Buffalo Strong

I had a plan, you see.  I was going to write today about the Bans Off Our Bodies rally I attended on Saturday morning.  Then, for Thursday, I was going to post about how I caught my biggest fish yet, and how nature has replaced church for me. 

But then, after fishing, I stopped at the Tops on Harlem real quick to get some milk, and then I headed home and curled up with my phone…y’know, to check my socials and messages and such.  I saw a Facebook post from a friend about the local hospital, and suddenly the world crashed down and the fish, and even the rally, seemed insignificant.

On Saturday afternoon, 13 people we shot and 10 people died at the Tops on Jefferson, fifteen minutes from my house, because a self-proclaimed 18-year-old white supremacist decided that was the place in the state of New York where he could murder the most black people.

That is a lot to unpack, and I don’t know how much I will get to in just one post.

I had just walked out of a Tops.  I texted Jaime…she had just walked out of a Wegmans.  How many of us went grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon? It may seem silly, but knowing that I was doing the same thing as my neighbors on the east side of town when they were gunned down…it just turned my stomach.

As details came out, we learned the shooter had posted a manifesto online, as well as livestreamed the attack on Twitch.  We discovered that he had selected the Tops on Jefferson because that zip code has the highest black population in the state.  Our elected officials made it very clear that he was an “outsider.”

Cute.

Listen, I love my city, deeply.  But we have a racism problem…deeply.  We are on the list of the most segregated cities in the nation, and even a tourist can tell, folks.  Have you EVER taken a visiting friend to the east side for any reason, white Buffalonian reading this?  Ok, actually, I have done this…I took a friend there because they wanted to get some weed.  That’s the reputation the east side has in white Buffalo.  Drugs, crime…and black people. 

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t white folks on the east side, because there are certainly black people in my mostly white south side neighborhood as well, There’s just less.  Everyone who lives here knows: the whites live in North and South Buffalo, the blacks live on the east side, and the Hispanics are to the west.  All of this sounds super racist, and it is.  It’s also a fact. 

My neighborhood is strongly Irish, and therefore mostly white.  We live within ten minutes of 6 grocery stores…3 of them are Tops.  The Masten neighborhood is mostly black, and they have one.  Wegmans won’t set foot over there.  There’s an Aldi’s not too far away, but you would definitely need a car to get there, and Masten is a lower income neighborhood, so that’s not an option for everyone.  People in that area live with food insecurity everyday…I don’t.  I might feel like it lately, while money is very tight and I can’t get the things I want, but I do have enough food in my cupboard to survive.  I’m not worried about where my next meal is coming from.

And I’m not worried about being shot at my grocery store, either.  Probably should be, but I’m not, at least not by a Nazi.  I am never worried about being attacked by a hate group, because I am a white woman, and no one wants a dead white girl on their hands.  Generally, I don’t worry about gun violence at all…because I am privileged.  The people in that grocery store are more worried about it than I am, because someone gets hurt on that side of town from gun violence nearly every day.  My point here is that I worry about neither guns nor white supremacy, because I live in a “safe” (read: white) neighborhood.  I put “safe” in quotes, because it isn’t, exactly.  We have crime, too.  We have our low-income section, and we have folks who just don’t give a crap sometimes, also.  Overall, though, my neighborhood is definitely considered “better” than theirs, here in Western New York.

Anyway, like I was saying, mayor Byron Brown was adamant that the terrorist came from outside the community.  Here’s the thing…I know more than one person who was betting on which suburb this asshole came out of, because we all automatically assumed he was a WNYer.  EVERYBODY knows we have a racism problem in the area.  We had a crapton of arrests in Erie County related to Jan. 6th.  I remember seeing tour buses carrying folks down to DC.  Yes, my city is mostly democratic, but the outlying areas are abundant with MAGA republicans.  And while Buffalo itself tends to vote blue, we do have a fairly dodgy police force to contend with, along with the basic segregated setup of the city.  I mean, my first thought when I heard about this shooting was: we need to check on our black friends.  Might sound racist because I was thinking about their skin color, but the truth of it is that they all use that grocery store, because they all live on the east side.

