Basic American values include

Manifest Destiny—US expansion is ordained by God

Individualism—we are special, and we deserve privacy

 

Equality—we deserve to be treated equally

The comfort clause—we have the right to be comfortable and judge others based on their comforts

 

Science and technology are good—they make our life better

Optimism—we can do anything

 

Work is good, being idle is bad

Competition is good

 

Move up whenever possible

If where you live sucks, move

 

Set goals, measure results, get things done

 

There is a lot of talk about American values.

But, as this election shows, we have different values.

 

Some of us value guns and borders and control.

 

Core values are sometimes taught by our parents,

but sometimes they just come to us as we grow.

 

I value family and loyal friends.

I choose to live in a city with diversity.

 

I value gardens, children, boats, travel and books, art and music.

I value the landscape of love, the moments when you are with the people dear to you.

 

Great conversations that last your whole life, that set your brain on fire.

Like seeing a painting or listening to music.

 

The world is on fire.  It is changing quickly.

Sometimes people leave your life and never come back.

 

It’s the ones who stay that count.

Value love.

Published in: on October 28, 2016 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Loathing for her clothing and Hilary’s pantsuits

 

 

“You are looking good” means you are looking thin.   I want to be good, I want to be fine, but often being thin is just out of reach.  At the Frankfurt Book Fair, for my first day of meetings, I wore a black skirt I had bought at Zara’s. I could barely button it.  Perhaps you’re thinking I’ve grown too big for it, but when I bought it a year ago in New York, I couldn’t actually put it on at all.  But I bought it anyway.  I’m an aspirational shopper.  My wardrobe is invaded by many clothes that I’ve never been able to wear, but this doesn’t stop me from buying more clothes that are a size too small for that glorious future Kate who will wear these outfits like a swan with her feathers.  I can tell you this now, future Kate has a far sleeker wardrobe than present Kate. Before this trip, I tried on a pink dress that frankly, I will never get my body into.   My husband was watching this and he said, “Your ribcage is never going to fit.”

What I would give for a smaller ribcage!  That’s what we say to ourselves, ignoring the fact that we are entirely beautiful, pink dress or no. We are living in the only body we will ever have.  We are dancing in the only body we will ever have, making love, making mistakes, making hay, making books, making houses and bridges, wheels and music in the only body we will ever lilt across the lawn in the light watching the stars come out one by one.  We are our own lilies of the valley.

I wish the media would stop tripping on what Hillary wears.  You don’t hear criticism of Obama’s suits or ties.   I don’t care whether she wears pantsuits or not; I just want her to do a great job for children, for women, for people of color, for the LGBT community, for all Americans.   I hope she finds a designer who works with her body and helps her feel every day like she can conquer the world.   I hope she dances in the White House ballroom and feels like a princess.   She’s forging new territory for all of us women.  For many of us, the idea that women could hold the real power in this country has always seemed as far off as the light that comes from stars.  Our first woman president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, I see smiling at cameras, the way we did at the beginning of the world, at the first campfires, our surprise at all that heat, and energy and light.

Published in: on October 27, 2016 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reading Chris Abani and Aimee Bender

I also need to read this book The Sellout, by Paul Beatty.

The two books I brought on this trip are The Face by Chris Abani and The Color Master by Aimee Bender which is crushingly well written.  It just blew my skirt up, it’s like green liquid, such a perfect pitch.

I wanted to run to the ogre and say, Don’t eat the children and I will love you very well.  The Face pulls you into a meditative space where you feel like the Zen master of understanding how we as humans interact with the universe.

 

The election coverage goes on.

Thirty years of globalization of the economy and a lot of people got left out.

Meetings started off well, but I expect to answer questions about the election.

A lot of interest in our books.  Rocking on.

Published in: on October 18, 2016 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Reading Chris Abani and Aimee Bender

I also need to read this book The Sellout, by Paul Beatty.

The two books I brought on this trip are The Face by Chris Abani and The Color Master by Aimee Bender which is crushingly well written.  It just blew my skirt up, it’s like green liquid, such a perfect pitch.

I wanted to run to the ogre and say, Don’t eat the children and I will love you very well.  The Face pulls you into a meditative space where you feel like the Zen master of understanding how we as humans interact with the universe.

 

The election coverage goes on.

Thirty years of globalization of the economy and a lot of people got left out.

Meetings started off well, but I expect to answer questions about the election.

A lot of interest in our books.  Rocking on.

Published in: on October 18, 2016 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  

The leaves in Frankfurt are red

 

Needing my warm coat and gloves.  At the Middle Eastern market, I bought figs for my room and water and grapes.  For dinner tonight I had salad from the Italian place with red and white checked table cloths.  When the meetings begin, I get lost in book world. And there is endless coverage of the  U.S. election where we look like jack rabbits.

