Showing posts with label World. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

In Order to Advance

 

Detainee

I might be free--or not; 

I don't know

for I have obeyed in advance


Distance

the atlas of my family

fold close 

the stretched out assault


Disinvited

for I have obeyed in advance

I apologize for-

giving-you-a-piece-of-my-mind

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pongal 2021


Most years we're already back at school before Pongal comes around and the usual celebration is something hurried when the sun is no longer high in the sky.  

This year, we got to celebrate in the sunshine and make our offering at a reasonable daytime hour, with fragrant narcissus and paperwhites rounding out the pongal rice and jaggery laddu on the offering tray. To the millenary vedic sun salutation sloka*, which I was translating for the kids as I went, I added a prayer for enough Vit. D to help us through the pandemic. 

Cousin P had sent the cousin groupchat a set of truly lovely pics of their traditional celebration replete with sugarcane, outdoor hearth, and silk-clad kids. So I sent this pic back to balance things out. 

Not pictured: The very un-Pongal looking kids, one in the Phoebe Bridgers limited edition Punisher sweater they got from their older sib and the other human kid in the pink Mean Girls/Karl Marx mashup tee I gave them.


----------------------------
*Japakusuma Samkaasham Kashyapeyam Mahadhyuthim,

Tamorim Sarva Paapagnam Pranathosmi Divakaram

[You radiant as the Japa flower, heir of Kashyapa, the creator of days

destroy my darkness and all corruption I pray to you, O Sun.]

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bigger than me

I knew I was in a new era ten years ago when I was listening to a song, and it didn't seem to be about me (in the way young girls/women are the automatic muse of so many pop songs). The song was Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and the words were: 

Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

In my head, the "little girl" became a reference to Nu who had just told their first lie and had been reprimanded, and was now sad. 

Anyway--I was reminded of this because Tommy Raskin's life (yes, I haven't moved on) reminds me not of my own weltschmerzen, but of my children's and students' joy, their yearning for justice, for full lives, how the pandemic is the chief thief of joy RN, and their frustrations with the world... and it terrifies me.

(Pic from walk this afternoon with LB; Red Cedar River--the mallards followed me around!)

Monday, January 11, 2021

yes but also no


                    The instructions surprise:               perhaps I will solve gravity              or simply realize how unready 

                    "pour the saliva" they say              chorus my saliva's spectacle           how random, how to unbait sighs

                    I once described a snake                exist/lament/impact/about               the junction of having breath back

                    'pouring' itself down a hole             the scratching exhaustion               having my back, trusting offspring

                    the kids were so freaked out           of dying on tv every day                 to try to sidestep the cracks



Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Wednesday's Insanity

What an extraordinary day. Woke up to news of Georgia electing Rev. Warnock (John Lewis' pastor) and Ossoff (a sometime John Lewis intern) to the senate. Breakfast felt like an upbeat celebration. In hindsight, I wish we'd had more time to sit with this moment.

At 3:00, Nu was on their daily online-school-accountability call with Grandma S, and were told that they really should go watch the news. So we did. Watching the storming of capitol buildings by white supremacists was surreal, frustrating, and infuriating. Activists from ADAPT and BLM certainly did not get the 'I'll open the gates, hold your hand going down the stairs, and take selfies with you' treatment from the police. 

By 4:00, I was in a meeting with one of the finance guys at work who wasn't interested in the news and kept referring to higher ed as "our industry." I can't help thinking this kind of obliviousness and corporatization contributed to the mess we're in.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Monday Memoir

I saw the cutest snowperson when I ambled over to L's house earlier today! Their bangs are like mine, but even that detail couldn't detract from their quintessential cuteness.

Nu's back in (virtual) school today, so everyone is back to waking early so we can have breakfast together and build each other up... apparently, we do this with cuddles, and riddles, and jokes, and teasing putdowns.

Speaking of school... I miss my students. There're lots of meetings starting Wednesday and I started today by writing to every one of my advisees. It's re-entry time for all of us although classes won't start until after MLK Day.

Speaking of days... It's my Boss Day! My dinner pick was poke, which we made together; my entertainment pick was Veep... again!

After everyone headed off to their rooms, I found the tribute Rep. Raskins and his spouse wrote for their child Tommy and I weep to think that someone who brought so much joy and goodness to people didn't feel enough of it themselves. 

(Related: I think of Aaron Swartz frequently. Sometimes I think about them multiple times a week--especially when my students are doing internet research. I resent that I was introduced to Aaron Swartz through his obituary--it's a particularly downhearted way to learn about an extraordinary person. I thought I'd written about this before, but a quick search revealed nothing.)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Rising Up

I've loved this tree on the Red Cedar River from the first time I noticed it. Especially the branch that looks like it was laid low but decided to aim upwards anyway.