Me, I went to that Tops once at 8am to use the bathroom on the way home from a doctor’s appointment.  I have never had any reason to be there, other than that.  I only ever go to that particular neighborhood if I am visiting the Science Museum there.  I have often wanted to…they have a big park with an amazing splash pad that my kids would have loved in their youth.  Alas…we never went. 

Racism is a huge problem in my city and if you don’t believe that then you either don’t live here or you’re a racist.  It’s as plain as day to anyone with a conscience that we need to change the way we do things around here.  Because that murderer wasn’t from here…but he could have been.  He oh-so-easily could have been.

Buffalo is known as the City of Good Neighbors, and it is.  One time my car got stuck in a snowbank on the east side, and four very large black men approached.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly nervous (of course, their gender trumped their skin color in my mind, but still.)  These gentlemen pushed me out of the snowbank and got me on my way.  I was exceedingly grateful.  Yeah, maybe it’s true that nobody wants a dead white girl on their hands, but I’d also like to believe that nobody in this city wants anyone to be in trouble if they can help.  Do you have any idea how many snowbanks a stranger has pushed me out of, or how many times a neighbor mowed my lawn just to be nice, or helped shovel the sidewalk?  Tons and tons and tons.  All we do is help each other, which is why I have no doubt that we as a community will make it through this crisis.

So sadly, I can’t tell you about how great the rally was, or how big the fish was.  Maybe I will save those for later this week, but they have become afterthoughts in my mind.  And I’m nowhere close to being done talking about what happened in my city, because I am a firm believer that if you want change you have to stay and fight for it.  All I know right now is that my heart hurts for this place I love so dearly.  I only hope we can all find a way to heal.

My Tiniest Bestie

I didn’t write this week, except a piece for my Patreon, because I was too stressed out to settle my head into any sort of space to get work done.  Even now, a part of me doesn’t want to sit here at the desk and peck out my words, but I am because if I fall off too hard, I won’t get back up.  So, here’s some words about my tiniest bestie.

Last night I was feeling down, so after work I went over to my Gram’s house because on Fridays there’s always folks over for dinner.  It was just her, two of my aunts, and my 12-year-old cousin, G.  I was going there solely to get a hug from my Gram, because Gram hugs are the best hugs, but I ended up with a solid gold 10-out-of-10 hug the moment I walked in, and it came from G.  They are short, so they wrapped their arms around my waist and squeezed and said they were happy to see me.  This filled me with joy and made me feel instantly less crappy.  G has a way of doing this, though, and has been doing it for over a decade.

I remember the Easter when my aunt Mary told me she was pregnant and I was so excited, and then the following Thanksgiving they burst on the scene, a miracle baby made from love and science!  By the end of June, my yet-to-be husband was living in their house, and I was seeing them every day.  They would toddle over in the morning and take my empty coffee cup and climb onto the sofa beside me and watch the news while pretending to drink from my cup.  Mark would play blocks with them and read them stories.  They would holler out the window at us when we were in the yard, baby-speaking to us as though we  could understand them.  “Skibidee,” or “Skibs,” remains Mark’s favorite nickname for them-those were the noises they would make when they were in deep conversation with us, before they learned their words.

After Mark moved out, I didn’t see tbem as much, but we still had playdates often and family events where we would hang…and that’s when I realized-we hang.  They have always thrown down with me the exact same way an adult would.  They has always been considerate and kind with me, never bossy or manipulative or begging or the million other things kids can be when they are kids.  They show great maturity when with me, so in turn, I have always spoken with them as though they are my peer.  G isn’t just my little cousin, or a friend of my kids, they are my friend.

So yesterday, when I needed a friend, I walked into the door of my grandmother’s house and found one.  They ran up to hug me and instantly took away my rain clouds.  We sat across from each other at dinner and they had conversations with me and Gram and my aunts, and it was lovely.  They also drew me a picture of a cat, which I shall keep because I personally also think they’re a brilliant artist.  The moral of the story is that I went home smiling and now it’s morning and I’m thinking about them and I’m still smiling.  So what if they’re 12?  That’s a good friend that can make you do that.

