In a moment of semi-panic because I had no clue what I was going to write, I turned on the television in the hopes distraction would mitigate the writing block and lead to clear thinking. It was a serendipitous choice. Independent Lens on PBS was airing “I Am Not Your Negro”, based on James Baldwin’s last and unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. It’s been years since I’ve read anything by Baldwin, but the documentary reminded me of his eloquence and passion. When we have a crude, inarticulate racist in the White House, and toadies not only willing, but eager, to justify hatred through contortions and misrepresentations of history, it seems a good day to listen to James Baldwin. His truths still resonate.
Note: I have tried to use YouTube videos with a closed captioning option; though imperfect, the overall sense is generally intact.
The winter solstice “occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter and the first day of winter.”
That moment will occur this morning, December 21st, at 10:28am Central Time, which is my time zone also known as UTC 16:28.
These two snowy white birds have recently returned to our area after summering and breeding in Alaska (Trumpeter Swan) and the arctic tundra (Snowy Owl). One does not have to be an avid birder to celebrate their annual arrival as both are real showboats with their white feathers and their relatively large size. The snowy Owl is the largest by weight of the NA owls and has a 50” wingspan while the Trumpeter Swan is our largest native waterfowl, stretching up to six feet and weighing up to 26 lbs.
Goddess women invoke a male deity–and get a Yule surprise!
In ones and twos the Circle sisters arrived at the house on the evening of Winter Solstice. They swept through the door, bringing gusts of cold air with them, and amid laughter and greetings divested themselves of coats and cloaks.
Giving Tuesday is not just a marketing ploy like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It was started six years ago:
Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.
#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.
As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. givingtuesday.org
I regret to say that this will be the last diary in this form. The immediate reason for this is that I have other engagements on the next two Saturdays which will preclude my being able to do diaries, but above that is the fact that compiling these has stopped being fun and become a chore.
Just as in the UK, 2017 has been a year of governmental non-achievement. The incompetent bunch of crooks, ideologues and nitwits who occupy the nation’s highest offices huff and puff but all they’ve actually managed to do to the law is cancel some regulations which threaten the pecuniary interests of some of their donors. While this is perhaps a relief given what they would like to have done if they could muster the votes, it doesn’t make for riveting pundit commentary.
In my thirties, I was groped by a stranger on a plane.
In between, I was raped by a co-worker.
It has only been in the last year that I labeled the actions of my co-worker as “rape.” In my head knew he had forced me but to say “rape” meant something I wasn’t ready to face. I’m not sure I am now. But I am compelled to write it down, to get it out, to make people see that when you say, “why didn’t she come forward sooner” you are part of the problem.