call "Spring Break." I have no idea what I'll be "doing" next week but somewhere in my tiny little mother mind™ I might sit down and pull out the GDB and get writing.

Oliver told me that during a zoom conference with his boss at the U of A (he works in the bookstore), they learned that the university is operating soon at a massive deficit and that many, many people will be laid off, including faculty. Cue a FEAR response (anger at why would they say these things in a meeting?), but instead I'm going to LEARN, and I'm going to take Oliver along. I recognize that the university, like all businesses and people, is trying to do its best. I ask him whether this was rumor that the boss was spreading or whether there's validity to it. I acknowledge that this whole thing is scary as shit but we can't control this part of it. 







It's super scary and unnerving, I share with Oliver, but right now, we're fine. We're making sandwiches, and I've got a job. You have an internship lined up for the summer that is still going to happen. We're all going to get through this but not unchanged.

Reader, tell me how you're experiencing fear, learning and growth.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

We Can Do Hard Things, Thursday 4/ 2/20 WITH AN UPDATE***

Vilhelm Hammershoi (1864-1916). Woman in an Interior, Strandgrade 30 (detail), 1901.
Oil on canvas

8:55 am

I'm feeling very down this morning.  (I managed to crack myself up thinking the words self-care and how much I loathe them, especially the hyphen)

It took a pandemic, but I'm currently eating 2 gummies of Charlotte's Web Calm version of CBD every morning and drinking a glass of wine every night. Am I calmer? Perhaps, but I know that it takes some time for CBD to actually do its work. I'll keep you posted. As for the wine, it goes well with the meals I've made of late: 1/2 leg of lamb, rubbed all over with a paste made from butter, fresh mint and rosemary from my garden, garlic, roasted on a bed of cut-up slavered with olive oil and salt potatoes.

A friend sent this to me this morning:

Can you read that? *** It’s actually FAKE. Thank you Steve Reed. You know, the thought crossed my mind that it seemed far-fetched, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining. (And perfect for these fake news times with the clown in charge, right?

God talk depresses me. Too much God talk makes me despair.

Here's some good advice I read on the internets today.

  1. Spread connection
  2. Spread help
  3. Spread optimism
  4. Spread gratitude

Here's a poem:

Thanks by W.S. Merwin


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