What a week it’s been. We broke high and low temperature records on Monday—101F and a low of only 79F. Then on Thursday the Supreme Court made it the right of nearly every yahoo to openly carry a gun in public. And Friday, ya’ll know what happened Friday. The Court decided to overturn 50 years of legal precedent by invalidating Roe v Wade. I fought hard to not cry at my desk at work when I heard the news. But when I biked home and church chimes rang out the half-hour by playing the Star Spangled Banner, I yelled “Fuck you America!” over and over while the bells rang. A tweet I saw sums it up nicely: I now live in a country where guns have more rights than I do.

Abortion is legal in Minnesota. We have a 24-hour waiting period, which is onerous to many, but at least the procedure is available. I made a donation today to a clinic in Fargo, North Dakota, to help it move to Morehead Minnesota, right across the border. Fargo and Morehead are so intertwined on the Red River, that they are often referred to like the Twin Cities, rarely in the singular, most often as Fargo-Morehead. So the clinic will be able to offer services to women only a walk or drive across the river.

I don’t know what else to do right now. I feel like shouting in the streets, while certainly cathartic, will change nothing. And I bristle every time I see people say the answer is to vote. I vote. I always vote. I have never missed an election since I turned 18. And look what my voting has gotten done. I’m also pissed off at the Democrats who are all making statements about how horrible and we support women and blah blah blah. And to them I want to say, the fuck you do. If they did, they would have codified the right to choose long ago instead of allowing it to be slowly chipped away. And now fuck them all for using this as a way to get money and votes for their re-election campaigns. What are they going to do when the court overturns same-sex marriage and birth control rights? I want to vote them all out of office except I have no one to vote for instead because we have such a crappy two-party system in this country.

Thank you for allowing to get some of my rage out.

This week I am on vacation from work, and this morning right after breakfast I got to have nearly three hours of uninterrupted garden therapy. Ahhhh. The peas have small pods on them, some of the mustard is big enough to pick a few leaves, I have small beet plants, the potatoes are looking a-mazing.

I picked a single honeyberry and gave it to James. It is the only one we got this year due to Fat Rabbit devastation. And to my utter surprise, the bush it came from was one I thought was surely dead since bark was even chewed off. Clearly, I need to have more faith in how well plants can recover. I mean, I thought the bush cherries were dead, but they are looking better than they have in a long time. Granted, they are a lot smaller than they were, but they are growing vigorous and strong.

elderberry tree in bloom covered in white flowers
Should be lots of elderberries this year

Sadly, it seems the sour cherry tree is dying. I am not sure why. All of its branches got buds in spring but only half the tree actually leafed out, the rest of the buds just died. But the branches that leafed out bloomed and had a bunch of cherries on them. Last week I noticed all the cherries were gone and all but a few leaves had died. I don’t know if there is some kind of disease or whether the monster elderberry became too monstrous. I will not likely get a new tree since the elderberry will happily fill the space.

Over the weekend the new neighbors had a bunch of friends over to help them put up a fence. I understand they need a fence because they have two dogs, but they went full privacy fence. It’s not bad as far as big fences go, but one of the things I have always thought super awesome about Minnesota is the scarcity of privacy fences. There are either no fences at all between yards or they tend to be chainlink or otherwise low and unobtrusive—enough to keep the kids, dogs or chickens in the yard, but not so huge as to block out the sight of your neighbors. So I guess there will be no chatting or sharing of garden produce with them. We gave them eggs when they moved in, but now that we will have to go knock on their door, I doubt there will be any additional egg gifts. And when the raspberries are ripe, I won’t be able to tell them to feel free to reach over my low fence and help themselves.

wooden privacy fence

I’m kind of sad about that. But I am trying to think positively about the fence. Since it is on the north side of my garden, it will provide a nice wind block, especially in winter when the wind blows most often from the north. And I am curious to see how it might affect the climate of the garden. Will that side of the garden have some new microclimates? I’m not sure how warm and reflective wood fencing is. I guess I will find out!

In life with no car news, things are going great. Sunday we picked up some fresh made bagels near our house and biked over to Minnehaha Falls Park to meet a friend we haven’t seen in ages for an al fresco brunch and catch-up. It was also grocery shopping day, and afterward we biked to our co-op and loaded up Esme with two weeks of groceries and a 50-pound bag of flour. Since James bakes all of our bread in addition to pancakes, waffles, cookies, etc, and we get a 10% special order membership discount, it is much more economical to buy a huge bag of flour that lasts several months than it is to buy a little flour every two weeks.

cargo bike loaded up with groceries
hauling stuff like a boss!

I was a little wobbly at first until I figured out the balance, and then it was no big deal. This is the biggest load yet I’ve carried on the e-cargo bike. I think I need to invest in some cargo straps though because, while it’s fun and creative to MacGyver it all will rope, a belt, and a bungee cord, actual straps would provide more security and peace of mind for hauling big things. Have I mentioned how much I love this bike?

