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Friday, January 22, 2021

My Car/My Covid Self

My car and I are experiencing Covid in parallel. Not “together” because mostly, I don’t go anywhere so I don’t drive anywhere, but we’re still tied up with each other, both liberating and traumatizing each other.

Sophie tells us that the Covid experience is markedly different if (1) you have a backyard and (2) you have a car. I am incredibly grateful to have both. So my car meant I could Get Out and About. I was free! Thank you, car.

 

I’ve already explained here that this is a car with gizmos, that it has “features” that are supposed to enhance my driving experience. That’s what happens when you replace a 1998 car with a 2017 car.

One of the “features” of this car is that it goes dead. When I go away for a month, it is dead when I return. But with Covid, the car was going dead every other time I got in it. We were Tim was constantly jumping it.

When I take my car into the repair shop, I tell them I am a woman who mostly drives alone, so it’s up to them to make sure my car will NEVER break down, never leave me vulnerable in some dark, deserted place. That works. I have only had very reliable cars.

Until mine started going dead. A lot. Mostly, it went dead in the garage, but then it went dead at the grocery store.

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: Both of us are having trouble leaving the house. No matter how much we may want to be part of the world, we’re retreating. We just don’t go.

Apparently, according to the battery man, I have to drive my car enough for it to recharge the battery. Driving it once a week, maybe to the grocery store five minutes away for pickup is not enough. I have to drive it at least eleven miles.

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: It seems that neither of us is getting enough exercise.

So I take a Big Excursion to Target, which is only 7.3 miles away, but I stop at the library and keep the car running during curbside pickup, so I think that counts. I happily find birthday cards for my sister … and in the parking lot, my car is dead as a doornail. It is dark, cold, and far from home.

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: We are both traumatized, paralyzed with anxiety.

I ask the friendly Channel 2 News anchorman who has unluckily parked next to me if he would jump my car. I pull out my handy dandy jumper cable case with the instructions on the outside.

Nothing doing. I phone Tim and stand in the now-vacant space next to my car, waving away all the other people who want that space and who think I am an asshole. I explain and one guy offers to jump it.

 “No, thank you, my husband is on his way.” (I want my husband!)

Tim conquers 7.3 miles of rush-hour and bad weather, arrives, hooks up the cables, and sits with his engine running, giving my car an infusion of energy. I vibrate.

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: Little by little, both of us calm down and can now direct our nervous energy toward Getting Home. We can start. The clock in the car is now two hours behind. I am not sure what day it is; my car is not sure what time it is.

Once home, Tim says, “Tomorrow we can take your car in.”

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: Now that we are safe in the garage and safe at home – kissing the ground! – we are not leaving.


Days go by, and I eventually take the car into my trusty Subaru mechanic. J-T tells me that these newer cars have so many security features and special electronics, that they are always draining energy. The little red light that’s always blinking is the sign that the car is monitoring itself. If you don’t drive it enough, it won’t recharge enough to be able to start up.

Barbara/Car Covid Parallel: I am constantly ruminating over every little issue, monitoring my mental health and my awkward social interactions. Now I know that my car is doing the same thing! Are my fluid levels good, what about my tire pressure? Did I embarrass myself on that Zoom call, how can I feel purposeful again?

But J-T has a solution: he installs a little Battery Minder in my car. Kept plugged in, it sends a little trickle of energy to my car while it sleeps. My well-rested car is now happy and eager to start up and go.


I need a Battery Minder.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Dark Side of Organizing

The very first post I wrote for this blog outlined the issues my Third Third had raised. The second post was about de-cluttering, and included eight thoughts on de-cluttering. Here I am years later, and all those are still big issues.

In the first blog, I asked, “Why is this Third Third such a big deal?” I gave ten answers, but the first one began, “It’s colored by mortality.” So now, get ready for a pandemic-influenced, dark-outside, morbid blog.

This is how my Third Third began: with organizing! I loved organizing/de-cluttering! It meant things that were strewn all over the place found their preferred location in my now-orderly universe. That new place was more attractive, aesthetically pleasing, neat, accessible, tidy. So, for instance, my hundreds of Anchorage Daily News columns found their way into my handmade books. Books were donated and only favorites held prime spots on the bookshelves. Videos became DVDs.