Published in: on October 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

He will come in peace; they will rest on their resting places – he who walks in his integrity.

I love walking in Hyde Park in the rain. And a man was sprinkling out rice for the swans.

Hyde Park in the soft twilight with the swans all rushing into the rice by the side of water.

They swam in swan loops

Television in London involves Eighties movies, and American shows like Storage Wars.  Also a show ALF.  Are you serious?  Does Trump look like Alf?  And all they have in the news about America is that our election is crazy and that this demagogue wants to rule the country.  On and on.

I hate to think that the Brits think of Storage Wars and Trump and Alf when they think of us.

In Frankfurt, I watch the BBC while I work.

The Jewish cemetery by my hotel is nearly 20 acres.  It has been used since 1828 and there are 30,000-40,000 graves there.   I walk through the cemetery and think about all those stories, those lives which were big stories.

ON the wall is an inscription in Hebrew which translates: He will come in peace; they will rest on their resting places – he who walks in his integrity.

 

May we walk in integrity. May our leaders walk in integrity.

 

 

Published in: on October 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Polo Lounge

Last night at the Polo Lounge, a meeting with a producer, and I thought of the many times I’ve been at the Polo Lounge, and every time I go to meetings there or at the Bel Air Hotel, I feel woefully under-dressed.  My heels are never high enough, no matter high they are, and they aren’t achingly new and thoroughly modern.  My skirts are always much too long, and my jewelry is too loose and limp, not like the angular stiff pieces of jewelry, around the neck, the wrist, the ankle, the  thick pieces of swanky jewelry.  Several girls in very tall boots and tiny shorts. And girls with a lot of makeup and cleavage and a reckless abandon with their drinking.  The lights were low and the Polo Lounge deep with girls and music.

 

You always think you see famous people.  The woman at the table next to me was, I swear, Mila Kunis or if she wasn’t, she looked very much like her.  There is always a feeling that the world is happening and you are finally part of it, but you don’t know what your part in it is.  On the way home, through the canyons, I feel the wind happening.

Published in: on October 11, 2016 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Socks

 

Packing and then finished.

I realized I packed no socks.

And why are socks so important?

Socks give feet a certain vim and vigor.

Socks give feet something to walk around in.

Red socks. Blue socks.

Fuzzy fur socks. Cozy socks.

Athletic socks. Black lacy socks.

Baby socks are the best.

Airline socks are important.

I’m packing socks for the trip.

Published in: on October 10, 2016 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Melon and coffee

Weekends we have melon and coffee

I like the coffee in the early morning air.

And then we walk the dog.

Zooey runs about trying to chase squirrels, other dogs, birds or even lizards.

We get home and the yard, the leaves, the day starts to heat up.

We write then.  The heat curls the leaves and our hair.

The heat sinks into the leaves of the back yard.

By evening, we’re ready to eat some chicken and fruit.

But I like mornings best, the melon and coffee.

Published in: on October 9, 2016 at 8:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Do not show this text to your homies.

What did we do before texting?

We called on the phone.

What did we do before email?

We faxed.

What did we do before the phone?

We sent telegrams.
What did we do before telegrams?

We sent letters.

And what did we write in those letters?

 

Here you go, from the British Library, written in 1477, a love letter

Unto my right well-beloved Valentine John Paston, squire, be this bill delivered.

Right reverent and worshipful and my right well-beloved valentine, I recommend me unto you full heartedly, desiring to hear of your welfare, which I beseech Almighty God long for to preserve unto his pleasure and your hearts desire. And if it pleases you to hear of my welfare, I am not in good health of body nor of heart, nor shall I be till I hear from you. For there knows no creature what pain that I endure, And even on the pain of death I would reveal no more. And my lady my mother hath laboured the matter to my father full diligently, but she can no more get than you already know of, for which God knoweth I am full sorry. But if you love me, as I trust verily that you do, you will not leave me therefore. For even if you had not half the livelihood that you have, for to do the greatest labour that any woman alive might, I would not forsake you. And if you command me to keep me true wherever I go, indeed I will do all my might you to love and never anyone else. And if my friends say that I do amiss, they shall not stop me from doing so. My heart me bids evermore to love you truly over all earthly things. And if they be never so angry, I trust it shall be better in time coming. No more to you at this time, but the Holy Trinity have you in keeping. And I beseech you that this bill be not seen by any non earthly creature save only yourself. And this letter was written at Topcroft with full heavy heart.

Be your own Margery Brews.

 

In American English

 

Honey Bunny,

Hope you’re hanging in there.

I’ve been hurling.

Dad wants me to marry another Storm Trooper.

Fight for me with your light saber and I do love your light saber.

Nobody can stop me from jumping into your spaceship if you come for me.

I’m kind of bummed out these days.

Do not show this text to your homies.

Published in: on October 8, 2016 at 9:38 pm  Leave a Comment