“I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.” ~ Anaïs Nin

Hurricane Rick, Baja, CA (2009)
Ari Carrington (FCC)

                   

“Strike deep, divide us from cheap-got doubt,
Leap, leap between us and the easy out;
Teach us to seize, to use, to sleep well, to let go;
Let our loves, freed in us, gaudy and graceful, grow.” ~ Marie Ponsot, from “Private and Profane

Sunday afternoon. Rainy and windy, low 60’s.

The wind is gradually picking up, and the sky is white. I can hear the trees outside. We lost power for about an hour, and the storm isn’t here yet. I was scheduling my posts for the week, and was doing my Two for Tuesday when the power went. Of course, I hadn’t saved. Luckily, the autosave kept most of what I had done.

Hurricane Isabel, Virginia Beach Pier (2003)
Army Corps of Engineers/NOAA

I have a big pot of chili simmering on the stove, corn bread in the oven. Seems like good storm food. That’s one of the great things about having a gas range, I can cook even when the electricity goes. Even though my range has electric ignitions on the burners, I can still manually light with any flame, so when the power went, I decided to make chili. It was that or spaghetti, and I decided that chili sounded better. I think I may have left out a spice but cannot figure out which one. I’ll wait until the flavors simmer more and then try again.

Today is my m-in-law Joyce’s birthday. Here’s hoping she has a wonderful day.

“I hadn’t understood how days could be both long and short at the same time: long to live through, maybe, but so drawn out that they ended up flowing into one another. They lost their names.” ~ Albert Camus, from The Stranger

Hurricane Gustav, Biloxi Mississippi (2008)
Kevork Ajansezian (AP)

When the power went, I kind of lost my writing mojo. I was going full steam, and then all of a sudden nothing. The thoughts that had been coming fast stopped as abruptly as the power. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to finish this post. I mean, if I keep going, it will probably just be a whole lot of blah, blah, blah and not substance.

Oh well . . .

Much later that night . . .

I was right; I just couldn’t focus earlier today to write. My mind was going in so many directions, trying to stay focused and calm. I mean, I don’t usually get too worked up over hurricanes, so why this time? And who cleans when a hurricane is coming? Only someone as obsessive as I am, I suppose. I wanted to get laundry done while we had electricity and water, and then I thought that I should probably clean the bathroom, and I wanted to keep the dishes washed just in case we lost hot water, and then . . .

Anyway, the chili turned out tasty, but the cornbread was kind of icky. Usually I just buy Jif cornbread mix, but I had bought a package of Marie Callendar’s mix. Be forewarned, it has that artificial aftertaste to it. Things to keep in mind.

“Tomorrow, if we should drift apart,
I shall find you by this picture.” ~ John Balaban, from “The Painting

One of Eamonn’s friends made an interesting remark: He saw a picture of Alexis on the piano, and asked how old she was when it was taken. Well, it was taken when the family went on a cruise in 2007, so five years ago. He said that she looked so much younger in it. That kind of blew me away. Isn’t it funny how we do not really notice how an individual changes when we see them day to day, how the gradual changes that occur naturally are just filtered in by the eye, processed and come to rest in our subconscious?

Hurricane Irene, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (2011)
daspader (FCC)

It’s like with Olivia, how when I don’t see her for a few days, I notice more because infants change so much in that first year, but when Corey was home back in September, he really noticed how much she had changed since he had last seen her. Which makes me think about all of those service men and women are deployed for months at a time only to return to virtual strangers. I mean, it’s still their spouse or child, but so much has changed in the months while they were gone. Yet another thing that makes such separations incredibly hard for all who are involved.

And my own father, how many months and months of my life he missed while he was on those long hitches, the longest during the Viet Nam war. If I remember correctly, it was almost nine months, three quarters of a year. As a child, I just knew that my dad was gone, and then he was home, and to be honest, my dad aged so very gradually. It wasn’t until that last year when the strain of his illness and his rapid weight loss really changed his physicality that I realized that he had gotten old somewhere along the line.

“The heart of another is a dark forest, always, no matter how close it has been to one’s own.” ~ Willa Cather

When I was a child, about seven or eight I think, my dad’s only sister was killed by a drunk driver. She was a nurse in Chicago, and she was crossing the street after her shift when the car hit her and dragged her down the street. I seem to recall that she had a young child.

