Privilege Blog

Check And Balances, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:37am

This morning most of all I feel a swell towards normalcy. I grew up believing in systems, that rules were generally fair and the responsibility to follow, mine.

I’d already woken up lighter and more quiet on Wednesday. As though I’d absorbed the country’s conflict, and could now let it go. If we indulge in fancy, we might say that I had been experiencing a battle which has now settled back down into a loud but not lethal ball sport. Baring of teeth; no deaths. Checks and balances.

I’m pretty sure that’s what has come to be meant by “privilege.” When “normal” means “safe.” I suppose now, after staring out a few windows and hugging some family, I should try to support others in also feeling that safe is normal.

Then last night my husband told me we had a frost warning, so I went outside into the cold smoky night and put a sheet over my fuchsia plant. It was still blooming. This morning it is not dead.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I remain optimistic.


For non-American readers, I should point out that we had elections this past Tuesday. Am being intentionally oblique so as to kind of sort of adhere to the policy of no politics here. These are just my own set of emotions – I do not mean to impose them on anyone else.

20 Responses

  1. I was so happy Wednesday morning. We managed to repel the phony baloney gubernatorial candidate backed by big out of state money. And like California, we’ll have two female senators.

    As for frost, it was 17F yesterday..

  2. What a wonderful analogy between yourself and the blanketed fuchsia. In a sense part, of being privileged is that we like your plant are blanketed from this political storm.

    I too took a step back from the election after feeling more powerless than was comfortable for me.

    We are after all, still ourselves, with the ability to express our ideas though they not be the ones this nation is currently embracing.

    Thank-you for providing me with shelter through your blog.


  3. Democracy at work. The people spoken. High winds here and 40 degrees. The leaves are falling in great numbers. Bare trees makes it look more and more like Winter. We, too, have had over night frosts.

  4. Still blooming, not dead.

    There is a process with metalwork called shot peening in which a piece of metal is shot with thousands of tiny balls of metal or other material called shot. Instead of weakening the metal, it strengthens it by creating a “residual stress layer.” I’ve been shot peened. Do I feel stronger? Sometimes, but I sure need my blankies too.

    1. @Melanie, Shot peened. Yeah. That’s amazing. There’s another process called annealing, right? In which the stress is healed with high heat?

      Blankies are the stuff of life.

  5. I woke up Wednesday morning, happy with the results of the election and feeling generally optimistic. That evening, our house fell out of escrow, 7 days before closing, the mass shooting in a bar I’ve been to, and then we have the fires here which are beyond catastrophic. I know so many people who have lost their homes, including my daughter’s father, and places we go to on a pretty regular basis have burned down. It’s hard to go outside, the air quality is so horrible. I wish I could feel some sort of checks and balances or optimism right now….I will regain some sense of equilibrium I’m quite sure. But right now, very hard.

    1. @KSL, That would be beyond almost everyone’s capacity for equilibrium. I say almost because, I suppose maybe the Dalai Lama could retain his zen attitude but I do not know for sure.

  6. I do not feel safe. I have never felt safe, a small pale yellow flower of unknown origin. Married a man who was willing to stand up for what is right. Now I fear for him too, ever since Pittsburgh.

  7. Putting the sheet over blooming fuchsias,protecting the vulnerables from the frost-it is all about it,isn’t it?
    I was thinking about you a lot this week, following your elections,watching people waiting in queues. to vote….checking here for an extra post ( I always get it by mail the next day after posting,so I’m usually late for the party)

    1. @dottoressa, Thank you for thinking of us. And protecting my fuchsias is something I wouldn’t have ever gotten to as a young woman, so I feel that it’s a real gift of retirement. xox.

  8. What is in front of us and real brings so much calm. You have made me remember my fuchsias, and turned my mind away from our own self-inflicted mess that is Brexit. So although I will continue to buy painkillers every time I shop (because a large amount of our pharmaceuticals come in from Europe), I will turn towards the garden and the autumn colours all around. Do you cut back your fuchsias in winter or let them bloom on? Here in the north of Scotland I chop mine right back once they’ve been frosted. They then put out vigorous new shoots each spring. Hoping this is a metaphor for current travails.

    1. @Linda, What is in front of and real can be SO calming:). And I will cut this one back, probably come December, once the frosts become regular rather than surprises. Then probably wait until March to fertilize, although we will have lots of warm days in February.

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