Writing in a Time of Peril: 7.27.2020

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 4.06 million US cases and 144,552 deaths as of 12:30 pm on July 24.– From Johns 

Hopkins daily update.

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 4.26 million US cases and 147,103 deaths as of 1:00 pm on July 27. – From Johns 

Hopkins daily update.

Love is the Substance of Justice

I weep as I watch a horse­-drawn caisson carry Congressman John R. Lewis’ remains across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama yesterday. Today I cry and swell with pride as a military honor guard delivered his remains to U.S. Airforce transportation to Washington, D.C. His procession traveled by roadway past The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument and The Martin Luther King Memorial. I wept again as a jazz musician played “Amazing Grace” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” on a harmonica at Black Lives Matter Plaza, The Department of Justice, The National Council of Negro Women. The procession continued to The National American Museum of History and Culture and finally to lie and state in the rotunda if the U. S. Capitol where Wintley Phipps also performed “Amazing Grace.” 

While I watched and listened, I remembered.  

“Gulfside”, and excerpt from: The Salt Box House on Bayou Black, a Memoir

–Andrea Canaan

The summer before my twelfth birthday, my best friends and I gathered at our church, Mt. Zion Methodist Church, in uptown New Orleans. We were on our way to a Methodist church retreat, Gulfside, in Waveland, Mississippi on the Gulf Coast. Our Sunday school teachers prepared us for the religious commitment service that would happen at the end of the retreat. Yvette, Lucia Claire, Charliette, and I were nervous about becoming committed Christians. We talked and worried about it together, as only impressionable, newly minted adolescent girls could. We also wondered how long we could stay up each night, and if any of us would kiss a boy that summer. 

As the bus pulled off, our parents, grandparents, siblings, and church members stood on the sidewalk waving, sending us all off. What they did not say, but we knew, was that they hoped to provide us with a safe place, if for only for a week or two, to be young, and away from the KKK, police and firemen’s violent responses to boycotts, sit-ins, and marches. 

We overheard our parents talking about the Birmingham Children’s March. Middle and high school students had marched to end the segregation of public accommodations in Birmingham, Alabama. Fireman had been swept them down sidewalks with high-pressure water hoses. Policemen had had let loose K-9 dogs on them. Baton-wielding state troopers had beaten and arrested them. Thousands of children filled the municipal jails to overflowing until they had to use a high school stadium to hold the protesters. It took six days for the federal government to intervene and work with civil rights leaders to gain the release of the children. By then, children had made a decisive crack in the armor of Jim Crow and segregation in Birmingham, but at the high cost of Ku Klux Klan ambushes, shootings, killings of civil rights leaders, and the bombing of civil rights leaders’ homes, businesses, and Negro churches. 

Older youth from my church and community were already training for the March on Washington that coming August. I was afraid for my brothers, sister, and the older youth in my church and community who participated in civil disobedience activities. I could feel our parents’ and church members’ fear like an extra heart fluttering in dread. I could feel our families and communities’ unstoppable will to remain unbroken and unbowed. 

*

The yellow bus drove due west on Highway 90, then due south for sixty miles to the very lip of the shallow and buoyant Gulf of Mexico. The dense air was alive with sun, sand, and the musky scents of salt and seawater. Gulf water was bathtub warm and so shallow we could walk knee deep for half a mile at low tide. We could hear the water’s constant swelling, rushing, and crashing into lazy whispers along the shore. Our second-floor rooms usually stayed cool because of a steady southern breeze, but when there was no breeze, we sweltered and complained bitterly.   

*

Since we all belonged to a youth choir at home, we found ourselves assigned to Gulfside’s choir. After breakfast, a brief church service, a morning round of Bible study, and choir rehearsal after lunch, we were on our own to enjoy the land and sea. We would have a final rehearsal just before the commitment service. 

*

During our last choir rehearsal, the chapel’s caretakers cleaned the church and prepared the altar for serving communion the next day. They swept the concrete floors and wiped down the pews with Murphy Oil Soap. A deaconess placed polished wooden trays with small openings for tiny glass cups on the tops of the altar rails. The deaconesses dressed the front of the altar rails with bright white-heavy cotton cloths where we would kneel for communion. 

*

Commitment Sunday dawned clear, sunny, hot, and, thankfully, with a stiff Gulf breeze. Yvette, Charliette, Lucia Claire, and I dressed in our Sunday best. We had continued to worry about this moment. Would we make a commitment? We promised, not matter what, we would change into our swimsuits immediately after services and spend our last day on the beach. 

