1. Feminism that encompasses all the issues that impact women, from poverty to criminal justice reform to living wages to better protections for immigrants to LGBTQIA issues, is feminism that ensures voting rights for all as a foundational issue.
2. For marginalized people, feminism is failing them by being so focused on whether middle-class white women have what they need and want, but not on protecting voting rights for everyone else.
3. Because institutions are not designed to help parents raise high-needs children, it becomes much easier to argue that children with disabilities are a burden to be avoided instead of addressing the paucity of resources.
4. Anger can be cathartic, motivating, and above all else an expression of the innate humanity of any community. Demands that the oppressed be calm and polite and that forgiveness come before all else are fundamentally dehumanizing.
I was scrolling my Twitter feed yesterday and came across this article, which happens to discuss one of my favorite poems, WS Merwin.
To participate in Mental Health Awareness Month last month, I read a biography of Sylvia Plath. This month I read a revised edition of her Ariel. What I did not know was that Merwin and Plath were contemporaries. And since I had the amazing opportunity to meet Merwin in 2011, transitively I also met Plath. It counts, right?
The article analyzes one of Merwin’s shortest poems, “Elegy.” And author Devin Kelly hooked me with this gem:
I’ve learned things from poems for the same reason people learn about anything: because they’ve spent quality time with it. When you sit with a single poem for a long time, when you type it out, when you speak it, when you try to unpack a line or feel the way a phrase fills your mouth, you begin to notice more about what the poem offers outward. When you pay attention — to anything, really, that has also been paid attention to in its creation — then the act of attention does not serve as an act of narrowing. Rather, it’s an opening — a givingness, to use that word again. All these doors open up the more you pay attention. They open out to light. They open to other rooms, other floors. They open to a hidden staircase. Another door.
Quality time is one of my love languages. Sitting with someone or something and letting it unravel, or actively unpacking it is one of my favorite things to do.
And I haven’t come across a single poem in my very limited experience with them that hasn’t invited me to spend time with it. I wouldn’t call them friendly nor aloof, but perhaps … alluring. And there hasn’t been a single poem I haven’t learned from.
Poems offer a chance to choose your own adventure. Or at least to hang on for a ride.
Read the whole article. Pay attention. You won’t regret it.
Earlier this week I put our Pride flag up after seeing a neighbor had theirs up. This morning the neighbor across the street from us put up their Pride flag. This is really nice because we live in a conservative county, and I appreciate people in our community having common opinions and principles as us. Happy Pride, everyone!
We are starting a Summer Outdoor Movie Series. Reilly came up with a list of solid B or better movies (OR possible guilty pleasures) that all happen to come from the same eight-year period from the early 1980s to 1990. This is a nice chance to chat with friends and not have to think too hard during a movie.
Showtime starts at 9pm. We had a microburst earlier this afternoon. Let’s hope the rain plans around us.
A lot of critical acclaim erupted for this album, which does one of two things for me: makes me wait until the hype dies down, or makes me super excited and listen to it immediately.
I ended up waiting a couple of weeks and listened to it yesterday, back to back. I wanted to listen to it sooner, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time to give it my full attention. And since it’s so fresh on my mind, I didn’t do what I usually like to do when actively listening to an album, which is take notes and jot thoughts that cross my mind as I experience the music.
I will do this, I promise. But for now I’ll post the album here for you listen for yourselves. It seriously blew my mind. I hope you appreciate it as much, or more.
A friend recommended this album a couple weeks ago and added her own warning of its emotional impact. This morning I finally played it. The songs carved out my flesh and left my soul bare.
This album is a song cycle Jarosz created to contemplate her mom’s cancer diagnosis coinciding with the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. (See story here.) Jarosz explores place and nostalgia in a Gulf Coast town her family frequented during her childhood. She employs symbol in a blue heron fleeting the coast.
These songs are well-produced, yet its rawness rekindles (revisits? revives?) some of my own grief. It’s not the same initial process of mourning, though: every opportunity to remember death of loved ones lets me see how my grief has evolved over time.
I may try providing commentary of individual songs later. Sarah Jarosz is indisputably talented, both as an instrumentalist and songwriter. She can tap into the heart of our most cherished experiences, our precious memories, our suppressed and neglected heartbreaking moments.
These panelists discussed the conditions of their respective Chinatowns. They shared ideas about how to revive them. They exchanged stories of very recent incidents–stabbings–of Asian hate. Please frequent your AAPI businesses. Let them know you support them. Understand that their sacrifices and hard work are integral to the fabric of our country. Please.
COVID Crisis in India
In last night’s sleepless doom scrolling, I came across this Twitter thread:
What struck me was that this thread came out over a year ago. But it felt like it could have come out last week. We take so much for granted.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
May 5 also happens to be the National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls. This was something that I’ve been aware of but haven’t been keeping foremost in my mind. And it should share space with all the other serious matters in our world. Absolutely heartrending.
Back 2012 I read The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. A harrowing tale, addressing issues of violence and hate within and projected onto indigenous communities. If you haven’t read her work, doing so would be a good start.