It’s our lucky day… page 139

Day 243 – 11/13/2020

Today is Friday the 13th in the year 2020 – what could possibly go wrong? In truth it feels like a lucky day to me and I’m expecting good things to happen. Or maybe I’ve finally gone ’round the bend and this will be the day the meteor hits. If so, we’ve had a good run.

Our human connections help define us, and without them for so long I’m drifting a little – the people I love help anchor me, and sometimes I miss The Before when some of us didn’t know each other so very well. I miss our three boys and nothing yet indicates when we can be together again. A cousin was going to drive across several states with her daughter for a visit and I had to tell her no, one of the hardest things I’ve done. All because of a “so-called pandemic” that was really only a hyped-up flu, participated in by the entire world as a fvck-you to Donald Trump… that didn’t magically disappear the day after the election like a massive caravan of invaders from Mexico… even now, after all the math says Biden & Harris have won.

Instead, because conspiracy theorists and grumpy-ass naysayers politicized a virus and the idea of protecting ourselves against it, America is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis that’s spiraling out of control. We have a medical system that’s overburdened across the nation and personnel who are burnt beyond even talking about it.

It’s going to be an uphill battle for President-Elect Biden to bring this wholly unnecessary disaster under control, but we know he won’t throw up his hands, slide it off onto states that didn’t vote for him, and absolve himself of any responsibility – because he’s an adult, he knows how this works, and he’s the man of the hour. I cannot wait for sanity to be the standard operating system again. Even with a vaccine on the horizon, we’ll likely be into the 3rd quarter of 2021 before doses can be delivered worldwide and infection rates fought to submission, while the isolation becomes fallout that has to be addressed on its own… and already has. Had America simply paid attention in March… April… May… and taken the guidelines and mandates for what they were – an effort to save lives and our economic viability – instead of interpreting the benevolent wisdom as a ruse to somehow steal their freedom… we wouldn’t find ourselves at this frankly terrifying juncture now.

We’re losing a 9/11’s worth of American lives every two days, and soon it will be 2,000+ people every single day. That should be a difficult statistic for even the most jaded among us. They’re running out of refrigerated morgue trucks in El Paso, turning away car accident victims at Utah hospitals, burying entire populations of nursing homes plus their caregivers, repeated ad infinitum across the nation. Aside from our temporary lost standing in the world, the racial injustice and warfare in our streets, and the wreckage of our economy, a non-response to a global pandemic, with its resulting carnage, seems a very high price to pay for the demand to be right and make the liberals cry.

It’s 10am and the sun’s shining bright on a 33º morning, so I need to soak up every minute of it… the days are short, and losing the light by 5pm lets the melancholy creep in and dim my inner lights for a while every evening now. My optimism is increasing hour by hour and the knowledge that the grown-ups are finally stepping in cheers me, but the flip-side is knowing how much opposition is out there to truth, progress, innovation, freedom of expression, and room and opportunity for every kind of human. But ya’ start somewhere…

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Marking time… page 127

Day 222 – 10/23/2020

Dark rainy morning. Kim had stuff to do first thing, so I’m sitting in the quiet with my coffee, watching headlights bounce off shiny surfaces below me. No warm-up for a few days now, and Monday’s forecast says 31º and snow showers, with a low of 20º. Whoa, baby…

It was fun to get out yesterday in t-shirts and shorts and roam around in the 85º temps. We saw pretty leaves, ate lunch in the car with the windows down, watched an enormous muskrat nibble on greens next to a creek, drove around KC metro just because we could, found what we wanted, and happily crawled back into the cave four hours later. Not old, just tired…

Watched last night’s debate, so that’s done now. Counting down the interminable hours until we know and trying to keep my head busy. It’s chilly, wet, and windy, so this will be an indoor day, which means working twice as hard at holding steady. We have a freeze warning for tonight, so we might try to huddle the mums together and cover them. They’re so perfect we hate to give them up, especially when there are some warmer temps to follow.

Welp, Diary… I’m gonna be boring and tedious for eleven more days and then let’s both hope for a sea change all ’round. Then the next sea change will be when we know we can walk into any restaurant or other business in town, attend any event, gather with friends, without the restrictions imposed by a pandemic. That one will be a pretty big deal, too.

