If you peeked around my spot of Earth you would see signs of Christmas decorations here and there. Please do not be a judgy mcjudgerson. I feel the need to open the season a bit more gently. If you are passing by, please visit the Little Free Library at the end of my driveway 🙂
No big gifts planned for this year. Moving a bit gently there as well. Exceptionish will be SonHerisme hopped up on getting a PS5 or new drum kit. The drum kit seems more reasonable to me. Still, it is all SO MUCH. We’ll be making the shed into a music studio over the next two years. Year one will be bringing the shed back to life (new floors/windows, insulation, run electricity, replace roof). Year two will be outfitting the insides as resources permit. He is in it for the long haul. Good luck us.
For the past few decades I have assumed the role of making the merry for all of the people by going big with stuffed stockings/pillowcases/bags and whatnot. Themed and coordinated for each family with splashes of individual nods. I have been cooking all of the things for all of the meals. Carefully choreographing the movements from freezers, to outside coolers, to refrigerators, to sometimes outdoor grill, to oven and stovetops, to serving dishes, to curated tables, to leftover containers, and the inevitable, “dang, I forgot that was in there ewww,” dump to the trash. Since COVID I keep saying that I want to pull back. People of the internets, this habit is HARD to break. The guilt over not making the merry for the humans (and puppies!) is heavy. I’m not budgetless obvs, but I have an (at times) unfortunately creative mind, and a sewing machine, and an oven, and a glue gun, and am intimately familiar with the art of repurposing the things. Which all points to that inevitable push for merry making… *resist the urge, sweet momma, RESIST* We can do the hard things of saying, “no thank you.” Right? Can we? I mean, I can, right? doubt it
Update on evaluating my cell service carrier AT&T: they are often sketch. They oppose net neutrality, which means they advocate for the removal of a free and open internet. They funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Drump attorney, Cohen, which appeared to be payment for in kind Drump regime favors to fix their antitrust issues. On the other hand their service range is exceptional for me and this year Ethisphere rates AT&T as one of the world’s most ethical companies for the third consecutive year (I call bullshit). From Ethisphere:
Methodology & Scoring Grounded in Ethisphere’s proprietary Ethics Quotient®, the World’s Most Ethical Companies assessment process includes more than 200 questions on culture, environmental and social practices, ethics and compliance activities, governance, diversity, and initiatives to support a strong value chain. The process serves as an operating framework to capture and codify the leading practices of organizations across industries and around the globe. Honorees The full list of the 2022 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at: https://worldsmostethicalcompanies.com/honorees.
(laughing internally bc that list has to be some kind of fuckery) Gird yourself, AT&T – letter writing forthcoming. If you are attached to billionaires, I suggest you are not ethical.
This November, I am attempting to tend to the mundane. Writing the letters which need writing. Ironing and sorting the things which need sorting. Reading the stories which need heard – including the hard ones, especially the harder ones. Deep yard cleanup (leaves intact, protecting the future bugs, birds, bees and general wildlifing). Processes begun and contracts signed for MotherHerisme’s apartment on the ground floor. SonHerisme’s room is undergoing transformation into high school teen aesthetic. I am boxing up what remains of my children’s book collection for storage – I think. I don’t know. It is mostly just fairy tales, pop ups and poetry at this point. The cycle in my brain is that of letting go of a life which doesn’t exist in order to make room for the one that does exist. I suppose if I box them all up and need them back, I can reverso that processo. It is hard to let of go of wishes and dreams, for sure. Although sometimes joy is hard to witness as well because there is always the worry of what comes after the joy. At least for the people who have brains swishy walking the spiraled tendrils like mine.
This past week we received the news that a party claiming to be political, but is in truth authoritarian with christo-fascist agendas marketed as populism, has been voted into being the majority in the House of Congress. Yes, I understand that many of us are so afraid that someone from the unworthy undesirables might receive appropriate health treatment or children might receive nourishment at school through tax money, that we would rather have women, immigrants, children, non-white skinned, and LGTBQ humans denied basic rights to be considered as fully human. Spooooooky basic humane care is so unpalatable that you’d rather see everyone (including yourselves) suffer under arcane inhumane rules which essentially eliminate our democracy. One group fomented deadly insurrection of democracy, the other one wants to provide universal health care. I truly *sigh* do not see this as political process in democracy. Politics are discourse over how much and where allocations land, not IF there should be any societal responsibilities beyond policing through a lens, filtered under the guise of divinity, of abject inhumane authority. I am angry/disappointed/grieved that enough of us feel voting against humanity is appropriate at all. I am sorry for all of us.
