The other morning, the hummingbird nest outside my door was hanging down from the branch instead of being nestled on top of the branch.
I peeked inside. There was nothing. There was nothing on the ground either. Had another bird attacked the nest? There had been no windstorms in the past few days, but had the wind gradually been working the nest loose, with a small blast sending it off the branch?
I saw no hummingbird around. I gently detached the nest from the branch. What a work of art!
Look how she pasted little pieces of green leaf on the outside, so that it would be better camouflaged in the branches! I brought the nest into my studio. I saw there were teeny tiny pieces of eggshell inside.
Yes, they were certainly bits of eggshell. I picked one up with a tweezer to be sure. I had an intense desire to keep this beautiful object for its beauty and for a souvenir of Mummy Hummer's visit.
But then I got an email from one of the Bloggellinis (can't remember who) with a link to a story where a woman had found a hummingbird nest, with one of the babies still alive, on the ground. So she duct taped the nest back into its original place, and the mummy hummer returned and raised her surviving baby until it fledged and flew away! So I decided to fasten the nest I had back into place with duct tape.
While I was futzing around with the nest and the tape, Mummy Hummer came to fly around for a brief visit. At least I assume it was her.
Perhaps it's not the most artful job, but it's pretty secure, although perhaps not as strong as her work.
I was hoping Mummy Hummer would return to her nest. But there's been no sign of her. It's been several days now. I had a spasm of grief in the beginning. I was so sad the Mummy's project had been derailed! But that's nature fer ya! I have homeowner's insurance and medical insurance, but Mummy Hummer had nothing! It was the luck of the draw. Nature red in tooth and claw -- although I saw no evidence of actual violence against Mummy or her progeny -- although maybe there WAS violence, considering those tiny scraps of eggshell. If so, I'm glad I didn't witness it.
I'm going to wait another day or so, and if Mummy doesn't return, I'll take the tiny nest down and keep it with my other treasures, for its own beauty and to remind me of this whole precious experience with a wild being.
The painting of a hummingbird that began the blog is from the WeMoon Calendar that I get every year. On the page facing the hummingbird is this poem by Emily Kedar, which I find beautiful and comforting:
we are unprotected
here in this mottled world
where darkness veins the light
and everything we love
is on its way to becoming
everything we lose,
turns inside us and around us
until we're dizzy with the frenzy
of this being here,
skims the air
with her piston
Her clear want for nectar
breaks my doubtful heart
I remember something
from when I was still just light
When I was looking
into this world
from the one outside of it,
looking down, listening,
I remember hearing laughter
and wanting that new nectar,
yes, even with so much being ripped
from us, yes, even with all the pain of endings
I remember: the world is what I wanted.
All for now, Bloggellinis. Terry
Lilith Women's Theater | 547 Douglass St., San Francisco, CA 94114 www.LilithTheater.com
When I wrote the blog about that disgusting misogynist "Karen Coloring Book," I decided not to include my IMMEDIATE response while I was in the store. I wanted the focus to be on the book, not me. But now I want to tell the story of what I did when I saw "Karens in the Wild."
I went to my local hardware store and saw "KARENS in the Wild" on the counter. But "local hardware store" is a very inadequate description of where I saw the book. It was in Cliff's.
WHAT IS CLIFF'S?
Cliff's is a variety store, a hardware store and a fabric store and a garden supply store and a housewares store and a toy store. And more. It is a community institution and undoubtedly one of the greatest stores in the world. It is a gem, a storeroom of delights, a fountain of lightbulb variety, a treasure chest of tools and screws and such. It is where, most of the time, I find what I am looking for. And if I'm just browsing, I often find something that I absolutely must have -- like a miniature turquoise rubber spatula. I'm a fool for anything turquoise.
Cliff's is a BIG store. Below is just one of many aisles.
As you can see from this "BUY THIS STUFF" window display below, Cliff's has a sense of humor.
Cliff's puts out a special guide for people shopping for supplies for their Burning Man trip.
CLIFF'S IS A VERY SPECIAL PLACE.
SO I WAS JUST A TAD DISAPPOINTED TO DISCOVER BLATANT HATRED OF WOMEN
ON THE CHECK-OUT COUNTER AT CLIFF'S.
