Yesterday, on the month anniversary of the massacre by a 19-year old using a semi-automatic style weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 dead and 14 injured, students all over the United States walked out of class to protest gun violence and to demand action by their lawmakers. These clear, young eyes see the NRA’s emasculation of the GOP, the party which controls all three branches of our federal government and 33 state houses across the USA. They see that the best the GOP president can do is host a roundtable discussion about violent video games after the NRA made him walk back his gun control comments. I’ve heard and read “grown-ups” criticizing students for meddling in issues they do not understand and insinuating that the protesters only wanted to get out of classes, but possibly those “grown-ups” know a very different kind of student than I know. I applaud the students who organized demonstrations of all sorts yesterday and who intend to demand more from the rest of us to end gun violence with gun control. Continue reading
The wind has been howling for 27 hours sweeping away the last unseasonable warmth of the year. The sun is brighter today than midsummer and shinning in unusual windows at unexpected angles. The barometric pressure is . . . all over the place(?). Snow by the end of the week.
I usually blame early winter decorations and Christmas music on Julia’s desires. This year I take some credit. Daily news is an assault on the democratic principle I believe in. Not just democracy–greed and cruelty are on the rise, spearheaded by a Republican party that has been highjacked by the the worst of humanity. The lyrics from Cool, Cool Considerate Men from the musical 1776, repeat in my head over and over through the ever increasing disgusting trump news cycles:
Well, perhaps [there are not enough men of property in America to dictate policy]. But don’t forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor.
And that is why they will follow us!
To the right, ever to the right
Never to the left, forever to the right.
Countries, governments, empires rise and fall. I was not a bad student of history. I learned the three to five to seven reasons why Greece and Rome and the city states of Italy and England and France and various dynasties of China fell. Somewhere in those reasons was usually some catastrophic event— a war lost or a prolonged war won but leaving a weakened empire or a natural disaster. I imagined that the linchpin of any fall was that catastrophic event.
When David and I lived in Frascati, Italy, we would talk politics with our landlord and his young adult children. Mr. Maoli told us that the United States was powerful now but that as a nation we were children. He said that once there was nothing stronger than Rome, and in another age Venice, Siena, Florence and Genoa were all powerful. And now, they were not. I agreed. He made sense. Nothing, even a democracy, even the leader of the free world, lasts forever. Continue reading
Sunday: 62 degrees at the end of February. We must be outside, but I do not feel free to dictate in public. Sigh. Ego or just not wanting mothers with small children to move away from me. So I type with one hand. Slowly and with fewer capitals. We’re at Burney’s Beach, a tiny made-beach on our bay, after a special ed advocate’s meeting in a coffee shop. Julia is sculpting in the sand and I . . . I sit like a turtle in the sun craving the warm, gentle warmth. This is the time of year when I can imagine giving up the four seasons in favor of eternal spring.
The meeting: Politically, I am totally out of the educational policy loop. It will be an effort if I want to catch up. I need to if I want to figure out what I can contribute. Believing that the way to change is at the local level where passion lies, the spirit is willing . . . Continue reading
Promising myself for my birthday that I was going to write every day come hell or high water . . . umm, last night I was ready to sit to write about 10 minutes before my eyes were ready to close. Some of it busy but some of it just puttering. What am i avoiding? I can’t even do a sit-down-write justice right now, but I can scribble a few doings. Continue reading
I’ve started writing almost every day since Tuesday and went straight down the rabbit hole of self-pity. It was a greater pity than “self,” making the hole deeper and wider and so easy to tumble into. Having no partner to debrief with adds to the rabbit hole quality of the writing. I read articles by those who have written eloquently. What do I have to add? I thought of posting links to all the articles that I’ve read. For days, I could post links. Instead, I tried to find quiet. Not an easy tasks with the furies and demons circling. Continue reading
After watching the debates and talking about the election in school, Julia is very much into it. She fished out an old Obama button from some treasure trove and is wearing it along with two new Hillary buttons. Her assignment for Tuesday is to color a map as results come in. She told me that she is going to color the whole thing blue before any results come in. Magical thinking to be sure, but she’s got the right idea. Continue reading
Morning mural painting at Randall School stretch way beyond the scheduled noon ending time. A tryptic on the retaining wall that surrounds the gym equipment that so many of us worked for so long to become a reality. Now, five years (Really, five years?) after the ‘new’ playground equipment was assembled, there will be art behind it.
The day dawned unpromisingly gray and I was so concerned that there would be very few people to paint that I texted Kati, the organizing teacher, that we would be a little late. When we arrived, however, there was a bevy of painters young and old applying color to the walls. It was noisy, frantic and busy. I held my breath as we dove into the fray. Julia has not always been able to handle happy, noisy crowds, no matter how friendly. Continue reading