Sunday, February 28, 2021

                         A RECORD OF TEN (10) GOOD THINGS THIS MORNING 

                                PLUS ONE(1)

                        FEBRUARY 23, 2021@10:30AM

 

1.     The sun is shining. Temperatures are moving upward from the recent days of freezing rain and snow.

 

2.     We are not in Texas today, a place of political rancor and natural disaster (or maybe unnatural).

 

3.     The U.S. Senate Committee on Rules (I think it’s Rules) is meeting to delve into the events of January 6, 2021, to discuss and question the happenings of that day at the United States Capitol. The good thing of today - it began on a bipartisan basis as stated by the lead Senator, Amy Klobuchar.

 

4.     My sister received her second Covid vaccine yesterday. She safely drove down the daunting icy hill that protects her home in her four-wheel drive vintage Jeep wagon and then geared up the ice when she came home with the biotics floating and merging inside her.

 

5.     I’m going to my hairdresser this afternoon.

 

6.     I finished watching THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT on Netflix and am now ready for Fran Liebowitz.

 

7.     I have no clothes or sheets or towels or anything that needs to be washed today.

 

8.     I finally figured out how to fashionably wear my wide cropped jeans in the winter with knee highs and boots that rise above the ankle to the calf.

 

9.     I am wearing earrings – large hoops I purchased in a shop close to the waters surrounding Amelia Island. They don’t look as cheap as they were. I wonder why I haven’t worn them before during this Covid eon.

 

10.  It’s really not an eon or whatever an eon is. It’s been a year of doubt, misery, loss - and gain. The loss of lifestyle, livelihoods, lives. The gain of a new, rational President, vaccine preventives, new and good literature, four distinct seasons, of an uptick in politeness, clearer skies and a broader understanding of less carbon, and those virtual stirring moments of musical creativity.

 

Plus 1   --- I wish it was enough.

 

Norma S. Tucker

Friday, February 19, 2021

 POLITICS AND PANDEMIC

The following entries were written during a period of intense political furor. 


WHAT WORDS 1/6/2021


 

They found each other in the Court Chamber, at the attorney table facing the Bench. The Bench where they formerly sat at opposite ends. All the doors were locked, and the building shut down. In their gossamer forms they eluded these barriers. They looked forward to being together again. She, new to this afterlife; he waited for her. In life, they argued founding principles, each finding legitimacy for their opposing legal decisions. They found commonality within their love of arts and family. Became “besties.”

 

Would she describe what was happening as a tohubohu, the Hebrew word for a state of chaos. She would bow her head and think long before speaking even a single word. He, patient to respond in Latin, rebellium. 

 

They had seen the crowds, seemingly out of control. But were they? They soon realized these individuals, and there were thousands, were on a mission to destroy the democratic principles they so fervently professed and protected.

 

This day, born symbolic, with rules and pomp, allows for each state to cast its electoral vote for the next President of the United States. For this maddening crowd, it was not their man. Theirs is a White Master. Theirs is a man born in richness, living lavishly, a man with whom they have nothing in common other than believing he cares about them. He does not.

 

What say Antonin and Ruth, their spirits from urn or grave, what are they saying to each other? Two, who in their lives of justice disagreed, and fought hard with words for their opposing perceived truths and laughed and wept together at the Opera.

 

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

 


For the Record    11/3/2020                                            

Below are morning musings - mine and fellow Tuesday morning writer friend, Terry Walker-- of this momentous, tenuous day.  

1. My morning of Tuesday, November 3, 2020 -    

    This day in American history will not be forgotten or faded as some former presidential elections lose the perceived drama of their times.  No, this is different. this is not a "so be it." This drama is tragic. I was distressed at Bush vs Gore. But there was Laura. She saw him through alcoholism. Maybe , I thought, she will steady him through his second stretch. This time there is no steadiness, no one, only enablers. This emperor has clothes. Red tie, blue suit, white shirt. A crown of tufted gold. 

So does the emperor's wife. Military khaki-green to make a speech in the White House Rose Garden, a garden devoid of color. Her designer's choice to create the image of strength. The night was hot, in the high 80's. She buttoned to the collar, wrist, belted tight at the waist. What is the message? The emperor's wife is trying to tell us something. Her words as bland as khaki. 

What will this day mean at 12:01AM on Wednesday, November 4, 2020? I am breathless while I rinse dishes for the dishwasher, one of the lucky ones to have a dishwasher and foods to dirty those dishes.

