Author Archives: Hecate Demeter

Words for Wednesday

Summer

Picture found here.

BY CHEN CHEN

You are the ice cream sandwich connoisseur of your generation.

Blessed are your floral shorteralls, your deeply pink fanny pack with travel-size lint roller just in case.

Level of splendiferous in your outfit: 200.

Types of invisible pain stemming from adolescent disasters in classrooms, locker rooms, & quite often Toyota Camrys: at least 10,000.

You are not a jigglypuff, not yet a wigglytuff.

Reporters & fathers call your generation “the worst.”

Which really means “queer kids who could go online & learn that queer doesn’t have to mean disaster.”

Or dead.

Instead, queer means, splendiferously, you.

& you means someone who knows that common flavors for ice cream sandwiches in Singapore include red bean, yam, & honeydew.

Your powers are great, are growing.

One day you will create an online personality quiz that also freshens the breath.

The next day you will tell your father, You were wrong to say that I had to change.

To make me promise I would. To make me promise.

& promise.

This Is a Prayer for Litha. This Is a Prayer for Resistance.

Photo by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

This is a prayer for sunshine and darkness.  This is a prayer for Litha.  This is a prayer for shifting the balance and this is a prayer for Resistance.

At Litha, Demeter holds on so tight that her grasp begins to weaken.  At Litha, Persephone’s will to run courses anew. Today, it seems that Demeter will win. Things will stay the same.  Her power has grown.  Tomorrow Persephone pulls imperceptibly away.  Things will never be the same.  Power is shifting.

This is a prayer for sunshine and darkness.  This is a prayer for Litha.  This is a prayer for shifting the balance and this is a prayer for Resistance.

We are the shifters.  Litha pulses in our veins.  Like Demeter we hold to what we have and, like her daughter, we pull towards what we could be.  We are the sunshine and we are the darkness.  We are the balance and we are the shift.  We are the prayer for Resistance.

This is a prayer for sunshine and darkness.  This is a prayer for Litha.  This is a prayer for shifting the balance and this is a prayer for Resistance.

Monday at the Movies

It shouldn’t have to be this way.

Happy Bloomsday

All acts of love and pleasure are rituals of the Goddess.

Words for Wednesday

Photo by the blogger; if you copy, please link back.

No Name

BY EMILY BERRY

What can I tell you? It was a summer that seemed to be

making history — their personal history — almost before

it began, and they stood back slightly, still in it, but

observing it, saying “the summer this,” “the summer that,”

all the while it was going on. They became obsessed with

a fountain, for example, one they walked past each day,

how abundantly it would reach upwards and yet be pouring

back down itself the whole time — all winter this fountain

had been dry, not saying a word. What more can I tell you?

Oh, everything — like how they would walk home in

the evenings when the light was soft, anything bad sliding

off them, and they would feel owned, completely owned,

in a good way, by the air, which would touch them constantly,

sometimes urgently, sometimes lightly, just to let them know

it was there, and they would think maybe this is what being

alive is, when they saw how complicated a tree was and how

it wanted them looking at it and saying this, how the color

of a particular flower at this particular moment was redder

even than the life force, whatever that is, if you could open

it up and get right down inside it, if you could put your mouth

to it and become as red as that rose even, it was still redder

than that, and they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves

so they wouldn’t do anything except listen to the songs in their

heads which were sad ones like nearly all good songs and watch

this feeling rolling in, sunshine or rain, we don’t know yet,

it’s a good one, it’s the best one, though it has no name.

Monday at the Movies

This documentary, which I watched on PBS, does a lovely job of discussing a sense of place and a relationship with the land.

And We’ll Not Fail

Picture found here.

For a few weeks just before the 2017 election, I staffed a table at one of my county Democratic Party’s volunteer centers. People who had signed up to phone bank or canvass came to a central location and it was my job to send the canvassers off with their map and materials or to send phone bankers to a near-by room to phone bank. In the back, a small group of people were entering the data that canvassers brought back. Trump had just been elected and Democrats were energized. People who’d never done any political volunteering in their lives were showing up, ready to do whatever was necessary.

One afternoon a young woman came in and waited for the room to clear. She came up to speak to me and it was clear she was upset. She was teary-eyed and hyperventilating.

She told me that she’d signed up to phone bank because she was so upset about Trump and felt like she needed to do something. But sitting in her car outside the center, she’d realized that she just couldn’t do it. Calling strangers and asking for their vote was too scary. She said that even coming in to say she couldn’t do it was terrifying, but she’d decided to make herself at least come in and explain. I listened to what she had to say because it was clearly important to her to get to say it.