Organizing made my present and future more pleasant, cleansed of clutter.

It’s not that organizing itself was always smooth and pleasant. Every project suffered from setbacks and lost momentum, but when they were finished, it was terrific!

But lately, some other feeling appeared. After finishing the glorious collection of family recipes in my exquisite, artful, photo recipe book, friends called it a “legacy.”

How lovely! In that first blog, the fifth point in “Why is this Third Third such a big deal” was “What legacy do I leave behind?” Wow, now I had a legacy!

One I’d leave behind. After I was dead. (Cue the dark and the pandemic.)

Then I tackled the photo albatross: I culled, I tossed, I labeled, I mounted in a photo album for easy viewing. I actually finished it! Victory! … Not really. It seems I went from De-cluttering Reason #1 (“You have to toss some of your old life to make room for a new life.”) to #8 (Your kids don’t want your shit.) In other words, my organizing stopped feeling like I was making a new life, but rather packing up my old life for posterity.

My sister says, “Yeah, but as you went through the photos, you were reminded of each fun time and enjoyed them all over again.” Yes, all those fun times in the past.

Here’s another example: Tim and I have been meeting with a financial counselor, as we have every now and then over the years. Previous visits were like: Is this the best way to save? What can we do now so we can REALLY do something big next year or in two years? And how big can it be? Now, our financial plan has this big word in it: Estate. We’re not just looking at bank accounts or mutual funds; we’re looking at our estate.

Estates are for dead people.

Oh, I am getting very morbid. Instead of feeling like every paper I put in its proper file is clearing my desk, I feel like it’s making it easier for my survivors to find.

My siblings, who have no children, have different reactions. My sisters worry about where it will go; my brother happily says, “In the trash.” “But who will sort through it? Who will handle it?” the sisters ask. “No sorting. Whoever gets the house just throws it all out.” And he sweeps his hand across the Zoom screen.

Just today, my friend Chris asked, “What if all your photos, all your saved stuff, just vaporized? Isn’t it just … stuff?” She’s right. My files of community projects, places we’ve visited, high school yearbooks, appliance warranties – those can all vaporize.

But I have a different feeling about my writing. My mother used to write stories – she called her collection “Chicken Every Friday.” I read them once as a teenager, and they were really good. But they’re gone. Just gone. I would have liked to sit with her innermost thoughts. I would have liked to remember her that way.

So every time I encounter another piece of my writing, I don’t think happy organizing, clear-the-clutter, how-clean-how-tidy thoughts. I think of being remembered. Isn’t that what we’d all like, to be remembered well? Isn’t that a part of our Third Thirds experience?

In the dark of Covid winter, some thoughts are too bleak to entertain. But in the dark of Covid winter, some thoughts just sit and sit. That’s why this post has been so long in coming. I gave you a warning sign!

(I have heard that opening the door at midnight is supposed to help put 2020 to bed. And for extra insurance, I’ve Googled how to make a hot toddy to toast the arrival of 2021.)



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pearl of Wisdom #2

I didn’t even realize this was a Pearl of Wisdom until today. My sister Elizabeth and I were trading memories (or non-memories, which seems to be the case more and more – is there a word for forgottenings?). She’d come across a mention of the play, Bye Bye Birdie, and remembered that I starred in it in sixth grade.

For those of you who may have missed it, Bye Bye Birdie is a take on Elvis Presley going into the Army. Some lucky girl is picked at random to get Conrad/Elvis’s last kiss before he’s inducted. The lucky girl is named Kim, and Ann-Margret became a super star with this role.


In 1963, I was a dork. I had pointy speckled eyeglasses, a flat chest, and scabbed-up knees. I was a member of the Math Club. At my own birthday parties, I hung out in the corners.

I was not Ann-Margret material.

But I had a very active imagination and fantasy life, and the part of Kim became my quest. My totally unrealistic and ripe-for-disappointment quest.

The director of the play was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Faella, who was truly dedicated and did nothing halfway. She was going to pull off a spectacular production. For the scene where all the teens are talking on the phone in big squares, she’d have us on platforms with ladders and tables. We were going Broadway!

Yes, there was the problem of who was going to be Hugo (Kim’s boyfriend) and who was going to be Conrad Birdie (the kiss). The available pool were the sixth grade boys after all. I’d have to cross that bridge when I came to it.

