Quotidian Update 87.2b.ix

Good news from the back-of-beyond. The Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte is open again, and the person running it is someone I know AND a person who’s bought one of my paintings. I’m going in later this morning with notecards. Apparently they’ve been doing repairs and cleaning for the past six months (???) and hiring a replacement for my friend Louise. They’re having a grand opening next month to honor the summer solstice. The new director is younger — a woman in her early 40s (I think) — and I think that’s a good thing. Anyway, I’m happy about these developments.

Other good news involves the Scarlet Emperor Beans. They are all in the garden — fifteen of them! I went to visit them before I made my coffee (that shows you my dedication) and they all looked very happy. The weather forecast for the nonce looks good meaning like I won’t have to rush out and cover them.

They do not all have names. I don’t know if they mind or even know “who” they are — well they do know. As for their names? This is the fifth generation and who knows which ancestor pollinated which ancestor. I think they are all each other at this point which is very cool. They are 100% in harmony with their nature as Scarlet Emperor Beans. They are amazing. The packet says plant 1 inch deep. The Internet said 3 inches deep. I did both and the beans didn’t care. They have a strong and joyful inner push to get UP there and GROW. Along with the beans are giant sunflowers. Last year I learned how well they do together and what good friends they are both in attracting beneficial insects and holding each other up.

In other good news, I finished the painting, and I like it a LOT. All it’s missing is my signature. It was a wonderful painting experience because it was a big challenge. I still have a ways to go to be the painter I would like to be, but it was a leap in the right direction. I wish it were bigger, but if I’m going to paint bigger paintings on a surface like this I’m going to have to turn carpenter and stretch my own canvas. The surface — oil primed linen — was wonderful. This is the second painting I’ve done on that material. The other painting was also a wonderful experience to paint and a big challenge. I don’t know if the surface is helping me or what, but wow.

I know there is a lot of random stuff in this hackly post, but after my being so desperately profound yesterday, we all need a break… 😉

Hanging Out with a Friend

Yesterday my friend Perla came to Monte Vista (from Alamosa) to see the eye doc who is two blocks away from my house. We spent three hours talking. It was great. She’s an artist and a thinking person so the conversation was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and even included a little time spent in my frowzy studio where I introduced her to lapis lazuli ultramarine. She is extremely talented and skillful in a wide, wide, wide variety of things, so I was surprised when I could show her something new. She understood totally when I explained that the paint is like a person to me, a person who wants to help me paint. She laughed, but she got it. I told her about my dream of owning lapis ultramarine with lapis from Afghanistan, and that I’d tried to buy some with my Christmas present money, but the upheaval in Afghanistan meant no one had it. “Don’t feel bad,” I said, “but all I could get is lapis ultramarine with lapis from Argentina.” She’s from Buenos Aires.

That’s when we went to my studio so I could show her the paint. She looked at the painting that’s on my easel drying, the painting of the storm — which she loved — and at the one that’s in progress. “That’s hard. I couldn’t do it.”

“I don’t know yet if I can,” I said. I was, at the time, showing her the lapis ultramarine by putting it on the canvas with my finger. She compared it to indigo which she’d seen growing — and which dye she had used — at her recent experience as an artist in residence at a farm in Arkansas, an experience she’d loved and that had given her great stories and much needed renewal. Jeans are died Indigo. It’s a great blue and in medieval times was used to replace lapis ultramarine for walls and manuscripts. Lapis ultramarine which was expensive and hard to get. There was even a FALSE Indigo, or woad Indigo, that came from a nasty plant that made the ground useless for anything else, it depleted the soil so completely and so rapidly. Still, it’s pretty amazing. Here’s a great explanation and visualization of the difference between real Indigo and Woad. I didn’t argue or “clarify.” There’s no way to know what another person sees when they look at a color AND we look for familiar shades and patterns all the time. The chart below is excellent. The top blue is synthetic ultramarine. They are all great blues. The featured photo of my work in progress is not color true because the underlying ground is not white, but this chart is.


The subject of representational vs. abstract art came up and Perla has always let me know what she wants me to do. I accept that — a push from a knowledgeable person can be helpful in defining direction and everyone’s free to reject it. But knowing her and her work, I listen. Yesterday she said, “You’re obsessed with reality.” That’s true. As a person who lives largely in my head, reality is an important question for me. I’m not a subjectivist; I believe there is an objective reality and that is why I love nature so much. It is what it is whether I recognize it or. not. I WANT to. But as we talked I realized that I don’t see a difference in my work between the stuff I do that’s representational and that which isn’t completely representational. Wanting a tree to look like a tree isn’t, to me, a bad goal because a living thing is only static until you start engaging with it. I quickly find there is more to it than what I recognize as a tree. I realized that I don’t think most of my “realistic” paintings are realistic.

