Wednesday Vignette – countdown

Don’t know about you but, in terms of light, the past few years here in the meltingpot have been a looooooooong and very dark tunnel leading in the absolute wrong direction. So, when we passed the milestone signifying 100 days left to the presidential election, I wanted to do something to mark the realization that we’ve made it this far. Now the end of that tunnel, is pretty much in sight.

Passersby often comment on my front garden, so – for better, for worse – I know it draws some attention. I decided I wanted to put some kind of message out there where people can see it. But, which message should I pick? Reunite caged families? Listen to science? Black lives are cherished? There is no planet B? Drain the swamp? Gun control? Federal militias go home? Wear a mask?…. They are all important, but if I were to put them all out there, our front yard would look as the freeway exits in our WA suburb do across the river, where political placards seemingly are a permanent fixture on an otherwise scenic landscape. (I never have figured out their election cycles up north… do they ever end???)

As far as issues go, climate is still my number one, but the more I thought about my messaging, the more I realized that the absolute most important thing about this one is to turn out the vote. Looming complacency scares the shit out of me! And the idea of people staying home because their candidate isn’t “perfect” scare me even more. Look where that got us four years ago… (shudder). So, I thought if I could emphasize that it’s a value thing, rather than an issues- or a personal thing, people might be more likely to recognize the importance of using their right (and duty) to speak up for what they want – in other words VOTE!

IMG_7145

You get the idea… I think I will switch out the plant supports for a couple of bamboo canes instead, but hey – this works for now. I also want to adjust the numbers upward so they are more centered. The picture, btw, is a few days old. By the time you read this, the calendar will read    ’90 DAYS TO GO’.

A couple of otherwise useless plant supports, a piece of bamboo and some zip ties made a decent mockup (it still looks like crap, and I plan to improve it visually, but for now, it works, and I needed to get it up there.) Each number is paired with a word (written on the left) that indicates something I want to see more of from our dear electeds, after January 20. There are twenty numbers so I needed twenty words. I suppose, if everyone were to make their own Countdown Calendar, the words would differ from person to person, but here are mine:

Acceptance

Creativity/Ingenuity

Diversity

Empathy

Equanimity

Equity

Fearlessness/Courage

Justice

Humanity

Opportunity

Poise

Respect

Science

Stewardship

Tolerance

Truth

Vision

 

I wrote each number on a different color scrap paper, thinking if it keeps visually changing every day, people might be more prone to noticing. I used what I had laying around – unfortunately the combo in the photo is a bit drab. Some will inevitably be more visible than others. The most noticeable ones will be those with colors clashing with their surroundings. In retrospect, I wish I had had more bright, fun colors at my disposal, but alas… Hopefully people will still see it, and themselves get inspired to start defining which direction THEY want our nation to go in as a whole, rather than getting myopically hung up on single issues. (And heaven knows there are a gazillion of those…) I’m sensing that if we all know that, and are aware that perfection does not exist in a democracy (or in humanity, for that matter) – we can cut through the constant spinning/sound byte/buzzword/static/crap, keep feet on the ground and a clear head, and vote as best we can.

UPDATED LOOK as of August 13, 2020:

IMG_7227

Switched out the very flimsy plant supports for some much sturdier bamboo canes, and adjusted the height of the numbers a little. Used wire to secure the dowel rods to the metal ring – which, in case you are wondering –  is a recycled section of a ventilation system I happened to have laying around. Much happier with it now.

Please tell me I’m not crazy to fret enough about this to mar my front yard for the next three months. If my little Countdown Calendar can get a single other human to the polls (who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered) I will think it was worth it. If it doesn’t, I guess it was still worth it, because thinking this up and making it, made me feel better. Be safe out there, check to ensure your voter registration is up to date (and not purged), and go find your own 20 words. And, vote as early as you can.

Much love,

Anna

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About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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14 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – countdown

  1. A really good idea well executed. It definitely does not mar your front yard.

  2. Tina says:

    Great idea, wonderful addition to the garden, but will will it all hold up to your autumn rain? 🙂 Yes, there is some light ahead, but it’s all about GOTV! We have a chance to rescue this sinking ship and I hope we do so. Lots of work ahead, though…

    • annamadeit says:

      Good point, Tina. And yes – great feats are needed ahead. I hope we’re up for it. We need all the grit we can get. As for the rain, I’m considering laminating the pages when I upgrade the stand. That should help. 🙂

  3. bergstromskan says:

    Great idea Anna, and it might meet-or greatly exceed- your humble expectation that it will stimulate one more voter to vote. Also important, you know that you took action, and that will bring another level of satisfaction to your life. All power to you……..

  4. Well done! I’m thinking it will get some conversations started at the very least, and that’s a good thing.

    My WV: http://www.thedangergarden.com/2020/08/wednesday-vignette-cactus-rock.html

    • annamadeit says:

      I just hope it’s not so random that people don’t understand the purpose of it. This election is going to be an all hands on deck affair. I’ll resume breathing after it’s over…

  5. Kris P says:

    I’m very impressed, Anna! It’s not a finger in your face poster that’ll put chunks of people off (although, heaven knows, I wouldn’t have thought asking people to wear masks to protect everyone AND the economy would’ve created political divisions either). Getting out the vote is key. Awareness is the first step.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Kris! You know, I tried really hard to NOT be in anyone’s face. I suppose some might oppose some of the words I chose, but I would hope most would agree they are rather desirable. Yeah, who would have thunk that wearing masks would become a point of contention? People are so weird…

  6. Margaret Adams says:

    I’m new to your blog and I love what I’m seeing. I’ve spent many hours standing on a street corner holding a VOTE! sign so putting one in my front yard seems like the thing to do now. Thanks!

    • annamadeit says:

      Hi Margaret, and welcome! Yes, getting out the vote will be critical in 2020. Thanks for doing what you do. Putting a sign in the yard is far easier than *holding* a sign, for sure.

  7. brennie lee says:

    What a fabulous thing to do.
    Affirmative Action!
    Non-partisan, non-confrontational – definitely a new way to look at politics!
    But subversive also in its call to vote and desired character/humanity traits wrapped up in the beauty and serenity of your garden. Very clever 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Aww, thank you, Brennie! Glad you like it! I just finished assembling a bamboo stand for it, to replace that flimsy plant support. Looks much better now. And, only 81 days to go!! 🙂

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