Besides, I was still a dork.

The day of the audition, all the popular girls lined up. We were reading the part where Kim gets the phone call that she’s been selected as the lucky girl who will get the Last Kiss. Kim has just finished telling her mother that she is no longer going to be treated like a child, that now she will call her mother “Doris,” when the phone rings. She listens and is blown away. She shouts.

One after another, the girls read, “Doris! Mother! Mommy!” Next girl: “Doris! Mother! Mommy!” Next girl: “Doris! Mother! Mommy!” No crescendo, no variation, no increasing volume.

Back in the line, I had a crushing realization: if I read it just like the other girls, I’d just be one in a long line of girls. Plus, I’d still be the dork who thought she could try out for a starring role. I had to do something – ANYTHING – that would distinguish me.

You cannot imagine the crushing realization this sent through me: I had to do something DIFFERENT. I had to separate from the peer group and do something DIFFERENT. Even now – sixty years later! – I can feel the sweat and near-hysteria that gripped me on that line. It was either step out of my comfort zone and risk total and complete sixth grade humiliation or … remain a dork and abandon a fantasy.

My turn came. I read “Doris!” with a whimper, “Mother!” with desperation, and positively WAILED “Mooooommmmmyyyy!”

You could have heard a pin drop. Classmates stared at me. I had broken every rule of sixth grade peer-enforced decorum. But Mrs. Faella said, “Well, there’s no doubt about that. You have the part.”

Bye Bye Birdie was the biggest thing in my life for a long time. I did not become a popular girl; I remained a dork with scabby knees. But the dork was an actress. I had starred on the stage.

So now I’m sitting in my Third Third, musing on sixth grade Barbara. I didn’t know at the time I was learning a lesson, that I had broken through a wall, made something happen by the sheer force of will to appear stupid. I think I’ve revisited this lesson over and over again throughout my life – not just auditions, not just trying for a part – but encountering all sorts of barriers and obstacles and trials.

I’m not sure what the fear is exactly: the fear of losing out or the fear of actually being proven stupid. It seems an impossible effort to break through and risk utter stupidity. It takes practice.

If that 10-year-old Barbara could do it, so could this Third Third one. So can we all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Art vs De-cluttering: A Play in Three Acts

The Setting
I save art supplies. Not only paints and brushes, inks and pastels, pencils and papers, fabric and yarn; but things that could possibly turn into art. Pieces of bark, sticks, wire, metal. Old scraps of rubber, plastic, sponges, things with texture. Mesh net that once held onions or cheese or whatever. Bins of this sort of stuff.

The key phrase is “could possibly turn into art.” Anything can possibly turn into art. Anything can also turn into clutter. Junk. But junk can turn into art.

You see the problem here? Quilters nicely call their hoard of fabric their “stash.” That’s because fabric looks like fabric. My sticks and bark and scraps look like junk.

Backstory
Way back when, I bought Crab Cake Minis at Costco. It was an experiment. Then Covid-19 happened and what was I going to do with 36 crab cake minis and no guests? So they sat in the freezer until Sophie visited and I thought, “only chance to get rid of the crab cake minis,” so we ate them.

They came in a distinctive plastic shell, sort of like Costco apples, but mini. It was a sheet of little half-globes, each holding a tiny crab cake. The angel on my shoulder looked lovingly and imaginatively at that sheet, dreaming of how it might print a pattern or turn into something else.

But the devil on the other shoulder shouted, “No more junk! You have bubble wrap and other plastic textures. Just junk! Throw it out!” Which I did.

Art Inspiration (the Motivating Action)
My assignment from the Anchorage Museum’s Book Arts class is to make an accordion book of one of my collections. I’d already done something with my pressed leaves, something else with my tiny rocks. This time, I looked at my collection of flying women, the ones gathered around my computer as my muses. I would paint a sort-of-somewhat 3-D image of each doll and give her a page.

And there’s one of my Marilee Dupree dolls dancing over me, sitting on a globe. 

A globe that would be perfectly represented by a Crab Cake Mini half-globe!

[Brief episode of foul language]

Shopping Expedition #1
Costco has apparently moved on from Crab Cake Minis to Mini Tacos and Mini Quiches and Spanakopita. No more Crab Cake Minis.