G’s first Christmas.

The World Ain’t Slowing Down

On Thursday, I had therapy.  My counselor was quite pleased, because for the first time in our year together, I was at baseline!  Sure, there was some circumstantial stuff happening, but overall, I was peachy-keen, and we were so pleased with my mood.  Then Friday happened, and I thought, “welp, that was a nice minute of calm.”  I desperately want to get in for an emergency session right now, but my therapist is booked up at the moment so I’m waiting on a call back…which means that you, dear reader, get to play counselor today.

My mother, as I mentioned previously, had a quadruple bypass on the 19th of April.  She came home the following Saturday, and was doing ok.  In the mornings, I would go over and make her coffee and get her pills and wake her up, so Dad can sleep in a little.  On Thursday night, she called and told me not to come over at the usual time, which is between 5 and 6am, because she wanted to sleep in.  So, I set my alarm for 7am, when I have to take my eyedrops.  I woke then, got myself moving, and headed over to Mom’s at about 7:15.  I made the coffee and got the pills, and went into her room to find her sprawled on her back making a terrible noise.  Dad was snoring beside her, completely unaware.  I tried to wake her, but it was no use, so he finally came to when he heard me yelling at her, and tried smacking her in the face.  Nothing.  We tested her blood sugar and it was very low, so we trier to get sugar in her, but she only choked on it, and I had to get behind her and lift her up, which couldn’t be good for my eyes or her heart, but needed to be done.  No use.  So, we called 911.

As I type this, I think of my mother some time in the future reading it, and doing two things: one, she is crying because she feels terrible to have put us through this…which is silly, mother.  Stop that.  And two, she is slightly peeved I’m posting this on the internet, but you know what Maureen?  I can’t talk to you right now, so I’m going to go talk to them.

Anyway, she’s been unconscious since.  There have been slight improvements, in that her brain scan is normal, her blood sugar is normal, and she has been moving her hands and feet and occasionally opening her eyes.  Nurses seem to think she is aware that she’s got tubes in and is in the hospital, but that’s about it.  It has become a long game of wait-and-see.

Friday was extremely hard for me.  It was very triggering of my PTSD.  First, I am confronted by a woman in a bed who is making a terrible sound…just like when I was 8 years old and found my Grammy dying in her bed, her death rattle signaling me to get an adult NOW.  And then they put my unconscious mother in the ICU at Mercy…just like when my aunt Ka was dying, and they made me visit her there.  Nope, sorry mom.  I love you, but I cannot just walk myself into a waking nightmare.  You know that.  You don’t mind. 

So, when I told Sahar what happened, she packed a bag and drove up from Cleveland because she is the best, and she spent two days here trying to keep me busy.  I blocked a lot of Friday, so I don’t know what we did, but I know she was next to me the whole time.  And on Saturday Beth came by with breakfast, and then Sahar and Mark and I took a drive and went to get groceries.  At night, we went to the bar at the corner and heard my cousin Dom’s band play, which was a good time.  (Funny sidebar: so Dad calls me while I’m there and I can tell he’s in the car and he says “WHERE ARE YOU” and I panic, assuming the worst.  I tell him I’m at the bar, and then he says “oh ok, be right there.”  Man just needed a drink.)

Sahar didn’t leave until 2am, when I was tipsy and tired.  I woke up feeling surprisingly not terrible considering the previous night’s drinks, something I have all but given up since living that gastroparesis life.  Mark and I went to the History Museum to se the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It was a nice little walk through a beautiful little park, and then we went to wish my Gram a happy 91st birthday.  Sahar went home to Ohio, and now it is Monday and back to the normal life.

But it isn’t the normal life, because Momma isn’t here in it at the moment.  The doctors are positive.  Her brain scans came back normal, and she has been moving around a bit, but there is no real change.  They just tell us to wait, as through I am not the most impatient person on the planet.

But I will wait.  And I will hope and pray and wish and wonder, and soon my Momma will wake up and read this and say “Jesus, Brigid…did you have to tell them everything?”