*

The chapel was packed with youth, guest ministers, their families, and a few parents. The familiar ritual didn’t help me make my decision. The choir was the first to receive communion. When it was our rows’ turn to kneel at the altar, I felt a terrible pain in my knee. It ached fiercely as Reverend Stevenson spoke in somber tones about confessing sins, asking forgiveness, and making a life–long committing to God and Christian service. I put the thin- white wafer in my mouth and drank the grape juice from the tiny glass cup when Reverend Stevenson served them to me. I tried to kneel on one knee. I didn’t confess any sins. I didn’t ask for forgiveness. I didn’t commit to God or life–long service. I was trying desperately not to scream or cuss. 

When my row of choir members rose to return to the choir loft, I did not. I stayed kneeling with tears running down my face. Reverend Stevenson motioned for others to keep moving. My girlfriends gave me worried looks as they left me behind. Their eyes asked silently. Are you playing a prank or really getting the Holy Spirit?  

I reached down to feel my knee and found something hard and grooved there. My mind searched for what could be so wrong. In a flash, I remembered the deaconess dressing the altar the day before during choir rehearsal there was a tin of upholstery tacks lying open on the concrete floor. 

I tried to mouth the source of my distress to my friends looking down from the choir loft. 

I knelt on a tack.

What? Yvette mouthed back to me. 

There’s a tack in my knee! 

After several tries I could see they did not understand me. Communion was still going on all around me. The music was playing, and the choir was singing come-to-Jesus songs. I was melting in pain and embarrassment. People in the chapel began to murmur in wonder. 

“She’s faking,” I heard someone whisper loudly.

Lucia Claire understood. Oh, I get it! she mouthed to me with a bright ‘aha’ expression. 

She told Yvette and Charliette by whispering and pointing to her knee and then down to me. I could read the words on her lips. Ann knelt on a tack.

Their expressions changed in slow motion: waves of concern, sympathy, amusement, quiet giggles, and in the end, shoulder-shaking, hands-over-mouths, unsuppressed, outright silent–laughter. They continued mouthing support. 

What are you going to do? Should we come down and kneel next to you? 

I responded silently with a shake of my head, no

Their laughter was infectious, though. I began to laugh on top of crying. The more I cried, my shoulders shook, the more my shoulders shook, the entire chapel was convinced I had received the Holy Spirit, except for the smarty-pants who had whispered I was faking. 

Finally everyone in the chapel had received communion and services were ending. Reverend Stevenson signaled to Ruall, the nearest counselor, to join him at the altar. He placed an arm around my left shoulder. His face curved down to meet my eyes beneath my deeply bowed head. I chanced a look up at my friends. 

Oh, now you are really in trouble, Yvette mouthed. 

High- pitched laughter bloomed inside me. My shoulders shook even more, the pain in my knee doubled, and more tears than I thought possible dripped down my chin and onto my best summer dress. 

Reverend Stevenson held me gently. “Ann, what can I do to help care for you right now?” 

My mouth and cheeks stretched in a grimace of pain and mirth. I 

whispered, “There’s a tack in my knee.” 

“What?” he asked, leaning closer. 

 “There is a tack in my knee,” I said more urgently.

“A tack is in your knee,” he said in an incredulous understanding. 

I risked another look at my friends. They were leaning into each other, hands on their stomachs, and laughing impossibly hard. Yvette was drawing short breaths through her mouth trying hard not to hoot and holler. Charliette’s head was flung back, and she was close to scream-shouting. Lucia Claire was shaking her head in disbelief with a throw–your– hands–up–in–the–air look on her face. Our other friends just looked on, giggling and wide-eyed, with their hands over their mouths. I could see other choir members looking, first at my friends with disapproval, then down at Reverend Stevenson, and then at me with puzzled–suspicious expressions. 

“Ann,” Reverend Stevenson said,” we are going to help you up. Ruall will help you out of the chapel. If you can’t walk, we’ll get someone to carry you. Is that OK?” 

Mortified that someone would have to carry me, I answered, “Yes.” 

