Post Card from Covid-Time

Back when Obama was still president and I moved to DC, I used to go to the Hay Adams hotel for breakfast quite a bit, and off and on ever since.

The fact that JFK would have been there in the Off The Record bar with Jackie, that they would have dined upstairs in the Lafayette Room; that Jackie would have liked the chef there, and probably had taken the trouble to meet him, all made me want to write and eat there. And the fact that Roosevelt and his people favored the hotel, that his New Deal staff would have hatched programs and plans there, would have negotiated the politics of a Congress that did not want support The People and did not like Roosevelt’s unstoppable focus to help The People… I love that as well.

In early March of 2020, on a day I hadn’t planned to do so, I went for breakfast at the Hay Adams. I enjoyed seeing the wait staff that recognize me and are so happy to see me, or seem to be anyway.

I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast by the iron grated window, across the street from The President’s Church, St. John’s Episcopalian Church.

I talked to my sister from “our table,” and enjoyed describing the scene and remembering when we were both there, invoking our father and mother, who would have taken us there when we were kids, if we’d grown up in DC, and it he’d had better than a college professor’s salary.

Our parents who had had us stuffing envelopes to support the candidates that aligned with LBJ’s Great Society, desegregation, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid, Education, the Voting Rights act, and more humanitarian policies that supported the people as well as the economy of this country for decades.

Within a few days, it was clear that everything had to shut down, and we had to stay home, for our own and everyone else’s safety.

Italy had closed. It was unfathomable that a nation could or would close, but the death toll was also unfathomable.

Novel Corona Virus 19 had landed.

In June, Black Lives Matter Plaza was sanctioned by the Mayor of DC, and a street sign was added on the post in front of the church, naming that block 800 Black Lives Matter Plaza.

I was never so proud of the Hay Adams when it’s address changed from 800 15th St NW to 800 Black Lives Matter, but come to think of it, maybe it was Google. I still give the Hay credit because they are The Hay Adams.

The hotel closed some time back in March. The website has clear highlighted banners on each page about their being closed for the safety of staff and guests. They gave no indication of when they might reopen.

Maybe through its historical association with FDR but I have always had the feeling that The Hay Adams has a beating heart, and honest, human caring for the staff as well as Democracy, and I love that about the Hay.

The Oppressors have taken Black Lives Matter Plaza back, peed on it to de-sanctify the grounds as much as they are able, but The People take it back for bits of time, like last Friday for the March to celebrate the anniversary of Dr. King’s “I have a dream,” speech, and honor the lives of the martyrs of the murderous administration and the lawless police.

The tyrant’s warcry and lullaby of law&order is being sung again, inviting racist/rapists to marauder and terrorize good people, supposedly to stave off their fear. Their fear that no quantity of guns or money can abate, no matter how many of us they kill.

Again and again I am reminded of Victor Lazlo talking to Major Strasser in the movie Casablanca, I paraphrase:

You can kill me. It doesn’t matter because there are millions more like me and you can’t kill us all. Not even the Nazi’s can kill us all.

Not even the Nazi’s, the SS, Homeland Security, Betsy DeVos, Barr, Steven Miller, Bannon, Jarod and Ivanka, Pompeo, Moscow Mitch and all the unnamed ones in this country and their cockroach counterparts in the UK, Europe, South America, Australia and all through the Middle East can kill all the decent people who want family and peace and health and plenty for all.

There are millions of us creating and acting on creating a different future to the one that’s being engineered for us. Billions of us growing towards health and community, cooperation and thriving, no matter what. Billions rejecting their war-lord domination and destruction plans in favor of frivolous, joyful living, in community and creative thriving leaping greenly joy.

The Hay Adams has unceremoniously reopened, to some degree. They are taking guests, but the restaurants are guests only, no one else.

I have mixed personal feelings about this pretense at any kind of normalcy as I do not think it will end well for any of us.

And I confess to being a little disappointed by the idea of a return to a normal that was so brutal for so many… not that what we have now is less brutal, but it is less white-washed, which is less mindfucky, and that is less crazy-making.

Let us continue our personal work at actualizing Dr King’s Vision of that more perfect union, not only for America, but for humanity. It is a higher calling, and that is a very good thing.

Bread & Roses, children. Bread & Roses for all — and nothing less.

Bread and Roses

Judy Collins

As we go marching, marching
In the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens
A thousand mill lofts grey
Are touched with all the radiance
That a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing
Bread and roses, bread and roses

As we go marching, marching
We battle too for men
For they are women’s children
And we mother them again
Our lives shall not be sweated
From birth until life closes
Hearts starve as well as bodies
Give us bread, but give us roses

As we go marching, marching
Unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing
Their ancient call for bread
Smart art and love, and beauty
Their drudging spirits knew
Yes, it is bread we fight for
But we fight for roses, too

As we go marching, marching
We bring the greater days
The rising of the women
Means the rising of the race
No more the drudge and idler
Ten that toil where one reposes
But the sharing of life’s glories
Bread and roses, bread and roses

Our lives shall not be sweated
From birth until life closes
Hearts starve as well as bodies
Bread and roses, bread and roses!

Ridiculously aware of energy, highly curious, with a thing for freedom, I facilitate others to save the world by being more themselves.