Hurricane Sandy, Jersey City, NJ (10-29-12)
WCK (FCC)

My dad was at sea when this happened, and when he got home, my mother found out that someone had given dad some kind of drugs on the ship because he was so wild with grief. My dad got hooked. I never knew what kind of drugs he had taken, and I never even knew that there was a problem. I only found all of this out one day when my mother made a passing remark about my dad’s depression and what had happened.

As children, we never really know our parents as people. To us, they are mom or dad. They have no lives beyond our orbit, but that’s simply not true, is it? They are fully fleshed individuals with likes and dislikes, lovers and enemies. They do things that we never ever know about, just as we do things that they never ever know about—perhaps years later there is an exchange of information, when the gap between parent and child has lessened because of the ensuing years.

But what I find sad about this natural order is that as children, so few of us come to appreciate the people who have raised us as people, real people. We view them in light of how they interacted in our lives, how we saw them with others, what they said while we were within earshot. And then when they’re gone, when we hear their friends telling stories about them, it a bit of a shock.

“Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about.
Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things
In the same way, repeating the same things over and over” ~ John Ashbery, from “Late Echo”

Two things come to mind: When we used to visit my mother’s relatives in Great Bridge on Sundays, inevitably the kids would migrate to one part of the house or outside while the adults would collect around the big dining room table and have coffee. One time, my cousin Butch and I were actually just in the room off the dining room (we called it the breezeway, a particularly Southern term), and I don’t think that the adults realized this. They began to talk about something pertaining to a neighbor who was having an affair.

Butch and I tacitly agreed not to make a sound. We listened as the story unfolded, completely in awe of what we were hearing. We weren’t discovered until one of the adults walked out and saw us and shooed us outside.

Hurricane Bawbag, UK (2011)
easylocum (FCC)

Another time, my mother was on the phone with her sister in Winston Salem. I picked up the extension in the bedroom (remember those) and began to listen to their conversation. I don’t know what I had in mind when I picked up that receiver, probably that I would hear something about me or my cousins, after all, isn’t that what adults always talked about? Their children? Instead, I heard some very adult conversation.

At some point, I made a noise and gave myself away. Needless to say, my mother was not amused.

Families are strange units, actually. We view one another in a very defined way, perhaps in the way we were when we were much younger, or in our particular roles within the unit, never really acknowledging that life beyond the family unit holds so much sway. As parents, we rue some of our children’s’ choices as friends. As children, we do not always like one of our parents’ friends. But do we always know why?

At what point do we acknowledge that our mother or father is a person? I know that it happens for most of us, but it’s the when that I find fascinating.

Oh well.

More later. Peace.

Music by Dan Auerbach, “Going Home”

                   

Advice in the Form of Confusions

I have been watching the young
struggle through their daily lives
and waste the flesh we all remember
and I have seen the gardens they shine
their leaves in, the kind invented
by distraction and devices that run
on little lithium ion batteries, flat
disks that power music and voice
into strong tremble and staccato chain
that barrels into the angelic orders
we raise our heads to see, or hope
to see, but never do, for they have
sprung into louder volumes and faster
rhythms that disorient and confuse.
There are sounds we can no longer
hear, at our age, and we don’t want
anymore to know what we left
behind on that sill or under
that abbreviated sun. I can’t know
wry substitutions. I can’t hear breath
embrace five-minutes-ago or tomorrow
and there must be a word for that,
but I don’t know it. I know the sound
of thinking a hard whistle into the lung.
I know the shape of houndstooth
and the hang of each tag’s pricing
itself out of so many’s reach.
I swoon and recoil at the tresses blowing
in an arbor without glow
or flame. These are reprieves. Respites
in the demands of sensation
and flow. Know this: you can you can
you can you can you can.

~ Margot Schilpp

(every other line in this poem should be indented; WP formatting does not allow for this)

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“Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.” ~ John Keats

Summer Dining Al Fresco

                   

“This is June, the month of grass and leaves . . . already the aspens are trembling again, and a new summer is offered me.” ~ Henry David Thoreau, Journal, June 6, 1857

Saturday evening. Party cloudy and very warm.

