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Hello

This is me in the car the other day–no makeup. You can see where a bit of concealer or foundation might have done a little something for my chin and above the lip area where a remnant of a boo boo gives me a teeny tiny Hitler mustache shadow. These days, that might earn me an instant MAGA following.

Yikes.

Covid-19 is out of control and so is the virus of bigotry, fear, ignorance, and hate, both fomented, flamed, and fed by that thing in the WH and his rabid, pathetic, sweating, castrated band of co-conspirators and enablers.

I’m sorry–was that outloud?

I HATE THEM AND ALSO HATE TALKING ABOUT THEM BUT ALSO HOW CAN WE NOT?

How can we close our eyes to what is happening everywhere? How can we look away from Portland?

I snapped this picture on my way to the studio where I pushed myself to paint because I need to connect to what gives me buoyancy in this sea of terror.

That day, it was my outfit. I love the mustardy yellow with the black and white stripes and my legs, they were definitely bringing the ginger. 🙂

A few days before, it was a pair of fake eyelashes.

A few days before that, it was two nights in a tent by a Cape Cod pond where I sat quietly on a little patch of sand, trying to read.

(Why can’t I read anymore? What’s wrong with me?)

A scene:

I look at the book but even Denis Johnson with his trance-inducing prose about desperate lives and ragged coastlines, desolate beach communities, sheer cliffs, rolling fog, and hairpin turns can’t keep me for more than a few pages.

An iridescent purple dragonfly lands on my chartreuse bathing suit.

He flies away.

I turn back to the book.

A tiny peeper hops across my orange and yellow towel. (So small!)

I reread the paragraph I just finished.

A fat yellow and green caterpillar undulates along a piece of beach grass.

I sit up and look out at the ripples the wind makes across the clear pond’s surface.

A cormorant comes into view, chasing small fish into the shallow water to my right.

I rest the book on my thighs. A horse fly lands on my forearm with what appears to be an insect-size fork and knife.

I slap it.

I miss.

Kids turn their floats upside down. Laughter rips through the air and then a fight:

Papa said don’t do that!

Papa’s not here!

I’m gonna tattle on you!

Stop yelling! The world is listening!

Why am I saying all this? Am I headed toward an insight? A realization? A suggestion, an inspirational quote?

Am I moving toward a metaphor? A micro moment that helps put the larger picture into some sort of manageable focus?

Nah.

I’m just sending this out to all y’all like leaving a rambling voice message on your phone.

Hello from another person tossed about by this tumultuous time.

Hello from someone who didn’t used to be afraid of the mail.

Hello from a human who’s nostalgic for the adventure of a trip to the second-hand store, trying on someone’s discarded possibly stained or even smelly clothing in a dusty dressing room with a funky latch and a million empty hangers strewn on the bench and floor.

Hello from a gal who misses hugs and standing close enough to those outside my ‘circle’ to lay an innocent hand on a shoulder.

Hello from a woman, grateful and unmoored, grounded and quivering, hopeful mixed with fear, anger, and grief.

Hello.

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