As we close out 2020 (with LB's food exchange, SD's Zoom party in MD, and calls and texts from all over the world), I want for all of us to rise up in every way in 2021.

And I'd really, really like to see my sister and parents.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Small (footprint) packages


As we were putting things away yesterday, one of the things that brought me much Christmas joy is that we've honed gift-packaging waste down to practically zero. We've been reusing bags, boxes, and even collapsible gift boxes, tissue paper, and ribbon for years at this point.

Look at all this stuff ready to be packed into storage for next year!

This year's record of almost completely online shopping does mean a lot of cardboard to breakdown in the garage, but that's technically biodegradable, right? Right?

Friday, November 13, 2020

The stuff of horror

Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.  

But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash? 

On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Believe in open-minded people



Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in our Presidential Speaker series (via Zoom) tonight and here's my question and his response.

How do you decide whether or not to engage with someone who may put you in a position where you have to argue for your humanity/human rights?

Well, remember there are people who are close-minded and people who are open-minded. 

So someone may believe in voter fraud, and you may bring them some sources and say: there is no significant voter fraud. 

And they may say: [I] don't trust your sources

So you ask them: Ok, what sources do you trust? 

And you go and find material from those sources and they say: I don't trust those sources anymore

Those people may have closed minds. And when a person's mind is closed, I try to not spend my time on them unless they are really close to me. 

I'm going to spend my time with the open-minded people. 

Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Start of Something

The 
Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights cakes got made (and eaten); a neighborhood celebratory bonfire was attended; toasts were made; picnics were packed and consumed. I'd say the new regime is better already. Ha.                                                                                                                                             But seriously, we need to do better. Marianne Williamson (of all people!) sounds the call in Newsweek: "Now a battle will rage for the soul of the Democratic Party. And well it should. It's been needing to happen for a very long time."

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Ding-Dong; Be Gone!

Where were you? I had just finished interviewing prospective students for scholarships, when Big A showed up with a grin, and Nu and I knew right away. 

A bit anticlimactic ultimately--I blame CNN's rampant use of the thesaurus for two days of headlines (Biden on the cusp, on the verge, on the threshold). On the other hand, it solidified B's lead well beyond conjecture and allowed saner Trumpers to back away (?). Don't know; don't care RN TBH.

Here, Scout is tired of election news as the rest of us watch Vice-President-elect Harris and President-Elect Biden's speeches and marvel at decency and parseable sentences and earnestness on the podium. 

Big A teased me about my (presumably wide-eyed) gawking--but no shame here. Who believes in America's possibility more than an immigrant, after all? Lots and lots of work ahead to be sure, but now there's a chance where before there was only survival. 

Friday, November 06, 2020

And Another One

This is the other snake--from yesterday. Today has been very homebound. But also, today is yet another repeat of yesterday. 

Is it possible to be full of nervous energy and simultaneously enervated? Yes, yes it is. Time to call it, CNN!

I was kind of glad to have a planner full of class and meetings at hourly intervals all day, so I could go from one to prepping for the next. I may have rambled at a few of them (two nights of low no sleep will do that to me) and then the internet was all cute and hide-and-seeky-y. But I managed. The day is done.

But I've done so little at home today except find time to cuddle with everyone for comfort. We're still eating pizza from yesterday... I mean after all, Big A did order four pies for three humans. 

Nu and I had planned to make another batch of the awesome "Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights" cakes we made on election day. We gave/swapped so many away and Nu and Big A want more. As they reminded me, they want more, they want more, when you like something, you want more! But the baking will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

"Zero at the Bone"

I met one of Emily Dickinson's narrow fellows this morning, while out with L. In fact, we met two. 

TBH, I thought the rest of the day would hold more excitement, but it was just a pattern of waiting, a fever of refreshing between class work and meetings, and ultimately not much else.

I was nervy all day--too nervy to make dinner--so we got pizza from Jolly Pumpkin, vegged, and watched an ep of The Queen's Gambit--and lo, all of this was good, but I kept checking Twitter for something better.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

"Global crises can only be solved globally."

And some other gems to "make our planet make sense" from Ambassador Andrew Young at the UN's Past, Present Progress event. 

An obvious statement, yet so deserving of amplification in these times. 

Sometimes one forgets how things used to be. It gave an added urgency to discussing the new ENG civic discourse and social justice pilots today with AP.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Get Well Soon!"

This sweet, sad piece of found art:
 see it here; and hear about it here.

And while on reading--this article on ambiguous loss (from earlier in the year, but I found it just last week) really helped me.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Anachronism


How can it be... that at an academic workshop... of over 30 people... in the 21st century... 

It seems I'm the only person of color?