connecting & reading a diary

Yesterday, while Eileen and I were sitting at the beach in the midst of all the snow, my daughter-in-law, Cynthia, called me from California. I was very surprised since she hasn’t called me since she called to tell me that she found one of the books I had sent to my granddaughter Catherine to be inappropriate. She was vague in that call, but I had the impression that it may have been the main character’s picture on the cover. The main character is a black woman. But who knows? There is no reason to think this book was inappropriate for my granddaughter, but of course I told her that I had no intention of getting between her and her kids and to just go ahead and get rid of it.

Watching her from afar on Facebook I had the impression that she and I were moving in different directions politically as well. So I was very relieved to get a call from her. and want desperately to stay connected to her and her kids. We had a nice chat. She put me on speaker phone. Not my fondest experience usually, but this time I was glad to connect with anyone who was around. I got to speak with grand daughters, Catherine and Savannah. We said we should do a video call through Facebook Messenger sometime through Facebook. I hope we do that. This is the way we usually talk to Sarah in England.

Today is a snowy day in Holland. The wind is blowing as well. I dressed up warmly, scraped the snow off the car and the front steps, then went and got gas. I also stopped at the library to drop off a couple of books that were due and pick up another one.

The book I had waiting for me was Old Wing Mission: Cultural Interchange as Chronicled by George and Willa Smith in their work with Chief Wakazoo’s Ottawa Band on the West Michigan Frontier edited by Swierenga and Van Appledorn. I have checked this book out before and plan to eventually probably own it. I’m trying to slow down on book purchases for myself for a while, but I was interested to look at Arvilla Powers Smith’s diary which is in this book.

Arvilla Almira Powers Smith (1808-1895) - Find A Grave Memorial
Arvilla Almira Powers Smith (1808-1895) 

Susan Howe in her book The Birth-Mark has alerted me to look more closely at what women have to say about history since their points of view and understandings were often ignored and/or simply erased. Howe gathers information about Emily Dickinson and Ann Hutchinson as well as others. You recognize Dickinson but maybe not Hutchinson. She is an interesting case of being run out of a New England community because of her radial religious beliefs which are referred to as Antinomian. Antinomian is a specific Christian understanding which is often thought of in that context as being heretical. However its use in this context is different. I’m taking it to mean that Hutchinson thought that one did earn one’s salvation but through what Christians sometimes call “grace.” Since American Puritans linked up behavior to spirituality this was a serious breach of their understandings leading them to banish Hutchinson.

The Life and Death of a Free Thinker | MUSEYON BOOKS
Left is Anne Hutchinson “…a Puritan spiritual advisor, religious reformer, and an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy which shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638.” (Wikipedia)

My friend Dawn called me on the phone today. It was so pleasant to hear from her. She was checking to see if I had done any composing lately and if I had the piano part to Clara Schumann’s piano trio. I assured her that I was still brewing up something for us musically and I did, indeed, have that piano part and she was welcome to drop by and retrieve it. I think she and my replacement, Stephen Rumler are thinking of doing some playing together. I certainly hope so.

I have been vaguely thinking of writing something that she, Amy, Rhonda, and I could do together. I’m not sure what this would be exactly but I would choose to play another instrument besides keyboard so that Rhonda could cover keyboards. I could play marimba, banjo, congas, or guitar. Or maybe I would switch off during the piece from one instrument to another.

In the past I have preferred not to blab about my projects until they are a little more developed. Sometimes discussing them can sort of short circuit them somehow. But I hope that won’t be true of this project. The whole idea is to do something that I could do with the three people locally I would want to work with. But we’ll see.

Fighting For A More Open, Balanced Patent System: 2021 in Review | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Bookmarked to read.

The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips – Atlas Obscura

This is cool.

The Tender Trap | by Lorrie Moore | The New York Review of Books

 image credit, Marina Abromovich, Rest Energy

Moore is a writer I admire. She reviews Couples Therapy: a documentary series directed by Josh Kriegman, Kim Roberts, Eli B. Despres, and Elyse Steinberg and Scenes from a Marriage: a miniseries written and directed by Hagai Levi and cowritten by Amy Herzog

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