Yeah, It’s Likely Not Going to Work that Way

Not to be a broken record, but here I go again.

The news today is full of the fact that the FBI has been investigating the blindingly (I use that word deliberately) obvious fact that Trump the Impotent is a Russian agent.

Well, duh, we all knew that before the election.

Hillary gave a speech about his allegiance to Russia, but her speech was ignored because we were too busy discussing Bernie’s (Sanders also got assistance from Russia; now he says that  Clinton should have warned him) assertion that Hillary  was “unqualified” to be president because she got paid for giving speeches, the way men do all the time.  We were too busy worrying whether her use of a private email server made her “untrustworthy” or whether she was simply “unlikeable.”  We couldn’t take seriously the notion that Russia had put its preferred candidate on the ballot and was successfully attacking many States’ voting systems because we needed a real debate over whether trying to work through pneumonia showed that Hillary was somehow “not transparent enough.”  (Trump never released a real physical, but, hey, it’s the woman who’s obviously lying about her health.  Because Patriarchy.)

Maybe today’s news feels like a revelation or maybe it feels like validation.  And, sure, like almost every patriot anywhere, I want to believe that THIS, THIS, finally THIS will be the tipping point.  Surely NOW the Republicans in the Senate will wake up and do their duty to the Constitution.  (Hint:  Not if Putin owns them, too.  And we all know that he does, right?)  Trump and Pence will be forced to resign in disgrace, President Pelosi will appoint Hillary Clinton her VP and will then step down in her favor and President Clinton will make it all OK, right?

I hope so, but I don’t think so.

Nor, because I reject the “savior” notion of history in which one brave and heroic man is going to save us all, do I think that Robert Muller — a lifelong Republican (whose wife is in a bible study group) who has sat as long as possible on the evidence concerning Trump, as horrific and as worthy of an early warning as that evidence appears to be — is going to swoop in and present evidence that turns everything around.

More than glad to be proved wrong, but, cynical old bitch that I am, I doubt it.

No, what I suspect is that we’re going to have to muddle through a number of years of this madness.  Even throwing Trump out of the White House, by itself, won’t immediately fix things.

What I do believe is that democracy is hard work.  My friend, Occult Librarian, often says that Apollo and Athena don’t want democracy because it’s the best or most efficient form of government.  They want it because it’s the form of government that most encourages humanity to grow up, to (my words, not hers) endure the gom jabbur, to do the work involved in seeing ourselves back home.  And I believe that what’s going to save us is the sometimes boring, usually time-consuming, generally mundane work of democracy.  You know, showing up for EVERY election, including the elections for board of ed, sheriff, secretary of state, town council, zoning board, water use committee.

After 2016, I took the training and got certified to do voter registration here in my rather blue county in a rather purple state.  I started showing up — in some pretty miserable August heat — at metro stations to register voters.  When it turned out that no one had focused on the metro stop closest to me, I made it my mission to register those voters.

Here’s what that took.

It took a wonderful and inspiring local woman who’s dedicated to Dem politics who kept her garage open at all times, stocked w/ folding tables and chairs, standing signs about voter registration, buttons, forms, information packets, etc.  It took an old guy with a truck who would show up at her garage, pile the necessary stuff into his truck, park his truck at the metro during the time period when parking is most difficult, haul the stuff over to the entrance, set it up for those of us trained to do voter registration, and then haul it all back to the garage when rush hour was over.  Until two or three days later, when we did it all again.  It took someone willing to take the new forms home, list them alphabetically, and drive down and park at the registrar’s office to turn the forms in within a tight deadline.

But here’s the thing.

I recently got an email from the woman who was in charge of the overall Dem effort to register voters.  When all was said and done, we registered 12,845 voters.  (I believe that this is separate from the League of Women Voters who also do voter registration.)  That number includes new voters and voters who recently moved here from other states and needed to register at their current address  That’s a lot of voters!  At the local level, we really only had one interesting race, a young Dem running for county board against an incumbent Republican who liked to call himself an Independent.  Originally, almost no one, not even Dem activists, thought that the young guy had a chance.  He won by about 7,000 votes.

