I’m for love –the kind you need and want from the people who give it best. I’m for Wonder Woman and wonder women, Dreamers and underdogs. I am against scapegoating, nepotism, and recklessness.
I stand for democracy, honesty, and integrity. I believe in voting for presidential candidates who have studied the United States Constitution. I am pro-Obama, both Barack and Michelle.
I am firmly pro-camp-song, pro-knitting, and pro-cookbook. I am for gluten, butter, and sugar and I am against discussing the amount of carbs, fat, or evil in food before eating it, especially if someone else made it.
I am staunchly pro-understanding, pro-empathy, and pro-humanity. I believe in birthday cake for breakfast and I believe in mothers who taught themselves French with language tapes and sounded exactly like Julia Child when they practiced. I am pro-nerd, anti-glitter.
I stand for deep quiet, loons, and swimming with horses, which I tried once and which felt like flying. I believe in an Afterlife … not harps and fluffy white clouds so much as a clarity, an understanding, a lifting of all the veils that make us think our stubborn, self-destructive thoughts. I am for a Heaven that’s about reconciliation between our vision and God’s, a big explanation, God saying “this is why and this is why and this is why.”
I’m for God – believing in Him and trusting Him, even when I don’t understand …especially then.
I am against racism, narrow thinking, and sanctimonious bullshit. I am for including my friends in my family, forgiveness (though I’m not good at it yet), compassion, and generosity. I am for staying in touch. I will always be for connection, devotion, and affection.
I am anti-bully, anti-narcissist, anti-terrorist, anti-gun. I am passionately anti-Trump. I stand against cynicism and against women selling each other out. I am for Hillary and I always will be – she would have been fantastic.
I am pro-men, anti-mansplaining, manspreading, manhandling, and mancolds. I am pro-mama, pro-family, and pro-choice. I believe in music, art, and teaching lots of both in schools.
I am for Harry Potter. I’m for the friends who fought with him and I’m for Snape, who didn’t but still fought for him. I am for the inimitable Alan Rickman, gone too soon. I am for heroes who stand up for the vulnerable and I am for all of us encouraging each other to be our full, best selves.
I am anti-liar, anti-coward, anti-hypocrite. I am against wanting to be cool when you’re a grown-ass adult, against anyone who’s mean to waiters, and against political whores (I’m looking at you, Paul Ryan).
No to mealy apples, no to fake vanilla, and no to gratuitous violence. No to entertaining yourself by watching videos of people –especially children—getting hurt. No to humor that’s designed to humiliate, no to both phone and in-person soliciting. Yes to romance, lake swimming, being up late at night. Yes to wilderness and protecting it. Yes to fat, sweet blackberries on top of a vanilla cheesecake that’s more custardy than cakey. Yes to Rose Levy Beranbaum, who taught me how to make one.
I am pro-cabin, pro-campfire, pro-canoe, and all about Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert. I am against mocking people for believing in God and I am against mocking people for not believing in God. I am particularly pro-waffle but not necessarily anti-pancake.
I am pro-late-night, pro-early-morning, pro-privacy. I am both pro-Western and pro-Eastern medicine. I am for the old crabapple tree behind my grandma and Grandpa’s house on Cooper Avenue and I am especially for the rosy pink, tart applesauce GramBea made with its fruit. I will never be able to recreate it, but I’m still for it.
I am for the roses, hostas, and peonies my dad grew – he knew all their names—and I am for Simon Pearce glass, which is both beautiful and practical. I am for Simon Pearce himself, whom I met a couple of years ago. He was lovely, just as I expected him to be. I am for Chef Thomas Keller, the poet Mary Oliver, Meryl Streep, Leslie Odom, Jr, Patty Griffin, and all others who devote themselves to beauty and understanding the human experience.
I am anti-mid-winter, when everything is the same color and looks like the inside of an ashtray. I am also against overhead lighting and music that doesn’t match the occasion or location.
I am in favor of the simple, peaceful Lonsdale graveyard where my dad and many other members of my family are buried, but against all the reasons it’s full. I am in favor of tough old ladies and soft old men and I am all in for Minnesota. I am for flannel sheets and down comforters with the windows cracked.
I believe in silent understanding and I believe in singing together – my Uncle Will taught me how important that is, how healing it can be. I believe in daydreams, naps, nostalgia, and Expressive Math. I don’t believe in making people guess how I’m feeling.
I am pro-humility, pro-unity. I am pro-aloneness, anti-loneliness. I am pro-Brussels-sprout, anti-beet. I am pro-flower and pro-flour. I am for GramBea’s rice pudding (no eggs) and I am for Sue Burritt’s World-Famous Chocolate Cake, which may or may not actually be world-famous, but should be. I am anti-canned-cranberries – you won’t change my mind about that.
I am for giving teachers and administrators the benefit of the doubt, unless you’re ready to stand up and take on the job yourself (trust me, you’re not). I am against hyper-competitiveness and unreasonable standards for kids and I am guilty of both, though I’m working on it. I am pro-public-schools, pro-public-libraries, and pro-public-lands. I am for dads who make very convincing camel faces and I am for moms who call you Lamby and Lovebug right up until they die.
I am pro-lilac, rosemary, lavender, and peony. I cannot support cooking vegetables until they’re gray, nor can I support desserts that don’t taste as good as they look. I believe in putting a dash of almond extract in my sugar cookies and I believe in bourbon. No beer for me, thank you.
Yes to GramBea playing piano out on her four-season porch as I was coming in from school, yes to the people who camped out with me at the hospice house when my mom was dying, yes to the beautiful connection between my children, which is what I have always hoped for. Yes to the way my dad and his sister would laugh together in a kind of harmony and yes to letting your kids see you cry. No to people who make you feel like you’re crazy for feeling too much. No to Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, and Fox News. Shame on all of them.
Yes to reminding people they are not alone – including myself. Yes to friendship and shared history, to people who are afraid but keep trying anyway. Yes to women reclaiming their time and yes to men who really listen. Yes to singing in the hospital and yes to therapy animals because really, what other kind is there?
Yes to you, my friends from long ago and far away and yes to you, my friends from always. Yes to everyone who is here now and yes to those who couldn’t stick around for one reason or another.
I stand for you.
I stand for me.
I am for you and me.