It has been a little cooler today. Still above ninety but not so humid and because of that I was able to get outside and finish up the garden weeding. I am pretty sure that I've never had a garden this weed-free in my entire life. Part of it I think is that I haven't been using hay as a mulch except for that which comes from the chickens' nests and so it has not seeded and sprouted the way it can. This has made things a lot easier. I love the way the chickens get in the garden after I've dumped that poopy hay into a pile and they scratch in it for bugs and seeds (which may explain having fewer weeds too) until it's all neatly spread about. Chickens can be very helpful garden assistants. They do like to snatch some of the field peas but I do not begrudge them that. And of course when the lettuces sprout this fall, I'll have to banish them because they do love a tender lettuce. They don't care a thing about store bought greens but they love the garden lettuces, the collards, the kale. They leave the arugula and mustard greens alone. I suppose they do not fancy the rich bitterness of the arugula or the spicy bite of the mustard.
I am glad I got to get out in the dirt because I badly needed it. I have been so bitchy lately. Just horrible. I fussed at my husband when he came out to kiss me goodbye before he left to go mow because he pulled a handful of weeds.
"This is MY work!" I told him.
It's a wonder he ever comes home.
But it did me good to sweat through my clothes and rip those weeds from the dirt and watch the butterflies dipping and floating around the zinnias which they love.
And then a dear friend texted me and we carried on a little conversation and that was better than anything, a small sharing which led me to tears for a moment which leaked some of the hotness of my mean soul out to where it could not harm me anymore.
Bless you, friend. And thank you. I love you.
I came in and showered and cooled off and sat in front of the TV and did some embroidering on a pair of old kid overalls and watched a new Chelsea Handler documentary on Netflix. It's called Hello Privilege, It's Me, Chelsea and it was not easy to watch. There were extremely awkward moments as Chelsea spoke to people of color about what it was like to live in a culture where white privilege is so prevalent and taken for granted that many, many white people don't have the slightest idea it occurs. I heard the thing that I hear so often when people are disclaiming their various privileges whether of being white or being male or whatever, which is "I worked my ass off to get where I am. No one helped me."
Which is of course bullshit.
And perfectly illustrates a complete and seemingly conscious inability to understand what the whole issue is about.
There were some startling statistics. There was a heartwarming reunion of Chelsea and the man who'd been her boyfriend when she was sixteen, an African American man who has spent fourteen years in prison.
I think the thing that gave me most pause was the fact that racism is not the problem of people of color to help us poor little white folks understand or to do something about.
It's our responsibility to do something about it. We got us into this fucked up situation and if there's any way out, it's up to us.
Chelsea Handler is a bit of a conundrum to me. I recently listened to her memoir Life Is Going To Be The Death Of Me and I found some things in it to ponder, to reflect on. Even to instruct, even as parts of it made me cringe. I think her heart is in the right place and I do admire her outspokenness.
Anyway, I think that the documentary was fine for a one hour Netflix piece and it could be a starting point for discussion and for thought. Chelsea seems to be using her powers for good. That's saying something.
Not a one of us is a perfect being, me least of all.
Here I sit in my beautiful old historic house, most likely built by slave labor. At least I realize that. At least when I think of the many, many ways this house pleases me and how it has sheltered so many generations, I am aware of that fact and in my heart I never fail to remember that and to give thanks to the people who felled the pines, who cut the boards, who constructed this place where so many people have probably been born and who have also died, who have lived hard lives and experienced joy. I will never know their names but I honor their souls, their labor, their artistry, their lives.
And I wonder where they lived. I wonder where they are buried.
And I thank them.