No one knows how many of those voters were the voters that we registered.  But I like to go to sleep at night assuring myself that our work —  on those blisteringly hot Summer days, on those cool Autumn evenings when we gauged when rush hour had really ended, on those mornings when I hauled myself out of the house to go turn in forms at the county seat — our work was what turned the tide.

My state, Virginia, has elections every year.  The theory is that small, local elections can get more attention when they happen in a year that doesn’t involve presidential elections.  Regardless, we are going to elect, this year, state leg positions, member of our county board, members of the board of ed, our commonwealth attorney, etc.  And I’m gearing back up to get involved in these elections.  Sure, I’ll vote in the presidential election, put signs in my yard, likely donate, and phone bank, and etc., etc., etc.

But my impact is almost guaranteed to be more potent in my local elections.

And so is yours.

Don’t wait for Muller or anyone else to save you.  Sisters are doing it for themselves. 

That Damn Fine Line

Clothes in a closet

No one can walk it.

Last night, I attended a professional function, a holiday party sensibly scheduled AFTER the holidays.

Seeing as I work for myself, I no longer go to an office with other people every day. I have an office in my house, and I’m fortunate that it is a REAL office, a separate room with a desk and a filing cabinet and a printer and bookcases with all my books and a comfy chair to read them in. But it’s at the opposite end of the hall from my bedroom, and while I aspire never to work in my pjs (and mostly live up to that goal), I wear jeans and sweaters, or yoga pants and sweatshirts, or shorts and t-shirts. No makeup, hair mostly in a ponytail or bun. Maybe shoes (maybe not).

I am out of the habit of dressing professionally.

Additionally, several years ago, a woman colleague I respect and admire (or at least did as of then) shamed me, for my body and how I dress it.

(Now comes the time where I have to point out that I have NEVER EVER confused “dressing for a professional situation or function” – even a party – with “dressing for the club.” NOT ONCE.)

Since then, I’ve found dressing for professional situations to be incredibly fraught.

I was recently chatting with a friend, a woman who is tall and lean. I am not. I am a busty hourglass. My friend talked about how much fun she’s been having dressing more fun and sexy lately – she’s over 50 and has tenure. And great legs. I remarked, “I try to dress so as not to be noticed.”

And that’s true. I have a uniform for public speaking, which is a significant minority part of my business. Always and only flats, black or grey. I have one pair of black and and one pair of grey pants, same exact brand and style. They sit a few inches below my waist. They are loose enough around the butt/hips that I can jam my both hands, balled into fists, into the front pockets (gotta have pockets, so you have somewhere to put the battery pack for your wireless lav mic). The legs are loose, too.

I have two shirts, different colors, same exact brand and style. They both have a VERY high v-neck, which serves two purposes. One, lav mics are designed work best when they’re clipped to ties (and don’t think women don’t get the subtle “this isn’t designed for people like you – people like you aren’t supposed to be up on the podium, you’re supposed to be listening raptly in the audience” message – we get it), and two, a high v-neck is the least troublesome neckline for women who are built like me. When I tuck them in and blouse them out a little, that, combined with the pants sitting a little low, camouflages where my waist goes in.

(Oh, and whoever decreed that button-front shirts are a “wardrobe essential” is on crack.)

I have a few jackets, black and grey. There I did mix up the brands and styles a little, but the jackets are NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES buttoned. Can’t show any indications of that hourglass. It’s unprofessional.

Pearl stud earrings. Aggressively neutral makeup. Hair in a bun.

So dressing for a function where I can’t get away with wearing my “don’t notice me” uniform is enough to give me hives.

(Last night, I had started in a knee-length pencil skirt with a loose, high-necked, long-sleeved black top, black tights, and flat black knee-high boots. But I decided the pencil skirt was asking for trouble, or at least judgement, and switched to a slightly shorter – but still nearly knee-length – A-line. Mission to hide my body: successful.)

Why did I just drag you through this excessively detailed recitation of my wardrobe neuroses?

Because Democratic women are starting to declare for president and are taking office as new members of the 116th Congress. And we collectively learned nothing from 2016.

Nancy Pelosi’s goddamn pink dress got more press than the extraordinary fact that she’s STILL the only woman to EVER be Speaker of the House, that she led her party back to the majority after eight years out of power, and that she also regained the Speaker’s gavel, which is highly unusual.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got criticized for wearing a nice suit (and, apparently, for understanding the concept of outlet shopping).

