I want you all to sing this sea shanty at my end-of-life celebration (whenever that may be, no rush.) It’s catchy. It’s about attachment. About transitions. I’m hoping there are plenty of years yet for you to learn it, but when the time comes I want you all singing.
Here’s a more traditional rendition. Also excellent.
I’m writing this as I wait for the paint on the floor of my bathroom to dry. It’s every bit as exciting as it sounds. But it’s the last task I needed to do to bring that little room back to ready after all the work done earlier this fall, and honestly, when something’s been out of whack in your house for months, you celebrate every opportunity for closure. I had to wait until my kid was out of town to get this last bit done, since floor paint takes a very long time to dry and it’s hard enough to coordinate my own absence for the duration, let alone that of someone whose schedule is the opposite of my own.
It wouldn’t matter so much if it weren’t the sole bathroom in the house, but it is.
Having a single bathroom in a house was once not so uncommon. The house I grew up in had one bathroom until my parents added a second when I was eleven or twelve, and it wasn’t even a particularly old house. I think it was built in the 1950s. Have I mentioned the house I live in now was built in 1860? It didn’t even have a bathroom when it was built.
The civil war had yet to begin when my house was built, though the animus was on the rise.
Women had not gained the right to vote when my house was built, and wouldn’t for more than another half-century.
Humans could still own other humans when my house was built, at least in some states, of which there were only 33 at the time. Thirty-three is a good number; maybe they should have left it at that. Though given the looming upheaval even 33 was too many. Now look at us. Fifty states, two of which are not even a part of our contiguous landmass. Plus territories and protectorates, three in the Caribbean, eleven in the Pacific. Can you name them? I can’t name them. I had to go to Wikipedia.
I couldn’t name the leading causes of death around the time my house was built, either, but Derek Beres of the podcast Conspirituality offered this reminder that public health matters are no small concern, and the eradication of scourges in the 20th century was no small feat.
Here’s a thought, a little random, but worth your consideration: We need more forgiveness. Music critic Ted Gioia suggests we start with Milli Vanilli.
Meg Conley connects the Netflix show Derry Girls and the Troubles in Ireland with mass shootings in the U.S., and Christian nationalism. It’s all of a piece.
For nerds: Robin Sloan asks, what do you want from the internet, anyway? Robin has been working on a protocol. It sounds… promising?
And finally, as we enter the portal into another Holiday Seasontm, Chris LaTray has something to say about good days and holidays and the exhaustion that comes of bashing ourselves and one another over the origins of Thanksgiving: “I am more traumatized by organizations – Indigenous and non – and other people – Indigenous and non – going so hard all day long to remind everyone how fucked-up the idea of Thanksgiving is. Just take the fucking day off if it is offered to you and do something that will bring you joy.”
Like singing a sea shanty. Or maybe listening to this.