'no one is coming to save us'

This is a painful, uncomfortable moment. Instead of trying to get past this moment, we should sit with it, wrap ourselves in the sorrow, distress and humiliation of it. We need to sit with the discomfort of the president of the United States referring to several countries as “shitholes” during a meeting, a meeting that continued, his comments unchallenged. No one is coming to save us. Before we can figure out how to save ourselves from this travesty, we need to sit with that, too.
Roxane Gay, "No One Is Coming to Save Us From Trump's Racism.' NYT, 1/12/2018.

imaginary outfit: absurd cold

imaginary outfit: crazy cold

Between head colds and extreme cold, it feels like I've been stuck in my house for ages (it's been two-and-a-half days) and my normal appreciation for a spare, neutral palette has become a cabin-fevered longing for bright, jarring color. Four male cardinals are perched in the apple tree outside my window, waiting for a turn at the bird feeder, and I am so glad for the red, and for whatever weird force of natural selection determined that blending in was not the thing for a male cardinal to do (sidebar: Tim Flannery's reviews of bird books in the NYRB are wonderful; 'Objectifying Male Birds' is fascinating; 'Extravagant, Aggressive Birds Down Under' is hilarious and terrifying).

This is when I look at my carefully collected pile of sweaters and feel my soul make a giant, dismissive shrug. Just like every February I remember too late that I really need to escape somewhere sunny and warmish for a few days, in my springtime closet purges I blissfully assume I can somehow make it through the winter without craving some shockingly colored piece of knitwear, which I inevitably feel compelled to acquire on sale in January and wear nonstop in February and March, before a spring-cleaning-minded me determines it is an unnecessary wardrobe outlier and thus must go.

And so, a note to myself: when springtime closet cleanouts beckon, remember the cardinal. When the days are grey and long and cold, color is a joy. Keep the wild sweater.

wild bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson. From 'Ring Out, Wild Bells,' 1850.


From top:

ring out

Photo by Gerard Uferas from Viktor & Rolf's 2000 A/W couture show. Discovered here and originally posted on 12/31/2010.

'a merry christmas and a happy new year'

Otti Berger, Croatian (Zmajevac, Austro-Hungary 1898 - 1944 Auschwitz, Poland): Christmas and New Year's card, 1937. Typewritten on silk.