Just because you want to believe it, doesn’t make it true.
I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. It’s been a rough few weeks for everyone (at least everyone I know) and I’m looking forward to an afternoon and evening of seeing family and sharing food. Being the good foodie that I am, I’m putting together a lot of dishes (hint: understatement of the year). My mother-in-law asked if I could cook up some delicata squash, which is a new variety. You don’t have to peel it and it can be cut into rings. Since I have squash and more squash from my farmshare, I’ve decided to make another squash dish, one that combines a number of different varieties. Since winter squash bakes down to a mash, they’re easy to combine and then season. Butter, salt, pepper, brown sugar, cinnamon and – my favorite touch – a healthy sprinkling of fresh sage. Perfect!
I’ll also be bringing some appetizers, including one that takes a day to prepare. It’s a layered creation and needs time to take to the mold and present. Other than that, it’ll be cheese and crackers. But the culmination of my literary endeavors will be the Indian pudding. Anyway you make it, it’s a pain in the ass but really, really delicious. It’s made primarily with corn meal and molasses. I’ve usually prepared it with a double-boiler, but recently found a New York Times recipe that skips that step. I can’t wait.
I got a free pumpkin pie as a benefit of my membership in my local CSA (i.e., farmshare). My sister-in-law is bringing one, though, along with an apple pie so I’ll save mine for Christmas.
Eating, watching snow, visiting friends, drinking hot beverages and Christmas present-making or shopping, depending on the contents of my wallet. I can’t wait!
Original Photo by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons license. Click on the photo for original.Two weeks since election day. Let’s get to it. Again, in the format of a Q and A, as this piece will contain questions I have been asked by others. Ready? Let’s begin. Fucking Nazis, man! That’s not really a…
Fuckin’ Nazis, man.
This is not a time to curl up, give up or shut up.
It is time to get up; to stand up, to speak words that heal, help, and recommit to the cause of our country.
We had an election defeat, but we are not defeated.
We hurt, we fear, we may even regret that we did not do more.
But character is not defined, forged or built in good times.
The fire of adversity forges our steel.
And the searing heat of defeat reveals what we are made of.
We tell our truth not in what happens to us but in how we react – how we face a setback; how we rise when knocked down; how we work through fatigue and frustration; how we bring grit to our grief and heart to our hurt.
The will of a patriot is indomitable.
I regret that we have but one life to give to our country.
And thus, as long as we have breath in our bodies and blood in our veins, nothing can stop us from serving, helping, sacrificing and struggling for the cause of America – a cause that is 240 years old, a cause greater than our pain, sorrow, or fears – a cause that has seen agony, loss, setback, and defeats – but one that has never, ever surrendered.
We are shaken, but our will must be firm.
This finite defeat will not end our infinite hope – in us, in America, in all her people no matter what their faith, race, or political party.
Our light is inextinguishable, no matter how much darkness we face.
We must be brilliant now, when it is needed most, not a dim, dull capitulation to the gloom that abounds.
We are prisoners of hope – knowing hope and faith do not exist in the abstract; they are the active conviction that frustration and despair will never have the last word.
So let us stand up today. Let us pledge allegiance to our nation with renewed conviction and courage.
Let us be determined to reach out to our fellow countrywomen and men.
Let us encourage others.
Let us be gracious.
Let us seek to build bridges where they have been burned.
Let us seek to restore trust where it has been eroded.
Let us stand our ground but still work to find common ground.
Let us be humble and do the difficult work of finding ways to collaborate and cooperate with those whose political affiliations may differ from ours.
But let us never, ever, surrender, forfeit, or retreat from our core values, our fundamental commitments to justice over prejudice; economic inclusion over poverty and unmerited privilege; and, always, love over hate.
Let us speak truth to power; fiercely defend those who are bullied, belittled, demeaned or degraded; and tenaciously fight for all people and the ideals we cherish.
It is a new day.
We love our country; we will serve it, defend it, and never stop struggling to make its great promise real for all.
And no one gets a vote on that.
Today, Sunday, November 13 is World Kindness Day. I’ve been practicing loving-kindness meditations as part of my overall meditation routine. These days we need that more than ever. I listen to my meditations on calm.com. I paid for a premium membership, but meditation has really made a difference. It takes a while, but mindfulness meditation enables me to separate myself from my feelings and examine them dispassionately. These days it’s been easy to feel as though I’m out of control. I think I’m safe in saying that a lot of people feel the same way. Here’s one way I deal with it. Direct action – taking care of others – is another.
Oh, and check out the Random Acts of Kindness website. There’s some really nice stuff up there!