Sorry I Haven’t Written

Goodness. It’s been almost three months since I wrote a post for the blog. It’s been almost as long since I visited other blogs regularly. Honestly, I’ve really had only the energy to go on Twitter once in a while. I’ve gardened a bit, read a lot of fiction, followed as much news as I can bear, and just generally tried to hang on in the face of hovering dread about whether the guardrails of government can stand up to the reckless assault of a monster truck without brakes. It is emotionally exhausting.

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Sage–I picked a few leaves. There will be plenty of uses for this in fall cooking.

I know quite a few of you are in the same place. Perhaps we can buck each other up periodically, exchange strategies for coping, and call each other to action when necessary. I don’t know.

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Neeps! I am so tempted to boil and mash them, but they will probably be roasted…

But here’s what I’m going to try to do. I am going to exercise more and be out in nature more. Those endorphins can work magic. I am going to see friends more often rather than holing up. I am going to pay more attention to my spiritual life because being centered in a crisis cannot be bad. I am going to stay abreast not just of the outrage of the moment, but the news that gets lost in the magnified kerfuffle surrounding each breach of boundaries.

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Yup, that looks like a fall garden…

It is truly fall. I have a lot of clean up to do in the garden, but yesterday I took in more than I expected to find there–turnips, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, and some sage leaves.

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Now these I did not expect, but peppers do traditionally bear until frost.

My gorgeous zinnias are at the end of their time and have no doubt seeded prolifically, but I will not be allowing them to take over next year. I have two rows of carrots coming up, some scallions, and a few radishes and turnips. They will take me deeper into fall.

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Zinnias and Jerusalem artichokes. I didn’t have the heart to take all of them out since there were butterflies and bees on them still…

I am not sure what the winter will bring. I do know that we need to lean in to each other, for strength, for purpose, to know we aren’t alone.

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53 Responses to Sorry I Haven’t Written

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    I’ve missed you! I was glad to see a post in my reader. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to know you’re still about, Lisa! The sage is great for turkey stuffing – even if you don’t have a turkey at Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Robin says:

    It’s great to see you again. I’ve missed you. That’s a lovely little haul you got from your garden. 🙂
    I’ve been working on balance, if it can be called that. Spending more time doing things that matter and doing things that keep me healthy (including some of that spiritual stuff you mentioned) while keeping a weather eye on the storm in Washington and our local politics so that I can make the calls or write the emails as needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Nice to see a post from you, Lisa. Hope you had a good summer, your produce looks good!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mary Tang says:

    good to hear from you and see those goodies from the garden. Like you I am staying connected with friends especially since I have no family to speak of. But I have shut myself off from the news. Friends still say ‘have you heard..’ though by now they know that the answer is ‘no’. It works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The madness in the world is incredibly draining to witness and it’s so frustrating to think that we are so powerless. I am finding that the answer is to do what I can and not to focus (although to be aware of) the big political stuff. What you can do is plant and grow and be kind to people and those things DO make a difference in the world. I notice on Twitter the appeals to call your senator when some big vote is coming up and I think that talking to our elected representatives is increasingly important at the moment.
    I’ve also been seeking out inspiration and good news. I’ve been delighted, for example. to see the growth of the ‘Run for Something’ campaign in the US getting young people into politics at the most practical levels.
    It’s very important, though, to remember that you can’t do any good if you don’t take care of yourself, so your focus on exercise and friendship to nurture you physically and mentally is key to you making a difference in the world. Read some of the lovely blogs that you follow and see how much kindness there is in the world and then make some more of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sylvie G says:

    Good to have you back! I am filtering news, now, there is only so much stupidity and bad news I can process in a day. Exercise works wonder for me. In fact I am kind of addicted and become grumpy when I do not get enough 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have been pleased to notice you returning, Lisa, and am sorry to read what has kept you preoccupied. May something change before too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. KerryCan says:

    Hi, Lisa–it’s good to have you back here! I’ve been a pretty sporadic blogger, too, for reasons involving upheavals in the family, and I do also understand how unnerving our larger world is these days. It must be even harder to ignore when you’re so close to DC. I’m glad you have had your gardening as a source of comfort and I hope you find more comfort from being back here among friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Laurie Graves says:

