I still find jokes like this (above) funny. Sure, 2020 is a mess, but isn’t it a fantastic, glorious, mess?
2020 has been my kind of year, seeing as how in January I turned 64 and thought that life was essentially over, that my days were going to be a boring slide into old, older, and oldest age. But WOW, was I wrong! My 64th year has been so full of interest, personally and historically. I am SO GLAD to be living through this shit with you all!
Come December, as 2020 draws its last breath, we will look back and wonder at ourselves and at our nation and the world, and marvel that we got through it. It will feel like an achievement to have gotten to the end of this year alive, reasonably sane, and with a manageable number of 2020-induced personality flaws.
Of course, I have no idea what America will look like at the dawn of 2021, but my black-hearted, pessimistic, foul-mouthed, misanthropic, and perpetually resentful self has, in my soul, a tiny spark of hope and joy that things will be radically better for people of color, for the working poor, for immigrants, and for us rationalists.
Dear Readers, I’m not drunk or high, but I have been thinking dangerous thoughts and here’s what I think: I think we might be on the brink of a new Enlightenment. I look around at the unrest and the unity of dissent against institutional racism and exploitative capitalism and I see a growing consensus that this country doesn’t work any more, not for the majority of us citizens, and it’s time to take it back.
I think this because I, Vivian Swift, boring ordinary white lady in her 60s, am flying a Black Life Matters Flag from the front porch of her house in the suburbs and that, my Dear Readers, is a Vivian Swift who, six months ago, I did not know existed.
Lord knows what this Vivian Swift will be up to six months from now.
Our Dear Reader Leslie in southern Florida has been hosting The Stromness Rock this past week, and Leslie knows what I mean when I talk about this being a transformative time to be showing America to a little rock from the Orkney Islands in Scotland:
I think The Rock is trying to tell us that America is a lot for a Scottish pebble to handle right now.
So Leslie let The Rock acclimate to current events by spending a little down-time in the familiar (to The Rock) ambiance of her Welsh dresser among artifacts of loveliness:
I, for one, would not be tempted to eat porridge that had aged in a dresser drawer, I’m just saying.
Revived, The Rock was ready to see the local lay of the land. First, a drive-by in Fort lauderdale:
Leslie and The Rock tried to play Hide-and-Seek in the roots of trees felled by recent hurricanes, but The Rock isn’t good at camouflaging:
“You want to see the Everglades?” asked Leslie.
The Rock responded, “What are the Everglades?”
And alligators. There are alligators. In the Everglades. Right behind you.
There are also “cypress knees”, and I looked them up and this is a fact: nobody knows what cypress knees “do”.
This is what one botanist has to say about cypress knees, which just might be the most enigmatic horticulture writing I’ve ever come across (and I wrote a book about gardens, so I’ve read more than my fair share about horticulture):
It is surprising, after centuries of interest, how much interpretation is based on field observation, and how little hard data exist on knee anatomy, cellular structure, and physiology. Whatever functions the knees serve must pertain broadly in time, space, and related species.
I don’t even understand that last sentence, but I love the sound of it.
But wait there’s more. Leslie had some horticultural surprises for The Rock in her own backyard:
But wait there’s more. I’ve only read about this, and I’ve longed to see one with my own eyes, so for me this is the high point of The Rock’s adventures in Florida, these two buds from Omicron Ceti III:
The Rock had to stay up late, until after night fall, to see with it’s own non-eyes the amazing Queen of the Night, the Night Blooming Cereus:
One final dip in the pool . . .
. . . and The Rock was off for further adventures in The Palmetto State.
In the meantime, oh, yeah.
(I’m still basking in the humiliation of Trump’s rally in Tulsa, so indulge me a bit.)
If the previous Instagram shot didn’t give you the feels for Gen Z, maybe this will:
Cats Will Sleep Any Where.
And They Do.
Have a great weekend, Dear Readers. If I am not here on Wednesday blame my dentist. And my utter cowardice when it comes to anything having to do with my dentist. I will be in hiding.
Think good thoughts about where you’ll be when we say Good-bye to 2020.