Merry Christmas!

Here’s to getting here and finding the light and appreciating it where we find it.

Northern Exposure End Scene: More Light from Markus Avrelius on Vimeo.

Survived a night with roaring winds and rain so I might be a little droopy later but there is good everywhere. Soak it in, revel in it! Strength friends, for what’s ahead!

Merry Christmas!

7 November 2020

There was this and then moments later there were all kinds of wonderful headlines! Thanks everyone for keeping the faith and working and being strong. Now the real work begins.

mbfrezon_counting

7 November 2020

November 6, 2020 – Letter to my elected reps

November 6, 2020

Dear Elected Representative,

We are in the last moments of this election and still holding our collective breath. While we are hopeful of the outcome, the thought still is there: how can “these people” feel so strongly in ways that are against what our nation stands for?

I had a moment while looking at the county breakdown of voting in this election. Most of my “blue state” was red. The signs and banners and trucks certainly indicated this to me previously but the voting didn’t lie. The only thing that kept the state blue was the concentrated votes in the populated areas. My moment wasn’t one of “thank goodness” but – how do we find common ground again? Rural areas (where I live) are the mirror of inner cities – little work opportunity, often poor education at all levels, poor pay, poor health care, food scarcity and insecurity, few cultural offerings. If we want to join together with our neighbors again we can’t dig in and WIN. We must find ways to offer ways to live better and to make room for caring for everyone so that anger subsides and being open to each other can begin.

This isn’t a new state of affairs, but a sure decline of urban and rural areas for many generations. And it is true for many of the “blue” states.

I live in an old house in a rural area. The center of the economy to those driving through here is all about cars. Old cars, a race track for racing cars, a NAPA store or two in every village. We have had minimal internet service, at times not reliable phone or electrical service. Where I live there’s no cable TV offerings at all because it’s not economically interesting to the cable companies. There are no grocery stores nearby, just convenience stores where you can pick up milk, bread and eggs with your gas fill up. In season we have farm stands.

I saw all the red signs. I heard a lot of the muttering and talk. I saw all the people who wouldn’t wear masks from the start and do so now minimally only because our local shops won’t let them in without one thanks to our governor’s strong guidance.

I see the local school whose newsletter touts the sports teams but doesn’t mention the academic results because they’re pretty bad.

There are people from downstate buying up property that was once farmland because they have the money to buy it and pay taxes on it. They rarely do much for the economy in terms of offering new industry or employment.

Why am I painting this view for you? Because to get back on track and start to push our country forward we can’t be US vs THEM. We have to make sure that opportunity is there for anyone who wants to try for it. That education is good and free at local schools and affordable to those who want to go on, and that this education prepares people for good-paying jobs that allow them to live well. That an unexpected illness or accident won’t destroy a family because of medical costs. That medical care and services are available everywhere to anyone who needs them.

I think of my childhood – all the little moments of a child’s oblivious growing up – and realize how we were not worried. We weren’t worried about losing our house or car or job, losing family members because we couldn’t get them health care. That’s privilege that comes from economics more than anything else. I grew up thinking if I worked, and it might be hard work, I could keep going and live an all right kind of life. I could take care of myself and my family.

I could be relaxed about the future, not worried and angry with worry and fear. I could save for retirement and someday not have to work.

How can we extend a better life with a sense of that to everyone? Health care, education, job training and opportunities, everyone pulling their weight to make things move for everyone?

This is what I ask of you, my elected representatives going forward. Stop catering to the billionaires and the mega-corporations and start – and finish – with the people you represent in the cities, the suburbs and the rural communities. We need your support to make the American dream of possibility and hope a reality for everyone so we can be one nation and one community again.

Mary Beth Frezon

November 6, 2020 – Letter to my elected reps

Summer Doldrums

Yes apparently this time of year I wander off and do – not much.

I’ve been working – from home, and adjusting to this more and more. It’s nice to have lunch just a few steps away. My commute is up or down a flight of stairs. I miss the audio-book time but I don’t mind having that time back.

I’ve been painting (you people doing Instagram can find me using mbfrezon) and writing because it’s officially August Poetry Postcard Festival again, although this time, having started in April, it’s more just PoPo 2020.

I’ve been taking photos, and reminding myself to be grateful for things large and small, often small. Tomato and corn season has arrived along with local peaches.

When I started working from home, I moved (strong like bull) the AC to the room where I’m working, in hopes that I could not pass out from heat. I rigged up a doubled sheet over the door and left just a few inches open at the bottom, and made a looped way to keep the door open just open just wide enough for cat whiskers. Ginny and Harry come in to visit. They plop themselves down and are generally quiet. Sometimes they jump up to surprise me but Ginny often lays in the sunny window and Harry finds himself a soft place even if it’s just a sheet of paper.

