If you are looking for me, I have moved to afterthebufferzone.wordpress.com . My blog there is called The Weekly Muse.
I am still learning how to get it going, but check it out.
I am just stopping in to say that I am going to stop blogging here. I'm going to take a break and move to a new platform.
I'll post here when I get it all set up.
I've never really had a lot of people regularly follow this blog, and that's okay. Amassing followers was not really the point for me. It has mostly been a way to write about my musings and activities. I have been lucky to interact with a lot of nice people here in blogland although many people seem to have gone on to other things.
Anyway. That's all for now.
I went to the Georgia Grassroots Event with President Obama, the Democrat rally to rev everyone up to VOTE! There were many 100s--no--1000s of people in front of us in line, but we got in. We didn't get a seat, but we got a good spot to lean. Look! We even got our picture in The Guardian! Hahaha! (Really, that's us!)
It am so proud to support Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams. These people genuinely work hard to help all of us. These leaders reflect the spirit and diversity of our state. They are positive, hard working, and REAL.
I was inspired by President Obama saying not to despair and hide our heads in the sand, but to go out and vote and work and raise our voices to be heard above all the negative noise. We are more the same than different. Change takes time and we have to keep at it doggedly. I remember Michelle Obama writing about how Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison opposing apartheid--Talk about keeping the faith! Change is slow. And sometimes it is painful and we move backwards. But anything worth doing is often very difficult.
I have been canvassing a lot, trying to reach people who might not know that they should go out now and cast their vote. It has been inspiring to talk to the many immigrants in my part of town. A man from Sudan talked with me a minute about the lost boys. Another woman told me I could take some of her cactus blooms if I wanted. She said I could make a kind of tea with them. Some Vietnamese women were drying plants on a cloth on their front lawn, something to make into a soup. Other people told me they could not vote, that I had their landlord's information, that they were not citizens, though they wished to be one day. It was uplifting for me to talk with these people and see the faith and hope they have for this country.
Meanwhile, fall is here in full. The colors around me are all yellows and shades of orange and red. Yesterday I planted bulbs. Those bulbs are now deep under the ground. Little by little, their tips will peek up out of the earth and the buds will emerge and then the flowers will show themselves. Little by little.
Shortly after college, we took a rainy drive to Florida in a humongous Lincoln continental. We drove it from Atlanta to for a company called Auto Drive Away. We wanted to a big car to haul our bicycles in because we planned to cycle back to Americus, Georgia. On that drive, we listened to an interview with Joe Pass. In that Pensacola restaurant, we sat and watched the rain on the window and talked and thought about Joe Pass. When we got back home, we bought our first of many Joe Pass records.
In those years, our house didn't have air conditioning, so in the summer, we'd sit out on the cool cement front stoop at night and listen to jazz on the radio coming through the window screens in of the living room. We'd listen to H. Johnson on 90.1 on Saturday night, a show called "Jazz Classics." We'd listen late into the night--all the way up until 2 A.M. sometimes. He'd always play some version or two of "Around Midnight" around midnight.
Back then, we'd mostly drive around on Saturday night. We'd pass the Majestic Diner all lit up, "Food That Pleases, Food to Take Home," and the flashing sign for "Hot Donuts Now" further down on Ponce at the Krispy Kreme. We'd drive over to go hang out at Oxford Books on Peachtree and browse art and photo books and everything in between, listening to classical music with the smell of coffee we could not afford. We'd drive downtown to art openings in the mattress factory, or go to some party in Cabbage Town or Inman Park, the lit up Marta train clattering above us on Dekalb Avenue. H. Johnson accompanied us during all this driving. H. and John Coltrane, and Oscar Peterson, and Stephane Grappelli, and so many others--that guy always singing about "Yaprak! Harissi!" and Coleman Hawkins and that long, long blow on the sax.
I got to thinking about all of this because I heard H. Johnson last night, grooving and singing and sharing his enthusiasm for all things classic jazz. I was driving along in the dark about eleven o'clock, not in the city this time, but it didn't matter. The music, the show, his voice, brought it all back. H. Johnson on Saturday night IS the ATL for me.
When I was a young teen, the money I earned mostly came from babysitting. I would save up that money to buy books. I wanted books more than anything else.
When I got into B Dalton, or maybe it was Walden Books?, anyway, the bookstore at the mall--I would be so excited that I couldn't stand still. Literally, I would stand in front of the young adult section tipping from side to side about to wet my pants! I learned to go to the bathroom first, right away, as soon as I got in the store. Then, I could come back and browse to my heart's content. So many books!
This was circa 1975 and the young adult section was one bookcase. But to me, it was heaven. I had favorite authors I looked for right away--Kin Platt, Judy Blume, and Paul Zindel were at the top, and S.E. Hinton of course, and Robert Cormier. I followed the suggestions or comparisons in the back of the paperbacks I already had to find more authors I might like. This led me to books like A Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies and The Catcher in the Rye--old books I could (and did) get at the library.
