Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Awfulness and the Goodness

I thought I'd begin with this photo of one of our Christmas cacti, blooming it's lovely little heart out at the moment. It makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen. Goodness.

Now. What a week. I try to keep this blog space politically neutral, but I'm sure my personal views come through from time to time and I don't apologize. I am who I am, and I found myself in a nasty Facebook squabble early in the week, when a woman I have enjoyed online (she makes very charming quilts) made some ugly and completely untruthful remarks about the Women's Marches. It shook me to see, firsthand, the lies and hatefulness that is out there. My solution was to discontinue that Facebook relationship, but it nags at me that simply turning away from hatred is no solution at all. Awful.

It felt good to join a rally in downtown Portland on Friday in opposition to the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, that was organized by our Oregon Senator Jeff Merkely. One of the rally speakers was Eleanore Bailey, the daughter of my old High School/College friend Michael. Eleanore, who was born with Down Syndrome, is a great advocate for students with disabilities and spoke about her own great education through the Portland Public Schools and the right of all students to that same opportunity.

Eleanore and Michael. Goodness!

It has been a good week to retreat to the studio. I finished the piece to submit for the Dinner@8 show. I'm looking forward to being able to share it after the jurying process. Then I started working on a challenge I set for myself to further explore the idea of 3-dimensional fiber art. I will post more about this soon, but here's a taste—

On Saturday Ray and I decided we needed a good walk, so we headed to downtown Beaverton, with the goal of finding the last of three public trashcans that are decorated with my artwork. I had found two, but only knew the approximate location of the third.

Success! It was in the same little triangle park that another of mine is in, just less visible from the street.

The backdrop of all of the week was, of course, the actions of the president, keeping us all on edge. It descended into true awfulness Saturday afternoon as we sat, watching our granddaughter's swim meet and simultaneously, the president's immigration ban taking effect in Facebook post after Facebook post on our phones. Horrifying. And it continues, worse and worse... By last night I felt so dismayed and discouraged that it was hard to imagine what the future would hold. I felt engulfed in the awful. Then I was reminded of goodness—

A friend of my daughter and son-in-law, an immigrant who, like my son-in-law, is studying to become a licensed teacher, lost nearly everything in a fire last month. Last night my daughter posted a Go Fund Me request for modest donations to help him begin to replace things like his computer, basic furnishings, clothing... I reposted it, and within minutes donations began to pour in from our friends, who had never met him, but saw a need and responded. I love you all for not only helping a deserving young man, but for contributing to goodness in this sometimes awful world.

Goodness/Awfulness. Where is the balance today? I'm not keeping score, and one doesn't justify or nullify the other, but we need to keep the goodness going. It's the only thing that can save us—our sanity, our faith in humanity, our souls.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Such a painful, frightening time.

  2. I'm glad to have helped. I think I'm going to have to write "Good Things" in a list in my cubicle at work. I find that I am on edge nearly all the time now. My job has been stressful lately, with little to show for it, then I have to give up NPR in the car as I refuse to hear The Orange Menace's name or hear his voice. One makes me too angry, the other makes me want to throw up. It's not a good place to be. So I'm glad your daughter's friend will get some help. We all need more positives.

    1. Thanks so much for your donation. It was so amazing to see how quickly that goal was met. He is very grateful, upbeat and determined.

  3. I think we have all experienced others who are politically on opposite pages. I thought I knew someone and was so shocked when the news came on TV and the person mouthed off about it. People are hurting and I think there will be rough days ahead. I try and keep to myself over religion and politics. Safer that way. Chris

  4. yep, thank you for sharing, same worries here.

  5. We are blocking Facebook "friends". Marchers at the airports this weekend were "paid" also according to our former friends.
    Fake news is all they have. I am considering not returning to work this Spring as I do not want to listen to the rants and brags of co-workers who have no concept of the Constitution. I am a second generation "immigrant". My grandparents would have been shouted at and told to "go back where you came from". It hurts.

  6. Don't let the haters get you down, we all have to keep going and fight the madness. You've got a great senator in your state fighting the good fight and keeping us inspired. RESIST

  7. Anonymous6:53 PM

    During times like these its a great help to read a sane and thoughtful blog like yours. Julie

  8. I am currently in a rehab center after breaking my ankle. Nearly all of my kind and helpful caregivers are immigrants (some more recent than others). There are women from Mexico, the Philipines, Iran, Syria, Russia, and more. I really appreciate them. What hurts the most about the current situation is the attitude of those who consider themselves the winners, but who still need to demean the other side. A childish attitude. not an adult attitude. Dot

  9. Please hang in there and know that elsewhere in the world we are thinking of you and grateful for your humanity.

    Christine in Scotland

  10. Just Thank You. Finding a balance between goodness and not goodness is easy when it is your mindset.