Posts Tagged ‘animal rights’

(Why am I naming days?)
10/16/14, Day 14,044 (Mercena Day 62): Phone Meetings and Little Gains

I really wanted to go to work yesterday.

I had told myself that it was possible (it was never really possible). I needed it to be possible, both for my own sense of progress and because I had four meetings (not counting a CSA veggie pick-up and Lark event). But my healing progress is so slow, so on went the speaker phone.

Thankfully, Mercena had a great day, and Lori rode to our rescue, accompanying Heather for the veggie pick-up. And I was able to participate somewhat effectively calling in from the phone.

In spite of all that, I did make some small gains by staying as mobile as the pain would allow. And late last night, I even finished five more pages of my New Year play (a slippery time play written for the actors of the Ensemble).

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 163 out of 212 days (New Year)
Spanish: 134 out of 212 days
Music: 63 out of 118 days
Yoga: 2 out of 2 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

9 Circles:
(Um, yeah, so what is this again?)

A prayer for my back to heal
And for Mercena’s shots to avoid ordeal
Praise to Lori for carrying veggies and prizes,
And a prayer for breakfast for every kid in class;
Praise to makers of Chance Magazine
Solidarity with #FergusonOctober
Praise for the tigers of Terai Arc,
And for cosmic rays caught in a smartphone app;
And hey there, beautiful mystery.


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(Why am I naming days?)

10/4/14, Day 14,032 (Mercena Day 50): Taina and Marvin First Draft Complete

Yesterday was a good day: Mercena turned fifty days old, and I finished the first draft of my next full-length play, currently titled Taina and Marvin.

There’s a lot I’m happy about with this play: The characters, the structure, the self-inflicted political heartbreak it describes. However, there’s a lot of work to do, and even some significant structural changes that may need to happen. The play was inspired by the structure and expert wistfulness of 4000 Miles, but I don’t have Amy Herzog’s gift for subtle gestures, and the heart of the play may be pushing somewhere more jagged and uncertain. There’s always something exciting about writing away from your strengths, but it’s hard to resist the gravity of your natural impulses as an artist for very long…

Anyway, this means I’ve finished two full-length plays since September, which puts me on a much faster track for dreaming the impossible Play A Month Club dream.

Mercena had a good day, with a fussy-ish morning but a very good night’s sleep, waking up only at 2:37am and 5:40am. We’re getting there, and Heather is exploring whether or not we want to put her on a stricter schedule than the more flexible pattern we have her on now. It’s tricky, because she’s doing so well, but of course we’re shooting for the holy grail of sleeping through the night, so it might be worth it.

She’s also learned the trick of crying simply because she wants to be rocked to sleep, not because anything is wrong. We’re figuring out the balance of helping her sleep in the short term versus her long-term need to figure out how to self-sooth.

Yesterday was also the first time I participated in cold-calls for a political candidate’s campaign, in this case Paul Clements in Michigan (there’s a slate of progressive candidates an organization makes available, and he was the candidate during the time I was available). It’s not easy to be hung up on over and over again, but I had one long fascinating conversation with an undecided voter, and helped at least three voters who were on the fence come over the Clements side.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 157 out of 200 days (Taina and Marvin)
Spanish: 133 out of 200 days
Music: 60 out of 106 days

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Made phone calls on behalf of the Paul Clements Congressional campaign;
  • Signed a petition for nine steps that can be taken to heal the country after Ferguson;
  • Asked Secretary Vilsack to not participate in Idaho’s plan to reduce the wolf population by 80%;
  • Signed a different petition in support of ending the use of chemicals that are killing bees.

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Mercena collar

(Why am I naming days?)

9/27/14, Day 14,025 (Mercena Day 43): First Bedtime with Heather Away

Last night, Heather rode the subway for the first time in six weeks to check out 3 Christs by Peculiar Works at Judson (I saw it the previous night). Thyat meant that I had my first chance to put Mercena to sleep without the aid of Mom.

It went well, and now that she’s mostly outgrown her “changing diapers=rage, rage” phase, her major fuss-source is simply exhaustion. We still often assume that she should be awake longer than she really should be, extending our two-yawn rule to sneak in more with her when she has her eyes open. But if we don’t take the yawn as a cue, she is quick to marshal more persuasive forces to put her to bed. As soon as we do, she quickly quiets down, and, after a failed attempt or two at falling asleep, falls asleep.

It’s a good time for the three of us: no more reading every book and Googling ceaselessly to find new ways to deal with The Inscrutable Wail. And so it was a good goodnight for Dad Solo; though she fussed through Goodnight Moon, as soon as I sang to her and laid her swaddled self down, she was out for a solid sleep.

Which left me a quiet house in which to finish scene four of the still unnamed play about Taina and Marvin. I think I see how the play will end now, and I’m two scenes away from having finished two full-length plays in September. I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be all the way done by 9/30, but I’m feeling very grateful for this oddly productive month of writing.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 151 out of 193 days (Taina and Marvin)
Spanish: 131 out of 193 days
Music: 55 out of 99 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

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Any honorable ethics for the anthropocene must transform our valuation of animals from utility to the respect conscious beings deserve. To that end, I love learning of examples of animal intelligence such as the meta-cognition of Western Scrub Jays:

“Western scrub jays, corvids native to western North America, are a favorite of cognitive scientists because they are not “stuck in time”—that is, they are able to remember past events and are known to cache their food in anticipation of hunger…the findings are exciting because they provide further evidence that humans are not the only species with the ability to think about their thought processes.”
Scientific American, Jason G. Goldman

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