Mother of roots, you have not seeded The tall ashes of loneliness For me. Therefore, Now I go.
The beginning of the poem, “Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium,” by James Wright. I’ll post the entire poem at the end of the post, if you’d like to read it as intended. In the meantime, I am using the phrase, “Mother of Roots!” as my new swear. You are most welcome to join me.
Holiday times – getting all of the things done all of the time for all of the people to feel all of the seasonal happy merry joy joy. I’m in full on donkey kong mode.
- Tree up – check
- Ornaments on – check
- Nutcrackers on window patrol – check
- Fairy lights up – check
- Wreaths out – check
- Gingerbread house finished – check
- Stocking stuffers lined up – check
- Gifts for the people – check
- Gifts for SonHerisme – check
- Seasonal shows watched (except the mistake) – partial check
- Cookies – looming (ingredients on hand)
- Teacher gifts – looming (supplies on hand)
- Note to Family about fancy Christmas Eve dinner plans – looming (lowering expectations)
- Outfits at the ready – gah! not even close
Since before SonHerisme I have tended to Christmas up the place, European Christmas Market style. Perhaps trying to capture my magical moments of childhood having spent 4 Christmases in Germany – THE most magical place to be at Christmas for a kid. Chocolates, gingerbread, hot spicy beverages, sloshity snow, and best of all, freedom of movement in and out of the places. I lived in Germany from ages 11-15 years old. I had my own transport pass and lived in the suburbs of a small town near a large city – all connected by public transportation. For a girl from the suburbs of a US midwestern city, this change in freedom of movement was truly life altering. In the US the only places I could reasonably travel to on my own were down the street to a friend’s house, the neighborhood school two blocks away, and the neighborhood swimming pool. Even the library was too far away on major roads for me to bike on my own. At that time, the area was considered desirable for it’s distance away from the things of living life. Anything outside of neighbor-school-pool, required a car (public transportation was an absolute abomination to even be thought about). Just as I hit middle school, when my independence was screaming to be let out, we moved to Germany. It was glorious for my adventuring spirit!
Our house in Germany was about one mile from a large river’s local ferry port. For a tiny bit of pocket change, I could ride my bike down to the river, ferry across, bike/walk up the hill on the other side, get an ice cream cone, and make the return trip in about an hour. This adventure usually had my little brother in tow – but he was a lot of fun so I did not mind at all. We could only afford the ferry and ice cream (or warm pastry in the winter!) if we hadn’t already spent all of our money at the candy shop in our town. As soon as my mother gave us money each week, my brother and I would plan out what sweets to spend it on. Our older sister, not so much as she was very responsible and a grown-up teenager type person who could not be bothered with the sillinesses of the childrens.
The candy shop in our town had walls of candy you could select and put into a paper bag. We always chose the chocolates with liqueur or toys inside. The only restrictions set by the shop were by our wallet limits. Occasionally the candy shop person would throw in an extra “children’s chocolate” for us because it was “healthy.”
During the Christmas Season, we ran rampant through the local markets, pockets burning with our money itching to be spent on some glorious treat. Inevitably an oversized warm ginger fragrant almond dressed baked good, a few crusty shelled hot chestnuts, and sugared nuts, would make it into our possession (and happy tummies). Small doses of spiced wine would make it in there as well. A zillion wooden toy things, straw ornaments with red ribbons, fairy lights, and street musicians were dazzling everywhere. I caught the Christmas ambience bug there and have yet to let it go.
As I was trimming the tree, MotherHerisme and I had the following exchange:
MotherHerisme: You really enjoy putting on the ornaments and all of the Christmas stuff, don't you? Me: I suppose I do. I really enjoy packing it all up and putting it all away at the end most of all. MotherHerisme: That is very sad and Christmas is supposed to be happy. Me: Okay. MotherHerisme: So, you're saying that if SonHerisme and I weren't here, you just wouldn't take out any of this stuff and decorate? Me: No, I would not. MotherHerisme: If it was just me here, would you decorate? Me: I am not sure. MotherHerisme: So you're saying that you do all of this just for SonHerisme? Me: Of course. MotherHerisme: Well, I guess you better really enjoy the next four years then. Me: Is something happening to SonHerisme in four years? MotherHerisme: I'm just saying you better enjoy it now because it's over in four years. Me: Do you think that SonHerisme will be dead in four years? What are you talking about? MotherHerisme: You have four years left for Christmas, that's all I'm saying. Me: Okay.
Pretty, pretty Christmas on the outside. Inside is a different story.
SonHerisme loves all of the things and the doing of the things. I am trying, and have always been trying, to give him unconditional love, connection, warmth, comfort and delicious memories to carry on for himself or switch up if he has his own partner and children.
On today’s docket: SonHerisme is home with a fever and stuffy nose (not COVID), so cornstarch ornaments and gluten free gingerbread are listed (along with laundry, cooking regular nourishment, and cleaning bc of the stuffy nose tummy troubles).
Life, it is a happenin’
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps Our local Board of Education voted to remove COVID vaccine proof or testing requirements for student participation in athletics. Locally, our hospitals are full and our infection spread is above 9%. While I understand some logic behind removing the discrepancy of who should be tested, I disagree with removing the procedures entirely.
EVERYONE should be submitting proof of vaccination to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE should be tested regularly to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE (except the tiniest humans) should be masking in collective, group or indoor settings. It is the only way to determine where and how the virus is mutating, spreading, and impacting our communities. We have plentiful resources on this Earth. We are continuing to choose the path of unpredictable long-term illness repercussions/mutations and global impact – again.
The quickest way to identify community issues is to look in the schools. Testing everyone every week. It is not a perfect solution, but it is a better step in identifying trends and hotspots, not to mention avoiding singling out and potentially shaming kids who have zero say in the decision to vaccinate. Mondays: Staff, K and younger. Tuesdays: Grades 1,2,3. Wednesdays: Grades 4,5,6. Thursdays: Grades 7,8,9. Fridays: Grades 10,11, 12. Task Universities with a similar schedule for their populations. We know that asymptomatic spread is an issue. We know that vaccinated spread is an issue. We know that the health repercussions for the unvaccinated are significantly worse than vaccinated. We also know that we have a certain percentage of people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons. Aren’t we worth it? Aren’t our kids worth it? Aren’t our communities worth it? What in the sam hill mother of roots are we doing to our kids?
It just makes sense. To me. To this truly sideliner non-medical, non-public health professional. Test everyone on the regular. Secure healthcare(which includes food/water/clothing). Secure housing. Secure equitable education. I have spoken. This is the way. Also, yes, I have written to the BOE.
Do you know why I chose a Cicero quote for the post image? Known as calm, intelligent, wise, and a great orator, Cicero also held multiple government positions steadfastly holding on to the idea that level heads would prevail, as the republic fell around him. *sigh* MOTHER OF ROOTS or perhaps the swear should be, “Dark Cypresses!”
Goodbye to The Poetry of Calcium (by James Wright) Dark cypresses - The world is uneasily happy: It will all be forgotten. - Theodor Storm Mother of roots, you have not seeded The tall ashes of lonliness For me. Therefore, Now I go. If I knew the name, Your name, all trellises of vineyard and old fire Would quicken to shake terribly my Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon In weeds once more, Casual, daydreaming you might not strike Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys, Hallower of scratching hands, The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep. Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man, Mother of roots or father of diamonds, Look: I am nothing. I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.