I write all this in subdued fury and fear as I prepare for the meeting of my Tuesday Writing Group - on ZOOM. What are the others writing about this morning, I wonder, as I make-up my clean bed after yesterday stripping and washing all the bedclothes for the two times a year of strip and scald. 

The mundane of dishes and bed linens, putting on some lipstick for the few hours I am home, alone, without a mask A mask - to me a sign of liberty and patriotism, to others of bondage and defiance. Later today, November 3, 2020, I will have my hair cut and colored. What will steady me for tomorrow? 

2. by Terry Walker of Tuesday, November 3 - fellow writer

Election Day November 3, 2020
 
    I have risen this morning with a prayer on my lips and hope in my heart that our nation will elect leaders who will assist us to resolve our most pressing problems. I worry, what kind of world are we leaving for our children, grandchildren, and future generations? It is hard work to seek resolution of deeply ingrained conflicts such as racism, gender equality, science, and disparity of wealth. The eyes of the world are on us. May we all rise to a new beginning tomorrow.





Tuesday, October 6, 2020


                                                                HER 

                                                    September 2020 by Norma S. Tucker

Have they no shame?

A paragon has left us.

Give the people 

the time to mourn

HER.


Couldn’t they wait till HER encased body 

took leave of the elegance of the Court 

where she served with rigor  

for the people? 

The first HER to lie in state.


Senators sworn to uphold 

rights and privileges, use their power, 

their arrogance, to intimidate 

to name HER replacement.

Posthaste.

 

Senators whose oratory once spoke of process

now agree only

to wiles and oneness

What’s it really about? I’ll tell you.

Abortion rights!


Two women senators disagree with the lot. 

Is it to follow recent precedent of the nominee

to the Court, the one never heard,  

their hard-won rights in danger by those 

of wiles and oneness? How tenuous is our lives!


I’d like to admire a woman judge, mother of seven 

in this contest. We women can do it all 

with access and resources

not with parochial views, decisions 

bent to church, not state.


Give us room. Not just the delivery room. 

Now!

Let us have the room

to mourn HER,

HER last wish.

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

THAT RAG




That rag is still hanging on the tree, the tree directly in front of my seventh floor balcony, now a bit bare with the last of summer plantings. I wonder if those pink geranium buds will actually bloom this late autumn of inconsistent weather patterns. They seem to want to burst open. This year the trees have not exploded into glorious autumn colors. More spotty and muted, I suppose due to the intense summer heat and drought.

About the rag. Once upon a time it must have been white. It looks grayish, hanging there like an old well-used dishtowel. I think there are brownish stripes on one end.  Or are those the shadows of the scraggly tree twigs and limbs? Maybe it was a T-shirt like the one I recently tore up to dust the shelves in my closet. That T-shirt had a history. Goes back to the late 80”s when I bought it with matching pants for my mother to wear to Physical Therapy sessions after knee surgery. I thought about all that, as I took to the scissors. I liked that outfit and took it home with me after she died several years later. 

Probably that rag stuck on a limb slightly lower than the top rail of my balcony has a history too, once part of a life story. After all, rags were once something else before the shredding. History and emotions aside, the hanging rag is unsightly. My begonias while in bloom in their rail boxes hid the view of the rag from my direct vision. But the begonias died, and I had to remove them to prepare for winter? And the sparse leaves left on the tree will continue to fall and leave the rag in full view?

I’ve reported “it,” the rag, to the maintenance department of my co-op building. The answer I received indicates the solution is pending. The tree was a baby when I first moved to this co-op almost thirty years ago. Imagine thirty years in the same place. My longest home in a long life. The view was totally different in those years past. I could see the driveway, as the cars of family and friends drove to visit, giving me a few more minutes to prepare whatever I was preparing. I miss that view, but this one now can be glorious (without the rag). And I still see the driveway in the winter, after the leaves have all fallen.  

I noticed the rag in the spring before budding, did nothing about it hoping the winds would blow it away. As the buds turned to luscious green leaves, I no longer saw it, or even thought about it. Until now.

I don’t think the tree is climbable. Its trunk and boughs are thin. And the rag is really high up. I don’t know what kind of tree it is – the leaves are oak-like. Yes, they are oak. I looked it up on-line, (LEAF KEY FOR COMMON BROADLEAF TREES IN MARYLAND). I didn’t know there were so many local oak varieties: scarlet oak, southern red oak and northern too. Pin oak, black, and white oak. I think mine are northern red oak – or maybe, black.

I’m not sure a ladder will do it either. Maybe a pole – a very long pole – or a trained squirrel.