Picnic from matchbookmag.com

Thunder storms rolled through here last night, which gave us a break from the oppressing humidity that has been choking the area lately.  I spent a few hours floating around the pool and playing ball with Tillie and Shakes. Then Corey and I gave the Jack Russells baths outside so that we could put flea medicine on. We’re trying the new flea medicine that Wal Mart and Sam’s club has that’s supposed to be the same formula as Frontline but for half the cost.

We’ll see how that works.

I have these two strange marks on my left knee that look like someone tasered me. I don’t believe that anyone tasered me as that would tend to be something that one would remember. But the marks are strange nonetheless. I noticed them yesterday when I was riding with Ann in her minivan on the way home from visiting her dad in the hospital.

Brett went with us, and as usual, he said nothing. His grandfather actually didn’t look half bad. He’s having breathing troubles because of his emphysema (more proof that smoking sucks), but he seemed to be in relatively good spirits. His nurse came in while we were there and said something about him going home. Ann didn’t know anything about it, which is not surprising as her dad’s wife doesn’t tend to share information.

It would be good though if he could go home and spend his remaining days with his dog and his roses. I remember when my father was dying in the hospital he kept asking to come home. My mother wouldn’t hear of it even though I offered to stay and take care of him. It’s but one more thing that I regret about his final days.

“A breeze blew over the garden, dropping dew and dropping petals, shivered over the drenched paddocks, and was lost in the sombre bush.” ~ Katherine Mansfield, Prelude

Eclectic Garden Party

Corey has to work tonight. Once again, he only has three shifts scheduled for the coming week. He is quite depressed over the situation, and I really don’t have any answers. It seems that he’s stuck again, and that’s such a helpless way to be.

He wasn’t able to enroll in summer classes, mostly because the financial aid didn’t come through in time, but plans are still on for him to start classes this fall. I think that once he does that it will help him to feel more grounded. College will be a real, tangible thing, and it’s part of his long-term goals for himself, one that he has had to postpone for too long.

In other news, last night Corey installed a new AC unit in the living room. We got a really good deal on a reconditioned 8,000 BTU unit to replace the dead unit. It’s so much quieter and more energy efficient, and it cools the living and dining rooms and into the hall, so the whole house feels much more comfortable. The bad news is that when Corey took out the old unit, the water damage was pretty obvious.

We know that we are going to have to replace part of that wall and part of the master bedroom wall when we finally replace the windows in this house. But as with everything else in the renovation plans, this must wait.

“If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you.  If you don’t bring forth what is inside you, what you don’t bring forth will destroy you.” ~ The Gospel of Thomas

Tea in the Garden

I came to a realization tonight. It arose in the middle of some drama that I really could have done without, drama that was completely unnecessary and ultimately, peripheral. The realization is that I have much better control over my temper than I used to have. I used to have a hare trigger temper, one that I would unleash indiscriminately, the consequences be damned. Not to say that it’s gone completely; witness the ordeal with Ford.

In a recent conversation, one that would have gone much differently a few years ago, I didn’t lose it, did not curse, did not go for the juggler, though mightily tempting it was, I must say. I don’t think that my calm has anything to do with age. My dad’s temper remained quite volatile even when he was older. I say volatile, but I should clarify that it took a great deal before he lost his temper. About the only person who could really bait him was my mother, and to be honest, she’s just really good at that, even now.

When we were in high school, it seemed that every other day brought some kind of crisis worthy of tears and shouting, storming out of rooms and slamming doors. It seemed that I wore a proverbial hair-shirt all of the time. And in my 20’s I would go off at the drop of a hat. Everything seemed worthy of standing my ground. But not so much any more.

Let me elucidate: I still stand my ground, but the ground that I desire to maintain does not stretch so far.  I suppose it comes down to perspective. After losing so much and enduring so much, I have learned to be selective in choosing my battles. As I’ve mentioned, Corey and I do not argue often, and since I am no longer working, I do not have those external triggers to wind me up and make my insides knotty.

In the grand scheme of things, there remains essentially one thing that will cause me to bring my full nastiness to bear: the protection of those I love, especially my children.  Be forewarned: Don’t. Go. There.