    Lisa, I’m with you all the way. What a year it has been! And I agree with Jan from the Snail of Happiness. We must take care of ourselves before we can do any good in the larger sense. All summer, my husband and I would sit on the patio in the evening, have a drink, watch the birds, listen to alternative rock. No NewsHour for us. We listened to NPR, so we knew what was going on. But we needed to refresh ourselves. On a less cheery note…what’s happening in this country has been brewing for quite a while. The trick is how to change the horrid course this country is on. Anyway…Glad you are back to posting. I had been thinking about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Laurie. Yes, it’s been building since the “Gingrich revolution” started to take down the discourse. I wish we’d seen it sooner and fought it. It’s going to take a whole lot of work to get us on track and some good leaders–and I don’t see any right now…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Yes, sigh. I think you could even go back to Reagan, that genial man who made government the enemy and who did his part, with his false story of a cheating welfare queen, to promote racism. As I mentioned, this has been brewing for sometime.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I recently posted for the first time in two months so I know how easy it is for the time to just speed on past. I think it must be so hard for you guys. The ‘news’ just keeps on rolling and focused on tweets while more and more perfidious plans are quietly ensuring the US belongs to the rich corporations and the slime keeps coming up out of the dark places while democracy and being ‘the greatest country in the world’ is just something you all talk about. It has to wear you down. I feel such concern for my American friends in the face of the endless onslaught and the obvious disinclination or inability to change the incumbent. But as so many others have said, looking after yourself and those around you, acting positively where you can and keeping an eye and an ear open for healthy interactions and outcomes is the only sane way to get through this. It will pass. Everything always does, it’s a fact of life. I feel the young people are rallying and they carry the future. Here we have just changed the government after a real cliffhanger election. To my surprise and delight we have changed the power base and now have a 37 year old woman as our PM. She is a team player, a clear thinker, educated, open and honest and positive. God knows what three years as PM will do to her, but it’s a good start!

    Like

  12. jennypellett says:

    Lovely to see you back in my reader. It’s always a treat to see what you’ve been growing. I’m concentrating more on gardening of late and find it really does leave one with a feel good factor. I’m sorry that you are feeling so desperate about your country’s predicament. From our point of view here, it really is unbelievable and we watch the news in amazement that this was allowed to happen. Mind you, we have our own domestic problem in the form of an ineffectual leader dealing with a momentous decision. I have to watch the news, but I’m selective about what I believe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Thanks, Jenny. Your PM looks like a genius in comparison (as do a few former presidents I thought were dolts). I’m careful about news, trying not to have as large a diet of it as I previously had. But yes, the garden is a balm and I’m glad you’re enjoying doing it as well.

      Like

  13. LB says:

    Lisa, your post very much resonated with me, and I appreciate these words: that we try to “hang on in the face of hovering dread about whether the guardrails of government can stand up to the reckless assault of a monster truck without brakes”.
    It IS emotionally exhausting!
    Thank you for verbalizing what so many of us are feeling

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m pretty warn out myself, Lisa. October has been a dreary month. Here it has also been about wildfires and toxic air quality and the loss of a colleague.

    It must be awful working for State, wondering if we’ll get a budget passed, etc., etc. Volunteering is good for the soul. So is time in nature, creativity, and time with friends. I also recommend laughing. I know that sounds funny, but we will stream a comedian on Netflix or Hulu or go see a funny movie. It’s a good break from reality. Just don’t watch a comedian who focuses on politics. As much as I adore Stephen Colbert, I need a break from his 45 impressions. Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      My favorite comedian to stream is Billy Connolly, but as he isn’t doing a lot anymore, I will need to seek out some new ones for a belly laugh. I do watch Colbert, simply because he makes me feel less crazy. Otherwise, well, life goes on for now…

      Like

  15. Brenda says:

    Welcome back! What a difficult, stressful time this is. I don’t have any advice but to keep on going. It has helped me some to keep things in historical perspective. We have been watching the PBS Vietnam series and it’s a valuable reminder of the rampant racism, hatred, and violence that we were mired in the 60s. And I had forgotten that the Nixon campaign conspired with the South Vietnamese to scuttle the peace talks–which likely won him the election. Nothing is new–we humans cannot seem to escape the lust for power and accumulation of things. I guess that’s not particularly comforting except that we have the personal power to go through our lives living them as well and with as much kindness as possible to make a difference in our small spheres. Although it feels as if this is the lowest point in our history, we have been through some terrifically ugly periods before, but didn’t have the relentless, inescapable bombardment of news.
    On a brighter note, do you have any recommendations for good books after a summer of reading?