People don’t like Frederica Wilson’s sparkly cowboy hats.

Bil O’Reilly got away with insulting Maxine Waters’s hair.

Kyrsten Sinema was criticized for looking TOO good at her swearing-in.

I could continue, and you can probably think of a bunch of examples yourself. Two words: “boxy pantsuits.”

Could we just not?

I mean, I had conniptions over dressing for an event that I knew was only going have about 150 attendees based on some catty comments made by a colleague several years ago. (And, come to think of it, why in the hell am I still letting her live rent-free in my head after all these years?)

I cannot even imagine what these women go through trying to seek and exercise power, focus on policy, and accomplish the important work of our democracy, all while under a microscope, constantly having to worry about being criticized for having a hair out of place, shamed for wearing a skirt that’s an inch too long (dowdy!) or too short (slut!), mocked for not hitting the “no makeup makeup” look perfectly 100% of the time.

Could we just not? No one can walk that line. NO ONE.

Photo by Adrienne Leonard on Unsplash

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

In the Deep Midwinter

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The Winter Solstice was a  few weeks ago and we’re already seeing the sun set later and rise a bit earlier.  But “true Winter” finally came to my Bit of Earth this week.

Genuinely cold weather, made even colder yet by strong winds, slipped down from the Northwest yesterday — here I am in the Potomac rivershed, breathing icy air from Northern Canada.  Even a quick run from the house to the car is now bone-chilling.  It’s terrible weather for those who must work outside and for homeless people.  (Please check the cold weather hotline for your area and enter it into your cell phone so that you’ll have it when needed.  In D.C., “[t]ransportation to [a] shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911.  When calling, please include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

Families seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night.  Families may also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  The Center is closed on Federal holidays.”  If you have the number in your cell, you can easily call when you find someone who needs help — or give the number to them.  Most shelters will also bring soup, blankets, gloves, etc. to someone who refuses to come to a shelter.  If, like me, you save scraps and knit caps all year while watching movies, you can hand them out immediately and help keep people warm.  We lose a LOT of heat from our heads, although give me gloves and socks any day.)

But for those of us fortunate enough to be able to stay inside, these days can be a blessing.  Yoga pants, a sweater or sweatshirt, fuzzy socks, and a mug of hot tea — it’s a good time to try dandelion, mugwort, ginger, or parsley root.  A chance to watch that clear Winter sunlight illuminate every surface (I always learn where I forgot to clean!).  To savor the snug feeling of listening to the wind wuther around the corners of the cottage while the cats refuse to let you get up; your lap is the best thing about you — besides the opposable thumbs that let you open cans of food.

And being safe inside while lamb stew bubbles in the crockpot or while lentil soup simmers on the stove makes Winter seem wonderful.

We’re due for snow this weekend — the first we’ve had all year.  On my list for tomorrow:  get my snow shovel out of shed and spread de-icer on steps.  I’ve already been to the grocery store and will park my car at the end of the driveway on Saturday when I get home from the monthly Dem breakfast.  I went to the library today, so there are several books to keep me busy and, of course, the seed catalogs have been piling up since even before Yule. (I’ve got another recipe — split pea and smoked sausage soup — just in case the snow lasts longer than expected.)

When Son was little and I was a teacher, snow days meant that we both got to stay home.  We usually played Calvinball Scrabble while a pot of soup or chili steamed on the stove.

One long Winter when Son was away at Princeton, an ice storm closed both the school where I worked and my law school.  It saved my life; those silent weeks when the electricity stayed on and my modem worked let me catch up on several assignments and my law review responsibilities.

When G/Son was little, his parents let him stay with me during a big snowstorm.  He brought an over-the-door basketball hoop with him and spent lots of time dunking a sponge-ball — and listening to me read The Secret Garden .  He beat me at Uno a lot, too.  We made snow ice cream, and hot chocolate, and green noodles — with pesto that Nonna had frozen over the Summer.  And we planned a beach vacation that we actually took a few years later.

Who knows what special things future frozen days will bring?