Reverend Stevenson and Ruall placed their hands under each of my armpits and lifted me straight up. Everything was sharp pain. No laughter. No shoulder shaking. Just struggling to breathe. When I was standing again, and he was sure I did not need more help, Reverend Stevenson wiped my face with his handkerchief, placed soft white square it in my hand, gave me an assuring smile, and kissed me gently on my forehead. I limped through the side door of the chapel on Ruall’s strong arm to a place to sit nearby. 

“Ann, I’m going to pull the tack straight out,” Ruall said.” I promise your knee will feel better right away. OK?” 

I nodded because I couldn’t speak.

She pulled the tack out quickly and cleanly. I felt better immediately. It didn’t even bleed. She wiped the puncture with an alcohol wipe, swabbed it with Merthiolate and put a Band-Aid on it. All of the items came out of her ample mother-teacher-counselor purse.

When the service was over and everyone spilled out of the chapel, some people looked at me with curious stares and whispered as they passed by. 

“Miss Ruall,” I said, “they think something religious happened to me. What do I say?” 

“Tell them you knelt on an upholstery tack,” she said, “and have a good laugh again if they get it. Here are your friends.”  

My friends descended on me. 

“What happened, what happened? Did you really kneel on a tack? Where is the blood?” they asked in a chorus of dear voices.

 I simply opened my hand and showed them the tack with the grooved upholstery head and the new, iridescent shine of the long–needle-sharp brass point. It looked like a tiny brass umbrella without a curve in the handle. They bent and peered into my hand and gasped in unison. 

            “I really thought you got the Holy Spirit,” Yvette said accusingly, as if I had disappointed or tricked her. 

Charliette mimicked being put out. “I thought so too, and I just knew we would have to deal with you thinking you were all saintly or something.” 

“I never thought you got the Holy Spirit,” Lucia Claire said, shaking her head at Yvette and Charliette, “but a tack in your knee! Come on. Have you ever heard of that before?”  

We changed into our swimsuits, walked the quarter mile to the beach and we told each other the story over and over again, from their vantage point from the choir loft, and mine from the altar. We laughed and laughed until we gasped for breath and held our hands to the stitches in our sides. 

*

On the ride home we sang retreat songs and protest songs. As we approached our waiting parents we clapped, drummed, and sang.

Oh, freedom. Oh freedom.

Oh, freedom over me. 

And before I’ll be a slave,

 I’ll be buried in my grave 

and go home to my Lord and be free.

*

I remember the sacrifices our people made to give little black girls just a few more moments before it was our time to get in ‘good trouble.’ I took note that it has been four hundred years after the first enslaved people were kidnapped and brought to this country, one hundred and fifty-five years after the Thirteenth Amendment was passed and ratified, fifty-eight years since that summer at Gulfside, the day that John R. Lewis is to lie in state in our capital, and still on this day, we are still combating state sanctioned violence against black, brown, indigenous, and immigrant children, women, and men, along with LQBTQ communities, and non-Christian religious and spiritual communities. Yet, we are still warriors fully armored in our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

I am lifted me up from my rage, terror, grief and despair by the combined past, present resistance and insistence on freedom for all. I am held by John Lewis’ enduring optimism. I play John Lewis’ words that were piped into the rotunda and the songs sung by Dr. Wintley Phipps in the memorial service today.

Civil Rights Titan John Lewis In His Own Words | NBC News …

Dr. Wintley Phipps sings “Amazing Grace”

Rev. Wintley Phipps holds super long note while singing ‘It Is …

I go down my to-do list of self-care: stay physically distanced but not emotionally or spiritually distanced, avoid contact with police, resist occupations, counteract despair, meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with mask and gloves & when there are very few people about. Watch less T.V., but stay informed. Laugh a lot. Channel fear, grief and rage into remembering, honoring, and loving compassion to expression, action, and art. 

I continue to chronicle these times.

In Joy,

A

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

Joy is Still What We Do

It is Five Months Later:

The US CDC reported 31.0 million cumulative cases and 559,172 deaths. After leveling off briefly, potentially as a result of delayed reporting over the Easter holiday weekend, daily incidence is again increasing, up to 67,653 new cases per day, the highest average since February 19 and back above the summer 2020 peak.

US Vaccination

The US has distributed 238 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and administered nearly 190 million doses. The US is currently administering an average of 2.9 million doses per day*, including 1.4 million people fully vaccinated.

– From Johns Hopkins daily update.