We discussed another artist’s paintings — which are really beautiful nature paintings — and she said, “I don’t like them. Every little thing,” and she made as if she were painting with a tiny brush on a wall. I think his work is lovely, but not exactly what I would paint (obviously). I proclaimed my theory of art, that nothing in nature is what we see, but the life behind what we see. I didn’t add the rest of the idea which is that the life within everything inscrutable and answers to its own demands. The only response I have to THAT is gratitude to nature for letting me in on a little something from time to time.

But the point — to which we both agree — is that it’s all very personal, meaning to the person looking at the work, maybe buying it.

And, of course, we talked about what probably every two artists have spoken about together since the beginning of time. Which is why are we doing this? After looking at my paintings, she became a little frustrated with her work which is felted clothing. I listened while she worked that all out — she makes money from her work and I, obviously, don’t make money from mine. It isn’t that I don’t want to, it’s that no one sees it. So far in my life, when people see it, they buy it. We talked about marketing and promotion — she’s a good saleswoman and goes to shows and has her work in stores. But THAT? In any case if I want to sell at the Crane Festival next year (which I do) she’ll help me by loaning me panels so I can hang my work. Behind the conversation was the immense expense in even getting work out where people can see it and buy it.

It was great conversation, inspiring and fun. Then “What will you do if Trump is elected president again?”

“Perla, remember? We already have a plan. We’re going to Argentina.”

“That’s right Patagonia. Good. Good.” It was a wonderful, wonderful day. And THEN?

Wu Song appeared in the garden and this morning? Two more — Lao She and Pearl Buck. Three have emerged in the house this morning, as well. Looks like I’ll have beans after all. Thank you mysterious forces of the universe that combine a seed, dirt, water and light. They will be growing among several sunflowers who will help hold them up, attract bees and add general amazingness to the garden.

Tu Fu and Wu Song

Wonder of wonders, a second bean has emerged. I’ve named him Wu Song after a hero in The Water Margin which is a rollicking good adventure novel. Among other things, Wu Song, with his bare hands, killed a tiger that was attacking him. Normally, AS a tiger myself, I’m not too keen on anyone killing tigers, but this is a special case.

I named this bean Wu Song for a couple of reasons. Obviously, I like the book but also because Wu Song is strong, handsome, brave and good and the same can be said for Scarlet Emperor Beans. The first beans to emerge are the bravest especially when it has taken them SO LONG to break through. I figure they really want to. Pearl Buck did a translation which is known as All Men are Brothers. I think the title came from her fervent wish that all men WOULD BE brothers. Here’s part of the entry from Wikipedia if you are curious about the book and its heroes. I’ve left the links in the quotation below because they lead to very cool places.

Water Margin is one of the earliest Chinese novels written in vernacular Mandarin and is attributed to Shi Nai’an.[1] It is also translated as Outlaws of the Marsh and All Men Are Brothers.

The tragic story, set in Northern Song dynasty (around 1120), tells of how a group of 108 outlaws gather at Mount Liang (or Liangshan Marsh) to rebel against the government. Later they are granted amnesty and enlisted by the government to resist the nomadic conquest of the Liao dynasty and other rebels. While the book’s authorship is attributed to Shi Nai’an (1296–1372), there were references laid out in the book that did not exist until the Jiajing reign (1521-1567) of Ming dynasty, sparking a long-lasting academic debate on when it was actually written and which historical events the author had witnessed that inspired him to write the book.[1]

It is considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.[2] It has introduced readers to many of the best-known characters in Chinese literature, such as Wu SongLin ChongPan JinlianSong Jiang and Lu Zhishen.

Tu Fu 2022

Finally! The first bean! Tu Fu is one of the Scarlet Emperor Beans I planted too deep — 3 inches! I don’t know why I did that — bad advice from Mr. Internet, I think, very stupid because this isn’t my first rodeo or bean. The packet from which the original beans came is in my seed box, but did I look at it? No. Or rely on previous (successful) experience, good God no, never that.

I didn’t expect to be this happy over the emergence of a bean, but I guess that happens every year.

You may be asking “Why Tu Fu?”

Simple. MAYBE he’ll be the ONLY bean (I don’t know). And, if that’s the case, I want the poet who wrote my favorite Tang Dynasty poem. He also had to CLIMB to get to the sunlight. He might feel a sense of accomplishment.