Alright.  I’m off to call my therapist again.  Have a…Monday.  Just…have a Monday.

This is one of my Momma’s favorite songs.

Observations

I cannot stop thinking about how well I can see.  It is getting ridiculous.  I am commenting on every pothole in the road, every street sign on the corner, every leaf on every tree.  I am going on and on about how clear words on paper are and how my phone looks different and how I can see that you haven’t shaved in a few days, Mark.  I am exhausting, and I’m sorry…not sorry.

Mark said that I am reminding him of some of the videos he likes to watch to cheer himself up when he’s down.  Usually, it’s people’s pets doing cute things or soldiers coming home from war to their kids, but a lot of the time it’s videos of colorblind folks who get those special glasses.  They put them on and see colors for the first time, and it’s so cool.  He says I sound like one of those people, amazed by what I can see; and I am.

Still waiting on a good stargazing night, but otherwise I have observed many things.  We went fishing over the weekend, and not only did I actually see a big fish swimming in the water, but I saw about a thousand tiny minnows swimming in a school.  I have never been able to see the minnows before, so this was exciting. 

Another exciting observation: driving at night!  WOW, I do have working headlights!  I always thought those things were on their last leg, dim as they seemed.  And other cars headlights are not as blinding as they were two weeks ago.  I drove the other night and felt eerily confident.  Really, the whole of driving has changed, as I can now see every groove in the pavement, as well as every sign on the side of the road.  I wear sunglasses without having to wear my glasses underneath, which is fabulous.  And I truly don’t mind the reading glasses life because the words are so crystal clear with them.

So, yeah, I’m still going on about my eyes.  I can’t help it.  It’s a brand-new world.  As I said…sorry. 

Not sorry.

Open Heart and Open Eyes

I’m hopped up on anesthesia.  Not now, as I write this, but now, as you are reading it on Monday morning, when I am scheduling it to be posted.  I figured I would save myself some grief and just get Monday’s post out of the way now, on Saturday morning, while my husband and kids still slumber. 

So anyway, if you’re not family or friend, you probably didn’t know that my mother had a quadruple bypass on Tuesday. 

She found out a few weeks back that she had had a couple of small heart attacks, and this was alarming, so they scheduled a procedure called a cabbage.  At least, I think that’s how it’s spelled, because it’s certainly how it sounds.  Anyway, I guess once they got in there, there was more work to be done, so she got the whole she-bang. 

The day of surgery was intense.  First of all, I had a follow-up for my cataract surgery from the previous day, so while mom was under the knife, I was sitting in the ophthalmologist chair hoping my sistter wasn’t crying in the car because Dad called with terrible news or something. But no, when I came out she was there and no news was still good news, so we went on with our day.  It wasn’t until about 130pm that Dad called and told me that she was okay.  Surgery was over, and she was still asleep.  Later, he told me that she woke up around 5pm and they took out the ventilator. 

On Wednesday, I got to see her for a few minutes after work, and she was sitting up in a chair.  She was on oxygen, which was a good thing because she wasn’t breathing as well without it, and was able to talk much more.  Visiting hours ended early because Covid, so I was only there for a little bit.  On Thursday I went for lunch which was chaos at the hospital.  Visiting hours start EXACTLY at noon, not one second before, so there was a line out the door of folks waiting to see their loved ones.  When I finally got through the screening, I got upstairs and found her and she was delighted I was there.  I was delighted they took out her chest tubes.  I got to hang out for a bit before work, but she kept falling asleep on me mid-sentence, so I just let her rest until the TV or some nurse woke her again, and we’d go on talking like nothing happened.  Then a nurse came in with some medication that Mom was really excited about, because it would make it easier for her to breathe.  That night, Dad said she was doing even better.

Yesterday I was crazy busy, so she called me to say hello at night and that she was sad.  See, she wanted to talk to her sister, my deceased aunt, and was sad she couldn’t.  I told her it was ok, because Ka wasn’t available last night anyway.  She was at my poetry reading, listening to me read the one I wrote about her.  Mom liked that idea.  She then told me she might come home today, which is wonderful.  Alas, I am still going to visit her at noon…well, perhaps a little after, given how many people were in that line.