What are your snuggest Winter memories?

One of my favorite poems in the whole world  is Wordsworth’s ode to “an old age/serene and bright/and lovely as a Lapland night/[that] shall lead you to your grave.”  I quote it every morning in my daily meditations.  Of course, it’s a song of praise to a deep, cold, frozen Winter — the Winter of a Lapland night when the air is so icy that the stars and aurora borealis stand stark and clear in an ink-black sky.  I love the idea that, at the end of our lives, we may have the gift of seeing so clearly.  I love the idea of a life that has built such a warm shelter and that has woven such thick cloaks that we can dance outside, see the brilliant stars, and then, wander back inside and watch the flames grow low, trundle off to a bed weighted with comforters, and woven blankets, and heavy sheets — and dream deep dreams.

May it be so for you.

Words for Wednesday

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Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made place,
that is mine, it is so near to the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein
that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.
Wherefrom fall all architectures I am
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved
whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.
She it is Queen Under The Hill
whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words
that is a field folded.
It is only a dream of the grass blowing
east against the source of the sun
in an hour before the sun’s going down
whose secret we see in a children’s game
of ring a round of roses told.
Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,
that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.
********

Monday at the Movies

Did you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo?  I read it when it came out and, although I can’t claim that my home is as clutter-free and organized as Ms. Kondo’s (nor that I take everything out of my purse each night, thank it, put it in a box under the bed and then take it out again the next morning — OK some of it’s a bit extreme), her philosophy and techniques are balm for my Taurus Moon.

She now has a series on Netflix and, OK, I admit, I literally binged this one.

As Chas Clifton  has noted, Ms. Kondo is an animist.  Her show makes this even more clear.  She begins the segments by asking the homeowners if she can greet their home.  She then finds the right spot in the house and spends several minutes communicating with the house.  (I talk to my house every morning — am I the only Witch who does this?)  It’s amazing to watch “average” California residents either participating in this with her or, at least, sitting very respectfully while this happens.  She recommends, for example, that people take all of their books (yeah, don’t get between me and my books or my Hermes scarves, but, sure, we can talk about going through my linen closet) and put them in a pile so that they can decide which they want to keep (those that “spark joy,” which means, those that make their cells sing) and those they want to donate.  Once the books are in a pile, she recommends tapping them gently to wake them up.  I’ve seen Orion Foxwood recommend breathing on herbs and other spell ingredients in order to wake them up.  It’s magic.  When deciding to discard anything (and her show could do a better job of making clear that there are good ways to discard things, although a few people in the show take items to a charity, but, hey, your local library will take books!) Ms. Kondo recommends thanking the item and saying goodbye to it.  And, she does a lovely segment on clearing the air in a room:  you can use a tone, a scent, a candle, incense, etc.

This year is going to be a big purge year for me, even though I probably own less than most Americans (wait until you see how many clothes some of these people have!) and Marie Kondo is my inspiration.

The Magical Battle for America 1.6.19

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If you’ve read Dion Fortune’s  The Magical Battle of Britain  (and, if you haven’t, I encourage you to do so), you’ll note that, at about the two-year mark, the focus of her letters shifted.  In the early days, she was working with her readers to, for example, establish a secret temple beneath Glastonbury Tor and to visualize angels with fiery swords patrolling the coast of England.  As the war progressed, her focus shifted towards the world that should be built after the war.  (Part of Ms. Fortune’s genius was to understand, as many failed to do, that, after the war, the world would be vastly different from the world before the war.  The Battle of Britain wasn’t about winning the war so that everything could go back to the way that it was before the two great wars.)

We, too, have been engaged in a nearly-two-year-long struggle.  And, just as England was not out of danger when Ms. Fortune shifted her focus, we are not yet out of danger here.  Things may, indeed, get much worse before they get better.  That said, I do think it’s important for us to focus on the world that we want to build, post Trump.  We, no more than the British gentry or the farmers of the English commons, can’t ever go back to “the way things were.”

Byron Ballard  suggests that we each pick the two or three causes that matter most to us and focus on them.  Clearly, there are so many areas where change is needed that it would be easy to burn out working on all of them.  I encourage you to do some meditation, divination, and discussion with trusted friends in order to figure out where you want to focus your efforts.