Supporting Cast: The Friends
I turn to my Thursday Morning Women and my Friday Morning Women. They have lots of ideas, but it comes down to the packages that Ferrero Rocher chocolates come in. I’ve never heard of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, but I Google it, and Target has them.

Shopping Expedition #2
Target has them, but while the plastic packaging holds individual little chocolates, it has flat bottoms. No little half-globes. But while I am at Target, Friday Morning Judith has been on a thrift shop expedition of her own and has brought a plastic egg carrying case to my doorstep. It’s hard, too hard.

Supporting Cast: The Family
Obviously, I’m getting pretty boring by now, talking about little half-globes. My sister Allison, who lives in Germany, knows international chocolate. She’s also an incurable researcher, so during our Sibling Zoom, her head disappeared. We all know what that means, so the rest of us started yelling, “Stop it, Allison! Stop researching!”

But the flurry of emails couldn’t be interrupted: for a German chocolate named Toffiffee. Followed by an email for Toffifay, the name in the U.S. Followed by the directions to a Walgreens that sells it in Fairbanks. Followed by the directions to the Walgreens on my corner!

Shopping Expedition #3
Success!
Applause

The Encore
One of the other dolls hangs from the ceiling on a parasol.


Aha, there were those paper cocktail parasols Sophie got a long time ago for a birthday party. There were some left over that I’d saved for years. ... But I’d finally de-cluttered them, too.

[Another brief episode of foul language]

What’s to be done? I obviously can’t live in a house filled with all the infinite possibilities of junk-to-art. Right now, my art space is getting overwhelmed with projects-in-process. It’s driving me a little crazy, crazy enough to do some serious de-cluttering … and repeat this show in a few months.

Ah, but Judith to the rescue again: she has a stash of little cocktail parasols! So now I’ve reduced Judith’s clutter while she saved me from my over-eager de-cluttering error. Such a win-win!




Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sweat/No Sweat

I’ve been doing a daily nighttime diary for 14 days for Carnegie Mellon University: “Help Us Learn about the Impact of the Coronavirus on Individuals, Couples, and Families.” It asks me what Covid-19 measures I do, what activities I’ve done during the day, and whom I’ve interacted with and for how long. Then it asks how I’m feeling, both emotionally and physically. I recommend the study.

Most days, the only person I’ve seen in 24 hours is Tim, and most days – especially bad weather ones – we’re in our house for a lot of the day. That’s usual for me, but Tim has always been a coffeehouse or daily athletic club, get-out-of-the-house kind of guy. That’s not possible now. Our house is our only inside place. Our only inside place.

Usually, we inhabit the house very nicely together. This surprised me, but I’d had to adapt to his invasion presence when he retired, so this was old business. I go downstairs, he stays upstairs. I am so grateful for this space!

But with Covid-19, how Tim and I occupy the house is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

It started with his little 8-minute workout routine. I’d hear his phone beeping and he’d start jumping or sitting up or hopping or stopping. It was so cute! I offered assistance: “Why don’t you use the old ensolite pad I still have? Oh, what about those weights I got for exercises when both my legs were broken (and haven’t used since)?” 

Little by little, those eight minutes grew. Tim rediscovered the monkey bars on the ceiling in Sophie’s old room – which has been My Precious Space for years – and he’s added pull-ups to his workout. He comes in while I’m writing on the computer and he grunts and lifts and sweats right behind me.

He moves from room to room on his now-hour-long circuit. Hopping things seem to happen in his office, but stretching things seem to happen in the living room. I’m not sure where he does the giant blue ball things. Or the lunging things. (I’m downstairs and just hear thumps.) And now, there’s The Box.

I only exercise outdoors, period. Indoors, I may interrupt inactivity to do things, but the general backdrop is inertia. For me, Covid-19 means there is no consequence to laziness; if I don’t know what day it is, everything can happen tomorrow. Tim does Covid-19 strenuously and in motion. Outdoors and indoors. He just finished building The Box.

I love boxes. I love a good, clean box with a snug-fitting lid. A box just the right size for whatever contents. I am a Box Person. Boxes hold things.

Tim’s box is empty. It’s 18 inches square, wooden, beautifully crafted, and empty. He jumps onto it. Yes, he stands in front of it and jumps up vertically and lands on the box. Apparently, according to YouTube, it’s a Thing.

