Photo: P. Tonery 2020: Red-Headed Woodpecker.
It's hard to believe that we're nearly mid-month of the first month in the New Year. I have been trying to be "intentional" in everything I do this year. I have been reading for my own pleasure 30-45 minutes a day. Love the big print books I rented from the Brockport Seymour library. Currently reading three women (nonfiction) by Lisa Taddeo. At first, I wondered what I was getting myself into by selecting this book, without really knowing what it's about. Endorsement from Elizabeth Gilbert is why I picked it up. The library visit is not the luxurious browse. It's find what you need or want, and move on. I wanted to see if the book club that I had attended twice in two years was having its meeting online. No longer associated with the Brockport Seymour library, but still led by a woman named Dryad or Driad, who strangely didn't like me, because she knew I was a writer and teacher. I think she was worried that I would take her authority. Hardly my intention, I just wanted to read a few books and listen to the discussion. I wasn't successful sticking with it because my teaching at The College at Brockport occurred during the hour of the Book Club's meetings. Too bad, because I really liked the people, including Dryad the leader, who attended the club. During the shelter in place, The Book Club moved to The Sweden Senior Center; yet, the Seymour library still reserves the books for the members. I was hoping that they were participating via zoom meeting and I could attend again. A librarian named Stephanie helped me. She phoned the Book Club leader. I guess when Stephanie revealed my name, the Book Club leader bristled and said, "Tell her that the membership is closed." So I am out of luck. I have been banned from a Book Club. I am going to read the book slotted for their next meeting: The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards. So, I'm hoping I'll find another Book Club for this year.
I have been attending readings, far and near, since the start of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the featured readers and the open mics. Zoom has made this possible. I realize how many prefer in person readings, but this Zoom platform has made opportunities for so many who wouldn't be able to attend in person. I hope, after the pandemic lifts, that this platform will remain, giving all interested the opportunity to attend readings, concerts, lectures, and so on.
During the next 3 weeks, I will continue to work on writing and art projects and prepare for the upcoming semester, which starts on 2/1/2021. I am feeling healthy. Trying to get back to reduced sugar intake. I had quite a bit over the holidays . . . Just because. Need to take those long walks, again.
My eyes are spinning in oil. I have been reading newspapers online, cover to cover. Watching the events on January 6th horrified me and my family. We sat transfixed for hours, trying to make sense of what what happening in the Capitol. It was so scary. I am beseeching our leaders to do everything necessary to put an end to the Trump chaos. The leaders who supported this chaos should be dismissed from their positions. They are a danger to us all. It's time to send a clear message to these people who have blindly put their faith in believing the lies. I believe the next four years will be a time of reconstruction of our values and moral integrity. We will make it so. I am fed up with racism, prejudice, bias, greed, deceit. It has to stop. I do believe, people to people, we can making a difference.
Do not hide from this challenge. Do not depend on someone else to bring peace and understanding to our communities across the United States. Have courage to be kind and considerate of everyone. Listen and speak with good intention.