Thursday, July 20, 2023

Red Hibiscus, Fog, Sitcoms, Shock, Badassery

Dear blog readers, I haven't forgotten you--I just write my blog to you in my head while swimming, early in the morning. Twice now, I've gone swimming in the fog--once a drifty, blowy fog and today (was it today?) a stationary fog that soon disappeared. Since lap swimming is repetitive, I do lose track of days. It also becomes meditative. As the summer has progressed, that easy breathing thing has happened. I feel like I could swim forever. But this is sometimes followed by my nose having to remind itself not to breathe water, my body thinking it lives here now. 

The other meditative thing I did lately was walking the trail through two butterfly areas--the butterfly refuge, a wild native prairie with monarch-loving plants and mown paths, and a planted butterfly garden maintained behind the cancer center. The latter has a labyrinth, where I did a walking meditation.

But first a shocking thing happened: a man pushing a stroller with two children in it came up the path saying to them,"Remember when I said I would slap you to the ground? I was just joking, but those people believed me." He then veered off the path to take a shortcut over a grassy hill to some apartments. (I don't think he was joking.) Then another shocking thing: on the trail a couple was talking about panic, saying, "You can panic all you want if you keep saying you're right." And then, "They'll break into our homes and shoot us in our beds." What is going on? It was just a beautiful, peaceful day otherwise. It seems like America is scared and angry, and violent. On a Saturday, with kids.

But today is Thursday, or Thor's Day in the blog. I can conquer this with peace and poetry. And comedy. And sorrow. I have two poems in the current issue of Redactions, the Sitcom Issue, because my life is a sitcom (Mad About You) and a dark, quirky comedy (Everybody Loves Raymond if it was rebooted as a future White Lotus). To further mess things up, both of these began with biblical prompts, during Lent.

My husband had a birthday this week, and we celebrated by going to a poetry reading (he liked it!) and taking the poet and her husband out to dinner. The poet was Lynne Jensen Lampe--she came to our little public library from Columbia, Missouri--reading new poems, and poems from her new book, Talk Smack to a Hurricane. We have a robust reading series of local and regional poets, and, especially since our virtual programming during Covid, many far-flung poets, some, like Lynne, who still show up in person, and some who remain virtual. I'm delighted that Chicago poet Yvonne Zipter will come down in October. Really, it's a fantastic series that doesn't get much local media attention, but I am reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, thanks to my new pastor, and so may try to attempt some marketing badassery soon. Shonda makes me laugh out loud. Thank you, I needed that!

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