So, overall, she is doing well.  I am happy.  All is good. 

Edit: It is Monday.  I am not hopped up on anesthesia, because I took this last surgery like a champ and am in a fan-freakin-tastic mood because I CAN SEE ALL THE THINGS.

Furthermore, I never went to visit my mom at the hospital again, because she came home that afternoon!  She’s sore and a little woozy still, and the coughing sucks, but she is a trooper and is doing pretty good.  So today…a good mood overall.  Happy Monday, indeed.

Gift of Sight

Ok, I missed yesterday because I was, for the first time in some time, just too damn busy.  I had to get a Covid test and visit my mother and run errands and go to work and was gone from the house for a solid 8 hours, only to come home to having to fold the laundry and cook dinner.  So when I finally sat down, words…they weren’t coming.

Why did I need a Covid test?  Because eye surgery #2 is coming on Monday.  Looking at my blog, I see I updated via phone after my last surgery.  I, of course, have no real recollection of this as I was hopped up on anesthesia.  So I can’t tell you if I will or will not post this coming Monday, as I obviously have little control over what I do the day of surgery. 

The best part of last Monday was wen I told Mark my eyes were really blurry.  He told me to take my glasses off and rest a bit, after all, I just had surgery.  I agreed with his logic and removed my frames, at which point I screamed with delight. Guys…I could see.  It was blurry because I was wearing super-strength lenses.  At my follow-up appointment, they told me that technically I can drive without glasses now.  I’m not prepared yet, though.  I popped out my right lens and am going monocle-style until they do they other eye next week. 

Still, I can see.  I can see better now than I ever remember seeing, and that’s only after the one eye.  I can see colors I didn’t know were there, every crack in the pavement when driving, and my dad tells me that soon, on a clear night, I will see the stars.

I haven’t seen the stars in longer than I remember.  Once, we took the kiddos out to a field in the middle of nowhere and looked at the stars, but I couldn’t see them.  I faked it.  They thought it was beautiful and amazing, but I couldn’t tell.  Soon…I can.

(Fun anecdote, that night wrapped up when a cop pulled up and asked just what we thought we were doing standing in some farmer’s corn field.  I told him that we lived in the city and decided to drive the kids out to the country to see the stars.  “Oh, Well, in that case, enjoy.”  And he left.) Anyway…I can’t wait to see the stars.  I want to go camping.  They would be amazing out there.  (Hey…family and friends who camp…if you’re looking for two more for a trip, hit me up.)

So, this is the first time I’ve sat to type at the computer and I am noticing a few things, for one, I need to lower my brightness.  Another is that the extra-large fonts are no longer necessary.  Third…I need to clean this office.  Like deep-clean.  There’s dust I never noticed, cobwebs in the corners, and someone splattered coffee on the screen.  I couldn’t SEE this before.  That’s the downside of all this.  Anyway…today is errands and work and poetry night and the kiddos, so I must bid adieu.  Happy Weekend, friends!

Spring Has…Sprung?

Well, it’s mid-April and Sunday is Easter so I guess it’s Spring now?

I mean, it’s kind of cold and definitely raining and gray and generally “blah” outside, but here I am looking at the calendar and yup…definitely Spring.

I usually count Easter as the beginning of Springtime, likely because of my early indoctrination into the Catholic Church.  I left such organizations many years ago, but I still hold a little solemnity for the Easter Season, from Palm Sunday (when Jesus rode into town on a donkey,) to Good Friday, at least .  Today is Holy Thursday, for those not in the know.  Dinner Party Day, as I like to call it, but most scholars refer to it as The Last Supper, when Jesus gave his apostles the sacrament of the holy communion.  It is “celebrated” by some guy at church washing the feet of other guys at church.  Tomorrow is Good Friday, where nothing good happened, and they crucified a dude for wanting to help the poor, sick, and needy.  (Same sh*t, different millennia, amiright?)  This is celebrated with the Stations of the Cross, which is like an art showing with a terrible audiobook playing in the background.  Then Holy Saturday…which is just a weird one.  See, the apostles held a vigil outside of Jesus’ tomb that day, waiting for his resurrection.  Apparently, they stayed all day, yet still somehow no one was there the next morning to see Jesus come strutting out.  No, Easter morning was when “the women” (including Jesus’ wife, but whatever, Catholic Church,) arrived and found that he was already gone.  Yay Easter!  A celebration of a gruesome death followed by slight confusion!  Wait no…we’re celebrating the resurrection part.  At least, that’s according to my 12th grade Religion teacher.

