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Friday, November 19, 2004


Stopped in to say that --

after many years of good works and world saving -- I'm taking off in the morning for a shamelessly self-indulgent weekend. Not sure if I've simply given up on ever singlehandedly turning history on its ear, cleaning out the scoundrels that are currently swinging the country around like a cat by its tail -- or -- if I'm simply too discouraged to continue tilting at windmills and am finally facing the need to cede the battle to the enemy and move on. My patron saint has always been Don Quixote. Never for one minute did I believe that I couldn't do whatever the hell needed doing; so I did it! It didn't stay done, and there's a part of me that knows that -- for whatever it's worth -- the time is not available to me to do it all over again.

Discouraged? Maybe. But in a weird way I'm feeling relieved, as well. Been a long time since I've worn a paper hat, and confetti is the very essence of the lightness of being. I've stashed some in my briefcase for tossing into the wind of my immediate future ... .

Lovely story to be shared:

At the dedication of the Bay Trail markers on Wednesday I was approached by a lovely young African American woman who announced with a grin, "...you're Betty Reid Soskin! I'm so pleased to meet you. You don't know me; the name's Jackie and I transcribed your oral history interview for the Bancroft Library project at the university -- and I feel that I know you very well, indeed." Then she went on with unabashed delight, "...it should be a mini-series. It should star Hallie Berry!" We were interrupted by the text-writer for the plaques (from the Redevelopment Agency) who was standing nearby listening to our conversation, she added, "...oh, Betty, you may be hearing from Kevin Guillory of Channel 9 (PBS). The channel is considering the creation of a documentary on the untold stories of WWII, and we'll need you on our panel." Felt like a rock star! How cool it that?

I think that was about the point where I mentally shut off the television, set my car radio to a 24-hour jazz station permanently, stopped in at the mall and bought myself some new lingerie (okay so they're pink pjs with no feet or dropseat), booked myself a pedicure at the local salon, and made plans to drop the grandmothering and the world-saving and take off for some hearth-sitting and whale watching and star gazing and driving north through autumn leaves toward who knows what?

Having reduced my (more manageable) planetary sphere to 500 feet, I will now withdraw my life from the public to the personal, at least until I can orient myself to living with this feeling of being at the mercy of forces totally beyond my control.

Maybe that's all that really mattered, anyway.

Maybe the rest is pure illusion ... .

Maybe I'm living a lovely vignette -- at least for now.

Besides, now is all there is, but then

I've always known that.



Note: Been experimenting with uploading photos. So far I've sent 10 to the CBreaux Annex blog (reachable from the link in the left column) but only 1 arrived. Back to the drawing board. But that 1 is a photograph of the Bay Trail Marker from last week's photo shoot. Take a look. It's quite beautiful. The other 9 pictures are from my wedding album (the beginning of the second half). Fifty was a hoot! Actually I may have been a few years older than fifty at that time. Great photos. Probably pulled that album out today because that may have been another time when I felt this light and expectant -- and pleased to simply be ... .

I'll try again when there's time and I better understand the process.

Photo: Taken at my very private wedding ceremony at home in the hills of Berkeley.

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