Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Nourishing Presidents Day Five Days Late

My school takes its Presidents Day holiday on Friday, so that we don't miss 2 Monday classes--our classes meet only once a week, so I understand the impulse to avoid missing 2 of them. 

Yesterday was our President's Day holiday.  I had a lovely day off, filled with activities I love:  spin class, writing, reading, cooking, more writing.  The news that Harper Lee died filled me with a bit of sadness, but also with gratitude for her long life.

I wrote this on my Facebook feed:  "When I am a little old lady, I am certain that I will tell people that Boo Radley lived down the street from my childhood home--my memories of Montgomery, Alabama will have become permanently entwined with my memories of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I first read in 8th grade in that Montgomery childhood home--it could be worse."

Let me capture some of the highlights of yesterday:

--The pope's recent comments on bridges and walls and Donald Trump's response led to a poem, which I submitted to  Rattle's weekly Poets Respond feature.

--Last week, I wrote a poem that was inspired by several poems on the Via Negativa site, which yesterday, I sent to Dave Bonta, who runs the space--and it's now up at that site.  Go here to read it.

--I went to the library and was able to turn in and check out again The Fellowship, the book about the Inklings.  Hurrah for more time to read that book.  I also got Days of Rage, about the explosive activism of the 70's.  So far, it's not telling me much I didn't already know, but that may be because the first part is about The Weather Underground, which is covering the same ground as the documentary that came out in 2002.  And even before that, I had some college classes that covered this information, and my fiction reading has also been informative through the decades.  Still, it's an interesting book.

--I also read another chapter of The Fellowship.

--I made a pot of chili--by the time it was time for dinner, I wasn't much interested, but I do like having a pot of something bubbling away in the kitchen while I work at the computer or read.

--In the afternoon, I returned to my writing desk.  I wrote the next installment in the Purgatory Project:  God as administrator.  It answers the question about how we came to have so many religious books with rules handed down by God.  God assures us that the words weren't captured correctly:  "What human amongst you hasn’t experienced the same thing? You craft an e-mail, and you spend lots of time in revising and clarifying before you send it out. And what happens? People see all sorts of meanings that you didn’t intend. And then you send out more clarifications and the meaning gets more twisted, and eventually you move on to other issues."

--But here's my favorite part of that writing in the voice of God:  "My other creatures don’t seem to have this trouble. Spiders don’t spin webs hoping to gain entrance into heaven by their good behavior or by some set of rules that they imagine I’ve handed down about spiderwebs. They spin webs because it brings them joy—and gives them a way to provide for themselves. Some spiders take all sorts of creative liberties, and some take the quickest route."

--And then it was time to go get my friend from the airport--the traffic these days is astonishingly heavy.  I remember in the worst days of the 2008 crash and the years that followed, where the streets were strangely empty and the houses abandoned.  While I don't want to go back to those hard times, I did relish the reduced traffic.

--We watched one of the first episodes of M*A*S*H--it's a hard show to like in the early days, when the men are much more sexist.  And then we watched a BBC production about eugenics and social Darwinism, as my spouse prepares his Philosophy classes for next week.  Not a great way to end the day.  I've had several restless nights because of TV viewing--Wednesday night's American Crime may just end up being too tough to watch on its broadcast night, right before I try to fall asleep.

All in all, it was a great day--very nourishing in all sorts of ways.

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