Today’s blog shall discuss the huge problem with living in the present at the present time. But hats off to Andy Borowitz whose humour based on current events does keep one centered in the here and now. Here is one of his latest offerings, dated January 13,2021 entitled Republicans Accuse Liz Cheney of Reading the Constitution. “Outrage swept through the Republican caucus as members of the House G.O.P. accused Representative Liz Cheney of reading the United States Constitution.Leading the charge was the Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who called Cheney’s alleged reading of the 1787 document “treasonous.” “Liz Cheney was so brazen about reading the Constitution that she did not even attempt to hide her tracks,” Gaetz said, noting that she had “flagrantly mentioned the Constitution” in her statement explaining her vote to impeach Donald J. Trump.For violating the Republicans’ zero-tolerance policy toward Constitution-reading, Gaetz said that Cheney, not Trump, should be immediately impeached.“Liz Cheney has committed the high crime of reading the Constitution,” Gaetz said. “As God is my witness, that is something I will never do.”
I crinkle (crease, fold, pucker, gather, furrow, ridge, line, corrugation, groove, crumple, rumple) with delight reading about the zero-tolerance policy” and the “high crime of reading the Constitution”. I am positive that Liz Cheney did as well.
The majority (if not all) mental health professionals highly recommend living in the present – not ruminating about the past nor worrying about the future. My ability to live in the present most operative seemingly from my near death experience – being struck by a motorcycle as I looked the wrong way, my second day in London, September 13, 2014. Landed on my head – needed 27 staples in my head and 26 stitches on my forehead. Driver of motorcycle not charged nor was it worthwhile to pursue legal remedies – the joys of legal and enforcement systems in the UK.But recovery was swift and was able to go to classes in a timely fashion – I was in London on a student visa and therefore, was enrolled in graduate school. So living the in present was my motto – but along came the pandemic, or whatever one wants to call this living hell under which we live. It is impossible to live in the present, as there is none – normal human interaction censored, frowned upon, distancing the order of the day. The future is unknown, bleak and very much out of reach. So one is stuck with the past. But my was paved, in many ways by two circumstances. The first, the gathering together of moments of my past when the possessions locked away storage facility of six and a half years came back into my life. It was it first overwhelming but now order has been restored, moments are accessible and now, bring back fond memories. The fondness of the memories is the consequence of my conversion to the Islamic faith. Through the process of obviation, all the anger, rancour, hurt and regret have disappeared – the memories are rather like facts, often fond facts. The following shall serve as an example. In 1987, there was an exhibit of my photography at the Board of Supervisors Chambers at the Marin County Civic Center. A brochure announced that it was My Yard, The Flora, Fauna, and Folks Who Visit. My precious cat, Ishi was the poster boy. The black and white photo of him featured on the brochure and a framed photo on the wall of my bathroom. But there also was an in artfully framed copy of the words of the brochure which will follow. Although it is written in the third person, I was the author, I clearly recall.
“Alexis McBride’s exhibit of photography provides an intimate glimpse into her private world, as she has documented it in the last two years since she moved to property she purchased in West Marin. “These photographs portray my yard, a 2.66 acre parcel which sits astride the San Andreas Fault. Its beauty is enhanced by an apple orchard, marshland, an enormous bay tree, and two buildings (one a former veterinary clinic.) There are also weeks too numerous to mention and some decomposed granite which is the only thing the deer do not eat.” McBride began her photographic avocation in a black and white darkroom at home. Later, during studies in law school, the lack of available time forced her to switch to color, which did not require her own time in the darkroom. After years of experimentation, she has also studies through Pt. Reyes Field Seminars. Her other vocation is to work as an attorney with Marin County Counsel’s Office. Alexis McBride bought her land not realizing the implications of such a commitment. Her experience in gardening had been limited to ignoring house plants, but now she has learned to somewhat control the flow of nature at her door. Her photographs chronicle the change of seasons and her renewed recognition of the land and creatures around her. She marvels at all the changes and decided to use her photography to capture her observations of both life and desolation. “I am still overwhelmed by the land’s vastness and complexity.” McBrides states. There has been change evolution, growth and death. But I am not alone. I share my yard with all that you see , as well as snails, rabbits, deer, moles, gophers, and whatever consumes my compost.”
Typing these words startled me. Subsequent to my return to California in 2019 Care Giver and I rode to view the property, sold to the present owner in 1992 ( I think). But later during the horrible fires that ignited most of California there was an evacuation order which included the very house and second unit. I have not returned to see if it is still standing. I will try to summon the courage – perhaps my new family will accompany me in the event that the worst happened. I will ask them. I was remembered in the town of Pt. Reyes when I returned months ago, it was gratifying. I often say: Me: Hi, I am Alexis McBride, I know you, do you remember me? They: Of course I remember you! (That is the inevitable response)
I am not silly enough to ask them what they remember about me but they laughingly provide a response.
There is hope in the midst of this desolation – you shall hear of it in the next blog which will focus on Amini Wadad, born in 1952, converting to the Islamic faith when she was twenty. She had a head start on me. Although born in 1943, it took me until the ripe age of seventy-seven. Well, better late than never they often say. What does that mean? It is better to do something after it was supposed to have been done than not to do it at all.
Photo of Ishi and brochure to follow.