But as I said, I’m done with all that.

So instead, I think of my garden.  I just cleaned it out and got it ready, and now I need to do a little weeding and lay some new mulch, and some greenery is already starting to show.  My front lawn is a mud pit, so that will take more time, and the trees remain bare, but I know it is coming.  I know one day soon I will look out the window and see grass and leaves and sunshine, not this windy, cloudy, terrible day I see right now.  After all, April showers do bring May flowers.

So, next week, I guarantee no update for Monday because I am having cataract surgery on my right eye.  If I think of it on Sunday I might write, but don’t expect anything.  I will hopefully be back Thursday to tell you all about it.  In the meantime, I’d appreciate if you took to literally any of my socials and watched the video I made today for my piece “Garbage.”  It recently lost it’s home, and instead of finding it a new one, I have built a house for it on my TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.  So, I ask you to check it out (@hamneggs716) and share it or like it or leave a comment, because I am letting this little guy fly free out there and it needs all the love it can get. 

So do i.  And well wishes, too.  Big week ahead.

Anyway, that’s all for today.  Happy Monday, my friends.

Movie Night

For algorithmic reasons I can’t explain, a Facebook event appeared to me the other day, and it piqued my interest.  It was for a viewing of North by Northwest at the local community center.  I immediately sent word to my father.  This seemed right up his alley, and when he marked that he was “going,” I did the same.  This morning, mother was excited to go when I stopped over for coffee, and I felt a little bad about leaving Mark and E home for it, but I’d honestly rather just go with them (sorry, guys.)  Why?  Well, and no offense to my mother either, but I have lovely memories of movies with my father.

The first movie I remember going to was when I was in maybe Pre-K or Kindergarten.  My school held a movie night, and we all piled into chairs in the gymnasium to watch a film on the projector.  They gave us cans of pop and little paper bags of popcorn.  It felt special, like it would be going to a real movie theater, which I think I had probably already done by that point.  I don’t recall, however; this is the first movie I remember.  It was about a dog.  I think it was Benji, only because I can’t find another dog-themed movie from the time period.  Dad might remember, but it was 35 years ago so let’s not hold out hope.

The second movie I remember seeing with my father was several years later, in 1999.  A couple years earlier, a show premiered on a new station called Comedy Central, and that show was called South Park.  Dad and I both watched it…separately, mind you.  Never together.  Which was never considered when the movie came out.  Now, I was only 16, so he had to take me to go see it because it was rated R.  We assumed it would be a great time, because we both liked the show: the cable show.  The “censored” show.

By the time they got to the “Uncle F**ker” song, there was deep discomfort on both sides of the armrest.  I remember trying very hard to focus on the movie and not the fact that my father was hearing the same raunchy jokes that were hitting my eardrums.  I don’t think either of us laughed much during it, despite finding it funny.  I think we were too scared.

Now, I am thinking today’s excursion would liken itself more to the Benji experience than the South Park one.  I am expecting a large room with a big TV and bags of popcorn.  I am expecting a movie my father and I both enjoy, and to spend time with him and my mom without thinking “Jesus Christ why couldn’t I have come seen this with Kevin?”  We like Hitchcock, and we thankfully know what to expect.

Anyway, I have some life to attend to before I can sojourn to a Cary Grant flick, so I must bid you adieu until Thursday.  Ha.  Hopefully I actually make the Thursday deadline this week.  We shall see, won’t we? 

Happy Monday.

