from "Black Oaks" – Mary Oliver

Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a little sunshine, a little rain. Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from one boot to another―why don’t you get going? For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees. And to tell the truth I don’t want to let go of the wrists of idleness, I don’t want to sell my life for money, I don’t even want to come in out of the rain.

– Mary Oliver, from “Black Oaks”

we will win the day

I know that the news always sounds worse and worse. I’m sorry for that.

We’re going to win, though – those of us on the side of truth and beauty – and here’s why. The world with a climate change emergency that we take seriously doesn’t belong to “Democrats”, it belongs to human beings who do the actual work every day. Nazis are evil. Locking children in cages is evil. White supremacy is evil. We’re seeing it every day, so you should start to recognize it in all its forms.

We’re smarter and cooler and faster than evil. We have all the best music. Evil doesn’t even know how jokes work. We can dance, and evil claps on the one and the three.

You only have to go to corporate news and social media sites and witness them reflecting horror back in your eyes on the daily if you want to. You can spend the rest of your internet-connected time learning something on Wikipedia, or swiping through photos of good-looking plants, or, IDK, blogging about poetry.

When you’re out in the real world, do everything you can to remind them that we’re going to win. Don’t settle. Keep fighting. If your fight is to report a Nazi a week on Twitter, do it. We need you in this fight too. If your fight is organizing your neighborhood double-dutch competition, fight on, and tell me where it is so I can come. Register people to vote, or let someone on the train on your swipe. Find out new things about your neighbors, or ignore them completely and keep them in your prayers.

Stop letting these monsters sell guns to our children. Stop letting them put plastic in our water. Stop letting them frack for oil and pipeline it to their evil bank accounts. Keep your eye on who the real enemy is: it’s not a person or a party.

Evil’s not going to win. I’m here to tell you: it simply can’t.

from Tumblr https://njudahlove.tumblr.com/post/188053093486

from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” – Annie Dillard

“Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage.

I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.

Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

Reading Toni Morrison’s 1973 Summer Essay “Cooking Out”

“The day moved then into its splendid parts: a ham, fried-potatoes, scrambled-egg, breakfast in the morning air; fried fish and pan-cooked biscuits on the hind side of noon, and by the time Mama — who had never heard of Gerber’s — was grinding a piece of supper ham with her own teeth to slip into the baby’s mouth, and the Blue Gums had unveiled their incredible peach cobbler, the first stars were glittering through the blue light of Turkeyfoot Lake.

We were all there. All of us, bound by something we could not name. Cooking, honey, cooking under the stars.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/books/review/toni-morrison-cooking-out-1973.html