It can’t be just me …

I have no brains for anything right now.

I think …

I think I”m going to take the weekend off from the news.

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Thank you

Thank you.

Thank all of you. You who called, emailed, faxed. You who marched. Thank you who protested. You who blogged, interviewed, and podcast.

Thank every one of you who made your voice heard in this fight for the ACA.

Thank you.

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I have genuinely lost track

I have genuinely lost track of how many groups of human beings the Trump government has declared to be not human enough for them.

Immigrants
Muslims
Mexicans
Black Americans
Women
Pregnant women
Women who have sex
Unmarried women
Trans people
Gays
Lesbians
Bisexuals
Sikhs (because they might be Muslims?)
Disabled people
Old people
Infants
Children
Sick people
Veterans

… I’ve probably missed a few groups.

It’s a rough, rough week. I find it very hard to remain optimistic. But I’m finding it easy this week to remain angry, and anger is fairly motivating for me.

So I’m going to keep calling and writing and donating money. I’ll show up for events where and when I can.

I won’t tell you, “don’t despair.” These are fairly despairing times, honestly. But I would ask you, after you are done despairing for an hour, a day, a week, six months, after you are done despairing, I would ask you to please go out and do something to help someone.

Contribute to a GoFundMe. Call your members of congress. Give a bag of clothes to a local charity. Teach someone a skill you know. Make a nice dinner for your family or friends. Give a positive review on iTunes. Send a thank you email to a podcaster. Contribute to a local political campaign. Volunteer for a neighborhood clean-up. Dog-sit for a friend. Pay for the person in line behind you at the drive-through. Make a YouTube video.

You are in this world. I see you, out there. We are all in this world. And the world is what we make it. “Look for the helpers,” that Fred Rogers quotation tells us. But that’s *us*. He was talking about *us*. We are the helpers. We make the world.

This is a pretty terrible week in national politics, and it’s only Wednesday. But I’m still here. And so are you. And after I write this blog post and cry a bit in sheer massive frustration, I’m going to get up and do the dishes. Then I’m going to mail this package of knitting research to Exeter, England, to help contribute to an academic study on Medieval knitwear. And then I’m going to call my MoCs, again.

I’ll see you around, right?

:fistbump:

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Hedgehog!

Have a hedgehog picture!

This is Norman, our pet African Pygmy Hedgehog:

He’s the one in the middle.

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Joe Gould’s Teeth, by Jill Lepore

… This is a biography of a horribly unpleasant man. It is an unsolved mystery that does not get solved by the end of the book. It is a meta text about the nature of biography and erasure from history that does not shed light on the missing.

But it is an incredibly gripping read, and I tore through it with utter rapt fascination.

Wow.

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July 4 2017

Wildly imperfect.

Deeply flawed.

Highly improbable.

Experimentally unlikely.

A balancing act.

A constant compromise.

A fragile union.

A dream.

A nightmare.

A fight.

A vision.

A map of the past and the future.

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When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

The to-do lists of high summer

I’ve been watching the tv series, Edwardian Farm, for inspiration. And by “inspiration” I mean “be grateful for how easy your life is, oh my god, can you even imagine doing all the work of eras past, holy buckets.”

During the height of summer we do a lot of catch-up work. Cleaning — and I mean, ACTUALLY CLEANING — the kids’ rooms. Cleaning the garage, again. Cleaning the basement, again. I like to clean and re-organize my closet, and my crafting things.

We fight back the yard. We have a nearly-entirely-native yard and landscape. In the fall we take in bags of fallen leaves from all our neighbors, and mulch everything about a foot deep in leaves. This means that spring looks very … very *brown*, in our yard. but than all the native shrubs and bushes and creepers suddenly BAM appear, and the yard is this dense, lush wall of green with a rustling, alive underlayer.

A shrew ran across my foot, the other day.

The light pours in all the windows, yet our house is under a massive oak tree, so the temperature is always five degrees cooler than just out in the street. It’s all yellow and green and dappled everywhere we look.

I should go water the garden, I suppose.

It’s beautiful.

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