Mitza’s wooden figure mannequin trying to remember the steps to the dance and keep her balance, just like us...
I can’t get the images from yesterday’s violent attack on the Capital out of my head. The ransacked Parliamentarian’s office with papers strewn about. The broken sign from Speaker Pelosi’s office. Too many people not wearing masks! Lawmakers cowering on the floor. So many questions. Sadness that, yes, this IS who we are. Anger that a mob of white men with beards and flags and horns and arrogance are allowed to freely invade and roam a place where previously people in wheelchairs protesting the loss of their health insurance were dragged out and a small group of Black people praying and singing were handcuffed and removed (including the recently elected Senator from GA, Rev. Warnock). But, also the knowledge that our Democracy worked — the Congress came back and did their job. When I checked my phone at 5 AM this morning, there was the NYTimes headline: Congress Confirms Biden’s Win, Defying Mob Attack; Electoral Count Is Completed Despite Mayhem Incited by Trump.
Remembering “the near and the dear ones, the old and the young” on this quiet and isolated pandemic Christmas holiday ▪️ My cousin sent this note that captures the feeling of the “full-family” celebrations we had for many years at our grandparents’ house.
Negative-Positive, Positive-Negative ▪️
December 12th is the Feast Day for Our Lady of Guadalupe; I read about a woman who said that each year her mother would send embroidered handmade wool ponchos from Mexico for her grandchildren to wear in the traditional Feast Day procession. I still remember the fringed poncho my mother made for me when I was in grade school — the fabric was a hefty wide-wale corduroy in deep yellow-gold. I felt like the bee’s knees wearing that poncho. This one is from a clothing swap and is a wonderful lightweight but warm wool in one of my favorite patterns — houndstooth; I added the front kangaroo pocket using a colorful paisley 1960s fabric scrap from my mother’s stash. ▪️
Relieved to report that my Covid-19 spit test came back negative. I had an antibody test in October that came back positive — meaning it was likely that I already had Covid-19. The only time I’ve been sick this year was an odd, but mild case of the flu that started February 19th. ▪️
“By mid-February, the U.S. was testing about a hundred samples per day. Researchers concluded in late February that ‘the virus had probably been spreading for weeks’ person-to-person.”
The COVID rages and a near one tested positive, so I did the COVID-19 spit test today. Drive to the County site. Sign in the Vault app and give them you name and address and email and phone number. Scan the barcode on the tube packages. Spit, spit, spit into the plastic tube up to the wavy line. No bubble below the line! Spit, spit, spit. Spit some more. Finally, screw on the top with the blue liquid. Wait for results.
Many quarantine hours spent watching Netflix and Prime and HBO and Law & Order in this corner. Some good, much of it forgettable. Hopefully a distraction. This week we fed our brains, streaming talks from the Philadelphia Athenaeum.
A mask seems to be hanging everywhere. This is the new normal.
The most used tool in my Procreate toolbox is the Inking Studio Pen.
Visiting the grandparents in the age of the coronavirus.
The girls in the window remind me of a memory from many years ago. I went to school with a girl who grew up in Jersey City. At that time, in her neighborhood, women would sit in their open windows with the screen up and a pillow across the sill. They'd rest their arms on the pillow and lean their head out the window to observe and interact with what was going on in the street. I've never forgotten that image of the ladies in the windows...
As of this afternoon, more than 14,096,400 people in the U.S. are infected with COVID-19 and at least 274,700 have died; protect yourself and others -- act as if everyone you come in contact with could be infected.
It's been a crazy upside-down year in so many ways and everything was cooked so we had a Thanksgiving feast two days early. Why not?
"To love our neighbor like ourselves is a radical act." [President Elect Joe Biden in his Thanksgiving address to the country]
"My mother taught me to lead with the power of kindness and compassion to make the world a better place," Linda Thomas-Greenfield wrote following her nomination as Ambassador to the United Nations. "In my thirty-five years in the Foreign Service across the world, I put a Cajun spin on it. I call it Gumbo diplomacy. Wherever I was posted, I'd invite people of all walks and then make homemade gumbo. That's how you break down barriers, connect, and see each other as humans."
In the ninth month of quarantining, the coronavirus is surging exponentially. The resident of our White House has been holding us hostage by refusing to accept the results of the election and his party fails to act to try and right the ship. Vaccine results are reported to be promising. We are urged not to gather for Thanksgiving dinner. One bright spot these past months has been our New Jersey farm markets where you can safely shop outdoors for fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread and baked goods, and other culinary specialties. Most shut down after Thanksgiving so I'm feeling bereft. To help me through a winter that already feels way too dark, I have a 20 pound box of New Jersey white sweet potatoes -- grown just a few miles from here -- that can be stored for up to 12 months...
Election Week in America: In Philadelphia they started dancing in the street outside the Convention Center while ballots were still being counted inside (broadcast via webcam for all the world to see). Drums, line dances, Gritty, rainbow flags, masks. When Pennsylvania was declared for Biden/Harris on Saturday just before noon -- putting them over the top for the Electoral College -- the dance party kept going on the summer-like November day.
Election Day 2020: I want a competent government that demonstrates that Black lives matter, that cares about the health and well-being of us all, that counts every vote equally, and that pays attention to science and art and the health of planet Earth.
All Souls Day 2020 / for this year and all the years ...
"Walk carefully, well loved one,
walk mindfully, well loved one,
walk fearlessly, well loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
be always coming home."
-- Ursula K. Le Guin [from Please Bring Strange Things]
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead 2020): Ms. COVID-19 was dressed up in her brightest, blingiest dress but the President was too busy admiring himself in the mirror to pay attention ...
Today’s NYTimes news alert: “It’s just kind of everywhere.” The coronavirus is now so widely spread in some parts of the U.S. that it’s almost impossible to trace. ▪️ [from a photo taken at San Jose’s 2019 Día de los Muertos Festival]
As a kid in 1968, I was in awe of the way Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their gloved fists after winning medals at the Mexico City Olympic games to draw attention to racial injustice and inequality in America — to me they embodied the Olympic spirit. A year ago I got to see this mosaic statue that honors them on the campus of San Jose State University; the 3rd spot on the podium is left empty at the suggestion of the athlete who stood there (Australian Peter Norman) — to allow visitors to stand in solidarity.
Under early September’s blue skies and changing light, the Zlatan Papillon floats through Mitza’s backyard, distanced, masked, zoomed to parts north and west, FamJam birthday celebration...
My heart hurts… I’m going to sleep in my @cottonbureau Lady Justice League T-shirt (our beloved Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on September 18, 2020).
“I am often asked when there will be enough women on the Supreme Court and I say, when there are nine.” — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
2020 continues to frighten and alarm as the entire western portion of this country seems to be on fire and we had a rare earthquake in New Jersey early this morning and our president admits that early-on he knew that COVID-19 was a serious airborne virus but did not share that information with us. I have no words.
This design is from the front cover of the book “Portrait of a People, Croatia Today” published by the Funk & Wagnalls Company in 1936. The two-color design of black and red was screen printed on a green fabric.