Love is a force that connects us to every strand of the universe, an unconditional state that characterizes human nature, a form of knowledge that is always there for us if only we can open ourselves to it.
~Emily H. Sell
If we were having coffee, I would be delighted to see you again. Come on in! Hugs, if you’re amenable to them. It’s a bit breezy out there, isn’t it? There is the usual small craft advisory in effect, but we won’t be taking a small craft out on the water so it’s neither here nor there to us. We might go for a walk later, if you’re in the mood. The sky is cloudy, but the temperature is mild and inviting us all to get outside for at least a little while.
Let’s take our beverages out to the porch. It’s really a three-season room rather than a porch, and we should stay warm enough. There are some throw blankets scattered about, just in case you feel a little chill. We have the usual assortment of drinks (coffee, teas, a variety of sparkling and still water). For savory snacks, nothing much has changed. Chips and salsa or hummus with pita and/or vegetables are available. If you’re in the mood for sweets, we have an assortment of chocolates. Please help yourself.
How are you? What have you been doing since our last chat? Have you gone on any adventures and/or traveled anywhere? Have you seen or learned anything new? Have you spent time with people who are important to you? Seen any plays or listened to live music? Have you read any good books or seen any good films?
I am still plodding along on the same book (Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer). I don’t think I’ve read much of it at all this week. I’ll explain why in just a bit. As for films, M and I watched Eddie the Eagle last weekend. I suppose there is something cliche about it, but I loved it. Maybe because I needed something charming and sweet and inspiring and sometimes funny. I remember when Eddie the Eagle was ski jumping in the 1988 Olympics, and I remember being inspired by him. To me, he truly represented the spirit of the Olympics. He wasn’t the best, but he was willing to give it his all.
We also watched Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a movie with Tiny Fey. It was okay. Entertaining, funny in spots, but… eh. I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it. I do like Tiny Fey and thought she did a good job. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for war, even with humor involved.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that the reason I’m not making much headway in the book department is because I’ve been spending a lot of time reading about recent history. Is that an oxymoron? I suppose it is. I’ve been reading about things I’ve lived through but failed to pay much attention to at the time. This need to imbibe in the not-too-faraway past stems from the present situation, and the always wondering: How did we get here?
In addition to the reading, I have been watching a bit more television. Mostly PBS shows such as Divided States of America on Frontline, Oklahoma City and Rachel Carson on American Experience. The same question — How did we get here? — applies to my choice of television shows, too. I think all of this “research” is merely another way to feel some sort of control although I know full well that control is just an illusion (particularly in this case!).
I am not an academic. In fact, I’m a high school dropout. I won’t try to review or analyze what I’ve been taking in. I don’t think I could at this point anyway. I’m still processing a lot of it, and still wondering how I missed so much of what was going on. Complacency, of course. My life was fine so there was no need to look too carefully. But one thing that stands out for me now is how much more I am beginning to understand things that once seemed incomprehensible to me.
The other takeaway I have for now is that maybe we need to reinvent ourselves and start telling new stories about who we are as people, as a country, as a world. Maybe we need to stop labeling ourselves as conservatives, liberals, moderates, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, etc., and become something else. Maybe we need to redefine patriotism (and the Ad Council got a good start on it with this television ad). Maybe we need to stop listening to the politicians and start listening to each other. Maybe we need to stop being backed into a one-issue corner and allowing ourselves to be distracted or herded towards hate and anger.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still working on finding a balance between staying informed and spending too much time checking news feeds. About ten paragraphs into this opinion piece by Andrew Sullivan, there’s a paragraph that starts with “With someone like this barging into your consciousness every hour of every day, you begin to get a glimpse of what it must be like to live in an autocracy of some kind.” It’s worth a read if you have the time. Just read that one paragraph and the one that follows it, if nothing else. It describes well how I’ve felt for the past few weeks. I imagine many others have felt that way, too.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would step down off of my soapbox for now and tell you how much I appreciate you listening. We try not to discuss politics too much here at the ranch, but it’s difficult to avoid at times. I never expected to be an activist at this point in life, that’s for sure. There is a local rally coming up that I plan to attend if I can. We might be Elsewhere, but our plans are up in the air for now. I’m hoping to go west and visit with Little Wookie sometime soon, and that will depend on a number of factors. I’m still receiving my almost-daily smiles in the form of a picture of the World’s Most Adorable Baby. He’s growing and learning fast. The last time we Skyped he crawled up to the camera. He was using one leg for leverage and it looked a little like a crab walk, but he was moving quickly. I don’t think it will be too long before he’s walking. Then his parents will really be in trouble. 😉
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that in spite of the chilly weather we had this week, the crocuses are popping up and the little flowers that grow throughout the lawn are making an appearance too. The storms we had brought down a few trees in the woods. M is outside now with the chainsaw, cutting them up for use as firewood. I’ve been contemplating the trees in the woods, wondering if we should start planting more. It seems as though we have lost quite a few trees over the past three years. Some were dead trees blown down by the winds, but some have been live (mostly cedars) that toppled due to the ground being over-saturated from rain and super high tides. As these trees die off, there are very few small ones coming up to replace them. If we planted new trees, would they survive the brackish water, the high tides, and the heavy rainfalls? Or is that area going to change over to marsh some day?
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would apologize if I sound somewhat negative this week. I don’t mean to. There are still more positives than negatives in life in spite of alternative facts and what some would have us think. Spring will follow winter as it always does. The Little Doe continues to visit us. We’ll have to start chasing her off soon. Otherwise, she’ll end up in the gardens, eating our vegetables and flowers. There is also the issue of deer ticks to contend with, another good reason to keep her away from the house and gardens.
If we were having coffee, it would be time for me to turn this over to you. I need to get outside and do a little work in the garden. Thank you so much for stopping by for another chat. Feel free to join me in the garden. There’s a bench out there near the pond and we can continue chatting or you can sit and enjoy the quiet. We’re grilling locally caught fish for dinner tonight, and you’re welcome to join us. Sunset, which I’m not sure we’ll see due to the cloud cover, is scheduled for 5:37 PM. I’d like to go down to the Point if it looks like the clouds will part. We usually have some spectacular sunsets on days like this if the clouds decide to give way.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.