Thirty Reasons to Vote: #9

Warning: This post quotes crude and vulgar language and discusses possibly triggering subjects such as assault.

This post is a little late because, after scrambling all Monday to get the garden ready for a seventy-degree drop in temperature, from dry nineties to snowy twenties (that’s Fahrenheit), by deep-watering trees and re-potting plants that need to be indoors and turning our patio table into a make-shift greenhouse, and then getting to go to the dentist the day after, I had a serious PEM (Post-Exertion Malaise) episode and staring at the computer was more than I could do. But here it is now.

Please take a moment to think about what it means to be “decent.” It’s a word, a concept that has been demoted in such a way that we tend to hear it as “barely acceptable.” It has become, at best, the faintest of praise. But it’s a word we need to restore to its former power. We need to remember how essential decency is. On that quality we found trust, faith in each other, confidence in our neighbours, reliance on the larger society, and conviction that our government, most of the time, looks out for the interests of our states and country.

Decency asks not just that we are able to trust others around us; it also asks us to look beyond ourselves. Perhaps we don’t feel threatened by a man who talks about grabbing women by the pussy,¹ who publicly mocks the disabled and is working to cut disability benefits,² but think about the people who have been and continue to subjected to the damage these attitudes inflict. And now we know that Trump was aware of how lethal and contagious the novel coronavirus was back in February and chose to let thousands and thousands die.³ COVID-19 is too virulent for any effort to have saved everyone; no one is claiming that Trump could have prevented every death that we have suffered. But the deaths — and the economic impact — would have been far, far fewer if the man in the Oval Office were a decent human being and had been honest about the dangers we were facing, and if others in the Senate and many Gubernatorial offices had not chosen to remain indecently silent.

Vote — not for perfection, not for saintliness, but for decency.
***********************************

  1. YouTube. Access Hollywood Tape. “Grab ’em by the pussy Donald Trump.” January 21, 2017.
    TIME Magazine. “Our President Has Always Degraded Women — And We’ve Always Let Him.” December 5, 2017.
  2. YouTube. CNN. “Trump Mocks Reporter With Disability.” November 25, 2015.
    USA Today. “Trump Administration cuts to Social Security disability benefits among the cruelest.” January 29, 2020.
  3. Maggie Haberman. New York Times. “Trump Admits Downplaying the Virus Knowing It Was ‘Deadly Stuff’.” September 9, 2020.
    Susan Glasser. The New Yorker. “Bob Woodward Finally Got Trump To Tell The Truth About COVID-19.” September 11, 2020.

 

Thirty Reasons to Vote: #4

 

Lamy Crystal Azurite

Vote to elect representatives who will end voter suppression and will support just redistricting. When we deny people their voice, their vote, then protesting becomes the only reasonable option.

Here in Colorado, we have new laws designed to eliminate, as much as possible, the partisan gerrymandering that has impeded fair elections. A panel of diverse members will take over the redistricting. We hope to set an example for other states struggling for more equitable elections.

  1. ACLU “Block the Vote: Voter Suppression in 2020.” February 3, 2020.
  2. TIME “Voter Suppression Is Still One of the Greatest Obstacles to a More Just America.” June 12, 2020.
  3. The Colorado Independent “The High Court punts on partisan gerrymandering. Colorado’s new redistricting laws could offer a model for the nation.” July 5,  2019. Also “Amendments Y and Z to take politics out of redistricting: Here’s how they’d work.” October 18, 2018.

The Rest of Rivka’s Story

 Well, I’ve had a difficult two months, with my M.E. surging. Hot weather, whether I’m out in it or not, often makes it worse. We seem to be cooling off a bit now, despite the fires here in Colorado. I did finish up Rivka’s story; Meredith is thinking about rounding out Emma’s portion with a story of her own. So for anyone who is wondering how this tale concludes (spoiler: no one dies), read on:

Convergence: My Father, the Ides of March, and Inktober52

15 March, 2020

Today is/was/would have been my father’s ninety-second birthday. With my mom’s death ten months ago, most of my focus has been on that more recent loss and the attendant (and apparently never-ending) responsibilities. But I still miss my dad.

My father, Erwin Feiertag, and I. Photo credit: Sarah Feiertag

He died back in 2007 of cancer, but he was the soul of our family and I sometimes, even now, find myself reaching for the phone to call him.

Dad was a generally gentle man, but he always reminded us that he’d been born on the day Caesar was murdered. I think Dad hoped that being born on the Ides of March might give him an alluringly dangerous veneer.

When I was very young, my father would, once in a while, take me into Los Angeles, I think to give my mother a bit of break.

My parents make their get-away from their wedding reception. See how happy they are? No kids yet.

I remember a day when we went to Angels Flight, “the World’s Shortest Incorporated Railway.”

I remember holding tightly to my father’s hand because the car was so crowded and we didn’t want to get separated by the press. I was too small to see out the window and we were too packed in for Dad to be able to pick me up. (Maybe he was worried he’d drop me out the window.) Nevertheless, it was all so exciting and I was out with my father in the city and what could be better than that?

