I am one of those writers who can’t work on their novel. Not since March. It’s Tisha B’Av, the sacred day of mourning and I don’t have to remember ages of Jewish history — there’s plenty enough to mourn right now. I take the greatest hope in hearing and sometimes seeing (on radio, online) the voices of anyone who has compassion for others before it started to affect them. I’ve heard all kinds of voices, activists, scientists, economists, musicians, and I especially cherish the Latinx and Black Voices esp those who identify as female/queer/trans/enby/etc. They are my guides and guideposts. They have a wisdom that keeps me going when the Governor of where I live does not exactly make good choices and the County in which I live is White Supremacist. I hear in them the same intonation of my Jewish ancestors, and my ancient Irish compatriots (sort of ancestors, it’s complex) but with a greater power than most of the rather complicit broader Jewish community (this is not based on a survey, but it is based on a lot of experience) is up to these days (with many wonderful exceptions). I know that being a good ally is a life-long process and I’ve screwed it up many times but have had brave friends let me know so I can do better. I don’t know much, my BLM family, but I know I love you and I hope that with the legacy of Harvey and Alan on my mind, who knew firsthand police brutality, who knew firsthand, the lack of justice, who knew firsthand that there are battles we must fight, that the expression of loud, confrontational, angry, and screaming voices is a cry of love of self, not hatred of the other. I say none of the humans who EVER died “as martyrs” should have died. Screw martyrdom. I want all of those people whose lives were cut short alive NOW, including Harvey and Alan and MLK, Malcolm X, Sandra Bland, Emmett Till, Medger Evers, Breonna Taylor and I’d like all the trans people, especially the black trans people–and all those missing Indigenous people — ALIVE. Are multiple Universes real? Are we living in the worst Universe possible that will somehow merge with a better one? Is Earth some kind of virtual reality test (with real beings) to see if we make the choice of the mind-heart instead of some other choice? I play with these ideas (the virtual reality idea came from a fantastic friend, not me) and I know that the scenario we are beholding (be holding to our chests as the tears fall and fall) is completely unanalyzable using any part of the brain-mind. My intuition tells me where things could go and where they will likely go but I have no way of parsing this, creating some kind of philosophical slope, or integrating it into any kind of defensible philosophy without being facile and harmful to the enormous about of suffering happening globally and locally, to humans, other species, to the planet entire. All we can do, Harvey and Alan might inspire us, is to make the compassionate choice which includes self-compassion and from that position, be primed (pro-actively or otherwise, depending on your temperament and other factors) to help as skillfully as you can when you forsee or are presented with the opportunity directly. Your action can play on in the political and public arena, or in a private arena. Connecting with love to humans. I have had some interesting adventures on Twitter that are best not described but I have learned that sometimes you can best reach someone (rare, but it happens), when you aren’t trying too hard to reach them and that sometimes maybe boosting up those who are on the side of LOVE and SUPER GOOD TROUBLE (or even Double Trouble!), yields greater dividends. Hard to say. Seems like it changes with the wind, what to do today. Maybe today I just be there for people in my life who need me. Maybe today I just stay in bed and listen to great shows like The Takeaway, 1A, Latino Voices, Marketplace, The World, That great show about Word Origins (I thought I knew about hooligan — thought it was an Irish slur from Houlihan but the book I read long ago was not accurate). Or make a decent hummus. Or do all kinds of you know, activist stuff, mostly not fun, but needs to be done anyway. Oh it’s late. Better line up my pills (bipolar means I take a whole mountain of stuff, much of it supplements). You all hang on in there. I am not here to tell you it’s going to be OK. I am not here to tell you we’re totally doomed. Our human family’s fate lies in balance and that balance can only shift as hearts and minds open and we acknowledge our own pain (had plenty of that), love our inner child, love our self, and then we can actually not hate the doers of Evil, for it is indeed Evil deeds that have been done for ages, are being done this minute, but still fight them all the more effectively. To win at chess or poker (I like to play AIs with games of Texas No-Limit Hold’em) you don’t defeat them by hating them (although as said above, the full range of human emotion including some feelings of “hate” are justifiable when one has been badly abused). You win by studying the situation, from the past, what’s going on now, what could be going on next, what would ideally result and then if that means a huge, in your face protest, which seems to be the most effective strategy right now, yes. The rest is details better articulated by BLM heroes/sheroes/theyroes but please don’t ask them, they are too busy fighting. But try to catch their voices. I like a local Hip-Hop station very much and also one that plays some classic Black music. Motown is my weakness (esp having been there and realizing if I had come a day before I could have actually met one of the Marvelettes) but great jazz, blues, Billie Holiday, Gospel music, spirituals, World Music all over, that is a nice way to connect too. Signing off. Be well. Be Safe. Remember what Mark Christian Ashton said (see movie Pride please now please), who like me, experienced the Troubles of Northern Ireland that you cannot be just for gay rights (or lgbtqia+). You cannot speak with any cred about queer etc liberation (Peter Tatchell says this too), if you have not been fighting for all the vulnerable, and yes I mean those hurt hurt by a fundamentally UNFREE “Free Market,” and Individualism nonsense (don’t get me started on the author of Atlas Thugged). If you have not been fighting for Muslims, Dreamers, Migrants, Undocumented people of all kinds, Black and Latinx folk (one can be both), all minorities, neurodiverse folks, folks who are supposedly covered by the ADA and Title IX but aren’t really, aren’t standing up to bullies anywhere, doing what you can for Earth and all its inhabitants thereof, well then you are not on #TeamHarvey and #TeamAlan. But it’s never too late to start. So if you’re just starting, welcome, it’s good to have you with us. Pro-tip: Protect yourself from blue light with nightshift modes and other strategies. And from EMF (cacti can actually help tho staying away from screen at double distance of its diagonal also helps.) Helps you sleep and helps your liver. Of course I’m not quite far away but I do have my cacti! and I always cover my pineal gland (photo-sensitive region in the middle of your forehand that runs your biological clock) and often wear black tourmaline which has scientifically proven electromagnetic properties. Night night or good morning or bad morning or Buenos tardes as you please .. . Hold on. It’s hard to hold on, but that’s all we got sometimes . . .