Reading
Listening
  • Podcast: On Being: adrienne maree brown, “We are in a time of new suns.” This was a lovely episode to listen to. At one point brown said that we are in a battle of imagination, and this strikes me as true. I did not imagine Roe could be struck down, but there are others who did, and they worked to make that reality. I can imagine a better world, we all can, but just imagining is not enough. We have to imagine and then work to make what we imagine real.
  • Podcast: The Great Simplification: Jason Bradford: “A Hybrid Path to the Future of Farming.” This was most excellent. Bradford is an organic farmer, author, and activist and he talks about food, energy, biodiversity, soil health and more. He is really smart and interesting to listen to.
Watching
  • Almost Invisible Angels A short, beautiful film from Extinction Rebellion about insects
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It was ok. Doctor Strange wasn’t as much of a jerk as he usually is but he’s still full of himself to think that he could use the Darkhold book of spells without consequences after he was all wigged out about Wanda–the Scarlet Witch–having read it and going off the deep end over grief for her lost children. And of course there will be consequences, which sets up for the next movie.

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28 thoughts on “Rage

  1. I’ve been absolutely gobsmacked by the news from the US, but I suppose it was peopled by the Puritans who were so weird we were glad to see the back of them. I think that everyone who has been an anti abortion supporter should be made to contribute the the financial burden thrust on women who weren’t able to do what they knew was best for them. I read in the Guardian yesterday that a 10 year old pregnant incest victim has been refused an abortion – how cruel is that?! The mind boggles.

    1. It’s not the Puritans Katrina, it’s the right-wing evangelicals coupled with neo-liberal authoritarian rich white men. Yes, there are states now that make no exceptions for abortion including rape and incest. Despicable.

  2. I agree with what Laila said. People who are vaguely Democrats thought voting for Biden would be enough, saying they were not interested in politics and showing they weren’t noticing the Republican groundwork that was being laid since at least 2016.
    Like what you say about plants, that we should have more faith in how well plants can recover, I think we need to have more faith in the Democratic party, and that means we need to volunteer at the local level.
    I’ve been volunteering since January 2017, and it’s not easy but feels essential.

    1. You are right Jeanne, the Republicans have been laying the groundwork for a very long time, much longer than 2016. They have been playing the long game in plain sight and the Democrats and the rest of us have just been watching in disbelief. I don’t have much faith in the Democratic party as a whole, I do have faith in certain people within it though. You’ve been doing great work! Thank you for that!

  3. I can understand your rage, Stefanie, and I like how you expressed it in this post. I think it’s a very appropriate response to what’s going on right now. I think we’re often taught that anger is bad, but I read somewhere that it’s like a loyal friend, telling you when things are badly wrong and you really need to do something about it.

    I agree, voting is important, but it’s not a solution on its own. I believe women in America will reclaim their rights, but only after a long, organised mass movement involving strikes, protests, civil disobedience, bombarding the media, putting direct pressure on members of Congress, etc. An abortion rights law and perhaps a broader women’s rights law will be passed, I strongly believe that, but it will need essentially another Civil Rights movement to get it done. I think the rage that you and millions of other Americans are feeling right now could be a potent fuel to help power that movement.

    1. Thanks Andrew! Oh, I like what you say about rage being a loyal friend, that’s good stuff!

      Yes, we will reclaim our rights but it is going to be a long struggle to get there, a struggle I never thought we’d need to have again. Clearly, unless you’re a rich white man in this country, your rights are not secure. The patriarchy needs to be broken once and for all. There is a very interesting lawsuit in Florida right now filed by a Jewish Synagogue claiming the FL abortion ban infringes on their constitutional religious freedom rights because in Judaism, they do not believe life begins at conception and believe a woman should (I want to say required but I’m not 100% on that) have an abortion is her life is in danger. So it will be interesting to see what happens with that!

  4. Although I have voted in every election since I was 18 as well, I live in IN, a highly conservative state, and so I feel that my vote won’t do much. To be fair, the local city is liberal, and so I see change through those elections, but I do feel for you and your frustration when folks just keep saying “vote.” Although I’m glad people are passionately protesting, I don’t know that that does anything. I read recently something about MLK believing that protesting isn’t that effective. I wish I had saved the article. Other than that, I guess we can support the people close to us by providing rides or funds to get across state lines, or if that have children already volunteer to babysit so the parents can get to the nearest (which may be far away) clinic, etc.

    1. Oh Melanie, if you ever remember the title of the MLK article I’d love to know it especially since he was so instrumental in civil rights protests. I wonder, if he thought actions were what was needed, like the bus boycotts, etc? I’ve been intending to do some deep reading of his work for some time because he was a lot more radical that white culture has smoothed him into.

      1. There has to be more information about protests and their efficacy…. The whole world protested George Floyd’s murderer, and he was convicted. But we had our women’s marches, our gun marches, etc. and nothing is happening. I did just grab a copy of Read & Riot: A Timely Guide to Radical Protest, with Words, Actions, and Inspiration to Ignite the Power of the People and Joyfully Resist by the founder of Pussy Riot.