With my Dad on my mind and my inbox over-flowing, I was trying to catch up on my e-mails and saw that Jake Parker, the instigator of the annual Inktober challenge, has started issuing weekly prompts: Inktober52. So I took a peek to see what he’d posted, and saw that the first prompt was “Flight.” I guess because my dad was already on my mind, the word brought up the image Angels Flight and my memory of that day in L.A. So with the childish skills I have, I combined the first five Inktober52 prompts into a rough remembrance of my journey on the World’s Shortest Railway:

I love you, Dad, even though you died.

Inktober 2019, Day Fourteen: Ashen Answers?…

Inktober Prompt: Overgrown
Goldspot Prompt: Spell

14 October, 2019

You know, Bridget,

I can just see you sifting through the ashes in your father’s fireplace ~ a desperate Cinderella with no ball to attend. How did you father take to your post-incendiary exploration?

I share your disappointment. The logical part of my brain told me ~ tells me still ~ that it was silly to look for answers in the ash. But the part of my mind that is both hopeful and worried harboured overgrown expectations that some sign or cure would be there waiting ~ some vial with a curative potion tempered by the fire.

I applaud your intention to visit Dr. Torres. After the way she departed so abruptly, I’m not sure I would have found the courage. I hope you can see her today. The weather is lovely, I see from window, and it will do you good to get out for a spell. I am, as you know,

Ever yours,
Hannah

Triskaidekaphilia and Friday the Thirteenth

Phobias: who doesn’t have a few? I have my share, but triskaidekaphobia isn’t one of them. In fact, thirteen is my favourite number, partly because I think it has been unfairly demonized. so here are some things to respect about the lovely number thirteen, gleaned from around the internet:

  • In Greek mythology, Zeus was the thirteenth and the most powerful god.
  • There are approximately thirteen cycles of the moon each year.
  • There are thirteen cards in each suit in a standard deck of playing cards.
  • The four seasons each have thirteen weeks.
  • The dollar bill has many icons with thirteen elements, including the pyramid, letters in “E Pluribus Unum,” thirteen arrows and thirteen stars.
  • Thirteen is a prime number and a Fibonacci number.
    https://www.beniciamagazine.com/the-not-so-unlucky-number-13/

Also,

       So let us look at Number Thirteen with kindly eyes, and remember that numbers, like people, are complicated entities we should get to know thoroughly before presuming to judge.

Happy Friday, Everyone, and have a healthy weekend.

 

1.

The gematria of ahavah – אהבה is thirteen: א = 1

ה = 5

ב = 2

ה = 5

———-
Total: 13

Inktober 2019, Day Thirteen: Good Counsel?

Inktober Prompt: Ash
Goldspot Prompt: Shriek

13 October, 2019

Goodness, Bridget!

I swear I heard your shriek before I finished slicing open the envelope! But I can’t blame you. You have had shock after shock, and there’s no way you could have seen this one coming.

I was so relieved when Dr. Morgan found a psychotherapist so quickly. You write that Dr. Morgan knew the — was she a psychologist or a psychiatrist? — counsellor was into some alternative practices, but that she had no idea the woman was a curandera! I suppose I wouldn’t have thought to ask that either.

You say that at first the examination seemed to go well, but when the new doctor looked at your father’s eyes, she turned pale, and — and here I am not sure, because your writing falters — I think you wrote that she rushed out, promising Dr. Morgan a report. Is that right? And that as she. Left, you heard her repeating, “The ash, the ash”? How strange!

Write me back and let me know if I have read your missive correctly. I am sitting here,

Your curious and puzzled,

Hannah

Inktober 2019, Day Eleven: Blessing, Curse, Snow…

Inktober Prompt: Snow
Goldspot Prompt: Curse

Bridget,

You are quite right. This snow that keeps the doctors from your father is a curse. But it also gives you an excuse to stay away from the woods, so it is also a blessing, and for that I am

Grateful,
Hannah

Inktober 2019, Day Ten: In which we learn of tears and tapestries…

Inktober Prompt: Pattern
Goldspot Prompt: Suffocate

10 October, 2019

Bridget,

Please don’t cry. I can see the teardrops on your missive. Of course I have not forgotten your father’s antipathy towards psychiatrists, but don’t let his prejudices corrupt your thinking. I know your mother’s therapist couldn’t cure her, but sometimes mental illness resists treatment. And you know your mother’s depression played no part in her death.

You and Dr. Morgan needn’t tell your father that the counsellor is a psychiatrist. Merely tell your father that Dr. Morgan wishes to consult with a colleague for a second opinion.

Sometimes I think I can begins to discern a pattern to your father’s behaviour, but it’s more like a tapestry than a linear flow. Get the help you need, and do not allow your father’s illness to suffocate the beloved friend of

Your faithful,

Hannah

Six Months

It’s been six months, as of today, since my mother died. I feel like I’m in a Greek myth-Freaky Friday mash-up: I’m Persephone waiting for Ceres to come back after her half-year in the Underworld. It ain’t gonna happen, but I still rather expect Mom to show up and want to know why we haven’t finished fixing up the house.

Oh well.

To mark the day, here’s one of my mother’s favourite poems, “One Perfect Rose,” by one of her favourite authors, Dorothy Parker:

 

 

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet –
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
‘My fragile leaves,’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

(https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/one-perfect-rose/)