Gazing at the mountain

Preparing to climb Mt. Tai
All around me, Zhao and Jiang
a distant blue
Good Fortune, the God of Time, bestows and
Balanced in dawn’s early light are Yin and Yang

To the layers of clouds I bare my breast, while 
From the corner of my eye
I catch the sight of flying birds
As I struggle to reach the top
From the summit all the mountains seem small.

I changed the last line to the one my friend translated for me when he wrote the poem for me on a scroll.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because I can’t easily climb anything, but then I think, I live at the same altitude as the highest mountains in San Diego County. A mountain is a mountain is a mountain. A mountain can challenge me, but never to judge me. The ring of mountains around me? They just remind me of the immensity of time, sometimes even that they were not always here; that there were Rocky Mountains BEFORE these Rocky Mountains. The great gift of a mountain — as Tu Fu writes in this beautiful poem — is perspective.

望 岳

岱 宗 夫 如 何
齐 鲁 青 未 了
造 化 钟 神 秀
阴 阳 割 昏 晓
荡 胸 生 层 云
决 眦 入 归 鸟
会 当 凌 绝 顶
一 览 众 山 小

You can see more here, along with the story behind the poem and something about Tu Fu: https://100tangpoems.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/gazing-at-the-mountain/

Scarlet Emperor Beans, Fifth Generation

Dear Readers:

As I finished this post, I realized it’s more a letter than a blog post. SO…

Yesterday I surrendered to my own need to PROPERLY plant Scarlet Emperor Beans. Long time readers of this blog know what that means and yeah, it is a little insane, but…

A few weeks ago, with totally the wrong attitude, I put 8 straight in the ground outside, too deep as it happens. I’ve been distracted by a friend’s personal problems and NOT in the best mood. When the beans didn’t come up I realized what I’d done. “OK Plan B.” Again, without the best attitude, I took a few of last year’s beans outside and planted them the right depth. But something didn’t feel right and THEY haven’t (so far) come up even though the days have been hot and the nights warm — for here. Of course if they come up, they will be greeted with thunderous applause.

Yesterday, as I watered the bed where the beans have been planted, mildly inspired by the tomato and basil sprouts in the house, I thought, “You know what you need to do.” So now, in a fancy germinating tray (that I didn’t want to bring into the house) sitting on a thrift store TV tray (that I didn’t want to bring into the house) are five peat pots in which I’ve planted Scarlet Emperor Beans in my traditional, correct way. They are by a window in my living room that needs desperately to be washed, but because it has old aluminum storm windows, is taller than I am, and won’t open from the inside, chances are it will not be washed in my life time, except the inside which is very clean. OH well. Someone in the life of my house fastened the windows shut with two-sided foam insulation tape. I understand WHY, but really not a good idea. I wish I had the money to replace these windows with new vinyl windows, but I don’t. Home ownership is really a waste for me because it doesn’t matter that I have a mortgage anymore. Tthe standard deduction is greater than my itemized deduction. The advantage — and it’s MAJOR — is the dogs . But I would love the outside of my house to be someone else’s problem.

I have not named the beans yet. It’s tempting fate to show so much interest in young, unfledged things, sort of the “don’t count your chickens” idea. Even so, there’s really no problem giving them the names of their ancestors since they really ARE their ancestors (being plants). So far I’m thinking of Tu Fu, Lao She, Cao Xueqin, Li Ho and Pearl Buck. If any come up outside I’ll take names from the Shui Hu Chuan.

Yesterday the power went out for a couple of hours. It was an interesting experience because I didn’t lose phone service (huh?) and my laptop said, “You have a personal hotspot with your iPhone. Would you like to join?” so I went online via my phone’s G5. This is the first time that opportunity has existed and wow. It made it possible for me to check the outage map, for one thing. Also, after the last long power outage that resulted from the fire we had in town, I bought what my mom would call a “toy” a rechargeable lantern that charges via a USB cable and has the ability to hold the charge to keep an iPhone charged. I quickly saw what a good investment that was — not yesterday, probably, but certainly if the power were out for any length of time.

The cool thing about the power being out was that it brought people out of their houses. I Planted some sunflowers in the front flower bed and, while I was doing this, people walked by, including a guy whom Dusty T. Dog absolutely adored. I haven’t seen him and his wife in two years.

The best news is that the wind has been normal for three days and yesterday we had a clear blue sky and a gorgeous sunset with peach-colored, fluffy clouds.

