We lose part of our minds up here in the U.P. It’s mostly the part that worries what the neighbors will think. For a long time, we had a totem pole, an actual totem modeled on those of a tribe in Oregon, which the prior owner culturally appropriated, not us, so I had only deep affection for the totem pole and no guilt. Though huge and thick and beautifully made, the winds off Lake Superior weathered it to rotten and one day in November twenty years ago, it fell over. It’s been traveling the dust to dust route ever since although remnants can still be seen. I wouldn’t disturb its resting place for the world. But we are building our own new things. Yesterday, we installed our new art, “Blue Birdhouse on Red Former Gate.”
I am enduring a fair amount of mockery about my poetry. Yesterday, I stopped on the way back from the beach to take this picture of one of our birdhouses. The moss or whatever it is growing on the ancient post seemed riveting to me at the time. “I feel a poem coming on,” my husband said, and then went on to rhapsodize, “Oh birdhouse, your yellowness, moss like jewels on your roof,” or something like that. I threatened to turn him into a haiku.
We had a serious discussion today about having Thanksgiving dinner in our garage. This would require moving or hiding an impossible number of non-Thanksgiving appropriate things – deflated soccer balls, at least a dozen pool noodles, a toboggan and three plastic sleds, a lawnmower, four pairs of ice skates, rivers of car wash, paste wax, insecticide, hoes, shovels, rakes, the hard top to my Thunderbird, and a giant needlepoint of an eagle holding arrows made by my mother. Maybe the pandemic will be a bad dream by then and I won’t have to worry about getting sick because my kids, bless their hearts, work in jobs where they come in contact with a ton o’ people every day. We’ll see.
In any way I can think of, I’m going to push, encourage, advocate for voting. Are people in your local jails being given the opportunity to register to vote? Are older adults living alone able to apply for and receive absentee ballots? Do the homeless people you see everyday know their votes are important? Are the 18-year old kids that you know registered? Seriously, it takes so little to discourage someone from voting. No ID, no information about how or where to register, hearing about someone else who was turned away from voting. We have to link arms with the folks who are new or scared or worried. This election is about the fate of America. Everyone’s voice must be heard.
Today, I asked myself this most serious question, “What would Nancy Pelosi do?” Because, you know, even a ‘seasoned’ person occasionally encounters situations where there seems to be no graceful resolution. Nancy seems to encounter plenty. We used to call this being between a rock and a hard place but I think that saying has been archived for researchers on the 70’s. Now we say this, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Today, I surrendered perfect for good. And the good was pretty good.