Yesterday, I sent in a proposal to present at a rural women’s conference. You might wonder why. Well back in graduate school, I conducted oral histories with a special group of rural women. The conference isn’t until next year, but I’m hoping that my paper gets accepted. It’s a unique story that should be told. If I am chosen to present, I will likely be the only male presenter. However, women’s history was my minor field, so I hope they overlook my gender and allow me to present.
I almost met you
On a Saturday
The wind blew easterly.
There was a jar of mums
On a table near the window.
Their yellows were calling
To each other.
Were put back
In the pencil drawer
Before I noticed your shadow.
About This Poem
“This is a poem composed by the words themselves, calling out their sounds to each other. Compared to them, listless human longing for an unknown friend amounts to nothing. I can say that the name Gloucester, so resonant in my mind, set off the poem in the first place.”
This poem remind me of the “Missed Connections” section on Craig’s list. Some are very funny to read. I’ve often wondered if they worked.
I went to the gym Friday. It wasn’t too crowded, and I look forward to going back. No one was to be found to ask about a trainer, but I will get to that. I just walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes and worked up a good sweat. I went back yesterday and did the same thing although there weren’t very many people there on a Sunday afternoon. I’m really enjoying this and plan to go back after work today.
1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him;
2 the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.
4 As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!”
5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.
8 They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.”
9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them!
11 By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
12 But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.
13 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen. – Psalms 41
Two museums in one day is a lot when the first museum is an hour and a half away and the second is another hour and a half away. The first museum was the Vermont Folklife Center where we listened to some oral histories about the Colonial Dames. It was interesting how the oral histories were presented. They were presented by having a number you call on your cell phone and listening to the oral histories clips. The second museum was Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. The house was beautiful as were the grounds. Then we headed home. It was a long day.
I’ve needed to get in better shape for a while now. In the last few months I’ve gained weight, enough that my clothes don’t fit as well anymore. So I decided to do something about it. I joined a gym. Joining was step one. Step two is actually going. Because my membership card has not come yet, I can only get in between 10 am and 6 pm, which means I can’t go tonight after work because I have to work late. My boss and I are taking a sort of field trip to check out two other museums in the state. We likely won’t get back before 6 pm. Therefore, my plan is to go after I get off work Friday.
I must return
I must go back to Normandy
to look out upon the sea,
Where once a great armada
carried troops, including me.
I must go back to Omaha
to walk along the shore,
and let my mind go back in time
to when there was a war.
When I go back I know I’ll mourn,
and shed some tears and feel the pain.
But I must go back and reminisce,
and think, and pray for those who there remain.
For they, too, were out upon that sea,
and then they died in Normandy.
Now from their graves above the shore,
they’ll keep their watch out on that sea, forever more.
I must go back to Normandy,
and, with them, once more,
look out upon that sea.
Sergeant Frank J. Wawrynovic landed on Omaha Brach on D-Day with C Company of the First Battalion, 115th Regiment, 29th Division. On June 17, he was wounded while scouting ahead of the American line in an orchard near the Norman city of St. Lô. He was evacuated, hospitalized for nearly two years, and discharged with a medical disability. After the war he returned to school and had a successful business career. Over the years he and his wife, Stella, gave very generous support to a variety of charities and non-profit organizations, including Normandy Allies. Many years after the war, his thoughts returned to that episode, leading him to write the poem shown above. He died in 2005, and his wife followed him in 2013.
D-Day occurred 73 years ago today and led to the liberation of Europe from Hitler’s Nazi regime.
LGBTQ people have always existed, but our history has either not been recorded or has actively been erased. Berlin in the 1920s and early 1930s was the gayest city on the planet, easily the San Francisco of its day. Yet the Nazis erased everything, putting gay men in concentration camps, where they were either worked to death or forced to have lobotomies performed. Unlike gay men, lesbians were not generally regarded as a social or political threat. Anthropologists are revealing the existence of LGBTQ people in cultures across the globe.
LGBTQ history is important not only for our community but for everyone. Part of the richness of LGBTQ culture and history is that it poses alternative social structures to the patriarchal and hierarchical model that saturates modern society. Because of the ubiquity of LGBTQ people, our continuing liberation movement is part of and a collaborator with other liberation struggles.
The recent presidential election in the U.S. heightens the importance of all of us resisting together. Saturday, June 10, Vermont will hold an LGBTQ Solidarity March on Montpelier. The March is an act of solidarity with the LGBTQIA National Unity March on Washington. LGBTQ people from across Vermont and other states will march on the Vermont capital of Montpelier.