I stood in front of the box. Nothing happened.

I don’t even know what muscles to tell to move to make me jump up vertically like that.

Now, if you can see where this is going, it’s obviously about more than a box. I have to adapt to living with someone who is doing Covid-19 very differently from me. In the same house as me. I can’t just tell him to stop jumping and sweating and hopping and sweating and lunging AND SWEATING all over the house.

Omigod, what happens when it’s winter and the windows are closed?!?

I have to appreciate that Tim’s taking care of his health and wellbeing in the best way. (The Carnegie Mellon researchers would be very impressed.) I have to appreciate that he just purchased a giant floor mat so his sweat won’t land on the carpet. Finally, I have to appreciate that just because I am a slug, I do not have any moral authority to begrudge the non-slug in my midst (especially when the non-slug doesn’t complain about my craft supplies invading the common space). We share this Covid-19 interior space, and I    have    to    adapt.

Uh, oh. This might be harder than jumping onto that box.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Challenges of Art

This is a gratitude blog. Two weeks ago, I was abysmally [my word] grieving Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the potential end of the world. I was a blob of despair…, yet hours later, I managed to sit at my computer with a burst of creative energy. What sparked it?

My Bricolage art challenge group. Bricolage means “something created from a variety of available things.” Five of us meet regularly to draw another creative challenge from our Ziploc bag of challenges.

Jinnie convened us and then moved to Idaho, but we’re still here. So first, I’m grateful to Jinnie for getting us together, for reintroducing me to Art as Play.

We used to meet indoors, but when Covid-19 happened, we had to come up with something else. We brought our chairs to the huge lawn in front of the closed universities and spread ourselves out very far apart. We were so happy! It was our first chance to see faces and bodies in real life.

We’ve become a little nervous about the weather going bad on us, but last week, it didn’t rain, and we’re determined. We’re checking out overhangs.

The challenge this time was “weaving.” Jane (who shared her art with photographs) wove gold-flecked paper and embroidery thread through paper. Pam wove yarn into the Y of a branch and covered the branch in yarn. Betty made a frame of four branches with jute and wove in natural items – feathers, flowers, even a wasp’s nest. I made two branch pieces; the big one is now on the living room wall. This is the little one.

Usually, Cathy is there, but she couldn’t make it this time. Both Cathy and Betty know about materials. I may have ideas, but I don’t know what kind of paint, what kind of coating, what kind of ink, etc etc. They are my go-to resources. But hints come from everyone. Pam kept her weaving tight by using a fork to squeeze her rows together – a fork! That would have made my weaving much easier! Now I know.

In my very first blog post, I asked myself, “How do I re-insert creativity into my life?” I’ve taken art classes, but it’s been the Bricolage group that has consistently kept me thinking and percolating over my creative choices. The challenges stew in my head till they take shape.

When confronted with the “playing cards” challenge, I turned it into painting a card on a rock and a whole book of face card characters and their royal scandals. When the challenge was “postcard,” it turned into a transparent, multi-layered postcard to the poet, Billy Collins. “Tea bags” became Happy Uterus Tea. “Paper dolls” is a continuing project as my protesting Barbara still has lots and lots to protest.

Jinnie reintroduced me to Art as Play, but I still cling to Art as Project: I visualize an idea or concept before I create something. And then I have to figure out how to make it difficult challenging.

So when the challenge was “envelopes,” I decided I would learn how to do curved piece quilting.

There have been a few duds. “Upcycling” occurred when our house was overflowing with brown paper bags from curbside grocery pickups. I happened to be at the Recycling Center when two guys were unloading cartons. They discovered the cartons were filled with packing material they didn’t know what to do with. “I’ll take it,” I said, “for an art project.”

So now I had brown paper bags and packing material. I read that you could make faux leather by wetting the bags, crumpling them up, then ironing them and varnishing them. If I stuffed them with packing material, I’d have trivets! Or, as the group dubbed them, “cow pies.” Fortunately, I got rid of all that packing material by standing outside the UPS Store and offering it for free. I’m still loaded with paper bags….

I really like the cards I made for “ravens,” but “leaves” is a project I haven’t let go. I keep making pressed, dried leaf notecards. Now’s the perfect time to collect more leaves.


