I have taught the girls that those days where the clouds threaten to rain you out, where the heat seems too warm, like it won’t last, and the air in the very space around you seems to holding its breath, are balmy days. They love to find them out and tell me, “Today is balmy, right Mommy?”
While Nina napped, I went out back, got out my book I started reading earlier, and sat out to the table I made this Spring semester in Furniture Design. I only got 18 out of 20 points for the table. Mae joined me with her paints. She has been making monsters lately. Really great monsters. “The green is blood. The purple is skin.” “What’s the red?” I asked. “That’s blood. The green is streaming blood.”
Here is an old one. They usually look like this.
While we sat, three blue jays and two robins seemed to be fluttering around over some drama in the pines above us. When it seemed to calm, one of the jays would sneak in, and steal a peanut from the feeder next to Mae. Sometimes in the morning I will find the feeder tipped over. They are very hot blooded creatures.
I’m reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I didn’t know what it was about before I bought it. I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Toni Morrison has a quote printed on the cover that simply reads “This is required reading.” I should have known then how important it is. It’s a letter to Coates’s son about his body and his relationship to the world. It’s similar to Emerson’s Self Reliance or Thoreau’s Walden. I’m reading it and want everyone to read it as well. Coincidentally, as I write this Nina Simone is singing Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair. The other day on KRCL there was a news segment on Tamir Rice, I didn’t listen, Adam did, and he came home upset. Said he cried. A drive by shooting of a twelve year old boy at a playground is heinous. Leaving his body on the ground for his sister to watch it bleed out, is the stuff of nightmares. I can’t believe this is the world I live in. I watched Persepolis the other night, and cried again about the conflict and horror of this universe. Unlike Coates though, this universe where people are shot dead in the street, his reality, is another universe away from mine. I live in the world where I sit with my children in my backyard and read books and have discussions on the different bird body types and what they like to eat.
Sometimes I don’t know what to do to help the disenfranchised. How can I help the poor? How can I make things right? How can I make it so no matter the color of your skin, you can play at a playground, stand on a street corner, or walk at night and not be shot down? I believe in the beauty of immigration. I believe that it should be easier and simpler to be an American citizen. I support those that support that cause, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I believe that the school system needs to empower the youth, not stifle them. I believe in better child care. I believe in the free economy that benefits the everyman not the few on top. I believe in women standing next to men as equals, without fear of violence.
“I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…”
― Sylvia Plath
All these thoughts are with me often lately. Sometimes I lay awake at night and think about Bernie Sanders, like a teenage girl with a crush. When I see his name in the media or hear someone mention him, I hold my breath like he’s my special person and no one knows. I watch his speeches and cry. I see photos of him and love bubbles in my heart. And it also makes me sad. How can I love a politician? And how can this underdog ever beat out the powerhouse that is Clinton and the entire world that campaign against him? Once or twice, I can get calm enough to imagine a scenario where we give him power, and he does some good. He helps the poor, women, illegal immigrants, Muslim refugees, and anyone else who find themselves on the wrong side of the powerful few. It’s not going to happen. I feel defeated already.
I don’t know who you support, but I hope it isn’t someone who likes to hurt others to make you feel good. Or just so someone is hurt and it isn’t you.
We are back inside and it is raining violently on my little home. It’s hail now, and I can’t hear Jeff Buckley through my speakers anymore. My girls are looking through the window, and Nina coos, “Ooo, it’s beautiful!” Mae notices that it’s bouncing off the garage roof, “Look mom, it’s hopping just like us and kangaroos.”