I have a couple of posts in process, and I finally have time to write them, but I have a strong urge to take New Year’s Day off, even from writing, so… a little personal news this morning, then some offerings that I hope will encourage/delight you as they do me. Then on to relaxing, maybe jigsaw puzzling.
I’m still recovering from a 3-day depression brought on by extreme overindulgence in cookies and chocolate on Christmas Day. My stomach capacity seemed boundless. The immediate pleasure of the gluttony was powerful, but not enough to be worth what it did to my body, mind and spirit. I’ve been gradually clawing my way up from the depths of despair and shame, which is more powerful by far than the pleasure of gluttony. I wonder if I’ll remember that next time I’m surrounded by taste temptation? I hope so.
In the middle of November, I took on a decluttering challenge, this time with professional help (a reference to my coach upon request). My kids + partners were going to visit us from LA, first planning to come at Thanksgiving, but postponing until December 10 to celebrate Katie’s birthday (Dec 11) and Hanukkah. My immediate decluttering goal was to make it possible for Sam and Emily to stay in the room with the comfortable Murphy bed. Blocking the lowering of the bed, however, were numerous boxes full of old photos, a table with projects in (minimal) progress, and a jumble of other stuff. As it turned out, the visit never happened, Covid being as rampant as it was and is in LA, Phoenix — and so many other places. So our plans were deferred, but the decluttering has gone on in fits and starts.
With that project, an online class that requires some hours of study, my 5+ hours of online tutoring each week, two daily walks, housework, watching TV and movies with Richard in the evenings, and (of course) squeezing in time to work on jigsaw puzzles (which simply MUST be done), I’m not feeling particularly retired. The fact that my only complaint is being too busy puts me in the 1% category given the current dire situation of so many. I readily acknowledge that “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do,” as Joe Walsh says. (I had to look that up that reference. Until this minute, being sorely out of touch with much popular culture, I had no idea who Joe Walsh is, but now know he’s a guitarist who has been in several bands, a couple of which I’ve heard of. Thank you, Google.)
So… on to a few poems, a cartoon strip, and a kid story:
poem of hope
Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite; Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good. -Alfred, Lord Tennyson, poet (1809-1892)
astounding poems from Lily’s Aunt Sally
[I don’t know Lily Einhorn, but happened to see the following Tweet announcing the Covid death of her aunt, Sally Heilbut, and including three samples of her poetry. A pamphlet with more of Aunt Sally’s poetry can be purchased here.]
My great aunt Sally died on Tuesday night of Covid, 8 days after testing positive in her care home. She wanted to be a poet. She wasn’t really educated, she never had a tutor, an editor or a publisher. But she self-published a pamphlet. I’d love you to read my favourites.
She wrote about life, and the camps, and sleep, but these are the ones I love: a quirkier inner life than she ever let on. We lit last night’s candles for her.
I’m really overwhelmed by your words about these beautiful poems and you’re all right, it wasn’t that she wanted to be a poet, it’s that she was one. Thank you.
Her name was Sally Heilbut.
The response to these has been overwhelming. I wish I had thought to share them sooner but I’m glad they’re being read now. If you have enjoyed Sally’s words I’d be honoured if you’d donate to a charity she cared for. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sallyheilbutpoet Thank you.
Here we go (with apologies to the publisher for getting my facts wrong)
I’m going to mute the replies to this now. If you want me to see your message please @ me separately.
4-panel comic by Katie, Jan 1, 2019
This is our daughter Katie’s first post to Instagram under her “katiedoodlehands” handle. It’s one of several posts, including other 4-panel cartoons, in which she represents herself, but most posts in that feed are artwork, from lovely to silly to rather outrageous.