Despair is Not an Option

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Despair is NOT an Option

Oh how I wish I had the luxury to be uninvolved, to return to my pre-November 9th days of writing, reading, and thinking that sense and dignity and intelligence would certainly prevail. My life was upended that early morning – and while I long to return to the rhythm of my days, while I long to believe that my calls, emails to our elected representatives will be at least heard if not accepted, I admit to more than one episode of near-despair.

On a state and national level, it feels like events are moving in a helter-skelter, out-of-control battle, Republican officials racing to undo progress made in moving our country toward a forward-looking, accepting society, to institute laws, regulations that they think will make the country “great again,” to accept baseless tweets and opinions as facts. Environmental protections, consumer safeguards, rational gun control laws, healthcare coverage – the rush to decimate, to unravel anything done or espoused by the former President. Yes, hard not to despair of an administration that wants to bring back coal, restrict the rights and privileges of our citizens, build a wall, ban Muslims.  I must ask for what purpose?

Yes, down the list of 45’s platforms are limits of congressional terms and lobbying jobs. I’d like to see some progress on those issues. Instead, he seems to be working hard to take us back to the 1950s, a time that his supporters seem to view through sepia lenses. As far as I know, time-travel only exists in novels.

Preaching to the choir I am most likely. And I promise that this will be my last dirge for a while. My second historic novel, Echoes from the Alum Chine, is close to being born. You’ll hear more-than-you-want-to-hear about that over the next months.

Meanwhile, I won’t despair, and I wish the same for you.

Another Sunday,

On Learning (More) From a Lemon Tree


On (More) Learning from a Lemon Tree

I brought my lemon tree inside a few days ago. The temperatures plummeted to the high 20s, and I didn’t think that my covering it up with an afghan would do the job. and yes, it was time to bring it inside for the winter. I did this with much trepidation – between the cats and my brown thumb, I still am nervous. And there it is, with its one lemon – still growing, turning a lighter green (not quite yellow) every day, and getting a little softer to the touch. How will this abrupt change of domicile affect this beloved piece of fruit that I have been tending each day?

I placed it in a bay window, where it gets a bit of, but not enough, sun and am hoping for the best. So far, the cats haven’t noticed it, it has retained all its leaves, and it continues to soften and get more (but not quite) yellow. Maybe it can weather the storm. Maybe with love, it can weather the storm.

And I think, I hope, perhaps I can too, this political and national storm that rages around us. I still cannot bring myself to watch TV news; I still change stations when NPR national news comes on. I do listen to BBC World News, so I am not totally unaware, though most times I would like to be. And I am doing my part, something, however small, but something.

I have subscribed to, an organization that sends weekly emails with specific actions that can be taken. The founders, two “nasty women,” I think/hope, are doing a tremendous service for those of us who know that we need to move beyond hand-wringing to action. And if we all do one thing, even one small thing, somehow that has to count. At least with us.

And my lemon is hanging on. We must as well.

Another Sunday, A Novel of Historic Baltimore,