Then, I told her I understood that phone banking can be scary. (I do it, but it’s definitely not my favorite thing.) I said it was helpful that she’d come in to tell us she couldn’t phone bank because that would save us trying to call her to see if she’d reschedule. Finally, I said that if she was interested, there was a group of three or four women in the back room who were doing data entry. No phone calls, just take the paper forms and put the information into the computer. She visibly relaxed and said she could do that. A few minutes later, she was seated at a computer with a cup of coffee and a stack of forms. She worked the hours she would have phone banked, waved a friendly good-by, and left.

I kept remembering that incident when I was thinking about this blog post. I don’t know if that woman ever did any more political volunteer work, but I like to think that she did. I like to think that after forcing herself to do that one scary thing — walking in to say she couldn’t do the phone banking — and experiencing her own courage, she went on to do some more. Maybe not phone banking, but phone banking’s not the only way to get Democrats elected.

And I tell this story because I am going to need you to screw your courage to the sticking point, figure out where your talents lie, and get to work THIS WEEK on electing Democrats this November. Local Democrats, Congressional Democrats, Senate Democrats. If you watched the January 6th Hearings (and as Mrs. Whatsit said, you should), you know how desperately important it is to elect Democrats this Fall. If we don’t want Proud Boys in Congress, if we don’t want Oath Keepers on our School Boards, if we don’t want Nazis on our Boards of Election, we all need to get to work now.

There are lots of ways to get involved. Pick a campaign you care about, go to the website, and click on the “Volunteer” button. (And don’t give up if you don’t hear back right away. Try a different campaign.) See when your local Democratic Committee has its next meeting and go. Get certified to register voters (in Virginia, you watch a YouTube and sign a statement) and set up your card table outside the farmers market, at the metro station, in front of your house. Make signs (Rachel Bitecofer has some good suggestions) and staple them to phone poles. Help rural Democrats get elected. Go to Postcards to Voters and start writing. Run for office yourself.

Everyone can do something. I’d love to hear in comments what you’ll do this week.

(Belated) Words for Wednesday

Picture found here.

Hermes of the Ways

~ Hilda Doolittle

The hard sand breaks,
And the grains of it
Are clear as wine.

Far off over the leagues of it,
The wind,
Playing on the wide shore,
Piles little ridges,
And the great waves
Break over it.

But more than the many-foamed ways
Of the sea,
I know him
Of the triple path-ways,
Hermes,
Who awaiteth.

Dubious,
Facing three ways,
Welcoming wayfarers,
He whom the sea-orchard
Shelters from the west,
From the east
Weathers sea-wind;
Fronts the great dunes.

Wind rushes
Over the dunes,
And the coarse, salt-crusted grass
Answers.

Heu,
It whips round my ankles!

               II

Small is
This white stream,
Flowing below ground
From the poplar-shaded hill,
But the water is sweet.

Apples on the small trees
Are hard,
Too small,
Too late ripened
By a desperate sun
That struggles through sea-mist.

The boughs of the trees
Are twisted
By many bafflings;
Twisted are
The small-leafed boughs.
But the shadow of them
Is not the shadow of the mast head
Nor of the torn sails.

Hermes, Hermes,
The great sea foamed,
Gnashed its teeth about me;
But you have waited,
Where sea-grass tangles with
Shore-grass.
 

(Belated) Thoughts for Tuesday: The Message Behind Criticisms of Dem Messaging

Picture found here.

A popular trope on social media is to criticize Democratic messaging. “Why don’t the Dems spend more time saying . . . .” “Dems should message more like the Republicans do and . . . .” I think “I’m With Her!” is bad messaging. And, you know, I’m big on thinking through your framing. But have you ever wondered about the message behind criticizing Dem messaging?

First of all, “the Democrats” is us. Like soylent green (but kind of nicer) “the Democrats” are made of people. And if all you do is vote and spend time on social media criticizing Dem framing, well, shame on you. If you can do a better job, for heaven’s sake, join up and do it. If not, maybe consider that the message behind constantly criticizing Dem messaging is “Dems suck. They’re ineffective. There’s no point donating to them, working to get them elected, voting for them.” And that’s not really helpful.

The fact is that it’s easy to sit back and throw stones. And it’s also a fact that working at the local Dem level can be time consuming, slow going, not too much fun — some of the time. But it’s the only way to really improve things. After all, if grumpy tweets and snotty blog posts were going to fix the problem, they’d have done it by now.

Monday at the Movies

I watched every single minute of Chelsea Flower Show 2022 coverage and I have to say, “Meh.” This year just didn’t do it for me.

No one loves a meadow more than I do, but I think the Brits have pushed meadow gardens about as far as they can go. And I have to agree with Monty Don that there’s a difference between a garden and a landscape and that this year’s winner was a landscape, not a garden.

Also, enough with the lupines already.