The Democratic Congress has introduced HR1 2019 , which, inter alia, makes it easier to register to vote, fights voter suppression, mandates paper ballots, requires that big donors be disclosed, requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns, and requires a (long-needed!) code of ethics for the Supreme Court.  You could make this your cause, committing to write one letter a week, to make one phone call a day, to burn a candle devoted to passage (you can buy white candles in clear glass on the internet, print out the bill, or a picture that represents that bill, and glue that to the glass; then, burn with intention for a short time every day).

Congressman Don Beyer (fair disclosure:  he’s my Congressperson and I’ve volunteered to get him reelected) has introduced legislation  that, will, among other things:

allow voters to rank the candidates in order of preference, rather than simply voting for their top choice. Some version of this system is already used in many municipalities, and six states have adopted some kind of ranked-choice voting for congressional elections. If your first-choice candidate does not win, your second or third choice may. This spurs candidates to work to appeal to a broader swath of voters, which would calm polarization in many parts of the country.

You may want to focus on saving the environment, protecting wildlife, ensuring clean drinking water, financing green infrastructure, protecting the two-mile-square piece of wetland that is crucial to the health of your nearest river.  You may want to work for real, effective sex education, to promote a group that teaches at risk children to read, to fully fund your town’s public libraries.

You may want to work for programs that teach PTSD veterans to farm, for decriminalization of marijuana and release of prisoners who were convicted of marijuana possession, or for a fenced dog park in your neighborhood.  You may want increased funding for arts education, better access to services for those who are differently-abled, or legislation that enshrines LGBTQ rights.

Maybe you can get passionate about funding for juvenile justice programs, better protections for union workers, dental care for at-risk children, programs that bring animals into nursing homes, or a WPA-type campaign to decorate public buildings.

You may want to see an end to capitalism, or patriarchy, or industrialization.  You may be most concerned about privacy in the age of the internet.  Maybe you want to see a guaranteed annual income for everyone, a 70% tax rate on the richest .05%, or you may want grocery stores and restaurants to be required to donate or compost unsold food, rather than throwing it away.

The list could go on forever.

What I want to challenge each of you to do is to spend some time deciding where your heart lies.  Yes, of course, you will respond to threats to our democracy, and, sure, you’ll be happy to provide some support for causes other than the one or two that you choose.  But it’s important to know where you’ll devote most of your efforts.  What world do you want to see emerge when the smoke of the battlefield clears?

**************

Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work.  (No, really.  You really need to do this.)  Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position.  Maybe wrap up in a blanket or cloak and grasp an herb, stone, or talisman that matters to you.  Grow your roots, send them deep into the soil, let them intertwine and grow small hairs to attach to the mycelia in your own landbase.

Breathe.

Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase.  Does your landbase have anything to tell you today?  Notice a small detail that will call you back when this working is finished.

Ground and center.  Cast a circle.

Breathe.

As you move to our American plain on the astral plane, you can see again the safe hillock where you do your work.  You can see the five giant banners, shining in the sky: Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, the Salmon, and Lady Liberty.  Do they seem more defined since we began our work? Do they have anything special to tell you this week?

For a few moments, just sit on your hillock and allow yourself to become comfortable.  This place should be feeling very real to you by now; we’ve been working together to create it for months and months.  What’s become familiar to you?  A tuft of prairie grass?  Buffalo off in the distance?  The scent of sand carried on the wind?  You’ve been involved in a months-long magical working here, joined with magic workers from across the globe.  Feel your connection to this place on the astral plane. It is always here for you, always a source of strength.

As you sit in power, call to the land and commit to the cause that means the most to you.  Tell the sand, or clay, or hummus beneath your feet why this matters to you.  Make a commitment TO the land.  Ask the nearest river gods for support.  Call to the land wights, the spirit of the local forest, the deity associated with your cause or location and ask for their support.

As you look around you, you see all of the banners — Lady Liberty, Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, and the Salmon — waving in the late Winter sky.  Which of them do you feel called to enter?  What experience could you have there that will help you in your cause?  What offering will you be asked to leave?

You’ve been doing these workings for years and now you’re beginning to create your own workings focused on your own heart’s desire.

