Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Feeling a bit more accepting today.

The anger at having Jessica caught up in the insanity of a faraway brutal war was really unsettling. The effort to keep those thoughts suppressed was taking its toll. It's at such times that I find myself re-living past indignities -- remembering the war of my own youth and of the unfairness suffered by my young husband at the hands of the navy. Times have changed since then, I keep actively reminding myself. The armed forces have been racially integrated -- and are far ahead of the private sector in many ways, at least on that score. After all -- we've got General Colin Powell and Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice (the Ice Queen) now in place -- and how sad it that? I find little solace in those appointments. I find only embarrassment in Justice Clarence Thomas. And have only contempt for that Blackwell guy who figured so strongly in the Ohio election day debacle. Something truly vital was lost on the way to full racial equality. One day I'll need to give that more thought. It's puzzling ... .

Today was the day that I met with Executive Director, Ramona Samuels, (Richmond Main Street Initiative). We spent two hours envisioning the Arts & Entertainment District that I've been writing and dreaming about for several years. She believes that we can actually bring it to life. It was an exciting conversation where two enthusiastic women spend the best part of a morning talking in incomplete sentences! I don't believe that either of us ever finished a thought without interruption! That's the best kind of meeting. No notes taken except for a few scribbles on a legal pad -- but we spent as much time permanently etching those thoughts on our minds as if they were more precious than gold. I have a feeling that -- if anyone were taping us -- they'd have found little coherence, but WE knew that we were in an inspired verbal exchange! Maybe that's a "woman" thing.

I brought along the binder in which I've been keeping centennial notes, photographs, the four essays I put together while working with the National Park Service; the documentation upon which the essays are based, etc. She caught the excitement that I've been feeling and -- just one day before I'm to meet with my future boss. Wouldn't you know it? Just as this huge project begins to show signs of life I'm going to find myself involved in city government -- one city away! (Maybe two, actually.) Will have to find a way to continue to work with Richmond as a volunteer while warming up the new territory in Berkeley. I truly can't afford to not have regular employment without sacrificing the financial stability I've been trying to maintain for Dorian. During the past idle year I've had to draw upon investments more than I would have wished. I need to shore that up while I still can, and while "the world" still sees me as a viable contributor. That can't go on much longer. Old Al Zheimers is sure to catch up with me at some point. He's a viscious predator and no respecter of one's capacity to "promote the general welfare."

Tomorrow we'll have lunch and I'll get a feel for this new councilman and for his expectations of a new policy staffperson. Tomorrow evening I'll meet again with the group of teachers for a continuation of our search for answers having to do with threatened privatization after the recently-announced school closures. But on Thursday late afternoon I'll meet my new friend at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where we'll feed our souls. Later we'll feed our bodies with dinner at historic Tadish's Seafood restaurant in the financial district. Then there's a Christmas party at the home of the artistic director of the East Bay Center for the Arts on Friday evening. On Saturday late afternoon and evening I'll share the annual Christmas party with a dear Berkeley friend and her family.

Carefully woven through the fabric of the next few days will be thoughts of Jessica; the horror of the headlines coming from overseas; headlines that I will scrupulously not read; shouting pundits I'll not listen to; and (maybe) snatches of songs I've not yet written ...

And ... on Sunday morning, as is usually the case, I'll find that I've survived it all.

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