Nearly 250 women have been fatally shot by police since …

Joy is What We Do

Now, right now, we must live our lives consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively, like the Marge Piercy Poem, To Have Without Holding. We must make life-giving use of everything in us that that struggles, survives and triumphs over that which hurts us, divides us, attempts to kill us. We mix the poultices, soups and teas from the herbs of our mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. We bathe and soak in the scents of healing salts and herbs. We pray, and meditate, and dance, and drum, and sing. 

We make our homes and our close circles as healthy and whole and welcoming and nurturing as womanly and humanly possible. We love each other and touch each other in every way we can. We listen to each other. We hear each other. We forgive each other. We reconcile with each other. We eat and move and pray and sleep and wake up in the arc of each other’s love. 

We take requisite care in every part of our lives that we have control of, our hearts, bodies, minds, souls, our work, our creativity, our contributions of money, time, and resources, whatever they may be.

We insist on joy–yes, joy– in these times that call out for us to go deaf, dumb, blind, and silent in self-loathing and hatefulness because of our complicity in our own undoing and death. 

We bask in joy every time the morning comes, a child laughs, our meals are prepared in love, our small circle of friends and family gather physically, but not socially, distanced, and every time nature shows herself vibrant abandon. 

We require joy in every privileged breath we take, clean water we drink, and safe passages we happen to have because of race, class, education, age, gender, immigration status, faith practice, affectional preference, however, relative they may be, and we gladly acknowledge our power and share our advantage with those not privileged by systemic racism, misogynoir, anti-Semitism, xenophobia……

We command joy in the presence of all that there is to rationally fear, despair, and give up on. 

We prepare, and make, and consume, and share this compulsion to live, to be the antidote, joy, physical, emotional, creative, sexual, sensual, psychic and spiritual joy, for and with ourselves and each other. 

We loving ourselves. We find the joy that is always as much available to us as are our rational fears, our past and current pain, and the disabling forces that besiege us all. 

Joy is an antitoxin, a serum, a counter-measure, a cure for physical and emotional violence and disabling disempowerment. 

Joy delivers breath to our cells and transforms our breath into fuel that awakens and enlivens us to create just and free lives and more joy.  

And what else do we do?

We write, we create, and we tell the stories.

Fatal Force: Police shootings database Washing Post Updated April 14, 2021

And what else?

We celebrate our dead. We bury or cremate our dead. We mourn our dead. We give emotional and practical support to the family and friends of the dead, now, during the week, during the month, during the year… AND 

We Get in Good Trouble

Speak Up, condemn speech that is bigoted or hateful. Confront, acknowledge, apologize, and change these behaviors within ourselves, always, always, first, within ourselves.

Become a Racial Equity Broker

“If you are not at the table, you are on the menu and someone is eating you for lunch,” Shirley Chisolm said. She also said,” If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

Never Give Up 

John Lewis taught us persistence. He taught us …”when a person has transformative ideas, they should not taper those ideas. Instead, they should persist. Simply because change is slow does not mean change agents have to move slowly towards it.” 

First and second and third, we must find ways to act in authentic, powerful, and productive ways to preserve and advance our own lives. 

Next and next and next, do everything we can do to positively, productively, lovingly and proactively impact the lives of our families, neighbors, communities, country, our world with the urgency and ferocity fuels our insistence on life and joy. Give thought, time, resources, and acts of assistance and resistance. Learn and use the tools of activism and the democratic defense of our own bodies, our nation, and our world.

We Vote, We fight Legislation to Suppress and Erase Our Votes, We Create and Pass  Legislation to Protect and Expand the Vote, We convince  Corporations to boycott states that deny Voter Access and the full count and representation of our vote without partisan interference or chicanery. 

We prepare now to vote in 2014 and all the elections between now and then. 

A Love Song for You

Allow this song in your body, mind and heart as if you are singing it you yourself and lifting yourself up. 

Lizz Wright: Freedom – YouTube

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with a mask. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Read and study more. Laugh a lot. Channel fear, grief, and rage into expression, action, and art. I continue to chronicle these times.

In Joy and Doing,

A

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.com

https://andreacanaan.blog/

Writing in a Time of Peril: 10.4.2020 Do I Want to Live?

Do I want to live? Do I really 

want to live with every sense, 

in each moment, vibrantly alive?

Do I want to feel from the marrow 

of my bones out to the last millimeter of 

peel of skin?

Do I want to be touched by sun, 

embraced by racing briny air?