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Oooh, books. I recommend Holding, by Graham Norton; News of the World by Paulette Jiles; and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Toles, all unreservedly. With some reserve, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce; This must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell; and A House Among the Trees, by Julia Glass. Also, if you like mysteries, there is a whole series by PJ Tracy that starts with a book called Monkeywrench and ends with the newest, Nothing Stays Buried. Good characterization and back stories, some comedy and a lot of computer geek-y stuff that’s fun (and a bit scary). I also just started On Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, and I’m enjoying it very much so far. That should hold you a few weeks–especially if you take on the Monkeywrench series! Enjoy! And thanks for asking. I should do a blog on my summer of escapism…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brenda says:

        I loved News of the World, couldn’t get traction with A Gentleman in Moscow, and have Manhattan Beach on my list. I’m not a big fan of mysteries, but I’ll look into the others. I’m always on the lookout for good books.

        Like

      • arlingwoman says:

        The ones I recommended with reservations I felt dragged or had some flaws, but those might not bother someone else, since reading is so personal. The Glass was simply not up to her usual, but on the other hand, I may simply not have related as well to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brenda says:

        I always hesitate to recommend books and movies because tastes are so personal. And sometimes I just need to be reading a book at the right time. That was the case with A Gentleman in Moscow. I think I would like it, but wasn’t in the mood for it when I picked it up. Here are some books I enjoyed this summer: The Practice House by Laura McNeal, A Midwive’s Tale by Laura Thatcher Ulrich, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks, The Strays by Emily Bitto, The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers, The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie, and The Time in Between by Maria Duenas (I loved the series on Netflix and saw it before I read the book). I just read My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent because of all the hype about it. I had mixed feelings.

        Like

      • arlingwoman says:

        I will look some of these up. I am in the market for books now (after I finish Manhattan Beach, but sometimes I have more than one going–reference your Gentleman in Moscow comment). I loved the Portable Veblen and the idea of the squirrel giving her advice. Yes, books are personal–it’s what you bring to it and how you interact with it that makes it, which is why I recommended the ones I wasn’t so enthusiastic about because someone else might find them different that I did. Of course, if I thought they were bad, I wouldn’t have recommended them…

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Brenda says:

    Also, I forgot to say–if you are looking for a good comedic take on the current political situation, Samantha Bee’s show Full Frontal is brilliant. John Oliver, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. All things will pass – even if it seems to take forever. Keep positive and keep taking nature walks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well, girlfriend – it’s about time you wrote! I missed you.
    Thanks for explaining what you’ve been going through. And I applaud your intentions to live a healthier, more peaceful life. I hear you. I, who used to be one of the senior people in television journalism not only in Canada, but internationally, now try my best to watch little of it, especially late at night. Yikes. I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m in self-preservation mode right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Robbie says:

    What a nice post:-) I”ve been feeling the same way and not been blogging or visiting on line as much. I decided to turn off the news and read it on my computer or phone briefly so not to spend too much time with it— for it is discouraging these days. I ‘ve been more outside and not spending much at the computer or tuned into the world. EXCEPT to my community where I can make a difference. I’ve been involved with working on projects in the community to help and it really lifts your spirit:-) Socializing with friends, you are so right is one of the best mood lifters!
    I enjoyed your pictures and how I can relate to the youthful 70’s, I hope I got that right??? How far we have come! I sometimes look back and think, well, the world had problems but we survived:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      That picture is of a friend I’ve had since kindergarten with her two college buddies. She’s the one in the middle. And it’s interesting how I’d had these pictures over the summer of people leaning in to each other. The top right is me with a friend from junior high who now lives in Peoria! I’ve often thought you two should meet. Yup you got the dates right. I graduated HS in 1975, so that picture from college would have been 78 or 79. Blast from the past, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Robbie says:

        It looked familiar to me so I was not too far off:-) I recognized our signature 70’s look! I recognized our clothing. I get a kick out of the kids today wearing our old clothes. Peasant shirts-LOL… we own that one!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Robbie says:

    I graduated…shh….hush, don’t tell anyone…1976! Is that possible:-) It seems like yesterday-LOL

    Like

  21. Maria says:

    All of it looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

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