        1. I think there is information about protest efficacy. I could be making it up, but I think I heard that protests are good for charing public opinion and that once public opinion changes, culture and laws follow. but don’t quote me on that! Oh, Looking forward to hearing about what you think of Read & Riot!

          1. I’m thinking, and the only protest I can come up with that appeared to have a result was the marches for the murder of George Floyd, and those happened across the entire planet.

            I’m hoping Pussy Riot has some helpful instructions on how to protest and get into good trouble!

            1. Sadly Melanie, the George Floyd protests didn’t have much results in Minneapolis at all if you look at changing policing. We’ve hade several more police shootings of unarmed black men since then, one of them on a no-knock warrant (the mayor had allegedly suspended no-knocks, but it turns out not really) and the guy killed was sleeping on his friend’s couch after a late night at work. The guy they were after wasn’t even in the apartment. The officer who killed the man was not charged with a crime and received no disciplinary action. However, if you talk about raising the issues to a national level of conversation, the protests worked.

              I am reading How to Blow Up a Pipeline by Andreas Malm and he has some really interesting takes on protesting. Hope you are enjoying the Pussy riot book!

            2. I hadn’t even thought about the local politics changing; I was mostly thinking that it was surprising that an office was charged and found guilty. That never seems to happen, and I wonder if it was because the whole world was watching. I’ve read in random places that no-knock warrants are harrowing for everyone, and thus they make little sense at all. They’re dangerous for officers who don’t know what they’re walking into, they’re dangerous for anyone in the residence who has no clue what’s going on and suspect they’re being robbed or attacked. I just fail to see how a no-knock can end well on ANY level.

              That Malm book sounds intense! I’ll be he’s on an FBI list in some digital filing cabinet.

  5. Hello Stefanie, sending solidarity and strength from afar. What can I say… A bunch of bigoted old guys from the other side of the world (for me) ruined my weekend as well (but did not endanger me and my rights, so far). The image of America abroad is very bad since Trump and that did nothing to help. You mentioned some time ago the podcast Crazy town and the episode called Stop Saving the planet, which I happened to listen to yesterday and today. As the guest and host mention, there is a politeness problem. Well, imo that is it: American democrats so far wanted to be nice and polite and vote, but the people that Trump got on the power seats are not polite and not playing nice. So I understand your rage and this righteous fire will give you energy.

    1. Thank you Smithereens! Sorry the jerks ruined your weekend too! Oh yes, it’s going downhill here in America, though a small group of people will tell you they are making America great again. I think they all need new dictionaries because their idea of great is a bit off. Glad you heard the podcast. Yeah, the politeness problem, heh. It is something that has plagued the Democrats here for far too long. It’s time to stop turning the other cheek, so to speak.

  6. I’m so glad you have time this week to relax and work in the garden. I’m also so glad that the bike shopping is going well. As for the court… it’s been terrifying and enraging. But these people have been working and organizing for 50 years and now the rest of us (the majority in this country by polls) need to figure out how to organize as well. I started by making a small monthly contribution to a regional abortion fund. It’s a start but I need to figure out what else to do. My elected officials (TN) are idiots so there’s no hope there. I feel like the arc will bend back to equality and justice but it’s going to take work and a lot more organization than Democrats have ever shown before. But there are a lot of people who are angry and don’t want to take this bullcrap anymore!

    1. Thanks Laila! Well done with your contribution. I think you are right that we will swing back to equality and justice, but it’s going to take a lot of work. I wonder if there are any folks in your area running for local positions or congress you might feel good about volunteering for? help turn TN blue 🙂

  7. I share your rage, and I know that we will move beyond to action. Your support for the MN provider adjacent to ND is a great first step. Stay strong. There is a great essay in the NYT by Mary Pipher, “Finding Light in Darkness” that I recommend. Love your gardening posts!

    1. Thanks Crimsoner! You stay strong too! There is so much crap right now, we need to take care of ourselves and uplift and support each other. Thank you for the Pipher article recommendation, it was very good!

      1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. My book group read Women Rowing North about 3 years ago, so I recognized her name and the title of the article intrigued me.

        1. I read her book Reviving Ophelia so many years ago. It was good. So I was just looking to see what else she has written and now I am in the library holds queue for Writing to Change the World 🙂

  8. There’s lots I’d like to respond to on your post. The one I’m going to commiserate with is the “privacy fence” or as I refer to them as “neighbor hater fences”. I’ve strongly expressed my feelings to both my neighbors if they ever put in one of those fences we would move. We’re all pretty friendly here in Ivyland & so far – no neighbor hater fences on our end.
    Gun laws / Roe vs Wade —- don’t get me started. It makes me want to scream too. It comes down to figuring out what we can do (other than vote since we already do that)

    1. Heh Helen, neighbor hater fences, love it! It’s true though. James keeps saying that maybe they are nudists, in which case the fence isn’t tall enough since our yard is a little higher than theirs and we can see over the fence from our deck. Perhaps we will get a eye full? 😀

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