Today I wanted to write about H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald's masterfully written book about one woman's grief journey following her father's death. An ardent, experienced naturalist, Macdonald obtains a beautiful hawk, Mabel, and we follow them through their first year hawking together, through Helen's mourning and depression and processing the loss of her father, and through a book, The Goshawk by T.H. White, that both captured Macdonald's imagination as a child and also troubled her.
I started reading it just after last fall's presidential election. The timing was coincidental but in the curious way that things are coincidental when they seem to make sense and have been fated.
With sadness, I finished H is for Hawk last weekend when Tom and I were away, and had plans to tell you all about it today. I found it both mesmerizing and healing, and if that sounds good to you, add it to your list! Then I was going to get dressed in a new ball gown and tonight go with friends to the Peace Ball being held at the Museum of African American History and Culture. We were going to celebrate tolerance and diversity and to resist the black cloud sweeping over DC tomorrow.
Most unfortunately, though, I have been sick in bed for all but an hour and a half today. Thirty minutes desperately trying to get the kids ready for school this morning (Tom was traveling for work) and an unpleasant hour at Urgent Care tonight.
I'm too wiped out to tell you more about the book and why it was my favorite read since All the Light We Cannot See and it is with great sadness that I keep casting my eyes toward that pretty gown hanging in a plastic garment bag in my closet.
It seems today has played out personally all the awfulness so many of us have felt since November 9, the worry and shock we have repeatedly experienced as the Vulgar Yam appoints insultingly unqualified cabinet nominees, and the dread we feel about tomorrow's inauguration and the years to follow.
I will not be watching any part of tomorrow's spectacle. Instead I'll be making signs for Saturday's March. I'll be resting in the hopes of proving the doctor wrong who tonight recommended against me going. I'll be sending out vibes of appreciation to the progressive city in which I live. And I will think about how mightily I have been fighting and how strenuously I will continue to resist.