Free Bird

Common Grackle. Grand Island, NE. June 2, 2020.

Birds are the most accomplished aeronauts the world has ever seen. They fly high and low, at great speed, and very slowly. And always with extraordinary precision and control.  ~  David Attenborough

No justice, No peace

Justice is not a natural part of the lifecycle of the United States,
nor is it a product of evolution;
it is always the outcome of struggle.

~ Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation)

Chattanooga, United States.     June 1, 2020     Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Defund the Police

The growing movement that calls for defunding the police, instead putting that money into community programs, is getting push-back from the pundits, elites, consultants, establishment politicians . . .aka the comfortable/powerful. Why?

The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishment’s hand. They make the racist secure in his racism. ~Huey Newton

Photo credit: Ira L. Black – Corbis – Getty Images

We dump obscene amounts of money into police departments around the country, departments that harass, oppress, and murder Black people.

The NYPD’s budget is $6,000,000,000. That’s more than the city spends on health, homelessness, youth development and workforce development COMBINED.

That NYPD budget is higher than the entire military budget of Ukraine, a country with a population 5x that of NYC.

NYC spent $229.8 million on police misconduct lawsuits in a single year.

But it’s not just NYC. Austin’s police department budget is $440,000,000. That’s more than the city spends on public health, housing, libraries, city planning, parks & recreation and EMS combined.

Minneapolis spent more than 11 percent of its budget on policing. For comparison, just 1.5 percent went to the Health Department.

LAPD budget: $3.14 billion

CDC budget: $11 billion
+ EPA budget: $9 billion
+ FEMA budget: $3 billion
+ OSHA budget: $558 million
_____________________________
= TOTAL: $23.6 billion
**************
US police budget: $115 billion

I could go on and on, but it’s pretty clear: this insanity must end.
#DefundPolice

Shared moon

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.                       ~ Sojourner Truth

Centuries in the making

March 1964 photo by Marion S. Trikosko (donated to public domain)

I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.  — Malcolm X

People before property

              Denver from my front yard.             May 27, 2020.

Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on. It is not man.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good afternoon, moon

Moon as seen from open space. Afternoon of March 31, 2020.

The moon, by her comparative proximity, and the constantly varying appearances produced by her several phases, has always occupied a considerable share of the attention of the inhabitants of the earth.   ~ Jules Verne

You Are Here

Your mileage may vary, but today I find this perspective quite comforting:

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. ~ Carl Sagan

Rustler Gulch Trail. Crested Butte. July 26, 2018.

Vibrant Bunny

I like light, color, luminosity. I like things full of color and vibrant.
~ Oscar de la Renta

Bunny visit to front yard. July 28, 2017.

(Psst… I think Vibrant Bunny is a great name for a band. Feel free to use it.)

Making friends

Vinca. April 23, 2019.

Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.  ~ Georgie O’Keefe

In these days of social distancing, it’s vital we make friends wherever and whenever possible.

Hello, Vinca Minor. My name is Tracy. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance.

We the People

Arizona, July 1972 (National Archives)

From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
~ Cesar Chavez

Simple kindness

Blue Mist Spirea. August 31, 2017.

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius

Steve Holt!

I spent the day reading and critiquing a writing friend’s middle-grade manuscript, and just hit SEND.

There’s only one man on the planet who truly understands how pumped I am right now, and that man be Steve Holt!

 

My Insides Match My Outsides

For the past several days I’ve been working on the first 90 pages of my YA, zooming in on one particular relationship between two characters. I first went through the pages and highlighted every interaction between them in yellow. Then I went back to the beginning, highlighting in red the words I want to delete and using green highlights for the new words I added. It’s been a slow process but I feel as if finally, finally these characters are unfolding at the right pace and that I’m avoiding the dreaded Emotional Ping-Pong (something that was rampant in a YA I read over the weekend).

So imagine my delight when a few minutes ago I opened my computer to resume work on my project and I realized the screen mirrored the glorious colors outside.More fall leaves and computer screen 001

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Picture this: Tracy trapped inside her house, armed with nothing but a camera, as rain pours down outside.

Someone left the Kong out in the rain...

Someone left the Kong out in the rain…

Mourning Dove 005

Nothing like waterlogged nut-munch...

Nothing like waterlogged nut-munch…

Squirrel rainy day shots 030

Birds squirrels & rainy day shots 031     Birds squirrels & rainy day shots 032

Leaves in puddle 040So far all this rain in my neighborhood has only added up to really, really soggy ground, but just 20 miles away the city of Boulder is flooding. It would be best if the rain stopped falling. I’ve got no pull, but perhaps the weather goddesses will listen to Batman:

“I am vengeance. I am the night. I. AM. BATMAN!”Batman in rain 007I believe the rough translation is: KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE RAIN, YO!!!

Making Courage a Habit

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.          ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Because I didn’t write much over the summer, it’s been difficult finding my groove again. That nasty little voice whispers in my ear, calling me delusional as I try to shake off the rust and gain some traction on my project.

I’ve had a few starts and stops, but for the past three days have written 1000 words per day. It’s starting to feel like a habit again although each day there’s a flutter in my chest as I prepare to sit down to work. “What if today I can’t do it?”

But as the wise Mr. Emerson pointed out, courage gets a bit easier each time you face down a particular fear. So right now I’m off to write my 1000 words for the day with the knowledge that I’ve done it before and can surely do it again.

Courage.Cowardly Lion receiving courage

Beauty All Around

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~ Khalil Gibran
Poppy 007
Poppy 009
Spider and Flowers 078
Spider and Flowers 074
I’m totally down with your sentiment, Khalil, except maybe the wind could lay off my poppies? You know, so they could hold onto their bloom for longer than a day?

Two Personal Reminders

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.                                                             ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

AND

To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.                                 ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Assorted birds 033

 

Winter Reflections

“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium.                                            There is no life without water.”                                                                                                               ~ biologist and Nobel laureate Albert von Szent

© Tracy Abell 2013

© Tracy Abell 2013

A Tip from John Irving

“A writer’s job is to imagine everything so personally 
that the fiction is as vivid as memories.”   ~ John Irving                        
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                          

Missing Mr. Vonnegut

                 

"Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here.
There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you’ve got to be kind."

                                                                                       
                                                      — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater)


                                                                                                                   image from morguefiles.com