Monday, November 25, 2019

The Swamp

I finished reading March, by Geraldine Brooks, a sort of inter-textual novel about what was going on with Mr. March and the Civil War during Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Marmee (Mrs. March) goes to Washington to tend March in his severe illness. I was amazed at how pertinent this seemed:

It came to me that if the fortunes of this war do not turn, then maybe the city is destined to be no more than this: ruins, merely, sinking back into the swamp; the shards of an optimistic moment when a few dreamers believed you could build a nation upon ideas such as liberty and equality.

Wow! We hear all the "draining the swamp" talk, and here it's geographical as well as metaphorical: sinking back into the swamp. The Civil War then is a bit like the civil war now, with our volatile divisiveness. And, indeed, if we don't turn things around, and soon, our democracy is at great risk, and our country will only sink further.

It makes me sad.

But I did file my papers today to run again as a precinct committeeperson to help get out the vote and to help local people stay energized and informed. It's a Blue Monday because I'm a Democratic committeeperson and a Random Coinciday because who knew a 2005 novel about the 1860s would be so resonant right now!

I read the paperback version, so the quotation comes from pages 215-216.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

This Moment...

Goodness, I can't believe I missed the whole month of October here in the blog. Yes, I continue to be busy, with necessary downtime between tasks and events. At an event in November, I read poems from a new book, This Sarah's Garden, for which I had written poems in the voice of Sarah Davis to accompany photographs by Ken Kashian. That's it above, accordian style, with its box and inserts, which include a packet of poppy seeds and a booklet about the history of David and Sarah Davis, their letters, her garden, and you can learn more about it at Ken's Artist Book site here. After a busy week of meetings and events, including a story slam last night, I am having a grand Slattern Day today, of rest, reading, grocery shopping, and an at-home movie, borrowed from the library. My Cousin Rachel, based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, but not exactly the same story.

I am reading March, by Geraldine Brooks, borrowed from a co-worker at the library, and I can't wait to see Little Women in the theatre this Christmas! My son saw the Winona Ryder version one Christmas when he was a little boy and fell in love with it/her. I hope he'll go see this one with me; I hope my daughter will, too! March is gory and gruesome enough that I might get my son to read it over his Christmas break with us, too! My daughter has enjoyed books I've recommended, and I have shelves and shelves for her to choose from when she comes home for Christmas.

Perhaps all this movie watching and novel reading is escapism...from politics, despair, impeachment hearings, desperate reality. But Monday I will turn in my ballot petition to run again as a precinct committeeperson, because I have to do something. Of course I will vote. And see the new Tom Hanks movie about Mr. Rogers. "Look for the helpers."