Thursday, January 19, 2017

Last Day...

All, I've seen photos of Klansmen in full, um, regalia, in Washington, DC today. It's yet another national embarrassment that this is happening on the last day of the administration of our first African-American president. I am so deeply, deeply ashamed.

My heart and head are so battered I barely have words. My prayers are that everyone who is traveling (either here, or away from here) is safe, and reaches their destination with a minimum of disruption. My prayers are that when my boys ask me why there are people in "costume" in DC right now, I can explain it to them without breaking their spirits.

On my walk this morning, I had a deep sense that tomorrow is actually the worst day in American History from my perspective and in my lifetime. Worse than 9/11. I know that's a provocative statement. Up until 2/1/2014, 9/11/01 was without question the worst day I experienced on earth. But what came from 9/11 was an overwhelming sense of solidarity; it was a day that all Americans could rally to, and say, no, NOT HERE, you cannot have another. Walking up Glebe Road, headed to my car on 9/11 after 3 hours of commuting out of the city, I could make eye contact with everyone and we felt together, despite not knowing each other, despite language barriers.

Tomorrow, I don't think I can make that same eye contact. I don't expect I will feel solidarity in the same way, since some of the people walking around me may want to deport my relatives and friends, may want to eviscerate the educational process for all students (especially my dearest children with special needs), may want to take away my rights. This is why it's worse. I am only one voice to fight for what I believe it right.

We're back to a nation divided. So fractured, I'm a little paralyzed as to where to start.

Be peaceful if you can be tomorrow, friends. We all need kindness, every day. That can be my first goal. It's a great cornerstone upon which to rebuild our national identity.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Post-Holiday Malaise

We all suffer from some kind of letdown after the holiday fanfare that seems to go on forever. I'm not different. I'm spending the weeks after the holidays preparing for the last ever Gonzo's Nose show, and I'm nostalgic but so far dry eyed.


Then...this came into my inbox:

Jean sent it to me, as we are all unearthing photos related to the band getting ready for the show. She said the caption in her photo album says "Connor's first Gonzo's Nose gig, 6/23/04"

Oh, man.

January makes us tentative now. We're never sure where our heads will be, if it will be extra hard between 2/1 and 2/9 or just normal hard.

This photo makes me cry and makes me so happy. I'm wearing a shirt my dad gave me that I think is still in my closet, and a smile that makes it all the way to my eyes. It's two months after Connor's diagnosis here, and he's out, and looks so healthy (thanks, steroids!) and he's LOOKING AT ME while I'm feeding him.

It's so real, and so normal, and I look happy. Because I was happy. Even though he'd just been told that he had no chance, and that we as parents had pretty much no course but to accept it, we look happy, and healthy, and normal. And Jean caught this because she always, always took photos at shows, and it wasn't restricted to the performers. She documented all of us, as we grew and changed. I was the first band person to become a parent. It's enthralling to see that despite all of what happened with Connor, I still was happy. Happy to be out, happy to share something so important to me with him even though he didn't understand it, happy to have those friends I accidentally came upon by calling a number in the back of a City Paper ad who are now my cornerstone friends.

This picture is going up at home, with his candleholder for the anniversary of his death and then soon after his birthday celebration.

Thanks, Jean, for sending me this important reminder.  Also, for his insanely adorable feet in this photo; I want to nibble those toes. Baby feet are the greatest gift.