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MARTHA SEZ: ‘Bulky Days herald the end of winter’
May 3, 2019

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It is snowing. Tomorrow is May Day.

I just returned from California, where I visited my daughter, Molly, her husband, Jim, and their adorable children, Emma, 6, and Jack, 5. It was sunny and warm; I picked avocados and lemons.

My grandchildren are, of course, wonderful and funny. Both have myriad interests. Both are more adept with cellphones and electronic devices in general than I am or will ever be.

Jack loves slither.io, a video game featuring worms that swim around the screen, growing in size-good-or exploding into particles to be consumed by the worms of other players-bad. He always wants to play slither.io, even though it frustrates him, sometimes to the point of total emotional meltdown.

Driving the two hours from the Albany airport to Keene Valley, the semi trucks on the Northway seemed to my travel-weary eyes like slither.io worms swimming at top speed, winding fluidly from lane to lane. Luckily, I made it to Exit 30 without exploding into particles.

After I was home for a few days, I said out loud, "Bulky Days. I forgot Bulky Days again!"

The beautiful IT person where I work appeared puzzled.

"Bulky Days?" she repeated, quizzically.

She had never heard of Bulky Days!

Well, what do you expect, I asked myself, she is very young. Also, she is from Malone.

How to explain Bulky Days to someone who is not an initiate?

Bulky Days is all about voluntary divesting. It is a time when we give away the unnecessary, the dross, in our lives, getting back to basics. While many downplay the significance of Bulky Days as merely a convenient way to get rid of unwanted furniture, clothing, outdated electronic equipment and appliances at the town's expense, I have always looked at this event as an important biannual local holiday held at the Keene Transfer Station, world's most scenic dump.

In April, Bulky Days herald the end of winter, spring cleaning, and, by extension, new life.

In October, surrounded by slopes dressed in their colorful fall garb, the transfer station is a place to shed outmoded possessions. What is really important? We ask ourselves this during Bulky Days.

I feel sometimes that I am drowning in clutter. Terrible feng shui. I planned to participate in Bulky Days observances upon my return from California. And yet, inexplicably-I forgot. The next Bulky Days is not until October.

In California, I was too busy to immerse myself in politics. Now that I am home again I find myself right back in the stew. I can't stay away from politics, and yet, like Jack with slither.io, I sometimes feel frustrated to the point of meltdown.

I happened to tune into MSNBC just in time to hear the Rev. Al Sharpton make reference to "the latte liberators." I am pretty sure the label was not intended as a compliment. I have tried to find the term on line. What did he mean? Who are the Latte Liberators? Am I one? I don't think it is wise to sow seeds of dissension, politically, at this time.

Then I watched as a group of young upstart news commentators threw shade on the ability of ancient, calcified, fossilized American citizens to comprehend the vision of some of the Democratic Party's presidential candidates. What? Doesn't anyone remember the book, "The Greening of America," by Charles A. Reich?

This excerpt from "The New Yorker," September 26, 1970, discusses the premise of the book.

"There is a revolution under way-not like revolutions of the past. This is the revolution of the new generation. ... It will not require violence to succeed & it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. It is now spreading rapidly, & already our laws, institutions, & social structure are changing in consequence. Its ultimate creation could be a higher reason, a more human community, & a new & liberated individual ... in time it may turn out to include ... the entire American people. The logic of the new generation's rebellion must be understood in light of the rise of the corporate state under which we live & the way in which the state dominates, exploits, & ultimately destroys both nature & man."

I am annoyed when these young folks on TV assume that older people cannot understand the political views of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Hold on. Have you seen Bernie Sanders? He does not look especially young. This is because Bernie Sanders is elderly. Left-wing ideas are nothing new, my dears.

Have a good week.

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