“The infinite suits you. The infinite where your feet carried you and one evening forsook you, and which now alone has the power to name you.” ~ Edmond Jabès, from The book of Margins, trans. Rosmarie Waldrop

Forest Garden Party

I remember one time, much to Eamonn’s great mortification, I yelled at a kid who threw a basketball at him. “Mom. Why’d you do that? I know him.” Okay. So I might have overreacted. Just a bit. But for the most part, I have let my kids fight their own battles. It’s what you are supposed to do, isn’t it?

Alexis, being the first, really didn’t know how to interact with other children, which is why we enrolled her in preschool, so that she would have to learn how to share. She fought her battles by biting the boy who wouldn’t give her a turn on the tire swing. The director of the preschool took Alexis in the office, showed her a bar of soap, and told her that if she ever bit anyone again, she would have to bite the bar of soap. Alexis never bit anyone again, or if she did, she never got caught.

It’s hard to step back, not to run interference. It was much harder for me after Caitlin, and I’ll admit, I didn’t always succeed. I remember the first time that Alexis wanted to ride her bike to school, I followed her in the car. Of course I did. She was so small for her age, and well, it was the first time. And then she wanted to ride her bike to her grandmother’s after school, which meant that she had to cross a main artery, four lanes. I followed her then, too.

She survived, and when she and her friend got into a fight in high school, and Alexis came home with a swollen jaw, I didn’t interfere. I wanted to, really really wanted to, but I didn’t, and they’re still friends.

“Fill yourself up with the forsythias
and when the lilacs flower, stir them in too
with your blood and happiness and wretchedness,
the dark ground that seems to come with you.” ~ Gottfried Benn from “Last Spring,” trans. Michael Hofmann

Afternoon Tea on the Lawn

Oddly enough, not standing up for me was one of the things that really bothered me about my mother. I suppose when you are an only child, it’s hard not to get blamed for everything, but I got blamed for things I never did, and my mother would believe everyone before she would believe me. Actually, it’s still that way. This mistrust didn’t just extend to me; my father got it as well, but . . . well . . . he deserved it most of the time.

I don’t know if it comes from being the youngest in a family of 12 children, or if it’s a result of being a child of the depression, or if it’s the result of being the spouse of someone who was repeatedly unfaithful, but whatever it was, whatever the genesis, my mother is not very trusting. She would accuse me of telling lies when I was being completely truthful. Do you have any idea how that skews a person?

I taught myself to trust because if I didn’t, then I would have ended up like my mother.  Granted, dating a pathological liar in my teens did not exactly help in the trust department, especially since I was so naive that I didn’t realize that just about everything that came out of his mouth was a lie. It took me a while, but I did finally catch on.

“When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours?” ~ Franz Kafka

Evening Garden Party

It’s now 10:30 p.m.  A big thunder storm blew through the area, and I decided to err on the side of caution and get off the computer for a while.

Of course, since leaving and returning, the subject on which I was pontificating has long since lost its appeal for me. The night has grown dark and quiet; Eva Cassidy is singing “Fields of Gold” with a voice so lovely that it makes me want to weep.

Each time the sky opens up in the evening and the thunder rolls over the horizon, I am taken back to the night on the back porch with my father, how we sat in companionable silence and just enjoyed the moment. I realize how lucky I am to have that memory, at this moment especially when the tenuousness of family relationships is tugging at my heart.

We never know what life is going to give us; just as we do not know what life will take, but we can be assured that it will indeed take as much as it will give. We have moments, just moments of pure bliss, and they seem to fade when compared to those moments of great pain, will fade, unless we hold onto them as if our lives depended upon retaining them, because it does. It most certainly does depend on those connections.

What makes us who we are are moments sitting on cement steps on a covered porch as a deluge rains down from the sky. Who we are depends on who we share these moments with and whether or not we are willing to share at all.

With luck, my own children may look back some day and remember such a moment shared with me, and they will smile, and perhaps they will shed a tear or two, but that memory will keep them going for another day, another week, another year, just as my own moments sustain me.

“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that—I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Garden Party with Tree Lanterns

If I give you the impression that I am full of despair and sadness and that my life has no meaning, this is so far from the truth. If you come away from these pages feeling sorry for me, don’t. If you read my words and think that I know nothing of happiness, of bliss, of love, then you have misunderstood me.