Thinking is more stinking than drinking, but to feel is for real.
— Sufi Sam

Nothing can resist a human will that will stake even its existence on the extent of its purpose.
— Benjamin Disraeli

Summer Doldrums

Where did June Go?

Mainly it went in a swirling of brain-drain as I trained and adjusted to doing a new thing while working from home. It has taken really three weeks to go from abject terror to only moments of wondering what-the-heck-am-I-doing, LOL. Toward the end of last week, which ends on Saturday, I had moments of – oh, I know what to do here! Or hearing someone else asking a question in our support chat and thinking, ‘isn’t that…?’ So slow but sure.

Working at home means no forty-five minute plus commute each way, but also means I make my own coffee and breakfast and lunch. And dinner. Sometimes I get to eat one or all of those sitting on the front steps. Sometimes I get to dash out afterwork because the sun is out and I can get a painting in and take photos of the evening coming on.

July brings with it World Watercolor Month so get ready for a more regular appearance of paintings here. After that – August Poetry Postcard Festival 2020 – although with the pandemic in play, some of us started early on that. I did a month’s worth of postcards during NaPoWriMo in April.

I feel the rhythm of my year changing and yet it’s the same. A few photos popped up in facebook of watercolors I’d done in 2016 and 2019 and it was interesting to see what was the same and what was different. Since being home I found a place in New Lebanon where there is a 360 degree view of the sky. Looking back years from now I’ll be reminded of the pandemic by many many panoramas of the sky and clouds and landscape.

Here are photos from today. Mostly clouds and landscape but a few plants and flowers and a couple mushrooms that snuck in at the end. Look close – some of the clouds were being visited by birds and other things!

29 June 2020 out and around.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Where did June Go?

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

I went out because the clouds and sky were glorious but the colors of spring are mysterious and fugitive. Tonight I went out to the car because I’d left my snack out there uneaten. I sat there and ate it, pear juice all over my face and hands while I watched the birds at the feeder.

Controlled time is our true wealth.
— Buckminster Fuller

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight

A day with work and sun and clouds and a tasty lunch and dinner. Breakfast wasn’t bad either.

You seem concerned and ask if I’m all right
But see, we don’t really know each other
And if we did, we probably would not.
So I nod and say I’m good as do you
and we turn to work which is what we share
People talk of their feelings all the time
I wasn’t raised that way, but to get through
Never let them see you cry, be polite,
be respectful and work hard to get ahead
All the things that make a civil world,
a smooth landscape where nothing sticks out.
And so I’ve kept myself to myself a lot.
Perhaps we could start by saying who we are
But if we did, we wouldn’t choose to know.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-eight

NaPoWriMo – Day 24

It was another rainy cold day and again the sun came out again at sunset time. No big sunset or anything, just sun and not much time to enjoy it. Well perhaps it’s part of the plan to keep us home and self-isolating.

Truth be told, this poem was twice as long as I wrote it and sent it off, but I remain unconvinced about the second half but felt pretty good about this half so here you go. Afterwards a few photos, one from yesterday and three from today.

I imagined a survey asking how I felt:
politically hopeless
but my painting is going well.
Because, frankly, we’re messy
all of us and all of this
so if I’m speaking honestly
if not to you then to myself
(that is what you’re wanting, right?)
I can truthfully admit
yes, I was dressed for that
online meeting but my hair
was uncombed and I
wanted to finish my oatmeal
so I kept it audio-only.

We become what we think about all day long. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

NaPoWriMo – Day 24

Also seen in my travels

Nature’s first green is gold…

No – you take the Corona!

Funky tiny house that mirrors the old shed behind it. Looks very cool.

Also seen in my travels

NaPoWriMo – Day 19

A beautiful April-appropriately warm day after a very cold night. No complaints. Sunday and tomorrow I have work stuff to do so painting it was!

Never kept a gratitude journal
figured my heart knew the truth
Now in these peculiar times
aren’t they? peculiar? scary
afternoons, draining evenings,
nervous nights, tentative mornings
overall mighty peculiar. But,
I was grateful for a sun-warm day
after a plain cold night
Glad for the oatmeal and the
apple I chopped into it and for
the nutmeg and its ancient grater.
For the coffee grinder and press
and the cup and the second cup.
I headed out to paint that welcome light
and pulled off along the road
I studied the landscape and the clouds.
A man stopped to say he’d seen me there
before and wasn’t this a day?
We chatted across the roadway
then he and his dog went on their way.
Another car stopped to check on me
and I held up my painting in progress
THey were excited and happy and
pointed to the hedgerow behind them
which, they told me with equal joy
held a cemetery right up that way.
I was excited for them, sincerely,
to have found such happiness and today.

NaPoWriMo – Day 19