Progressive voters disengaging from public policy discussions because they are tired of fighting is the ONE thing Trump’s handlers are counting on, because historically that’s what progressive voters always do – they show up every four years, vote, and then slowly go back to their lives. That leaves the serious people three years to shape the upcoming election in their favor with no fear of contradiction.
I get it. Fighting and arguing and paying attention sucks. It wears on you. And while it’s nice that you are personally insulated and you can ignore unpleasant news and racist politicians when you feel like it, you need to keep in mind that a lot of your community can’t afford that escape. They can’t afford to turn their back on what is happening in Richmond and Washington, because they are living on a knife’s edge – one bad twist, and they fall into the abyss.
Stay engaged. Keep your eye on what happens for the next three years. Speak out when you encounter bullshit. Don’t falter. Your neighbors need your help with this.
This is the Walnut Avenue Bridge, here in Roanoke.
Scott Eric Kaufman was gone before I even knew he existed. I had read his work, but never bothered seeking its source. Brilliant.
I spent yesterday and the day before making portraits.
This is a list I started years ago, after reading Jim Harrison’s The Road Home. Just a thing I use to remind myself to seek out the good stuff, and maybe something you guys might remember me by.
- Hot coffee
- Discarded feathers, especially from turkeys, ravens, raptors, and game birds.
- Apple trees
- Winter Solstice
- Looking at the moon and stars
- Cool mornings in the summer
- Warm mornings in winter
- The way the barely-warm sunshine feels on your face in the winter.
- First sips of coffee in the morning.
- Monarch Butterflies (And Tiger Swallowtails, too)
- Bees and bears, and other things that don’t back down easily.
- eating outside, especially breakfast
- Overgrown thickets
- The smell of hickory trees in the fall.
- Mexican food
- Anything sauteed with mushrooms and onions and good butter.
- places where people gather in the kitchen to talk and drink coffee
- Good sharp pencils
- Fleece pullovers
- Crowded kitchen tables
- Canada Geese, and the ruckus they make as they fly overhead.
- The way grouse will wait until you walk over them so that they can flush behind you. Scares me senseless every time.
- Dark Chocolate
- Dark Beer
- Sweet Tea
- Stouts and porters
- Rooms cluttered with books
- bread baking
- Sushi and sake
- Big front porches, especially the ones with ceiling fans
- a tin roof when it’s raining.
- My girl, especially when she wears my tank top undershirts
- Sleeping with the windows open.
- The first night you crawl in bed underneath the heavy quilt that was packed away all summer
- eating grapes and reading poetry out loud
- Maps. Especially old ones with lines that aren’t there anymore
- Late night walks
- Getting good and lost in a new place
- Old airplanes. Especially old DeHavilland Beavers.
- Airport hangars, and the old guys that always congregate around them.
- Bicycles and old motorcycles
- Indian Summer
- Dessert before dinner
- Especially when it’s ice cream.
- When women and girls laugh at my jokes.
- Back rubs
- Burying my face in the small of a woman’s back. Kissing her bare shoulder. Tickling the sensitive spot just behind her ear with my lips. Watching her shiver when I get it right.
- Making portraits
- Painting, even though I suck at it.
- The way my legs ache in the evening after I’ve pushed myself on a hike or a bike ride.
- The sweetish smell of a freshly-mowed grass, especially in the early evening when the ground is still warm and the air is cool.
This is my list. It’s full of contradictions, mistakes, and it’s totally incomplete – but then again, so am I.
Here we go, folks. I want to do this as a means of documenting how things are right now, just as the lights seem to be dying out. It’s a dim small spark, but it might serve to stave off at least some of the darkness.