Monday, February 19, 2007

Markers


There are subtle markers of what people are thinking, or feeling, or even experiencing but not at any conscious level, when they are dealing with someone they think they accept fully -- are are trying their very best to accept fully -- as any person of color can tell you about liberal forms of racism, for example.

I have noticed several times lately, for example, that it startles me slightly when a co-worker approaches a patron to ask if they're being helped -- "Oh, yes, she's taking care of me, thanks" -- it's gratifying, but why does it startle me? Oh! I know! My co-workers have been avoiding pronouns. Not because they think I'm that other person I used to be -- they don't -- but they are afraid of making a mistake. So they're constructing sentences that work around the dangerous pronoun moment.

It's touching, really. Nothing else lately has so borne home to me the work that I'm creating for others by becoming me -- the extent to which when one transitions, all transition.

On the other, again not threatening, but more amusing, hand, a friend went to a restaurant with me, and covered the check for both of us, and when she paid up, the waitress looked over her head, smiled at me, and said, "Come again!" We both wondered what that was about -- this waitress doesn't snub people -- and it hit us both at the same time -- she remembers when I was someone else, and is still treating that person with an old-fashioned deference -- as, in effect, the "head" of the table. An internalized sexist archaism, so to speak. Complicated!

:::

We had one sunny day in I don't know how long; that is, since I have been able to walk and carry my little kayak. So I planted two Bing cherry trees, which wore me out, went to bed, took a nap, got up, carried Little Eva out to the wagon, and headed for the reservoir.

There were the usual hundreds of coots, which means it's still winter, and I saw one bufflehead. The water was very agitated, crisscrossed whitecaps colliding in two directions under a sharp east wind. I paddled for two hours, even so, a balancing act that I found exhilarating after being cooped up so long.

When I got home, I found bees -- actual honeybees, which have become so rare here -- working the crocuses.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The cleaning lady

House Committee Maintains Our Staff Lounge by Risa Bear

... of note: 1) the vacuum cleaner is not plugged in. 2) there's a wheelchair just out of frame. [I had a chelectomy recently] 3) Those are wheelchair gloves I'm wearing. When the Staff Newsletter wants an article, it wants an article!

risa b

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