Me watching a movie, circa ’87

Ethical Dilemma

Sometimes in life, an opportunity comes along that seems too good to be true.  Even rarer, that opportunity is true indeed…and even more rare is the instance in which you have to walk away from it.

A recruiter contacted me with a writing position last week.  5k a month for 2 articles a week.  “Scam,” I thought, but a quick glance at the company website showed me it was legitimate. I told the recruiter I was interested, and she set up an interview.  I was elated…briefly.

See, I am of the mind that when you receive an offer or get a new job, you should have a little knowledge of the company you are applying to.  So, to prep for the interview, I went to the website again.  At first glance, the company seemed cool…all about different kinds of energy.  Then, I kept scrolling, al the way to the footer, where I saw the emblem for the American Petroleum Institute.  Excuse me?

A quick Google search led me to find that the company was a front for Big Oil.  So, yes, of course it was well-paying.  But also misleading…the more I looked at the website, the more I realized it was less about renewable energy (which is what it seems to be at first glance) and more about fossil fuel expansion. 

That’s a hard pass from me.

Now, half the people I know are like “good, you stood up for what you believe in,” and the other half are like “girl, you should have got that money.”  I suppose I’m really in the middle, because I did consider it.  I thought about maybe working there and being able to change some things, or maybe they really are trying to clean up their image, or maybe just for a month or two until the bills are caught up…but no.  I can’t.  I’d be a sell-out, and I just can’t support these folks in good conscience. 

So I emailed the recruiter and told her thanks but no thanks, as they were against everything I stood for.  She doesn’t work solely for the company, so I told her to keep me in mind in case anything else comes her way.  Maybe something will, something better suited to my personal morals.

Do I have regrets?  A little.  That’s a lot of money.  Alas…I feel like it would have drained a part of my soul.  I would rather have that than money, I guess.

Resurrection

So, the other day, Kevin sent me this photo:

Creepy right?  Well, what if I tell you this is the whole photo:

Creepier.  Why?  Those are Cardinals.  This is the Vatican.

Created in 1977 by sculptor Pericle Fazzini, this work of art is in the Paul VI Audience Hall, where the Pope does his daily blessing if it’s raining in the square.  This is the backdrop, a giant bronze statue called “The Resurrection.”

It is supposed to be a vision of Jesus resurrecting in the Second Coming, from the ashes of a nuclear crater in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It took me a few to wrap my head around all this, honestly.  Ok, I can buy that the Vatican wanted to have a sculpture depicting the resurrection; that hardly seems news.  But then, there’s the nuclear attack thing…this was commissioned during the Cold War, so I understand the threat of nuclear attack then.  Sadly, this is truly just as strong today as it was once, thanks to a certain Euro-Asian country with an itchy trigger finger.  So, I enjoy the concept of Jesus coming at the “end of the world” to rise up and save humanity…y’know, as art.  But then there’s the fact it’s in the Garden of Gethsemane…and I truly am not sure why.  All the info I found told me that Fazzini chose it because it was Jesus’ last place of prayerful reflection.  Ok…now I understand the piece.  What do I not understand?

Why is this in the Vatican?  It seems so much better suited for MOMA, in my mind.  It reminds me of that old Sesame Street game: one of these things is not like the others.  This is a sad, apocalyptic depiction of Christ, and while it is meant to be hopeful, I’m sorry…I just do not get that vibe.  And honestly, I don’t want to.  I think the feelings I get from this piece, such as fear, sadness, and devastation, resonate more with its features than hope.  But what do I know?  I’m not art scholar.

I just know I’ve been thinking about this piece for days.  I went to do the research this morning and also found one of my favorite things: a conspiracy theory!!  Lots of people think it’s actually a statue of Baphomet, the goat-headed demon worshipped by the Knights Templar.  Others think the whole thing is about the devil, because of the serpentine structuring.  My favorite brand of conspiracy theory is the Catholic Church kind.  Do you know why?  Because their theories have a terrible track record of actually being true.

Anyway.  I just wanted to share this with you so it can take up space in your brain the way it has been in mine.  Enjoy this image and information, and as always…

Happy Thursday.