Do I want to see the effervescence 

of a hovering hummingbird’s 

feathers?

Do I want to witness a sun rising

shimmering red–orange orb

out of night, or pinking blushing 

and purpling into sinking gold below 

the horizon or beyond a mountain or 

into the sea?

Do I want to hear the morning sounds 

of honking migrating birds, mourning 

doves in the  eaves, or the whispering 

to howling of hurricane winds?

Do I want the up and down, 

before and after, beneath and above 

within to return to balance, undeviating?

Do I want to love, allow all the way in

surrendered, entered, seen, known, without 

glamor or mask or armor?

Do I want to laugh and weep and wail and 

dance and swim and sail and walk and climb 

and, and, and? 

Do I want to honor the ancestors

the spirits, invite them to our

tables, say their names out loud, 

tell their stories and ease their 

haunting embrace their holding ?

Do I want to heal what had been 

broken and make of every broken place 

brilliant knowings and wealth?

Do I want to place on funeral pyres 

what is no longer of use, was never 

of use, was always perjury placed 

in the way by avarice and misogynoir?

Do I want to love myself enough 

to conceive and carry myself

to labor and birth myself, to succor

and nurture myself anew and 

to earn my own life? 

And should I want to live

Will I decide to live and if

I decide to live will I

Insist on living joy?

I do. I do.

© Andrea Canaan

Rio Vista, California

October 3, 2020

Writing in a Time of Peril: September 20, 2020

Joy Is What We Do

https://andreacanaan.blog/

The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard reported 6.69 million U.S. cases and 198,055 deaths as of 1:30 pm EDT on September 18, 2020

– From Johns Hopkins daily update.

On Sunday, September 20, 2020, the death toll passed 200.000 deaths in the U.S.

Notorious RBG

It’s been a hard few days for me. We placed purple ribbons on the trees in our front yard in memorial for John Lewis and planned to take them off after ninety days, the amount of time my family traditionally mourns our beloved ones’ passing. The color purple, in keeping with the Lewis family’s wish represents our rededication to supporting the search for cures and treatment of pancreatic and all cancers. 

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken me out for two days. I turned off the TV and took to my bed, tea and toast only as I hushed out everyone’s fear for ourselves now that she is gone–all of us who wanted her to postpone her retirement and endure suffering while holding onto the job of a Supreme for us. That some of us lamented that she did not hold on, suffer longer for us, made me sick, literally. I held her as she passed. I sat in the garden and sang to her against all my wanting to clutch, to cling, to hold on.

I am not a Jew, yet she is mine to mourn. I am not white, yet she is mine to mourn. I am not straight, yet she is mine to mourn. I am not a cancer survivor, yet she is mine to mourn. I am not a Supreme Court Justice or a Supreme Court clerk, yet she is mine to mourn. I am not her family, her friend, or beloved to her, yet she is mine to mourn. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is mine to love and honor and mourn.

It All Makes Me Sick

I was not surprised that my gut revolted. I felt nauseous and needed only stillness and quiet in the face of combined assaults–Covid -19, the isolation and extreme care it requires of all of us, more than 200,000 deaths, millions sick and recovering with untold long-term effects, glaciers calving, hurricanes–double hurricanes–coming, hundreds of fires and toxic unbreathable air. And black lives, women’s lives, immigrants’ lives, the lives of people with pre-existing conditions, LGBTQ, all these lives not mattering. And the sowing of hate, confusion, and misinformation. And the intentional diminishment of the U. S. Postal Service for naked political gain. No wonder I am made sick. We are made sick. 

What do we do?

And we must mourn, during these times our government has chosen to allow Covid-19 to ravage our borders unmasked, untested, un trace and , we must count the dead a murdered. We must protect and preserve our lives and not forget the dead, the dying, the sick and those of us forever changed by Covid_19. Put aside a moments(s) each day y to acknowledge and be grateful for their time with us and grieve another thousand dead today and tomorrow, another child, mother, father, sister, brother, lover… gone, seventy–five percent of our beloved’s deaths preventable, all of us  devastated and in mourning. 

Tribute to Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

And what else do we do?

Joy is What We Do

Now, right now, we must live our lives consciously, conscientiously, concretely, constructively, like the Marge Piercy Poem, To Have Without Holding. We must make life-giving use of everything in us that that struggles, survives and triumphs over that which hurts us, divides us, attempts to kill us. We mix the poultices, soups and teas from the herbs of our mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. We bathe and soak in the scents of healing salts and herbs. We pray, and meditate, and dance, and drum, and sing. 