I hope you’re all doing well,

Love,
Martha, Bear and Teddy

Blues

Cobalt blue isn’t in my usual pallette. My two go-to blues are cerulean and aquamarine. A tube of cobalt blue came with the dozens of tubes of acrylics I inherited last year when my friend Louise’ husband, Alex, died. I have used it and I liked it, but I haven’t been painting much since I got the paints so I don’t know if it will have a future with me.

It’s uncomfortable not painting. I feel a little pressure because I have beautiful materials and an easel, things I dreamed of having, and I’m not in there with them. I’m in a kind of “life-doldrums” I think. I know that happens, that it will go away, and it’s OK. The best work I’ve done has been after a period of not painting. Yesterday I took down my art blog. It was just attracting spam comments. I wasn’t writing and no one was reading. This morning I will clean up some of the details on this blog. I look at moments like these as opportunities to prepare for the next great thing, whatever it may be, just like right now farmers are out there putting seed potatoes in the ground. It’s going to be a while before anything “happens,” but when it does?

I planted Scarlet Emperor Beans yesterday, I don’t even know how many — I think 9. I put them right into the ground. I figure I can cover the sprouts if I have to. Temperatures are unseasonably warm, even at night, forecast to continue well into the next couple of weeks. I couldn’t see setting up the baby plant nursery in the house for those giant beings if they could just go out where they are supposed to be to start with. I have iris about to bloom, which is insane. They are usually June flowers here…

OH well…

Word Up

There are so many words in the English language that came from other languages and other times. Every once in a while I’ll be doing something completely UN-word-related (like walking a dog) and it will hit me what a word actually MEANS. The most recent experience like this was “manger.” I was walking at the Refuge with Teddy and suddenly an extremely negligible epiphany, “Manger — manger. “Fuck,” I thought, “that’s French. But ‘Away in the trough, no crib for a bed’ wouldn’t scan. And pronouncing it in French? ‘manjay’? OK you get an internal rhyme but it sounds silly.”

So here we have “cavalier,” a word I’ve heard mostly describing a careless attitude. “I don’t like your cavalier attitude,” my mom was wont to say when I dismissed her hysterical concerns over my behavior. Cavalier? French AGAIN. A guy who rides a horse. I know there is a lot of history behind all these words, but we live on the surface of history so what difference does that make to us? None, really. Just fodder for the pensamientos of idleness.

You are all probably on tenterhooks about the situation of my Scarlet Emperor beans. Tonight is predicted to be the year’s first hard freeze.


The beans are still sending out new tendrils and I’ve harvested a bowl full of dried beans. There are still several almost-ripe pods on the plants. Wang Wei was the first to stop sending out tendrils and blossoms, and also the first to yield a ripe pod. The rest are not slowing down much in spite of the colder nights and shorter days. I’m torn between cutting them down before the frost hits or leaving them to nature. You can see snow in the forecast, too.

How Do You Know When it’s Fall?

My friend Lois is here for a visit, and the dogs and I couldn’t be happier. Last evening we took a stroll out at the Refuge and then ate at Ninos, one of the local Mexican restaurants, the one in which I — seven years ago — tasted the green chili I had missed in California. I haven’t been out at night in about a million years so coming home to real “country dark” was kind of surprising and also informative. I learned that the batteries are dead in two of my outside motion sensor lamps.

The beans survived three freezing nights in a row with nothing but frost burn on some of the more exposed leaves. This is slightly strange because the beans are not “keeping each other warm.” At this point I think they could be doing anything.

Yesterday Lois and I were talking about the arrival of fall, like when does it really begin? This was the result of a (pretty funny) debate she was having on FB with a family member who is polemical and punctilious to a fault. As we drove out to the Refuge I said, “I know it’s fall when the cows come home.” It wasn’t just the idiom, either. At the beginning of fall the cows really DO come home from grazing in BLM lands, spending their summers in the mountains. They are excellent at keeping low-level forest growth from getting too thick or too high. Awesome sub-contractors for this task. The sheep come home, too, and some of the gates at the Refuge are open to let the hoofed animals cross from farm to pasture. South of the Refuge, a few days ago, I discovered a small herd of goats protected by a vigilant llama.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

The first Chinese holiday I experienced was Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival. It means a lot to me every time it rolls around. Last year I took a walk out in the fields to watch the full moon rise. I don’t know what I will do today. Something in me has changed and I find myself resisting everything that’s scripted, organized, seasonal, prescribed. Events in our world have made me skeptical of our traditions and customs, and I wonder how much of life we live by rote so that when an immense change falls into our world we are unable to respond. I don’t know. Probably a bogus theory, but part of me says, “I’m doubtful about all your traditions and rituals. We have to figure this out.”

