Things That Made Me Happy Today (Another way to say Gratitude): 1. The chenille bedspread. It’s so comforting to snuggle up under it. 2. My Best Bird, the Oriole, flitting in and out of the honeysuckle vines all morning. 3. The holler is filled with the scent of honeysuckle. 4. Reading Bud, Not Buddy with the kid before he headed off to school this morning. 5. Completing the grading for four of my six classes. Only two more to go! 6. Talking on the phone with Sarah this morning. 7. The way the sun dapples the pathway the deer have made in the bosque across the stream. 8. How Ellis hums to himself wherever he is, like his dad.
It turns out it was a tulip moth and not a sweetbay moth–those are from further south. Apparently I had correctly identified last year’s visitor, but I’d forgotten. I’m posting this filtered version to balance today’s rant with a little beauty.
We’ve all had a ton of fun today, laughing at the US president’s cryptic “covfefe” tweet. He’s even joined the joking with a more cogent message during daylight hours: “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!” I won’t repeat all the brilliant jokes. You can find them all over the internet, and they are most entertaining. My favorite is that “covfefe” is the Russian word for “resign.”
Still, something has been bothering me today. All the hilarity aside, the implications of the president’s incoherent tweet of last night unsettle me. Sure, accidentally posting a garbled and incoherent midnight social media post isn’t uncommon, and there’s no danger in leaving it up for the night when you get distracted and just want to get to sleep. It’s sort of adorably capricious, something a big old forgetful lummox might do, a forgivable distractability. Except that this is the president of the United States we’re talking about. The US president does not get to be adorably capricious, or forgetful, or distractible. He could have been drunk. He could have been high. He could have been having a stroke, or a psychotic break. A responsible White House staff would be prepared to mop up quickly to make sure that the world wasn’t looking in on the impaired or distractible ramblings of one of the most powerful people on the planet, unsure about whether anyone in the White House is actually holding the reins.
The president is off his covfefe. He’s gone completely around the covfefe. And his handlers and staff are so sloppily covfefe that they don’t even seem to care about the reputation of the office of president anymore.
Gratitude List: 1. This sweet moment in my day: I stepped out of the classroom today during Advisory Group to wash the ice cream scoop (umm, yes, there was ice cream), leaving my first years listening to a Minions video set to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy.” When I came back, the song was over, and a bunch of them were gathered around the Smart Board to choose the next video. I had a moment of feeling anxious at the idea of letting them choose the party music. Several of them started saying things like, “Yes! That one! It’s one of my favorites!” And they’d chosen: “Baba Yetu.” LMH Party Music: The Swahili Lord’s Prayer.
2. Today was the last day for seniors. So happy-sad. Many of them also seemed to get the sad part of that combination, and that made me sort of happy. Sigh. I’m going to miss them. This is a really good batch of young folks we’re sending forth this weekend.
3. A little solitude this evening. Everyone else went to the baseball game, but I am incapacitated by tree pollen, and so I stayed home. By myself. All alone. Such silence in my head, and all around me. Solitude is such a balm.
4. People who just jump in and do the right thing.
5. Afternoon sunlight, how it sparkles.
Today’s Poetry Prompt over at Poetic Asides is to write a dare poem. This one is in the glosa form.
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. –T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Time’s up, Alfred.
Make your decisions.
Settle your score with time
and risk it.
Eat that peach
and grow your hair.
Join those women
in their fancy parlor chats.
“Do I dare?”
Start the next round of Twister.
Knock their socks off, buddy.
That catty fog against the windows
has settled into your soul.
Wear a wig! Carry a purse!
Swim with the mermaids.
Take up Irish drinking songs,
verse upon verse upon verse.
Disturb the Universe!
Ever since my college days,
you have been sitting
on my periphery,
asking me these questions,
reminding me that hesitations
breed paralysis, a crime
waiting patiently in line:
In a minute there is time. . .
And in a minute
the chance is gone,
the mermaids have stopped singing,
your hair has gone gray.
Sure, it could always have been better,
but it could also be much worse.
Step into the center of your life, Alfred,
and all the foggy yellow clouds of doubt
will gradually disperse:
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. Gratitude List: 1. The smell of those soaps I bought at Savemart today: Sandalwood, Rosewood Geranium, and Patchouli. Scent is one of my favorite senses. These three beauties have flipped on the happy switch in my brain.
2. My students. I was reminded today of some of my students from last semester who were wild and disruptive–not at all meanly or even rudely, but enough to tire a teacher. And thinking about this particular trio, I realized how incredibly fond I am of them all, how something in the challenge of working with them day-to-day and treasuring them rather than letting them get my goat makes me feel a particular delight in the memory of them.
3. Have I mentioned daffodils?
4. Fresh spinach, right from the field. Give me a few more weeks of this and I might even be an acceptable blood donor again. Call me the Woman of Iron.
5. Mockingbird has found his springtime voice. I wish my ears were a little more discerning, and could count the number of calls in his repertoire. He’s a pretty vociferous polyglot. (Yeah–purple. It was fun to say, though.)