We make our homes and our close circles as healthy and whole and welcoming and nurturing as womanly and humanly possible. We love each other and touch each other in every way we can. We listen to each other. We hear each other. We forgive each other. We reconcile with each other. We eat and move and pray and sleep and wake up in the arc of each other’s love. 

We take requisite care in every part of our lives that we have control of, our hearts, bodies, minds, souls, our work, our creativity, our contributions of money, time, and resources, whatever they may be.

We insist on joy–yes, joy– in these times that call out for us to go deaf, dumb, blind, and silent in self-loathing and hatefulness because of our complicity in our own undoing and death. 

We bask in joy every time the morning comes, a child laughs, our meals are prepared in love, our small circle of friends and family gather physically, but not socially, distanced, and every time nature shows herself vibrant abandon. 

We require joy in every privileged breath we take, clean water we drink, and safe passages we happen to have because of race, class, education, age, gender, immigration status, faith practice, affectional preference, however, relative they may be, and we gladly acknowledge our power and share our advantage with those not privileged by systemic racism, misogynoir, anti-Semitism, xenophobia……

We command joy in the presence of all that there is to rationally fear, despair, and give up on. 

We prepare, and make, and consume, and share this compulsion to live, to be the antidote, joy, physical, emotional, creative, sexual, sensual, psychic and spiritual joy, for and with ourselves and each other. 

We loving ourselves. We find the joy that is always as much available to us as are our rational fears, our past and current pain, and the disabling forces that besiege us all. 

Joy is an antitoxin, a serum, a counter-measure, a cure for physical and emotional violence and disabling disempowerment. 

Joy delivers breath to our cells and transforms our breath into fuel that awakens and enlivens us to create just and free lives and more joy.  

And what else do we do?

We write, we create, and we tell the stories.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on The Heroic Visionary Women of Passover

And what else?

We Get in Good Trouble

Speak Up, condemn speech that is bigoted or hateful. Confront, acknowledge, apologize, and change these behaviors within ourselves, always, always, first, within ourselves.

Become a Racial Equity Broker

“If you are not at the table, you are on the menu and someone is eating you for lunch,” Shirley Chisolm said. She also said,” If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” 

Never Give Up 

John Lewis taught us persistence. He taught us …”when a person has transformative ideas, they should not taper those ideas. Instead, they should persist. Simply because change is slow does not mean change agents have to move slowly towards it.” 

First and second and third, we must find ways to act in authentic, powerful, and productive ways to preserve and advance our own lives. 

Next and next and next, do everything we can do to positively, productively, lovingly and proactively impact the lives of our families, neighbors, communities, country, our world with the urgency and ferocity fuels our insistence on life and joy. Give thought, time, resources, and acts of assistance and resistance. Learn and use the tools of activism and the democratic defense of our own bodies, our nation, and our world.

We Vote. 

We research and know the rules and options in our state and town for voting, and we make a plan, and we make an alternative plan, and we make a backup plan to our alternative plan.

We vote early in person or by mail. We send out ballot through the mail or we deliver our ballot in person into a ballot box provided by our election board.

Or we vote in person on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, and we wear masks and stay physically distant and bring food and drink and needed medication, and an umbrella, and wear comfortable shoes, andwear to keep us warmed or cool, and bring something to sit on, and charge our devices fully, and bring an external charger, and bring all our family and friends. And those of us who are able volunteer to give rides and pickups for our elders and others needing assistance, and send gentle reminders, and follow up those reminders with another reminder with love and kindness, and do everything we can to be sure all of our votes count, because joy is what we do.

A Love Song for You

Allow this song in your body, mind and heart as if you are singing it you yourself and lifting yourself up. 

Me, Myself, and I, Randy Crawford. Randy Crawford & Joe Sample – Me my self and i – YouTube

I go down my to-do list of self-care: meditate, eat well, rest well, get exercise, connect, connect, connect, stay home–except for the pharmacy & the grocery & then only with a mask. Watch less TV, but stay informed. Read and study more. Laugh a lot. Channel fear, grief, and rage into expression, action, and art. I continue to chronicle these times.

In Joy and Doing,

A

© Andrea Canaan, MSW, MFA

andreacanaan@gmail.comhttps://andreacanaan.blog/