To celebrate their 80th anniversary, the Cliff's workers formed a marching band and paraded around the neighborhood! I had marched along with them!
Can you imagine how wonderful it is to live up the hill from a fabulous hardware/variety/fabric/garden supply/houseware store that entertains everyone with a marching band on their 80th anniversary?
Cliff's isn't just a store.
It's a pillar of the gay community.
It's part of my identity as a San Franciscan.
I felt BETRAYED when I saw "Karens in the Wild" there.
I asked to talk to the manager -- which, according to the Karen Coloring Book, instantly made ME a "Karen." The manager wasn't there.
I have to give the man behind the counter credit: He looked at the book and immediately got why I was upset.
He said, "Oh, I see. Because there's no equivalent word like 'Karen' for MEN."
Me: "That's right!"
BUT the OTHER man behind the counter told me to relax and have a sense of humor. Now, if I was complaining about theracism in a coloring book, would he have dared to say that? Of course not. Everyone understands (at least in San Francisco) that racism is offensive and must be squashed. But sexism? Hey, just relax, lady!
I snuck the book away from the counter to photograph every page, so I could write a blog about it.
Taking those photos so enraged me that ...
I THREW THE OFFENDING BOOK
WITH ALL MY STRENGTH
BEHIND THE COUNTER!
Yes, I did! The man standing there (a different one from the first two) shouted, "That's rude!" I shouted back, "That book is rude!" He shouted again, "No! You're rude!"
I stomped out of Cliff's. I felt GREAT! I was filled with triumph and adrenalin. I have been such a Nice Girl (mostly) for 76 years, I was delighted to be rude! I walked down Castro Street feeling...
...THRILLED to violate decorum!
Ecstatic to have been ....
Yes! I felt righteous outrage!
I was a Warrior for Women!
Women Warriors throw things!
Or DO they.....
Slowly my euphoria drained away and I realized that in fact it IS rude to throw things, even hateful books. Let me be clear: To throw a book when you're alone in the privacy of your own home is a perfectly fine thing to do. It was the public nature of the book-throwing that was rude.
I no longer felt so triumphant.
Not only that, I go to Cliff's all the time. Once a week, at least. And even with my mask on, I'm very recognizable with my two black Standard Poodles. Would I have to leave Nikki and Loulou home, so I could sneak into Cliff's incognito every time I needed a light bulb? That would be a drag. They enjoyed a visit to Cliff's too! Would I have to take a bus to buy a screwdriver at distant hardware store?
I realized my carefree walkabout lifestyle required Cliff's. I saw my life getting much more complicated. I absolutely had to feel free to patronize Cliff's.
I realized the next time I went to Cliff's, I would have to apologize because it is in fact inappropriate and rude to throw things in a store.
Had I ever thrown anything in a store before? I don't think so. But then, I had never been confronted with a disgustingly misogynist coloring book before!
What is the point of throwing something in front of other people? It is perhaps not quite the right action to take if you want them to seriously consider your point of view.
Oh, but it felt so great... The physical act of doing it... The shouting...
But is it a persuasive thing to do?
But IT FELT SO GOOD to express my FRUSTRATION at the astounding resilience of woman-hating!
Come to think of it, I could have made a real SCENE and yelled and TORN THE BOOK UP, and then refused to pay for it, which would have caused them to call the police and I would have been arrested!
Gee, I wish I'd done that. That would have really taken guts. Now THAT would have been APPROPRIATE!
Or I could have said, very calmly, "I know that you probably aren't responsible for this book being here, but I would like you to look at this page and consider how I feel as a woman.... blah blah blah..." That would have also been appropriate.
Anyhow, I did what I did, and I felt I had to apologize for my book-throwing. Can you apologize even if you don't regret what you did? I will always cherish those moments of slipping the Leash of Niceness. But I had to smooth things over for practical reasons. Where else was I going to find a miniature turquoise spatula within walking distance?
So two days later, I went back to Cliff's. First thing I notice:
THE "KARENS IN THE WILD" COLORING BOOK WAS GONE!
The "KAREN Coloring Book was not there. That has to be a victory.
I said to the man making the keys, "I came here a few days ago and threw a book behind the counter."
KeyMan: "Oh yes! I heard all about it."
Me: "I'd like to speak to the man who was behind the counter."
