November to December

The Kavanaugh hearings made me dangerously depressed.  Everything went grey, like my head had filled with coal smoke.

Polluted times, breath shallow and unproductive, no sea, no mountaintops, all low.

Walking brick sidewalks, lumpy, getting books from the library, slick library covers sliding against each other. Walking under bright orange leaves before blue sky.  Carrying a pumpkin up the stairs, in both arms, a stout 10 pounds.

I’ve been fantasizing about voting for two long years.  I’m going to go vote, and then I will have to go home.  I don’t think it would be right for me to just stand at the booth until the next morning.

I need to arrange to be with other people that Tuesday night, listening, watching, waiting.  What will it mean, how will it feel, if we do not seeing an effort, or results, from people who want to protect this country from its darker nature?  I don’t know.  Translucent future.

Once I had my heart broken.  I had the wind knocked out of me, and then, for about a month afterward, I thought I was enlightened.

It was terrible, and it was good.  I knew there was nothing to hold onto.  I believed there was nothing I could do.  I let anyone love me.  I knew I had a good reason to feel awful, so when I felt awful, I didn’t have to question it.

It lasted a while.  It was winter, and everything seemed white, and was white.

So there could be enlightenment here, too, or somewhere in the future, not the past.  Maybe?  Maybe with the snow?  Maybe the snow will be white?

In the winter, when the cold is crude, the air can also be an unusual, complete clean.

Two years of writing legislators, over and over, making signs, walking, standing, yelling, “This is what democracy looks like.”   And always feeling like I should have been doing more.  More, what more?  Or did what I did mean anything, do anything?

Celebrating my beautiful new place in Kansas, with a crowd of happily drinking and chatting friends, carnations and roses and daisies in vases, bread and chocolates on peacock-colored dishes.

Two guests are kids, and they spend the evening making things with my art on demand.

“A unicorn.”

“A spaceship.”

“A saddle.”

“An alien.”

“A dinosaur.”

“A brush.”

They take these assignments, one by one, work furiously, and return with each piece.  A unicorn made of taped-together paper.  A spaceship from a paper towel roll.  A saddle.  An alien with antennae.  A green dinosaur.  A brush, for the unicorn’s mane, on my mantle.

Image: from “Autumn,” Charles-Francois Daubigny, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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