Yes, there is grief, and yes, there is sadness. But in turn, there is great love and compassion and understanding. And although I have not come to terms with the idea of getting older, I have come to respect the wisdom that the years have given me. I am so much more comfortable in my skin that I ever was in my 20’s.

And though I have faced storms, storms of the soul, the dark night of the soul, if you will, I have not come away empty-handed. I have been given so much, and I have taken so much, and as a result, I have the pleasure of being capable of feeling so much. I would not trade the storms for anything for I have had more than my share of fields and flowers and cool water.

My tapestry continues to grow. Each new person who enters my life brings their own colored threads, and I greedily scoop them up and integrate them into the pattern. And because I have been weaving this tapestry for so long, it has become tattered and worn in a few places, thinner in those places that I have wrapped myself in when the nights have been too long, but I don’t fret too much. There is no limit on how large we grow the maps of our souls.

Peace be with you and yours.

Music by Eva Cassidy, “Fields of Gold”

                   

Directions

The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy
falling of a cone or nut through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

~ Billy Collins, from Directions in The Art of Drowning

“We all live in a house of fire. No fire department to call. No way out. Just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns down the house . . . with us trapped, locked in it.” ~ Tennessee Williams

 

“Untitled,” by Galina Lukianova

   

“I believe fervently in the nature, in truth and imagination, I believe in the blood, in life, words, and motivations.” ~ Gael Garcia Bernal
Dandelion, by Fastily on WikiCommons

Well, my computer is still broken. The part that Corey ordered did not fix the problem. Of course it didn’t because it cost less than $20. As is usually the case, the part that I probably need to fix the problem will cost much more. I don’t know for sure, though, because Corey cannot find the part I need (CPU fan) anywhere. 

Surprised? Not really. 

It’s Wednesday afternoon. The heat wave finally broke, and temperatures here are hovering around 90° F, about normal for this time of the year. Speaking of which, how did it get to be the end of July? The fact that I am constantly surprised by how late it has gotten never ceases to surprise me, but you would think that I would have grown accustomed to the incongruity of time passages by now. 

Anyway . . . the sun is shining with a few puffy clouds scattered about in the sky. The Jack Russells are currently asleep beneath the chair in which I sit, so I suppose that all should be right with the world, but it is not. 

This past Sunday night, Alexis called me to let me know that one of her best friends, Jennifer, with whom she works at the thrift store, had been admitted to the hospital. Alexis said that the doctors had found three brain tumors in Jen’s brain. I had to wait to write about this as it really threw me. 

“It is dark inside the body, and wet,
and double-hearted. There are so many ways
to go, and not see, and lose
the feeling of the thread…
and never reach the fabled center.” ~ Larissa Szporluk
Black and White Sunset by Sean K (Flckr Creative Commons Set)

Of course, this is not about me and my reactions, but at the mention of brain tumors in a young woman of 26, I found myself once again railing at the injustices of fate. Jennifer has a five-year-old son named Reilly, who she absolutely adores. She is a single mother who works hard. She is also one of the nicest people I have ever met. 

When Alexis was much younger, I was a bit wary of Jennifer because he family is so dysfunctional, but I realized that it doesn’t really matter what kind of family you come from as it matter more what you do with yourself on your own. I mean, I always thought that I would never have any problems with Alexis because we have tried so hard to give her a normal upbringing, whatever that is. I mean, a home, food on the table, values—but that did not stop her from unexpectedly running wild in high school and causing me endless heartache at the time. 

So I suppose that what I am saying is that I initially misjudged Jennifer. Now she is faced with a great unknown, and her biggest concern is not her own health, but her son’s reaction. Then earlier today, Alexis phoned me to tell me that the latest tests show five tumors, not three: three in her brain, two on her spine. 

Five tumors. Twenty-six-years old. A five-year-old son. No health insurance. To try to pinpoint the worst aspect of this situation is fruitless. It’s all bad, horribly, terribly bad. 

“Come stand with me
under the summer shower –
healed of world-madnesses” ~ Paul Reps
Black and White Study by RandyA38 (Flckr Creative Commons Set)

Alexis has been taking Reilly to school in the morning before work and picking him up after. Jennifer’s younger brother is taking care of Reilly in the evenings. I told Jennifer that Reilly can come over here anytime someone is needed. 

