How Can You Help in this Covid Crisis?

Iconic Brooklyn Bridge
(Pexels Image)

Brooklyn was my home for over 25 years, and how I loved her! Prospect Park, Greenwood Cemetery with its green parrots, BAM, Junior’s with its cheesecake, Peter Luger’s with its amazing steaks and unique waitstaff, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Heights Promenade with its gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline, Grand Army Plaza, her Bridges—Verrazano, Brooklyn, Manhattan and WillieB, the Slope, Windsor Terrace, the Heights, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn College. There’s no place like Brooklyn.

And then there are Brooklyn’s Kingsborough Community College, Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Heights, Metrotech, Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Crown Heights, East New York, Canarsie, Dumbo, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Fort Greene, Eastern Parkway, Borough Park, Ocean Parkway, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gowanus, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Sunset Park, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, Midwood, Bushwick, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Kensington, Flatbush, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, and more. Even the F train with its orange seats and crammed rush hour cars, when it emerges above ground to give a great view of Brooklyn’s evolving skyline.

Now I visit Brooklyn by FaceTime and Zoom, attending a brunch in Park Slope, enjoying calls with friends, and sharing at Park Slope’s Our Town with others trudging the road of happy destiny. The crowded hospitals, shuttered businesses and empty streets remind us how life has changed in the time of coronavirus. I have felt so powerless and sad. Then today I learned about actor Jeffrey Wright’s effort to keep restaurants open providing nourishment to Brooklynites risking their lives on the front lines: hospital workers, firefighters and EMTs.

Their GoFundMe page says

“Brooklyn for Life!

Local Eats for Brooklyn’s Frontline Fighters in Brookdale Hospital, Brooklyn Hospital, Cumberland Health Center, Gotham Health Clinic East NY, Interfaith Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital (almost Bk – they snuck in!), Woodhull Medical Center and Brooklyn FDNY EMS Battalions 31, 32, 35, 38, 39, 40, 44, 57, 58 & 59.”

So join me in donating to this great cause aiding the best borough in one of the best cities in the world!

Help your borough and mine! Brooklyn for Life!

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Namasté

A Day to Remember

Today is Memorial Day, or as it was called in my youth, Decoration Day. It’s a day to remember our veterans, those injured or killed in the service of our country, and our dear departed loved ones. All over the United States people visit cemeteries and place flags, flowers and even fancy “grave blankets” on the resting places of the dead. My father and my husband served in the US Army. I’m very proud of them and grateful for their service. Somewhere in the albums we shipped south I have photos of them in uniform. Here’s one of my maternal grandfather who was a Navy officer and served in both WWI and WWII. He died before I was born, and although the family lore is pretty negative about him, I thank him for his service as well. As I once wrote in a poem,

I thank thee fathers past for all thy pain, Thou vital links in my eternal chain.

We live in Florida, thousand of miles from my father’s grave in the Garden of Valor in a cemetery in California and my mother’s in Maine. My in-laws are buried about 1,500 miles north in New York and New Jersey. We haven’t figured out where we want our mortal residue to rest. It doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

I just published a post in my mother’s art blog, and here’s a link for all who wish to see her striking work that blesses our home and those of many others today. Many are on display at the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota. My cousin Mary owns and fills this amazing place with a fine collection of paintings, statuary and colorful crafts that must be seen to be appreciated.

Enjoy the day and remember that this is a great country that has weathered worse than what threatens us today. But climate change is real, and we all need to get serious about it or we won’t be leaving this land as good as we found it. Love to you all.

Thus Have I Read

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An American flag and photograph of the Buddha are prominently displayed in the barracks of the Portland Livestock Exposition Building, where Japanese Americans were interned. May 31, 1942 | Photograph courtesy The Oregonian / Barcroft Media

This morning I read an article in the Tricycle magazine and found it so forceful, I wanted to assure more people read it. That’s where you come in, and hopefully you’ll direct your friends and followers to check it out as well. For immediate, present moment relevance, just notice the crib in the above photograph.

At this time in our nation’s history when children as young as infants are being separated from parents at our southern border and held in tent encampments and other dreary facilities, we need to remember where this country has been. We may have thought we had moved beyond the paranoid ideation leading to the ensiling of the different, or alien, other. Au contraire. Here we are. We are being led by an individual who hawks lies and hatred purchased wholesale by the incurious and the uninformed. That there are so many of them appalls and frightens me. So, as Duncan Ryuken Williams quotes Nyogen Senzaki in this Tricycle piece,

The Buddha taught that identity is neither permanent nor disconnected from the realities of other identities. From this vantage point, America is a nation that is always dynamically evolving—a nation of becoming, its composition and character constantly transformed by migrations from many corners of the world, its promise made manifest not by an assertion of a singular or supremacist racial and religious identity, but by the recognition of the interconnected realities of a complex of peoples, cultures, and religions that enrich everyone.

Namasté,

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No One is Above the Law

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.

Life has been busy here as we continue to unpack, put away, and sometimes even donate or discard the contents of the many boxes of original art and many other things we shipped to our new full-time residence. As I’ve said before, we once were snowbirds and now are flamingos. Every week we’re cutting up cardboard to put out with the recycling. Medical appointments, regular exercise with walks, gym and pool, and endlessly shopping for fresh and healthy food as we eat to improve our wellbeing, all have taken up much of our time of late. It is what it is.

We voted here in Florida on the first day of early voting and watched the coverage late into Tuesday night. We’re thrilled about the blue wave of progressive women and men, veterans, many of them very young and some LGBT, some Native Americans, and all patriots. As an aging lefty, I am so glad the new guard has stepped up so energetically for our collective good. But that wave didn’t make it down here, unless recounts change the senate and gubernatorial races. And yesterday’s unhinged WH press conference, subsequent AG firing, and later the pulling of a journalist’s hard WH press pass after he stood his ground, should leave no doubt in our minds that an autocrat is swinging a cudgel wildly and is very, very dangerous.

If the firing of Jeff Sessions and elevation of a staffer who has called the Mueller investigation a “witch-hunt” to the position of acting attorney general has caused you to fear for our republic, take heart from the protests being held today at 5 pm local time nationwide. Check here to locate the gathering nearest to you. Even in very red SW FL, we have one right near us. It’s never too late to suit up and show up.

Namasté

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