When our book, Breast Strokes, came out, Jane and I gave a reading at Books Inc. 

Though I was nervous beforehand, ridiculously so, when we began and shared what we knew, I enjoyed it.  I signed up for Toastmasters to deal with pre-nerves.

I was launched into a club of friendliness, fun, and support: Club 1441.

The last of the three founding members passed away in June.  What’s important to note about Toastmasters and change is that in 1970, Helen Blanchard was the first woman to join a Toastmasters club.  She did so by signing up under a man’s name, “Homer Blanchard”.  Admitting women was allowed in 1973, three years later. 

In 1980, there were no clubs In Marin that would admit women, so Ed Sotelo and his wife Eleanor formed Club 1441 so they could participate together.  The club, vibrant, adaptable, and alive, continues today surviving the pandemic by meeting on Zoom.

Today I read about a Supreme Court justice raised to believe men are superior to women, dominant.  My mind is boggled.

I come to Etty Hillesum who wrote from a concentration camp in 1943:

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves.

And so I come to an article on bees.  Bees are sentient beings, and perhaps we already knew that but this article shows to what an exhilarating extent.

The more we learn, the more we celebrate all that connects us, our interdependence and essential, individual contribution, whether male, female, human, plant, or bee.

As Alan Watts wrote: 

Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/16/bees-are-really-highly-intelligent-the-insect-iq-tests-causing-a-buzz-among-scientists

The last of the summer plums

At the O’Hanlon Gallery in Mill Valley

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