I was working on a large abstract painting on Facebook Live when my friend texted to say Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. I kind of broke down during the show – which involved reminding everyone to double check their voter registration status and make sure they vote, giving a mini-lecture on the Constitution, and a few tears. My friends and I decided that the painting, which I completed despite my state of shock and grief, because art is totally my coping mechanism, would be a tribute to the Notorious RBG (a moniker she enjoyed, even saying that she had something in common with the Notorious BIG, both being from Brooklyn). I decided to call the painting Gratitude because I am extremely grateful to Justice Ginsburg for her relentless fight for equality for all under the law, the strides she made for the representation of women, and the fortitude with which she hung on for so long, despite her advancing cancer, in order to protect the Constitution and our fundamental rights through these strange and uncertain times. If the Notorious RBG could have picked her time to go, it wouldn’t have been today, and yet she went today, on Rosh Hashanah, a day of great spiritual significance in the Jewish faith. While many of us, especially women, are grieving this loss tonight, I hope we wake up tomorrow emboldened, empowered, and inspired. It’s up to us now to carry on her legacy and keep fighting for equality.
I have to say today is the first day in the two years since I quit my academic career that I miss teaching. But there is other work for me to do, work that has taken precedence and has fought for its priority position in my life. Things like abstract expressionism and writing feminist fiction – ways in which I can hopefully inspire more people than I would have in the classroom. And I’m happy to announce that it’s been a particularly good day for a certain feminist historical novel with ghosts and hurricanes in it. The free promotion of the Storms of Malhado ebook is still going on, and today there were so many downloads that it pushed my book to the top of the Amazon Best Seller’s list in two categories. It made it to #1 in Occult Horror (though I promise the novel is not scary, just eerie and with occult elements in it for sure) and #6 in Historical Fiction. #6 in Historical Fiction is big because Historical Fiction is a wide and extremely competitive category! Usually after such a successful free promotion a book tends to do pretty well, gaining actual sales and hopefully many reviews! So I am definitely hopeful as far as my writing is concerned.
Actually, I am stubbornly hopeful about everything else too. This is definitely a challenging time in oh-so-many-ways and while it did seem like Ruth Bader Ginsburg held our broken world together and now she’s gone, and while the responsibility of picking up the pieces is daunting for sure, I do believe we will woman up and keep forging ahead.
I started painting tiny saints this morning. The world needs more tiny saints. Though in the end we all have to save ourselves.