Mr. Postman

And here’s today “beauty” entry, a card from a friend.  I love writing letters, although sometimes they end up like diary entries… kinda a bummer these days.

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But even with my gloom and doom, I get lovely cards back!

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Where you find it

I’ve been thinking of my Marilyn post, mainly the quote “beauty’s where you find it.”  from Madonna’s song Vogue, I think. Honestly, I was always more of a Lauper girl, and I left Madonna  after the 80’s, so Vogue isn’t in my rotation.  By the way, Cyndi Lauper is still one of my faves, I look forward to everything she does, and she is still amazing!  I  said that I’ve been sad lately, so I am looking for things to make me happy.

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I belong to a postcard club and this was the card I got today.   I save them all, some for the stamps, some I will make into cards, when and if I start making cards again, and others get tucked into my idea journal.  I always need inspiration.

Speaking of which …

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My idea journal is kinda fun to look at.

History Lessons

I’ve been a little sad lately.  And it’s hard for me to say why, because who wants to read me going on like an angsty ninth grader. Let’s just say, over the years I have thought “Marika, you are cursed.”  I shake it off,  I continue my journey in becoming a badass, and then something will happen and I will think “See? Totally cursed. This is not your destiny, shut up and sit down. You are too old for this.”   Only I know these things are ordinary things that happen to everyone, but because they don’t happen at a good time, or they happen all together, I get overwhelmed and scared and CURSED.  But I keep trying if only to aggravate the Universe at large.

I’m going, to be honest, the good old USA is NOT helping me.  Lately, I have been wondering who we are because this is not the America I know.  Only maybe it is, and I just never saw what seems so clear now.

I went to Rohwer, and it was just the saddest place I have ever been.  I wrote that I didn’t know why I had to go there, I just knew that I did.  Now I know.  The Trump administration is considering putting up a  migrant camp two miles away from the memorial I visited.    Read  about it here

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

We really haven’t learned a thing, have we?

 

An Appointment with my favorite Dr.

The kids are making new things at the Morean Art Center. I think the summer programs have started, and I’m hoping that means I get to see different things every Saturday I go there for my writing class.  ( Is it a writing class?  I don’t know – I learn new things every time I go, so I think it is.)  This week their work was inspired by Dr. Suess.  I’ve heard that Dr. Suess didn’t really like kids. I don’t believe that’s true, I don’t think I could love Yertle the Turtle as much as I did as a child if the man that wrote it didn’t have some kind of love for children.  Was he intimidated by them?  I get that.  I don’t have kids, and have very little exposure to them, and yeah sometimes they are a little scary.  They are a bit wild, untamed and that can be as frightening as it is beautiful.

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What  I like about Dr. Suess is how subversive he was.  Horton Hears A Who?   Yeah, that’s about how America needed to support a post-war Japan.  Theodor Geisel, or beloved Dr. Suess,  was very, shall we say ANTI  on Japan till he made a visit to the country that changed his heart.

Yertle the Turtle?  Yeah, Yertle is Hitler.  The last lines of the book,  “And the turtles, of course …all the turtles are free. As turtles, and maybe, all creatures should be.”  The maybe is in there on purpose because he wanted his young readers to think “OF COURSE  all creatures should be free!” Also when Mack, the turtle on the bottom, burps – it was the first time a burp was referenced in a children’s book.  Very. Big. Deal.

His messages for adults weren’t always so hidden.

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WOW.  I don’t think I really have to say anything

And here’s something interesting, Becks, we might have this book to thank for having one of the greatest writers in children’s literature.

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His 4th book about the Seven Lady Godivas, obviously for adults was a flop, and that is probably influenced him to stick to children’s books.

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The girls were always naked because they were themselves and felt no need to hide it.  Something  I think is a good lesson for all of us.

 

 

 

 

Detours

The Key to a successful road trip to  Arkansas is avoiding Memphis.  I  get it, I was raised in Tennessee, I love Memphis, it’s inspired some of the best songs in country music, don’t believe me, listen to this and tell me it’s not three kinds of awesome. I could listen to that song all day.  So much history, so much music, so much barbeque, all in Memphis.  Oh, and there’s Elvis.  So yeah, Memphis is great unless you have to find the St Louis exit, on a pretty shitty road, and white-knuckle the next 20 miles because the whole thing is too much.  On the way home there was something that I wanted to see, it would take me a couple hours out of my way, but that is road tripping is for, exploring – and it was a good way for me to avoid Memphis.  So off to Rohwer Arkansas I went. Things did not go as planned.

Rohwer Arkansas was once home to one of the Japanese Internment Camps in WWII.  In fact, George Takei spent a year there when he was a little boy.  He talks about traveling to the swamps of Arkansas, and how remote it was, and he’s not kidding.  It’s still remote, and it took me 4 hours to find the memorial.  The sensible side of me said, “Marika get back on Prison Road, pick up a nice hitchhiker and settle down, you don’t really NEED to see this place.”  But honestly, the truth is I did need to see it, even if I still don’t know why.  Finally, after being told I was indeed on the right road, and it was just another 5 miles, I drove another 12 and there was a sign.  I turned left, I crossed the abandoned railroad tracks that brought George Takei and 8,000 other Japanese Americans to the camp, and there was a memorial, down a gravel road and hidden in a clump of trees surrounded by a cotton field.

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The only thing left is the cemetery for the people who died while being held there as well as two memorials made of concrete.  the one on the left, with the eagle, was made by the people imprisoned there honoring all their dead. The other honors the men from the Rohwer camp that died while serving in the 442 infantry, the most decorated soldiers of WWII – they also had the highest casualty rate, and boy does that say something.

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Rohwer is a sad place.  It’s wrapped in a silent sorrow.  What made it worse to me, is that there is this monument made to honor heroes that gave their lives, regardless of what was being done to their families, and the flag depicted on the obelisk isn’t even painted.  It’s faded, much like our memory of this place.

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Outside the cemetery, there is one more little headstone among the trees, I, of course, built a story around it.  I just imagined a child wanting to honor his or her best friend and someone being kind enough to help them.  It amazes me it is still there.

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There are little kiosks set up around the memorial, and when you push a button Lt Sulu will tell you a little something about the camp.  It’s a little weird having him explain it, considering that after being imprisoned here, he went on to serve on a spaceship with a crew made up of different races, alien and otherwise.

Afterward, Monte and I sat down on at the picnic table, and ate some kiwi and watermelon and enjoyed the shade and the stillness.

The camp closed on November 30, 1945.  It was the last internment camp to close.