Food for thought

"America cannot be 'first,' as Trump insists. It can be a thug and a bully only in the betrayal of itself. It must be itself, a certain idea of liberty and democracy and openness, or it is nothing, just a squalid, oversized, greedy place past the zenith of its greatness...

As a new year approaches, stoicism will prevail, decency will prevail, contestation will prevail, over the Great Leader's plundering of truth and thought. This is not America. It must be fought for and won back." -Roger Cohen, NY Times, 12/22/2017

I wish I were more certain, more faithful in Cohen's belief that decency will prevail. But I'm not. Because a whole lot of people still love Trump, and the Evil Yam is discrediting our media and democracy more and more each day.

But, the Resistance is mighty and determined, and I do think many people know now or anew that democracy cannot be taken for granted. That it is an institution worthy of absolute support but that it requires fighting for. Daily. 

For those who celebrated Hanukkah, I hope it was wonderful and full of light. For those celebrating Christmas, merry, merry! We are feeling festive over here. Carols are being crooned in the background, a fire has been laid for tomorrow morning, the gifts are wrapped, our red, white and green jammies are on, and we've seen The Last Jedi twice. 

As this year turns into next, I beg you to think. And to act (and vote) accordingly. Send love and light into the world. Think with openness and compassion. Be decent and kind.

Gosh I have a lot of cooking to do tomorrow. See y'all later!

It's been forever: memorial service, a salon, a protest

Gosh, y'all, I've never gone this long without posting here. Not while sick or abroad or in the weeds of any sort have I missed more than 4-5 days. But so goes life, and there you have it.

We're renovating our kitchen so have been mired in plans, and the boys finished school last Friday, and I went to New York on Sunday for Peter's memorial service and returned first thing Monday, and Christmas is a'coming, and on Saturday Jack asked with the most darling sincerity, "Mom, can you take me to the salon so I can get a new hair style?" and the orthodontist and this horrid tax bill and resistance, and a new venture, and so on.

I am deeply thankful to have been able to return to New York for Peter's tribute. I got to stay with my dear friend of nearly twenty years, Shawn, and time with dear old friends you don't see often enough is the absolute spice of life. 

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Fourteen people shared their memories of Peter: how he'd believed in and supported them; how he'd changed their lives; how he was a rock, a touchpoint, the reason to stop and smell the flowers while running across a bustling campus. I know that I met Peter just when I needed to, at a time when I wavered internally, unsure of so much. He was a strong, funny, wise guidepost who kept me anchored and forward looking, even when I didn't know it. It was a gift to sit and listen to all who offered their reminiscences to us, a gift to hug Peter's wife and say thank you, a gift to see former colleagues and friends, a short moment to breathe and simply be present, with and for friends. 

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This morning I spent two hours with a remarkable young woman. I have just opened the doors to a new business, an editorial consulting company of my own. I seek to help others make their written work shine. From college and graduate school essays to resumes and manuscripts, I am an eager partner and absolutely love the work. More about all of this soon.

After our work, I took Jack to the orthodontist to get new brackets and Christmas-themed rubber bands before heading on to my hair stylist for my big boy's first trip to the salon. 

Tom has cut both boys' hair for all these years. Jack has never been to a barber, and Oliver has just twice. When Jack said to me the other day, "I love that Dad cuts my hair, but I have had this do forever, and I just want something more me, with some lift," I both nearly died over the darlingness of it all and felt happy to make an appointment with Michael.

As I knew he would, Michael listened to Jack's vague vision with such seriousness. Then, he began. And now, my boy is thrilled. He has stood a little taller all day and he has reapplied his "product" with admirable restraint. I thought Oliver might want a trim after all this, but no. No amount of pride and preening from Jack could get Ol before hair scissors.

After an hour's rest, the boys and I crafted signs for tonight's protest at the White House, Caroling for Impeachment. My good friend, Karen, and a friend of hers, Emily of The Handmaid Coalition, were co-sponsoring the event with March On. Karen rewrote classic Hanukkah and Christmas songs with a decidedly #resistance slant, Emily brought handmaid costumes, and March On advertised and organized.

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We marched, sang, and delivered post cards with messages of good tidings and swift impeachment. It was a great way to combat feelings of horror and fury over the current tax "bill" and general devolution of our democracy and also a great way to teach democracy in action: one cannot take it for granted, and using our voices to gather and protest is absolutely our Constitutional right!

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It was a gorgeous evening, and the White House looked so beautiful. I felt sad that such ugliness lives inside, but my hope is not gone, and I guess that's something. 

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