I loved being immersed in the world of the story! I was able to go to places I had never been to--like New York City or California or a boarding school. And I could find out about drugs and pregnancy and domestic abuse without experiencing any of that in my real life. I could empathize with kids in difficult situations, and feel an easing of my own normal angst.
In eighth grade I worked in the school library and me and the other library aide had this game where we would go around and name at least one book on every shelf that we had read. If we hadn't read any on a particular shelf, we would take it home and read it. We read a lot. She started reading these books her mom had, Barbara Cartland romances, and left our game behind. I tried these romances, but found they just were not for me. All dukes and counts and fancy dress and stolen hand holding was just not that appealing to me. I'd rather read things that seemed like they could actually happen.
As child, I was always free to leave the children's section and check out any book in the library. I was never restricted. At home, I read from the encyclopedia or from my mother's shelves or from the books my parents bought in sets more as decoration than as something to be read.
Books are powerful--so powerful that some people are afraid of them. !
Lynda Barry, a fabulous graphic artist who often draws and writes about teenagers characters, said to me, "If a kid made a book about their life, a lot of their parents wouldn't let them read it." Unfortunately, this is true.
|View form my writing room
I know, that as humans, we need stories. And this is why I write.
I read and write whatever I want. And I hope that you will too!
Here is my progress on my Lunenburg Pullover. As you see, I am nearing the end of the first sleeve. Hooray!
Of course, the sweater doesn't look it's best yet, because it's unblocked and has been going round and round and round while I do the sleeve. I'm disturbed about how much the increases at the bust line show, but I am hoping blocking evens that out. This picture does not show how great the purple/blue colors go together on the yoke, but when I finish, I'll post some better looks. This has been such a fun pattern!
Aside from occasional knitting, I have been reading a lot. These are the last few books I've read.
Actually, I'm still reading the middle book because it is a collection of short pieces that need to be taken in and digested slowly. I am finding it inspiring and reassuring and am reading it with a pencil in hand because I'm underlining so many things!
The other two books cover some pretty tough topics, but they are told in a way that is compelling without being crushing. I guess I've been in a mood for serious books. Next up I think I'm going to read a book called Black Cake. (Also serious.) Seems I just can't read fast enough these days. There are so many books I want to read!
When I was in New York, My Italian friends gave me this DVD and book.
What a fantastic gift, eh? So many Fellini films are among my very favorite of all times. I especially love Nights of Cabiria. So much to love in that film! The way Cabiria dances in her ankle socks and scabby rabbit fur coat and is awed by the elegant man who picks her up and takes her to his amazing rooms! So much whimsy in such a heartbreaking story. I could go on and on about so many scenes in Fellini movies--!
I'm looking forward to a big Fellini retrospective that is happening here this fall.
|Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria
Things in the garden are finishing out their season, but the ginger lilies are blooming and hummingbirds are still busy buzzing around. Here and there I am seeing little frogs. This last one was about the size of my thumbnail!
|Ginger Lily smells so fresh!
I hope you have a lovely week. It is all routine here, which all in all is not a bad thing.
Well, last weekend we did a most unusual thing! We went to New York!
We were there for a wedding which was out in Long Island. We only had one short day to spend in Manhattan because we had to gather early Saturday for a rehearsal dinner. The wedding was Sunday and there was no time to travel to the city and back. So, what did we do with our part of a Saturday? We took the train in to Penn Station--the first major stop--and got out. The first thing we saw was the Empire State Building, so that is where we headed!
There were very few tourists there and we were able to take an elevator to the top. These pictures are from the 86th floor where there was no glass and we were out in the open air. We went all the way to the 102nd floor. Up there, I swear I could feel the building swaying slightly.
|Can you see Central Park? The big green behind the skinny towers on the middle left.
|That's the Statue of Liberty sticking up on one of those islands to the right.
The day was clear and cool. Well, we thought it was cool--some guests from Alaska disagreed!
We wandered around a little and stopped for a light lunch in Bryant Park before passing through Times Square and heading back.
The wedding was a HUGE event. This is a wedding that was cancelled because of Covid. I feel like maybe because there was so much planning time, the details in this wedding snowballed and there was just a little too much going on. I was happy to just be a guest!
Even though New York is a long way to go for a weekend, I felt I really needed to go because the parents of the young man getting married are some of my dearest and most generous Italian friends from the time I lived in Italy. I remember when the groom was born! I remember his first birthday party! And I remember when he came to the hospital to see my little son when he was born. He kept pushing the call button for the nurse.
At the wedding, I realized that he is the age of his parents when we met! I can't believe it. Time turns and here we are.
|Although the groom was born Catholic, he converted to Judaism.
|The mother gives a speech in Italian and the father translates into English.
Italian friends and their children were at the wedding. These are people I haven't seen in probably 20 years! It was remarkable to see the children all grown up and find that they had memories of me being places and doing things that I had forgotten. My Italian was shamefully rusty, but it was wonderful to be able see and talk with these people again.
When I was a little girl, my mother went to New York and brought me back this book.
It's funny that it took me practically my whole life to get to New York! I have been all over the world, but this was my first time in New York. It was truly a "whirlwind" trip! And we had such a great time.