Watermelon Quilt Mandala

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It reminds me of pie. But maybe that’s just because it’s pie season. 

Here’s a jagged pink Monday mandala, straight out of that time that Laura Ingalls Wilder ate those funny mushrooms after Pa told her not to. Little House on the Psychedelic Plain.

Saturday was my birthday, and I tried to spend it being true to myself, even I had to do it in the state of Kansas, which would not have been my first choice.

What follows is a more intense political-ish essay that I also ran on Facebook:

I want to thank everybody who wished me well on my birthday. It’s my “life, the universe, and everything” year (42), and the day went as well as could be expected. It’s hard to celebrate when your prevailing emotion for the last 2 weeks has been “terrified,” and, like a lot of people, I’ve had to check out from social media a bit. Even though 97% of the friends in my feed have political values more or less in line with my own, it’s still scary. Maybe it’s more scary that way I’m not scared so much for myself, even if I am a genderqueer, pansexual, Jewish/animist/Buddhist/pantheist, because I can pass under people’s radar pretty well most of the time or get a pass as an artist even if I ping as a subversive (that’s class privilege). But I’m terrified of a world where all people are not created equal, and I’m nauseated over what’s certain to be an ongoing assault against the first amendment. I don’t know how to be an American under an administration that’s vocally opposed to the values that, to me, are most representative of America.

It makes me happy to know how many people are mobilizing, how strong the resistance is going to be. We’ll need that power to withstand the assault against human rights that has already commenced. But at the same time, more than ever, I believe that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and that only the ability to build bridges and will save us in the long run. We can’t tolerate bigotry, but we can’t pretend that bigots are not American too. Yes, racists, yes, misogynists, yes homophobes/transphobes. They live here. They aren’t going to go away. They probably aren’t going to change. But they are human beings. They are Americans. I hope some of them can be won over with love. I hope that things are not as bleak as they seem, and I hope that this country finds its way back to the 21st century. Those of us who have gotten this far are NOT GOING BACK. Obviously. You can’t kill an idea. You definitely cannot kill 100s of years of ideas.

I support everyone working to ensure that it doesn’t happen, to mitigate damage. Personally, I’m not very good at in-the-street activism. Just being near a crowd of angry people is kind of debilitating to me, even if I share their anger, but I know it’s an effective tactic, and more effective the bigger it gets.

After 9/11, like a lot of people, I kind of went a little insane with grief and fear, but after a few days, I remembered that I am a fantasist, and that I’m fortunate to be one of those people whose purpose in life has always been clear, and has only become more clarified with the passage of time. I create things–art and food primarily–and that’s basically all I know how to do. And that’s all I can do. And that’s what I will do. And I hope that, in doing so, I remain true to my purpose, and my values, and to the people doing what I cannot. But I can’t abandon a doctrine of love. As a pantheist, I can’t draw a line between myself and the rest of the world. I refuse to answer hatred with hatred. I will stand up for the oppressed and I will oppose oppression, but I will not hate.

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