Breathe.

Slowly, come down from your hillock and begin to walk back to your own landbase.

Open your eyes.  Rub your arms and face.  Notice the detail that you selected to call yourself back.  Drink something, maybe steaming dandelion tea with honey or ice water with a squeeze of lime.  Have something to eat, maybe peanut butter on apple slices or spinach sautéed with onions and feta.  Maybe you can set up a small altar dedicated to the cause that matters to you.  (If so, please post a picture!!)  You may want to repeat this working several times this week.  You may want to journal about it.  Are you inspired to make any art? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.

Picture found here.

 

Resolutions Pot Pourri

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What are you cooking this weekend?  Many of us have New Year’s resolutions related to our health.  Weekends can be a good time to cook up a big batch of healthy food.  That way, you’ve got it on hand (in the freezer or the fridge) on those weeknights when you get home late, tired, hungry, and facing a bunch of chores.  I’m continuing to work through the recipes in Clean Soups:  Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality by Rebecca Katz .  This week, I’m trying her recipe for Kitchari Soup.  Ms. Katz explains:

Head to India and Pakistan, where they’ve been practicing Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000 years, for detoxing and improving memory.  Kitchari, which means “mixture,” is a thousand-year old staple, and its really quite simple, traditionally being made with basmati rice, mung beans, and ghee.  I’ve kicked it up quite a bit, adding onion, ginger, cauliflower, coriander, turmeric, and cumin.  The result is the spice mixture of a dal combined with kitchari’s texture.

I’m omitting the rice because I’m trying to cut out low-fiber carbs.  I’m going to add chopped up sweet potato, instead.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Please permit me to climb back up on one of my favorite soap boxes.  National politics are important and I certainly spent some time this week celebrating the Big Blue Wave that has washed over Washington, D.C., as Speaker Pelosi and a host of newly-elected Democrats (many of them women, and some of them also people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ people, etc.) were sworn into office.  If you worked to bring this about, please give yourself a pat on the back and take some time to simply enjoy what you achieved.  Whether you did magic, wrote postcards, canvassed, donated, registered voters, made phone calls, or simply showed up to vote — you helped save America.

But we can’t focus solely on national politics.  Hopefully, while you were in the voting booth you also voted in good people for local offices such as county or town council, governor, sheriff, the zoning board, etc.  The Blue Wave extended to those offices, as well.  As you turn your focus to how you’ll be involved in 2019 (an election year for some of us; my state will be electing delegates and senators to our state legislature and there are a number of county races, as well; the beginnings of the 2020 race for others), please consider how to get involved at the local level.

Here’s a list of simple things you can do to improve your local community.  A number of the items on the list relate to using public transportation whenever possible.  A few others include:

Speak at City Hall in support of something good for your community and city, rather than just going to oppose things.

Take every opportunity you can to participate in civic life. Linger in and enjoy good parks, places, and streets every day, not just during special events. Your very presence and engagement adds life, vitality, and safety to a place, and helps them be more enjoyable for everyone.

Tell your elected leaders that you insist on real action on homelessness, starting with actual homes and supportive services, whether you can see its effects in your neighborhood yet or not. Remember that this is about human values, not property values. Remind them that providing homes for the homeless actually saves us all public money.

Support local arts and culture with your feet and dollars every day, so you won’t have to fight to save them when they’re under threat of closure. Support local stores and services, especially those like bookstores and theaters that not only support the local economy more than chains, but also contribute to local culture and character.

Plant a tree in your front yard, and fight for street trees on your street, in your neighborhood, and across your city. There are literally dozens of ways they make life better in cities.

I’m definitely planning to speak in favor of measures I want, to support local culture, and to spend more time at my local parks, library, and historical society.  What will you do?  What other items would you add to the list?

Do your resolutions include spending more time reading real books and less time hitting refresh on the internet?  Mine do.  Had dinner this week with Mrs. Whatsit and came away, as I always do, with several titles to add to my list.  She recommended Dope Sick and several others.  I’m also adding Martin Shaw’s  new book, The Night Wages.

The Night Wages by Martin Shaw from Martin Shaw on Vimeo.

What’s on your list?  What have you recently enjoyed?

Picture found here.