******

Post Notes:

I haven’t seen a squirrel so far this autumn. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen an acorn on my neighborhood walks. In my scanty online research, an article in SOUTHERN LIVING, not dated, read, “No squirrels, no acorns.” It seems to me that the title of that article should be turned around. “No acorns, no squirrels.” No training.

 Over coffee at a bagel shop with two long-time friends, one suggested a fishing rod with a large hook at the end of the line.  To launch it from my balcony close to the limb where the rag hangs caught in the twigs. I’ll mention it to another friend, who recently took fly-fishing lessons, before I refer to maintenance. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

HAUNTED

HAUNTED
NORMA TUCKER

Was it me? I’m not sure, or was it someone else? I vaguely remember the parties. I do remember the black face. I keep questioning. I don’t remember it being me. I do remember it being. 

What was it that made us do it? What did it represent: Amos and Andy, Al Jolson singing “Mammy.” A member of a minstrel show with banjo. Was it de-facing? Was it intentionally demeaning? My memory is not of shoe polish, but of using burnt cork to blacken one’s face leaving open bulging eyes. Sometimes blue or green or hazel. I ask myself now. If I can’t remember exactly, should I accept the governor’s quandary of his not remembering?

I started questioning my behavior in all those years before the King marches and the riots. I recall the riot barricades in my neighborhood across from Pimlico racetrack. We could not get beyond. I rode my bike to the demarcation and watched as cars were diverted.

I remembered Pennsylvania Train Station in Baltimore with bathrooms across from each other, benches in between these signs – White, Colored. That’s what we called people not white – colored or Negro. Pennsylvania Avenue at North denoted the split - White – North. Colored -South - more or less. The schools I attended were all segregated, even into my early college years. I grew up in an all white neighborhood- Italians and Jews.

How could I as a Jew disparage or imitate? But I did. There were neighborhoods with restrictive covenants. Falls Road was the dividing line. No Jews or Colored even at swimming pools. I remember my first year of college going with friends to a local swimming hole greeted by the sign “No Colored, No Jews, No dogs! My roommate and I were the only Jews in the all girls dormitory. We did go swimming that day and others. We could pass. We were white.  

As I was, so called, “breast beating,” examining my conscience, behavior, and history after that week of racist disclosure by high level state political leaders. My son consoled me.
“But Mom, you’re talking about your life in the 50’s and early 60’s. Not the 80’s.” 

Do the years or the decades make a difference in the lives of young people who grew up in segregated times or after, with bold, historic stories of Confederate valor? We cried to “Gone With the Wind.” 

My home in Maryland, by geography, was below the Mason-Dixon line that measured and divided the Northern and Southern States – the Confederacy and the Union. Its people were divided in loyalty to these two entities. A century later our prejudices were still not discouraged nor our acceptance of lesser and the myth of separate and equal, or was it separate but equal?

Did I smear burnt cork all over my face and hands? Did the black come off when I bobbed for apples? ? Was it me? Who was it?





Wednesday, August 22, 2018



I’ve taken too long a hiatus from posting. These are troubled times. I hope to return to more frequent posting. 

INTRO – The prompt at the Tuesday morning meeting of my writing group was “abundance.”  We, the five of us who attended that morning, looked quizzically at each other, grew quiet, and soon began writing. Here’s my 20-minute response. I admit to a few light edits since that morning writing of August 7, 2018



            There is no stoplight. No ends. Or elusive ends at best. When will the fires in California go out? What will it take to extinguish flames and rebuild homes and restore the forests that provide shade and respite - challenging hiking trails, and the sight and sound of birds and brooks? It will take an abundance of resources that are continually dwindling - scarce water due to drought, charred timber, dwindling finances.

What will it take to stop ranting “tweets,” the abundance of falsehoods and accusations that distort our society? What will be the effect of the repeal of regulations to protect our fragile lives and lands, our rivers and oceans once full of treasures, plant and animal?  What will it take to stop the forage of our national monuments and protected lands born of the vagaries of nature, geology, and earlier civilizations? That we behold in awe.

There is an abundance of wreckage around us, maybe not here and now, but there, somewhere else, and soon to us. Wreckage with no limits as natural barriers are destroyed. Devastating rains and floods, wildfires, and rising ocean waters filled with human debris choking flora and fauna. A grieving mother whale occupied the news for days, She in the polluted waters for days holding her dead baby loathe to let go,. 

What will it take to halt the grief of loss personified by this stricken mother whale? What will it take to halt development on eroding lands that kill our dedicated firefighters? What will it take to end the grief, of parents, the loss and abuse of their children separated and cruelly confined?