Wow, look at the time… 10am… this day is positively streaking by!

And you thought you’d be getting something new…

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Tuesday’s child is full of… page 113

Day 208 – 10/06/2020

Exciting day here… a specialty company is cleaning all the dryer vents in the building. They open to the outside and involve some lengthy ductwork but fortunately not too many turns, so not as bad as they could be. The techs found a 5″ piece of PVC in ours, along with the expected rubble – could be why I sometimes have to run a load twice before it dries. Alas, they’re finished in our place, so the thrill is already wearing off.

I’ll fix that this afternoon by hanging with Rita, whose plate is growing lighter by the day. Years of experiences during my lifetime and hers convince me that humans tend to give up too soon… just before we break through to the diamonds. We’ll never know what we missed, we just sense there was something we could have had but looked away. With things utterly surreal in the country this morning, knowing there are constructive, helpful things to stay engaged in is taking me a long way. (For posterity, Diary, IMPOTUS left Walter Reed Hospital last night under his own recognizance and returned to the White House shedding virus cells in the millions. His staff is dropping with it hour by hour, and the ones remaining are worried for their safety.)

Everything’s so off the rails at this point, imma hop a hot-air balloon and watch from a bit of a remove. It’s all gonna end up SOMEwhere, sometime… and we’ll live to tell about it or not. Fatalism is my BFF.

Okay, so lunch when Kim gets home… it’s Taco Tuesday! And then some afternoon therapy with Sistah-Woman. Slopin’ on down, into and through another week… it’s good that time never stands still.

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Fall has fell… page 102

Day 194 – 09/22/2020

Fall officially starts today, 2020 having caused us to sidestep spring and summer this trip around the sun. It’s beautiful – days in the 70s, low 80s, nights in the low 50s, and the leaves are responding accordingly. The tree across the street that burns from top down every year has burst into flame, and now the leaves in its center are turning. Eventually, they’ll all be down around the matching truck on the street and another autumn will enter the record books.

My fat spider in the window has retreated for the day, and I’m starting to think about mine, having eased into it with the best coffee in town, Kim’s. I have a date with Rita mid-morning to get back into her project with intent, so we’ll see where the day goes from there. Yesterday’s SI-joint injection is showing signs of having a good effect, which creates hope for accomplishing things, as people do when they get up in the morning.

Random thought because breakfast is supposed to happen about now: I’m tired of food – the thrill is gone. Reading has lost its luster, and now eating is just one more job to do. I wish comfort food wasn’t so thoroughly comforting – I could eat mac & cheese, potatoes, bacon, or Ramen noodles every day, or some of each, but the concept of protein versus carbs is a pain in the ass right now.

Which brings me to a new thought… do I hone in on the nitty-gritty of daily life under a COVID cloud in a bid to keep the heavier worries at bay? On first inspection it sounds like truth. Pretty sure I try to bury the real concerns under a shroud of silence and major on the minors instead. The things I can’t say to anybody, not even me, have to be choked back every day and squashed down into their hole with the lid slammed shut, so at least once a week I’m on the verge of jumping out of my skin and wreaking havoc in all directions.

Kim captured a similar interface from this morning’s sunrise – a liquid but fractured state, still on fire but starting the day with trepidation. Maybe Mr. Sol and I can pool our energies and make it to Wednesday…

Photo Credit: Kim Smith

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Bowling for buoyancy… page 95

Day 187 – 09/15/2020

Some days the slog is uphill both ways, through rain, hail, sleet, snow, and broken glass. I wake up and Brain says “Again? Nothing’s changed and you want me to engage with this shit show AGAIN? It’s a freakin’ lot of hours ’til bedtime, chicky.” But… life goes on.

I saved this comment by my Twitter friend Kim – it hits me deep, what with the daily carnage everywhere:

As challenging as this stretch of time has been, I know I would have imploded without the things Kurt Vonnegut recommended to us. It’s just a fact.

