Lily kept sending pictures of the fun the kids were having at her house and that made me happy. Here are Owen and August and Maggie in the little pool.
I love the expressions on August's and Owen's faces.
Movie and pretzel time.
And finally this and my heart sort of burst.
Levon fell asleep in his cousin Owen's arms.
And of course I can't help but think of the children in that detention center in El Paso where older children are taking care of babies and of the conditions there and if I think about it too much I feel like I'll fly out of my body and I don't know what to do with the anger and the pain and the grieving. The grieving for the children and for their families and yes, even for our country which, because of this situation, has lost any moral higher ground it may have ever had.
My god, my god, my god, my god.
How have we forsaken the children?
Even as laws are being passed protecting clumps of cells because life is sacred, we are allowing this to happen.
And what are we, the people, supposed to do? I feel so very, very helpless. And worse- so very, very hopeless.
But my babies- they are good and they are loved and they are protected and they are fed and bathed and have soft, cozy blankets and soft, cozy beds. They have soap and they have toothbrushes. They have their mommies and their daddies. And this is how it should be for everyone's babies. And goddammit- no one in our government should be doing one damn thing besides dealing with this horrible situation and making it right.
I've been thinking about this all day long in a most immediate way. I realize that I can't even look at the pictures online because my mother soul, my human soul, can't bear it and yet- that's such a ridiculous thing to say. It's happening whether my heart can take it or not.
And I feel guilty for going along, tra-la-la-la-la, having a beautiful day while this is happening in the city where I was born.
And that's not the only place, I am sure.
But here I am, tra-la-la-la-la indeed, somehow still able to go about a normal day and knowing at the same time that we are actually running concentration camps in this country and that people are dying in them. How can one person hold such diverse emotions? The dread and guilt and anger and grief and the enjoyment of a simple day, the gratitude for the health and the happiness of my grandchildren.
I don't know. I really don't.
But I have a feeling that this is the way it was in Germany when the Nazis started taking over.
Still...one must tend what is before one to tend. I suppose. And I pulled out my canning kettle and filled it up and sterilized pint jars in it and cut up the cucumbers filling my refrigerator.
I made my brine and boiled it with a head's worth of peeled garlic cloves. I got out my stashed-away dill seed and pickling spices and packed the hot jars with the cucumbers and added the spices and seeds and poured the brine carefully into the jars, sealed them and put them back in the canner to boil for fifteen minutes.
All six pints have sucked their lids in which means they are safe to store now. There is something about the preserving of food which satisfies something very, very deep in me. It's sort of ridiculous- the stores are filled with amazing pickles and delicious vinegary things but growing the vegetables and then canning them myself goes way beyond the enjoyment of the pickles themselves. It is the alchemy of putting seeds into dirt and watching those seeds sprout and flower and produce food and then taking the food and making something good out of it that will last throughout the fall and the winter and into next year to be enjoyed by my family that pleases me so.
It's the same sort of feeling I get when I make Maggie or August something to wear with my own two hands and a piece of cloth and some thread and my old sewing machine. It is probably something akin to the way an artist feels when he or she takes a canvas and some paints and creates a picture that was not there before in any way, shape, or form. Or the way a poet takes a blank piece of paper and fills it with words that create an image, a feeling an entire life story in verses. The way a musician takes the air and fills it with notes that can inspire people to dance, to feel, to remember, to laugh and to cry. The way an actor can take words and a space to create a reality that is more believable than real life.
And speaking of musicians- every review of last night's Stones' concert in Chicago has been incredibly positive. They all speak of Mick's astounding ability to move and dance and run and skip and wiggle his hips and sing and play harmonica as if he was joyfully celebrating the fact that he is indeed alive and very, very well. One reporter said something like, "He moved like you've never moved on your best damn day."
Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield said this:
"Could it be that for a moment—maybe just a fraction of a flicker of a moment—the Rolling Stones wondered if they needed to prove they could do this? Maybe. But not bloody likely. Every moment of “Miss You” was the Rolling Stones at the top of their game—as was the entire show. Make no mistake, these guys were shamelessly showing off all night. They earned that."
Well. Here we are. All doing what we do on this planet whether for survival or for joy or for necessity or from habit or fear or celebration or lust or guilt or love or for reasons mysterious even to ourselves. We are rarely wise, we are often foolish. We are rarely satisfied, we are often confused.
And yet, none of us is going to get out of here alive. And when they say "you can't take it with you" that applies not only to earthly treasure but also to our love, our talents, our memories, our attempts to do the very best we can for ourselves and for each other. Gotta spend all that shit while we're here. Spread it around.
Especially the love.
I just don't even know what else to say.