Saturday, January 28, 2017

Self-Nourishing and Resistance in this New Age

At some point, I'll write more about my time with my college roommate.  Let me look back at the past week in a more abbreviated format:

 --On Wednesday, I wrote this Facebook post:

"Let us now praise Lutheran colleges: my college roommate, Heatherlynn is visiting, and tonight she will go to choir practice with my college boyfriend, now spouse, Carl. She will sing with my church's choir on Sunday. Thanks, Newberry College, for making this possible!"

--In the interest of honesty, I should say that neither of them sang in college, at least not in a formal group.  It would be a better story if they sang in the Madrigalians (Newberry College's most highly regarded and selective choral group) and had gone on to sing in local choirs.  But would it be a sad story?  Not in real life, but in the hands of a fiction writer, perhaps.  If I was writing the story, I'd do what I could to have readers expect a sad story or a midlife crisis story, but the ending would have the characters realize how lucky they are that they can still sing in a group.  Not everyone gets to continue following a passion this way, especially not a passion that needs a group.

--My college roommate came on her way back from the women's march.  I have LOVED hearing her stories about the march.  She collected some of the discarded signs, and one night we looked at them:  such a wide variety and some so lovingly hand-crafted.  I touched one Planned Parenthood sign and said, "I carried a sign very much like this one in a march almost thirty years ago!"  Sigh.

--But let me keep focusing on the numbers of people who turned out.  Let me remember this week as the one where various government workers refused to shut up.  I love the story of the Badlands National Park rangers who kept posting on social media even when ordered to stop.  I said to my college friend, "They make, like $12,000 a year, right?  They have nothing to lose."

--May we all continue to behave as if we have nothing to lose.  In this way, repressive governments are rendered powerless.

--I've had to work this week, so I haven't been as available.  But my spouse has stepped in to be tour guide and the better host than I can be.

--I have been making good meals.  On Tuesday we had beef stroganoff and one Thursday chicken mole poblano.  Yum.  This morning I am baking cookies for a picnic we will have later.

--It will not be a gourmet picnic, not a Silver Palate, Ina Garten kind of picnic.  It will include chips from a bag, but slightly better quality chips.  We will have simple sandwiches (turkey and/or roast beef and/or provolone cheese slices) by the seaside.

--I've been reading Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad.  It's every bit as good as we've heard.  More on this later.

--Yesterday, for the first time ever as an administrator, I got a call from the health department.  But it was not what I feared when the front desk announced the call.  We had applied for a permit as a waste-generating facility; we sent a check for $105, as the application told us to do.  The kind person on the phone from the health department told me that it should have been for $100.  So, the health department will send the check back, and we will send a new check.  The whole process may cost more than $5, but giving a $5 donation to the health department didn't seem to be an option.

--And yes, this was one of those times when I thought, back when I was in grad school, getting a Ph.D. in 19th century British literature, I never would have envisioned that there would come a future job that would have me talking to the health department about a non-catastrophic matter.

--But I am still quite happy with my new job.

--It's also been a good writing week.  I've been writing a story that's oddly compelling to me: an administrator from Corporate is coming to a school that's very much like my old school--she's on a fact finding mission as the parent company tries to determine which schools should close.  The story has taken me to surprising places.

--A Create in Me minister friend is touring the Holy Land.  She wrote this Facebook post:  ""Tonight we will sleep in Galilee."

I wrote back:  "Tonight we will sleep in Galilee--that should be a song! When I start my punk band with mandolins and ukuleles, that will be my first composition!

--I've also gotten an idea for a new story, one based on what my college friend told me about the women's march.  It will fit in perfectly.
Yes, it's been a good week, with lots of self-nourishing to keep me sane with each new story out of the first week of the Trump administration that makes me want to weep.

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