Things that “make my soul grow” …

Note to me and mine today:

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Time, yeah… page 94

Day 185 – 09/13/2020

I fronted a smooth face to the world for a long time. But now, thanks to the power of genetics, when I look in the mirror I see all my grandmothers looking back at me, and like Nora Ephron I feel bad about my neck, so – SCREW mirrors. The never-ending decade formerly known as 2020 is aging me from the inside out in subtle but irrefutable ways, something I vowed wouldn’t happen. The joke’s on me… life and time run this show and both are brief and merciless.

One truth that’s emerging from the current chaos is that hope keeps us young and if it starts to fade to any quantifiable degree our remaining store of callow youth goes with it… and you can’t get that back. It’s the age-old story… the tree, the fruit, the serpent, the question, the opportunity… and the choice… to know. Once we see behind the curtain the world changes forever, but without truth nothing evolves upward, especially the difficult truths, the ones we try to avoid, so it all has to be faced. There are things I wish I didn’t know about my nation, my neighbors, and the world… but as all the best people are saying, “It is what it is.” Innocence has been deflowered and total adult knowledge and responsibility have landed on our doorstep. Dammit-cwap.

Perhaps I’ll achieve this venerated state of wisdom…

John said something yesterday that will stay with me. He was updating me on friends whose plans for future retirement are altogether lovely but currently almost beyond reach, and when I showed concern that time and circumstances might keep them from realizing their goals, he put it all into perspective with one profound thought… “Sometimes the planning and hoping is the payoff.” That’s so sweetly true. Once in a while when we’re hanging out on the balcony, talking about the price of cotton and how high the river might rise, Kim and I build sand castles out of ways to spend lottery money… the people we’d share with, the promises we’d keep, the possibilities that would suddenly be open to us just for having several million dollars at our disposal. Our plans are always doable and perfectly reasonable, but actually achieving them would be far more time-and-labor-intensive and less-perfect than the dreaming, we know that… so things are totally fine as they are.

We’re here for it, though, if it ever happens – we’d be just darling as bona fide millionaires.

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The Emo Queen

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falling asleep on

a pillow soaked with tears makes

for a soggy rest

JSmith 11/12/2017

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On losing your spark…

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Yes, it’s Monday, which is no biggie since I’m retired, but there are so many of them and they relentlessly click past while sneering at my lack of productivity. It’s demoralizing, not to put too maudlin a point on it, especially since I know the Monday voices are absolutely right.

I was in a conversation thread last week about losing your spark – apparently it’s a thing right now, who knew? Mine died the night of November 8, 2016, and that’s all I’m going to say in that regard except that it’s proving to be a long road back. In last week’s conversation, a beautiful friend who knows whereof she speaks counseled starting small, one thing at a time, racking up little successes, continuing to move forward. She’s right. It works, even when you know you’re still swimming in molasses.

It just got easier. This morning, October 30, 2017, the sense of being suspended in a state of limbo is gone for the first time in eleven months, which is once again all I’m going to say, except that Kim told me at lunch “You look adorable today. You look like you’re feeling better.”

I know it’s still a long road ahead, but I’m content for now just to feel the spark again. I have a project that I want and need to finish and, like other things, the process has suffered from my lack of ability to engage. So while it feels like somebody’s home again, I think I’ll get at that.

Wishing each of you sunshine, clarity, and peace today…

 

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but listen…

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Social media and its sand traps…

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the book of face is

a treacherous place filled with

ugly mugs and myths

but she hangs in spite

for the perks that invite her

to stay in the game ’til

THE END

JSmith 04/25/2017

 

 

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Getting it…

Leadership with education

understanding rocks

hard to come by but precious

explaining sucks chunks

JSmith 03/07/2017

#ShePersisted

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Keep peace in your soul …

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self-care is hard-learned

after all options used up

rest has to happen

JSmith 02/15/2016

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Doesn’t apply, just saying…*

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when it’s down to just

two pancakes topped with cherries

t-shirts are the shiz

JSmith 02/13/2017

* Some days are all about the corn.

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Hello February…

February pinned on noticeboard

(GOALS)

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A winter playlist…

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gray winter days are

like a snuggie with some class

feel cozy look inviting

JSmith 01/03/2017

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