Saturday, July 9, 2016

#Merica



The newspaper reads like a John Grisham novel turned darkly unflinching. Each story more sordid and bloody than the next. Daycare workers raping children. Cops killing black people. Black people killing cops. Mentally disturbed people killing everyone. People—not always American—screaming for stronger gun control laws or bans. People—usually American—screaming to keep guns, threatening to fight to the death. And then there are the complacent. It’s not my problem as long as it doesn’t touch me. 

CNN flips from gore and loss to the presidential candidates as seamlessly as a preacher switching from salvation to tithes. Hillary looks bored as she answers yet another question about emails, annoyed as she calls for stronger police protection. Trump’s pinched face and snotty voice negates the script he’s reading as he tries to appear in any way presidential. 

Facebook is full of pretty pictures, YouTube videos, and food recipes. Its summer so there’s vacations and gardens and Happy Birthdays galore. Twitter is on fire with all of it. Prayers and vacations and #blacklivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter and #alllivesmatter and buy my new cd and #weightloss and omg I love these shoes and save the animals and stop the Yulin Dog Festival and #vegan, live cruelty free and #guncontrol and #love…and…and… I can’t process it all. It’s so surreal. So insane.

My kids are clueless. They’re tiny, pasty white creatures holed up with Destiny and talking to their friends through a headset. My kids are missing all of it in their sheltered little world. Part of me hesitates, do I tell them or let them live in their vacuum? I tell them. No one can live in a vacuum. They look to me for guidance, for answers. Blood on my hands. I’m posting nonsense like everyone else. And they’re looking to me? 

Don’t they see that there aren’t any answers to give? There’s only the pictures of fallen officers—former soldiers shot by another soldier. We train killers here. We train survivors by default. There’s only ugliness as we systematically erase beauty from the world. There’s only Diamond Reynolds wailing, echoing our emotions, praying—her voice the only voice I hear. Her voice tearing at me, beating me, a beacon of truth—“We’re innocent people. God knows we’re innocent people.” 

And then the segment ends. #Merica

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Farmhouse




I know the ivory paint is chipped and peeling. I know the dusty floorboards creak under my weight. I know that the odd splinter will find you if you're not paying attention.

But I don't care.

I love this place.

I love the cobwebs in the corners. I love the lace curtains rippling in the breeze from the open windows. The sunlight reaching across the old subway tile offers a warm greeting each morning. The wobbly Robin's egg blue kitchen table bids me to sit and sip my coffee; invites me to watch the hummingbirds from one of it's well worn chairs.

I love this house.

As a child I explored each nook and cranny. Hid in the pantry and shouted, "Boo!" at my Grandmother as she kneaded pie dough. I played in the attic. Accidentally locked myself in the basement once. Helped plant and harvest Grandma's vegetable garden. This old farmhouse is where I learned to sew and cook and what the value of a dollar was. It's grove of trees is where I learned to laugh and swing and dream.

This is home.

I looked at the mail littering the top of the old blue table. The red letters glared at me--an open challenge. Past Due. I didn't move to open it. I'm sure it read the same as the rest of them. Grandma's face smiled at me from the fireplace mantle. Past Due. Why in the hell didn't she ever once say anything about the bank?