But in all that is nature and nature — with some hiccups — is a parade of change. Here where there are four seasons, there’s a clock behind it yet…

The clock of fall arrives today/tomorrow and freezing is forecast. I’ve covered the tomatoes and had a long talk with my now 12+ foot tall beans as well as taking in the dried pods filled with next year’s beans. I also saw, to my surprise, new growth, small leaves coming out in several spots. This hasn’t happened in a while, but now I understand that with some pods ripened, my beans are ready to put out more.

All their energy has gone into this for the past six weeks:

My beans are not Chinese. They originated in the mountains of Mexico and Central America. Because “Scarlet Emperor” beans sounded so very Chinese that my first beans — four years ago? were named for Chinese emperors. After that? Chinese writers — Cao Xue Xin and Li Bai. The next year — last year — I named them all for Tang Dynasty Chinese Poets. They were a huge help during the lockdown and it was wonderful letting them “speak” through “their poetry” on my blog. As beans, they were amazing and brave, surviving an early snowstorm (with my help). This year I planted their offspring. Along with the poets, there are a couple of fiction writers. Lao She (who killed himself during the Cultural Revolution) succumbed partly to frost, down to the root in June, but recovered, to my total amazement. He was the first to produce ripe seeds for next year. Pearl Buck has been the most prolific and she was one of two beans I was able to successfully cover from spring frost in June. The rest? Li Bai, Tu Fu, Li Ho suffered some frost damage or were replaced by beans I stuck into the ground have all done well. Wang Wei went out as a 3 inch plant and was easily covered when necessary. He has all done very very well. Today he gave me three pods. There are two beans who sprouted in the garden from seeds that I haven’t named.

So, with these lovely and inspiring beings out there acting with perfect faith in the future, I wish everyone a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. It is the festival of remembering distant friends, and since the past year and half have increased the distance between us, it could be everyone. Here is my celebratory post. I hope you enjoy it.


Quiet Night Thoughts
Li Bai, Tang Dynasty (1300 years ago…)

床前明月光
疑是地上霜
举头望明月
低头思故乡

Moonlight before my bed
Like frost on the ground.
Lifting my head, I see the moon,
Lowering my head, I miss my home.

***

The canals between the rows of cabbages reflect the full moon. I ride my “Wu Yang,” a locally made “Five Rams” bike. Flash, flash, flash—the moon, the dark, the moon, the dark, the moon shines from the still water. Beside me dark lorries roll, their headlights dimmed. The bicycle has the right of way. Mist sifts across the road between the white-painted trunks of eucalyptus trees. The moon in south China is not the moon anywhere else. Even poets have said so.

“Teacher, why are you smiling?”

“Because I’m here. I’m teaching and I’m in China.”

“You’re smiling because you are here? Or do you laugh at our poor English?”

I am stunned. “You speak English well.”

“No, no we don’t. We know our English is very poor.”

“No, truly, it’s very good.”

“You are being kind. Our English is poor.”

I do not yet know about the trap of Chinese humility.

“Don’t you miss your home?”

I think momentarily of the Rocky Mountains and a few friends, but no. Ever since reading Richard Halliburton’s travel adventure books from my mother’s library I have wanted to go on “the royal road to romance.” That my first road led to a Chinese university was a stroke of good luck I never could have imagined. I smile constantly and this makes my students suspicious.

“I’m happy. I love China. I love to teach.”

“How can you love China and love America?”

What is patriotism? My own country could not possibly give me THIS opportunity. I am my own world.

“I love them both.”

“And us?”

I look behind me at the large character poster above the chalkboard. “Noble Spirit, Proud Beauty,” it says in English.

***

“The Moon Festival is the festival of distant family and friends,” I am told by one of my graduate students. “The Chinese eat round things because they look like the moon. The children carry moon-shaped lanterns. We recite poetry and think of people far away. We know our relatives and friends at home are doing the same, so though we are far away from each other, we look at the same moon. You will love it.” 

Outside the door to my apartment I find an ornately decorated box. Inside are mooncakes, a gift from my students. They are filled with red bean paste with a perfect round egg yolk in the center. The moon.

