It has been a tough week. I won’t soon forget the photo of people in a crowd under banners of “Black Lives Matter,” “Solidarity” and “Love” upended, summersaulting—one man’s beautiful tattooed back exposed, the other’s red and white sneakers splayed in the air over the trunk of a car that had rammed him. To quote the late Heather Heyer, who was deliberately run over and killed by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” (I know she wasn’t the first activist to say this, but it is nonetheless apt.)
As I navigated the news stories and the combination of disbelief and anger I felt, I relied on “the garden cure” several hours each day. I picked cucumbers, tomatoes, beans and peppers, and either cooked or froze the produce, or delivered baskets of veggies to nearby friends. I had to do something kind, something generous, like conducting my own little CSA.
In this post, which is days late and rushed, I’ll simply give some recommendations. First, the film by Al Gore, former U.S. Vice-President (and presidential candidate who won the popular vote), An Inconvenient Sequel: Speaking Truth to Power. I found it moving, inspiring, hopeful and very educational. I have more respect for Al Gore than ever. His life and work are proof of the power of a single individual to make an effective, committed stand for truth and the survival of our great blue planet. You might see this excellent documentary in celebration of the eclipse on August 21—a day to profoundly realize how tiny and fragile we are.
Second, I recommend the music of Hana Zara. I met her at an intimate house concert in May at the home of KRSH’s Robin Pressman. It’s easy to fall in love at an event where you can sit across the dinner table from a gorgeous singer-songwriter and bathe in her charisma. On Hana’s album, The Toy, is a song that comforted. I couldn’t find it listed in her online tracks, but look up Hana Zara on YouTube and Facebook and I’m sure you can find the CD. Here are lyrics from the end of “The Sea Widow.”
Lifted on wings, to a great golden ledge, where I watched as the world got completely undressed/ Naked as bone, she rings into space, that long lonesome howl the sea widow makes/ The pull of the bow, the lone violin, the pitch of the bow, the wales following/ Turning around, this great ringing sphere, make love to the light until new life appears// Talking in sounds indecipherable, we all gather around with our flowers for you/ To say life is good, and your friends are all near and that we are proud of each thing that you do.
Arnold Schwarzenegger terminates hate in another of his direct address videos to Trump. In the first one I saw, Arnold chastised the president for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. This news is even more poignant after seeing Gore’s key role in Paris as depicted in An Inconvenient Sequel.