“Plastic” meant a stained glass window for our bathroom. It’s colored plastic bags glue-sticked onto clear plastic. I’d wanted to do that ever since I took a workshop during one of my months in New York City, but it would have sat in the “someday” pile of ideas if it weren’t for my Bricolage group.


I often suffer from some creative paralysis, creative lethargy. I’m an in-the-mood creator, not a disciplined one. But if any creative juices flow, it’s usually sparked by a current challenge picked out of a Ziploc bag. The new one: “wire or metal.” I’ve had an unrealized metal idea since high school. Maybe now?

I am so very thankful that I am part of a warm, supportive circle of artists who inspire, challenge, and educate me. That’s why this is a gratitude blog.

Monday, September 14, 2020

A Day's Gift

I woke up this morning after an incredible night’s sleep. It was 10 a.m., so I’d just missed a gathering of friends, but instead of feeling disappointment, I only felt amazement: I had SLEPT! Sleep has always been elusive for me, but with Covid, I tend to sleep only every other night for a few hours.


I woke up to glorious, glorious sun in Anchorage. Sparkling cloudless skies. And I had an adventure planned: Tim and I were going to get an ice cream pop.

The adult daughter had visited us for the whole month of August – a whole month to outlast quarantine! – and we’d covered almost all the wished-for-and-missed food. With Forest Fair and State Fair cancellations, it seemed we’d never be able to have those chocolate-dipped Original Gourmet Ice Cream Bars again. So I searched and searched … and discovered they’d be at the “Friday Fling” in Palmer, 45 miles away.
I cannot tell you how delicious that ice cream bar was. Vanilla ice cream with delicious chocolate, all covered with Oreo cookie crumbs. I think it was the best one they’d ever made. We sat in the sun far away from anyone else, unmasked and in ice cream delirium.

As soon as we arrived home, the phone rang. Sophie just had to tell us that she’d had a great victory at work, wonderful choices presented themselves, and she was happy (but jealous about our ice cream). My mother used to say she could hear a “ring” in my voice on the telephone when I was happy; Mom, I now know what you meant.

Afterwards, I had to get to the library to pick up three books on hold before they were closed for the weekend. (Desperation lurks if I perceive I may run out of books.) So off I biked. When I turned in my library card to the always-helpful Sophie (a different one), she returned with five books! Two more had come in off long-time holds. A bonanza of library books!

As I biked home in the sunshine, it hit like a ton of bricks: a feeling of unadulterated joy. I can’t even describe it: it’s like sunshine lit up my soul with energy and happiness. It was a miracle. I was like the bike scene in E.T.
A miracle because it had been such a very long time. So long that I’d decided joy was no longer happening, that I wasn’t even marking its absence because it was just a non-event. Not sadness, not depression, just not-joy.

So what was it? Sleep? Sunshine? An ice cream bar? A bike basket full of books? A happy daughter? Living in a place where the air is clear and I can simply hop on a bike to ride to the library? A husband who may not think a 45-mile drive to get an ice cream is an “adventure,” but who happily does it with me nevertheless? (and who laughed as he pointed out that he only shows up as #6 or #7)

I am living a very fortunate life, free of violence, fire, smoke, financial collapse, hunger. I know that. All I “suffered” today were irritations:

  • the unmasked lady on the ice cream line who kept coming closer and closer to us

  • the next-door neighbors who added a sixth parked vehicle to the junkyard they call a backyard

  • the creeping crud that invaded my house plants

I could go on, fully aware that those are just irritationsnot hardships or catastrophes – but most times, I guess, even irritations get in the way of joy. Something gets in the way.

But somehow, SOMEHOW, joy crept in. I don’t know why. I wish I did so I could know how to hold onto it, how to usher it in when it’s absent.

But joy is not a function of reason. There is no formula that dictates sunshine + ice cream + library books = Joy. There is no chemical equation – no necessary and sufficient causes – that make joy the inevitable result of anything.

 

This joy was just a gift. Maybe it will be gone when I have a sleepless night tonight or if it rains. It will certainly fade when I read the news and hear about another political crime, racist murder, and/or environmental disaster.

But I’ve written it down; I’ve now documented it: Today, I felt Joy.

Joy exists.

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