In the meantime, Alexis has diligently informed all of their mutual friends and kept them up to date. One of Jennifer’s dearest friends drove into town this morning. 

No word yet on when the big operation will take place. No idea on whether or not any or all of the tumors are removable as the neurosurgeon won’t know until he cuts her open. And then, of course, the wait for the biopsy results on each tumor. There was some confusion today about what kind of operation she was being taken in for, but I told Alexis that if the estimated time is only an hour, then it’s not the big operation; more probably, the doctors are inserting a shunt to drain of some of the fluid build-up in Jennifer’s brain. 

That I have this knowledge in my long-term memory is both a blessing and a curse. I can sit her on the sidelines and inform Jennifer and her friends and family about some of the things to expect. I can try to explain some of the tests to Jennifer so that she isn’t so stressed. But in the back of my mind, all I can think about is the day of Caitlin’s surgery, the hours and hours of waiting, taking Valium and hiding in a room away from all of the well-meaning people who had come to the hospital to support us. And more hours of waiting, only to be told the news and the prognosis. 

Five tumors. One tumor. Five times the chance of something going wrong.  

Corey reminds me that Jennifer is a woman, much stronger than an infant. But by the time the tumors were found, she was already in a much-weakened state. You see, Jennifer has been sick for months. She has gone to a few doctors about her headaches. One told her that she was depressed and needed to eat bananas. None of them did a CT Scan or an MRI. She also went to an oral surgeon to remove an infected tooth, which everyone thought might be the main cause of her health problems as she had put off getting the tooth fixed because of the lack of insurance. 

Eat bananas. I am reminded of other callous remarks tossed out so nonchalantly years ago by doctors denuded of compassion, and how I had enough rage to kill someone. There is rage again. 

“Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.” ~ Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
Tree Black and White Relief by doortoriver (Flckr Creative Commons Set)

There is rage at fate and rage at life. Rage at injustice and those things over which was have no control. But mostly, for me at least, there is a sense of emotional rage at the fact that on top of everything else, Jennifer is lying in ICU wondering and fretting over how she will ever pay for her hospital stay, her medicine, her operations. 

This young woman, who works for less than $9 an hour, who has no benefits, no sick leave, nothing, earns no money each day that she is out of work. Her job is not guaranteed, but I believe that the people for whom she works will hold her job. But the reality is not when Jennifer will be able to go back to work, but if. And then what? What does she do to exist if she is unable to work. She has no long-term disability coverage as I do. And as much as I bitch about how my coverage is menial, at least it is something. 

It’s hard not to be angry at the world, not to want to call someone and just scream at them. Perhaps a Republican Senator who cannot wait to repeal Obama’s healthcare reform. After all, healthcare is provided for members of Congress, as well as their families. It is not provided for people like Jennifer, people on the fringes of society who are not layabouts, drug addicts, or welfare moms who are supposedly living on the comfort of unemployment and government assistance, or whatever other derogatory term is being bandied about. 

Jennifer is one of those individuals who does not rely on other people or the government to provide for her, and look at where she is now. Try telling her and people like her how tax cuts for the wealthy are going to help. 

I’m sorry. This wasn’t meant to be a tirade on politics, but it’s hard not to think about the bigger picture when someone you know is being engulfed by it. Jennifer isn’t just a statistic; she is not someone who falls into category A or category B on some political demographic chart used to measure the invisible part of American society—the part that drives ten-year-old cars that are falling apart and are glad just to have transportation, the segment that lives in questionable neighborhoods because the rent is more affordable but pizza deliveries are not available because of the danger, or the people who spend money not on nights out on the town or designer shoes. 

Jennifer is a member of that group of single, working women who must budget one-fourth of her take-home pay for her son’s daycare in lieu of trying to get health insurance for herself and her son. And now she is part of that group that has the uninsurable pre-existing condition, that label that makes obtaining health insurance well-nigh impossible. 

So yes. There is rage. 

And so we all wait, each of us in our own fashion. We wonder what news the days will bring, and we try not to think of possibilities. 

More later. Peace

Music by Sia, “I Go to Sleep” (originally by The Kinks)