***

Just a week later I take the train to Hong Kong to meet up with two friends from Colorado, one a wealthy old man I am fond of; the other is my former boss who is traveling with him. My old friend was born in China, near Tianjin. His father was a missionary for the YMCA. His family left China during the Japanese invasion. The old man sends me out to find some cotton undershirts for him and a cane. He has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and walking is increasingly difficult. On my way back to the ship, I stop in a bakery and buy mooncakes. When I hand him the brightly printed shopping bag with its picture of the Moon Goddess, Chang O, his eyes glow with pleasure. “Oh my, oh, Martha! Mooncakes! I have not had these since I was a child.” Time and memory distill in his blue eyes and slide down his channeled cheeks. His hand reaches for mine.

***

There is no way for me to go back. Even the boy who carried my heavy trunk up three flights of stairs to my apartment is now a man in his sixties who writes me from Toronto telling me how Qi-Gong helps him with his aches and pains. I remember his stories of the Cultural Revolution when he was sent north to work in a machine shop in Luoyang. He spent ten years in mind-numbing drudgery staying up late to learn English from the Voice of America. His ancestry was mixed, his mother bourgeois, his father a poor peasant, a Party member. When the Gang of Four was overthrown, he was too old for college, so he worked as an interpreter, assistant, and spy for the Wai-Shi Ban, Foreigner’s Office, at my university. I helped him come to the U.S. to study and he got a B.A. from NYU. 

“Dear Sister,” he writes in an email. “You are a better Chinese than me. I forgot Mid-Autumn Festival! Thank you for your good wishes!”

***

Time and space are not convergent only at the outer edge of the universe; they converge everywhere, every moment. I search the Internet looking for cheap tickets to China. I imagine going back when I retire, but with perfect certainty I know there is no way. 

China is a bus on which I am riding that has stopped for no reason on Chong-Shan Wu Lu (5 Sun Yat-Sen Road) in downtown Guangzhou on a late spring afternoon. Through the window I see a public telephone. It is an old black phone on a wooden desk in front of a building. A Chinese man in glasses and a white shirt sits behind the desk taking tickets from people waiting for their turn to make a call to someone far away. In the shadows, I notice a tall, dignified, white-haired, blue-eyed, white man in a blue silk padded coat. He is leaning against a building as all the raging race of China’s modernization passes in front of him. We make eye contact for a fraction of a second before he abruptly turns and goes inside. That is China; that man, that blue coat, that furtive moment, and now it is something else.

*Originally published in Business Communication Quarterly Volume: 70 issue,188-191 June 1, 2007. Now included in As a Baby Duck Listens to Thunder.

Going to the Mountains…

I’ve been spending a little time with the beans. I’ve harvested four pods for seeds and am ready for next year. The beans can’t read the forecast, but they know what’s happening. The days are shortening. The nights are getting cooler. They know more about what’s happening than I do, I’m sure. It’s OK. Maybe they’re tired? I don’t think so. In the places where Scarlet Emperor beans are indigenous and the seasons are less sharply divided, they grow all year. I learned today that they like high altitudes. They are South American mountain beans.

32 F = 0 C 😦


Apparently my town recently held a “Freedom Rally” objecting to the Governor’s vaccine mandate (though it isn’t the “governor’s mandate:” it’s an emergency mandate handed down by the Colorado Board of Health) for health care workers. Signs were “Not Anti-Vaxx. Anti-Mandate” and others, the normal, I mean usual, things. The REASON the CBH made this mandate is because the voluntary stragedy didn’t work. It wasn’t the “first case scenario” it was the “worst case scenario.” Our popular but to me despicable mayor joined in. Sigh…

“At an emergency rulemaking meeting on August 30, 2021, the Board recognized that approximately 30% of the healthcare workforce in facilities under its jurisdiction remained unvaccinated for COVID-19. Using prior Board rules mandating the flu vaccine as a “baseline” for the emergency regulations, the Board found that “[w]ith the rise in the Delta variant, ensuring that all workers in licensed healthcare facilities are vaccinated is one of the most effective means the state can take to protect public health, safety, and welfare of all Coloradans . . . .” (Source)

I’ve been trying to fully understand why I’m so incredibly disaffected. This kind of thing is definitely a big factor. How is it difficult to see the concrete evidence that people who get sick might die and that this can be prevented? Why is this a question of “freedom” and “rights”? Why isn’t it a question of loving thy neighbor?

From a 1918 newspaper… I especially like “Do not think you are entitled to special privileges.”

Anyway, I’m about to go out into the wider world today, to the beautiful town of Creede to see the annual quilt show. I’d better get moving. Yeah, I’ll be wearing a mask.