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Sunday, July 1. There’s a strange, eerie light outside. I was about to take a picture of it and changed my mind, feeling I couldn’t capture it; but now I see that a man on the roof deck across the street has just come out to take panorama shots of the sky-scape with his phone so I am not alone. This is not a shade or intensity that I’ve seen before. We have the overcast white marine layer that looks like it has an end of day sunset creamsicle orange trying to break through. It’s 9:55 am. Just another day of perpetual winter in the protracted Act I of a fairy tale where a society has been plunged into darkness though the ascension of a willful, avaricious and unfit ruler. It’s easy in a fairy tale to read the line ‘and the blight continued season after season until one day the baby Griselda was a fair maid of 16,’ a literary signal that Act II is beginning — the heroine who will be a harbinger and catalyst for the turning of the tide has appeared on the scene. In real life, the creeping pace of our national descent is torturous and bewildering and I am not so sure that November midterms, if they ever come, will bring the breaking of any spells that many of us are wishing for…

cave illustration

There’s are dark thoughts, I know. They may not be productive but I feel compelled to express them, and also to apologize for not posting as frequently as I would like this year. Each time I’ve sat down to write a post lately, the news cycle has been so intensely horrific that I just haven’t been able to bring myself to post my chirpy little story about our new refrigerator on the same day that there’s another mass shooting, a black man assaulted by police for being suspected of stealing his own car, or audio released of migrant children crying inconsolably for their parents. By that standard, one might think I should announce I am shutting this down til further notice, but I’m but I’m not doing that either. I am sharing the fact that I am grappling with the macro- and micro- of where we find ourselves alongside the relevance of the subjects I often choose to write. So much is being written so well by journalists and chronicler of the times that I can’t possibly keep up, and for that I am grateful and hopeful. While my blog is not a political one and I have no plans to turn this venue into my soapbox, it feels wrong to say nothing about the atmosphere we’re living in – especially when it’s still this freaky pale orange outside my window.

July 2. I wrote this down yesterday and can now explain that the orange tint of the sky was the Yolo County fires reflected in our skies. When I went to use our car in the afternoon it was covered with ash. I might have to revisit that fairy tale called Chicken Little, I forget the particulars around the whole ‘the sky is falling’ thing, how it all ends up and whether we’re meant to believe Chicken Little, but in our elementary school dramatization, I played the fox – one of those fun and flashy villain parts. I think it didn’t end well for the chicken.

Wishing everyone a happy ‘hang in there’ July 4th, that tautological American holiday in commemoration of Independence Day. Back soon with merrier summer tidings and a recipe or two.