sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 4, 2017

early february weekend to-do
posted by soe 12:28 pm

With civic responsibility becoming part of my new weekend norm, I need to be a little more organized (and a little more early rising) than is my wont.

Here are some things I hope to get done before weekend’s end:

  • Get outside while the sun is shining.
  • Buy makings for pizza for supper tonight.
  • Finish a knitting project. Start a new one (or two).
  • Mail a card.
  • Order new checks.
  • Read.
  • Unearth my rocking chair from beneath the pile of clean laundry.
  • Complete my first ukulele lesson.
  • Wash handknits.
  • Make pie dough.
  • Paint my nails.
  • Pick up roll of quarters for laundry.
  • Go to the farmers market.
  • Catch up on book reviews.
  • Stand up for democracy.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list this weekend?

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show us what america looks like
posted by soe 3:10 am

This is what America looks like:

No Muslim Ban March

I’d suggest clicking through to see that in a slightly bigger version.

These were all taken at the protest at the White House — which turned into an impromptu march to the Capitol — as a result of the anti-Muslim/anti-Middle East ban enacted last week.

If you are feeling alone in your anger/sadness/grief/rage, know you are not. We are all there with you.

No Muslim Ban March

This protest came together in less than a day. I don’t think anyone, including the organizers, expected this many people to show up. (I do think the surprisingly strong response was due, in part, to liberals in D.C. receiving a week’s worth of emails demanding we call the Congressional representatives that we lack to express opposition to Cabinet nominees and executive orders. We might not have anyone to call (or protect us), but, damn it, we can show up in person…)

No Muslim Ban March

People of all size, shape, age, color, creed, and ethnicity came. A friend brought his children, making it the first protest rally for all of them.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

The cheer at this point was, “This is only your ninth day. We’re not going to go away.”

No Muslim Ban March

This is the Old Post Office Building, which is now owned by the same family occupying the White House. Locals do not use the new name.

No Muslim Ban March

I wish I could give you a sense of how many people were there. Let’s just say that it’s 16 blocks from the White House to the Capitol. When we reached Pennsylvania Avenue (2 blocks in), we could see crowds seven blocks away, which I guessed at the time were associated with the Chinese New Year Parade. They weren’t. When we reached the Capitol, there were still people streaming all the way back. The best I can offer you is a link to one of the photos of the people taking pictures from the balcony at the Newseum.

No Muslim Ban March

No Muslim Ban March

As my friends and I headed off to find a late lunch, the crowd was chanting, “See you next week!”

(This week, though, instead of hitting up the White House & Capitol Hill, I’ll be taking part in the candlelight vigil tomorrow evening between D.C.’s mosque/Islamic Center and the Vice President’s mansion a few blocks away in my own neck of the woods.)

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February 3, 2017

bulbs, cheap and cheerful, and winter’s visit
posted by soe 1:42 am

Daffodil and Pussy Willows

Three beautiful things from yet another hard week:

1. I saw the first green shoots of the bulbs around town this past week. (They always appear in January down here. It always seems wrong, but optimistic.) Spring will come, no matter how bad it gets.

2. Trader Joes had their cheap bunches of daffodils ($1.50 for 10 stems) when I stopped in last weekend. Two bunches join the pussy willows on top of my fridge (the only place the cats can’t/haven’t chosen to get to), cheering up my kitchen.

3. We had a dusting of snow fall one night. While I’m glad to know spring will come, it’s nice to have a reminder that winter will not pass us by entirely. (Mostly I’m getting by in my jean jacket this year. That’s not winter wear!) The snow was pretty as it fell and clung to branches and grass, but did not require shoveling and had essentially disappeared by morning.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world recently?

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February 2, 2017

bloggers’ silent poetry reading: emily dickinson
posted by soe 11:59 am

The start of this month marks the 12th Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading in honor of St. Brigid, patron saint of poetry. I no longer know what day it’s supposed to be on, since we all started on Feb. 2. But St. Brigid’s Day is actually the 1st, and that is when the few who still participate seem to share their choices. However, I am a traditionalist on this issue and continue to participate on the 2nd. This year, I decided to share a poem I memorized way back in seventh grade, since it seemed apt:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers —
That perches in the soul —
And sings the tune without the words —
And never stops — at all —

And sweetest — in the Gale — is heard —
And sore must be the storm —
That could not stop the little Bird
That kept so many warm —

I’ve heard in the chillest land —
And on the strangest Sea —
Yet — never — in Extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

   ~Emily Dickinson

I apologize if the punctuation/capitalization is off. I didn’t memorize that part, and it’s not included in any of the poetry books I have on hand here in the Burrow. Pending a definitive reference, I’ve opted to go with The Poetry Foundation’s stylization, since the American Academy of Poets seems to have modernized it on their site.

In previous years, I have shared poems by Kyle Dargan, Barbara Crooker, William Stafford, Mary Oliver (twice), Wislawa Szymborska, Stuart Dischell, Jean Esteve, John Frederick Nims, Grace Paley, Heather McHugh, and Barbara Hamby, all of which are worth another read.

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first of february yarning along
posted by soe 2:11 am

First of February Yarning Along

Work on my cowl is slow, in part because I haven’t felt like knitting a ton, what with the world ending and all… But I’ve joined a new knitting group, so at the very least, I knit there every week while we listen to chapters or stories from audiobooks.

My print reading is all yellow (which maybe makes me want to cast on something yellow to coordinate…) and widely acclaimed: Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, a verse novel which embodies the titular emotion as a huge, hulking crow, and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. My friend Sam gave me White Teeth the year it came out and it’s one of those books that haunts me, as I’ve tried reading it a couple times without success. It’s been years (as in, since before I moved to D.C.) since I picked it up, but if it’s similar to her latest novel, I have a sense of why I kept giving up on it. This novel, or at least the early part in which I currently find myself wading, is written at a distance — of both time and emotion — and doesn’t easily lend itself to my preferred immersive reading experience.

I think this month I’m going to try alternating some of my want-to reads with some of my should-reads, so the sci-fi YA novel I’ve been looking forward to for months, Gemina, will likely be next. (Also planned for this month are Isla and the Happily Ever After and The Sellout.)

P.S. Make sure you stop back tomorrow (later today) for my part in the annual Silent Poetry Reading.

Yarning along with Ginny at Small Things.

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