Keyman: "Sure. I know who that is. I'll get him."
It was all kinda genial and relaxed, as if people throw things all the time in Cliff's and then come back to apologize. Maybe they do!
A 40-year-old man came up to me, and said, "Did you want to speak to me?" And I said.... what DID I say? Something about apologizing for throwing the book. HE felt I had thrown it AT him. Now this was NOT TRUE! I explicitly DIDN'T throw it at him but just generally behind the counter. I'm too damn Nice to throw it AT him.
But I do see that if you are standing behind a counter, and someone throws a book behind that counter, it is understandable that you might take it personally even if it wasn't really thrown in your direction.He made it extremely clear that he FELT he had experienced a book being thrown at HIM. I did not press this point.
What the hell did I say? It's a complete blank! And I'm always so good at remembering dialog! It's kind of my profession, being a playwright and all that. Truly, I cannot remember one word of what I said in this momentous encounter.
But I certainly remember what HE said: "I guess we both learned something."
So we shook hands, and I left, feeling I had accomplished my mission of apologizing. I was walking home, up the (steep) hill, when it suddenly hit me:
He said he had learned something!
My "Nice Girl" core might have felt twinges of regret.
But being rude had actually accomplished my purpose!
It made him, and probably others, look at the book, understand it was about hating women -- and get rid of it!
How about that? This really gives me something to think about. What will I do, the next time I'm filled with rage at injustice? We'll see!
Dear Bloggellinis: You cannot IMAGINE how useful a miniature spatula is! I have no idea how I lived without one. Terry
LOOK AT THIS PHOTO! You can see pro-Trump demonstrators in the foreground and anti-Trump demonstrators in the background. They are all PEACEFULLY exercising their First Amendment right to free speech.
Why wasn't there any violence, despite Trump's repeated calls for his MAGA minions to drag the whole country into chaos, rather than see their Fearless Leader arrested?
According to the March 6, 2023 report of the Department of Justice:
Approximately 420 federal defendants have had their cases adjudicated and received sentences for their criminal activity on Jan. 6. Approximately 220 have been sentenced to periods of incarceration. Approximately 100 defendantshave been sentenced to a period of home detention, including approximately 15 who also were sentenced to a period of incarceration.
Two hundred and twenty people are in prison
for taking part in the January 6 insurrection.
Some believe that these people in prison are courageous martyrs.
Some believe that these people in prison are fascist thugs or the dupes of fascist thugs.
BUT, NO MATTER WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE, EVERYBODY AGREES THAT 220 PEOPLE ARE IN PRISON! THEY WERE HELD ACCOUNTABLE, FOR THEIR ACTIONS ON JANUARY 6.
Isn't that wonderful?And now, because Trumpers, fascist and otherwise, know that they will be HELD ACCOUNTABLE....
Yesterday, when Trump was actually arrested
for the first time in his long criminal life...
Nobody was willing to do anything illegal to support him!
It was clear, before the blessed Arrest Day, that, as the Associated Press put it:
The desire for repeat mass unrest was not just dampened.
IT WAS DROWNED!
I am certain that Trump believed his followers would drag the country into civil war before they would see him forced to sit at that table with his attorneys.
This is the face of a deeply disappointed man.
After everything we have been through, let us give ourselves a chance to fully savor what happened yesterday.
What happened-- Trump's arrest
What DIDN'T happen -- a violent uprising by Trump's supporters.
No one is above the law. This is the way it's supposed to work in the United States. It often DOESN'T work this way, which is why this despicable man was able to rise to the pinnacle of world power. But yesterday it all worked.
Let us rejoice!
Dear Bloggellinis: Tonight I'm going to a Passover seder, the celebration of the Jews fleeing slavery under the Egyptian Pharaoh. It's always been my favorite holiday. I'm so happy that it coincides with Trump's arrest. Pharaoh has fallen! And it didn't take any miracles from God. It just took the Rule of Law being enforced. It's good to be alive. Terry
(Dear Bloggellinis: If you find this blog worthy, please consider forwarding it to someone. I have 600 subscribers, and I sure would like to have more!
Love, your friendly neighborhood Blogmistress)
Lilith Women's Theater | 547 Douglass St., San Francisco, CA 94114 www.LilithTheater.com