these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips — Lucille Clifton (homage to my hips)
This week I want to share some poetry that, I think, is one of the best ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Poetry has become part of my daily life… I cannot imagine a day without poetry. It opens my eyes… it opens my mind… it opens my heart. This month, I have been focused on reading a poem or two a day from Amanda Gorman’s new book of poetry – Call Us What We Carry (and it is so very good!)
I also spent some time Googling Poetry for Black History Month and I found some of the most wonderful rabbit holes that exist on the internet!
Of course The Poetry Foundation has a wonderful resource that includes poems, articles, and podcasts… there is just so much to read here! I have been happily working my way through every bit of it. Some poems were familiar to me and some were not. There was one that I knew as a song but I did not know that it was written by one brother and set to music by another brother! And speaking of that song… was it just me or did anyone else find it more than disconcerting that this song was performed outside the stadium (versus being inside? watf…)
Finally, if you want to add a book to your Poetry Library (because don’t we all have a Poetry Library?? And if you don’t, you should!!) I am excited to get Tracy K. Smith’s book, Such Color. (And I am loving Call Us What We Carry!)
I am going to close with one of the poems from Amanda’s new book:
by Amanda Gorman
It is easy to harp,
Harder to hope.
This truth, like the white-blown sky,
Can only be felt in its entirety or not at all.
The glorious was not made to be piecemeal.
Despite being drenched with dread,
This dark girl still dreams.
We smile like a sun that is never shunted.
Grief, when it goes, does so softly,
Like the exit of that breath
We just realized we clutched.
Since the world is round,
There is no way to walk away
From each other, for even then
We are coming back together.
Some distances, if allowed to grow,
Are merely the greatest proximities.
I stumbled across some poems by Jane Kenyon (from a series entitled “Having it out with Melancholy”). I am having a running battle with melancholy these days and her words fit my mood. But this week I found this bit especially true:
Often I go to bed as soon after dinner
as seems adult
(I mean I try to wait for dark)
in order to push away
from the massive pain in sleep’s
frail wicker coracle.
Yes, yes, and yes!
Sleep has been very elusive recently…insomnia has moved in, and I am really so over it. But the more I fight it, the worse it seems to get. It is a vicious circle.
Speaking of melancholy, Michelle Obama’s podcast this week…wow! It has quickly become the best conversation in the entire week. I have written down so many things that I want to keep in the forefront of my meager, depressed, sleep-deprived brain. This one from Michele Norris was the best of the best: Don’t reach for normal, reach for better! YES! It is nice to know that my house is not the only one that is experiencing depression, concern, worry, stress… and the feeling that I just can’t take one more day of the ugly reality we live in…Thank you, Michelle for sharing so openly and honestly. I feel just a little bit less alone today.
If you, like me, have some niggling worries (okay, night terrors) about “what if” scenarios regarding the election not happening in November…this might allay your fears…it did mine a bit! (you will need to fast forward to 34:44 to listen to Teller – of Penn and Teller – give you the run down of what would happen if there are no elections in November…and it does not end with President Pelosi, just saying)
It should come as no surprise that I am in LOVE with Patrick Stewart’s Sonnet a Day and the sonnet from the 3rd was especially lovely:
What a week, eh? There is only so much avoidance one can do in any given week. I tried mightily to ignore, but sometimes that just does not work and that happened a lot this week. But despite the onslaught of bs, there were some pockets of goodness. And that goodness was enough to inspire me, lift me, fill me, and carry me through the chaos. So let’s get started!
First, are you missing intelligent conversation? Mm-hmm! Need a fix of a nostalgia for what was? Oh yes, I do! Well look no further… The Michelle Obama Podcast started this week! I mean really, stop everything and queue this up right now! You won’t be disappointed… at all! I promise!! Just do it!!
While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language, and nationality to demand respect for human dignity. – John Lewis
Thank you for these final words, Mr. Lewis. May you rest in power.
But the best was Barack Obama’s eulogy for “St. John”! It was so amazing. It is must watch…so settle in and be filled and inspired!
But it was not all inspiring finds this week because the Ravelry imbroglio continues, but there was this update from Jess which, frankly had me shaking my head. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Honestly, all of this is so unacceptable. I don’t know what the fix is to all of this, but I do know this… I am not using Ravelry until it becomes accessible for everyone.
And if that was not all just enough, there was this update from Cat Bordhi… my heart is breaking for her and her dear family. If you’ve a mind to send her an email, you will find her address in her post.
That’s all from me this week… (have you requested your mail in ballot? The deadline is fast approaching!) See you all back here next week!
It has been a very warm week here in Pittsburgh… I enjoy summer, but 90+ degree weather dripping with humidity…not so much. Hibernating in my house with the AC is not my favorite way to spend summer. But all that warm weather has made my gardens just explode! I am picking an over-flowing handful of beans every night, which means my 8 bean plants are producing way more than we can eat! Which means I will be blanching some beans to freeze! This is an incredible unexpected boon from my little garden!
This week I also made a delicious Clafoutis! (Nothing says summer like Clafoutis does!) I will generally pass up cherry pie, but Clafoutis…never! I love channeling my inner Julia Child while making it as well! Bon Appétit!
I am hesitant to post Ravelry links right now. I hope that fixes happen SOON to make it accessible for everyone. (although I did come across this on Twitter, which might help if you are having issues!) All that aside… I had so much fun looking at all the little boy sweater links that you shared on Wednesday! I will be ordering some yarn and whipping a few of them up! Thank you all!
Speaking of Twitter, this week was full of good things there!
First up, Romi shared this bit of information that I did not know! Again, Pittsburgh!! (and the episode IS very good!)
You all: you must listen to this! Another piece of Black history I just learned: the first paramedics in the US were in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, and they redefined the role of the police. Both incredibly inspiring and frustrating in the erasure. But wow! This episode! https://t.co/XWn3UFZMyd