Upcoming generations will correct this course out of necessity. Brutality cannot enjoy its gleeful covert blanket of hubris as it has since the beginning of time. Facts move too quickly now. GenX through GenZ have ready access to (and ability to identify) accurate information as well as the advantage of being connected in broader communities. Millenials through GenZ have the population numbers to outweigh any outlier nonsense. It is only a matter of time for the collective leadership to be more centrist by design as well as more humane. *fingers crossed* For the least amount of increasing the legacy of damage requiring following generations to clean up.
Iran, all Persians, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Poland, Brittney Griner, Florida, Texas, Indigenous peoples, all of the peoples everywhere, are worthy of humane treatment, dignity in grief and suffering, as well as hope for freedom from suffering. We love the world as it presents itself in all forms, as it is, but maybe we are also tasked with working on nudging the world in a humane direction to be what it ought to be – reciprocally beneficial overall as it can, when it can, where it can be.
Tending to the mundane seems critical as grounding. Voting. Amplifying and participating in messages of truth and humane actions. Community and self care in whatever form that takes. Community care this week involves baking cookies for a neighbor who missed out on holiday treats because of multiple food allergies. I’ll make extras to drop off for the High School staff next week in case any of them cannot enjoy wheat/dairy/eggs etc.
As far as self care, I have concluded this exercise: a few months ago I wondered why I am shaving my underarms. Is it self care? Do I care? I am sure no one else cares because a. they never see my underarms, even in the pool because my swimsuit consists of swimshorts, sturdy bra, swimshirt and 2. I have reached an invisible age where I understand that no one is looking at anyone else unless they are a striking or known human. I am not striking, and people who know me absolutely do not care about any of my hair. Unless you are MotherHerisme or FatherHerisme who feel uniquely obliged to comment on appearances of each of their family members at all times especially when it is, “I’m only trying to help,” negative comment. As a full grown adult, this is a blip on my interactions these days, but devastating when I was younger. I do correct them when they comment on any of the grandchildren. “A bit less of the meal portions and a bit more exercise would help with the way those pants fit,” for example. I am sure that you know from your various family members how this trope-as-reality goes. Zero comments on children’s bodies PLEASE and thank you.
Anywho, I let the underarm hair grow for a while – a wispy blonde tuft. I will say that I think it helped with my *ahem* natural fragrance poking out from beneath deodorant. Once it became a texturey feel nuisance, I began to question if I should keep it and get used to it, or let it go. Letting it go in favor of not thinking about hair just being there has won. Ingrained shame as habit, I suppose.
Another mundane annoyance has been my battle with poison ivy this month. I am allergic because OF COURSE I am. Tiny rash to huge rash to spreading rash to blisters to hives to residual scaly itches all over the everywheres. Super reminder of being a human. I made the mistake of wearing a sweater I knew had been through poison ivy. Classic mushy brained me. Should I visit my GP? Possibly. Although at the moment, I’m sure she is overwhelmed by our societal determination to perpetuate serious viral infections. I do not want to add more to her workload when I know how to use fels naptha, add more antihistamines (oral and topical) along with topical steroids and patience. Meh – it is what it is.
Personal trials of the mundane=accomplished. Achievement unlocked. I can level up to whatever mundane thing is next. It’s probably something to do with laundry or meals or shaving away the subversive shame of the ladies. All hail the mundane because it sure as hell beats the gory days of terror and chaos!
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps more of the mundane: I iron cloth napkins every week as a meditation. It is my mundane tending of the things of the indoor garden.
pps Sending this out to the universe, since it is highly unlikely it applies to you: If you are someone who votes with and/or voices anti-humane rhetoric, please consider the black pit depths of hypocrisy you represent as you offer performative sympathies when the very things you stand for/with and amplify are directly correlated to the harm you claim to feel sad about. Look inward, I implore you. It will be shocking and painful, but so worth it for yourself and all of humanity. Thank you. As a former lovely coworker used to say, “Ain’t none of us getting out of this alive.” Please do try to find your flawed soul (just as all of ours are) and use your position and legacy to amplify making a positive difference in this world. Step outside with the intention of causing less harm. Thank you.
Also… and… in addition… thank you for reading/listening and being on this journey and holding space for all of this with me. I appreciate you.
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