The Trinity College And The Book Of Kells

I know you do not have to visit Ireland to learn about the Book of Kells, and most like, it would be better if I knew about it beforehand – then, I could be more appreciative in advance of what I was going to see. In case you are like me and had never heard about it before, it’s an amazing 800 A.D. manuscript containing four canonic gospels (BTW, I thought that the four gospels were canonized later, but that happened in the 4th century!) This amazing manuscript was produced by four monks who copied the text and three illustrators.

The wiki page for the Book of Kells reproduces a lot of illustrations and provides a lot of historic contexts. And obviously, you can’t take pictures of the book itself, so that’s the only way you can have an idea of how it looks like. Just one thing I want to say – it feels surreal when you think you are looking at the book produced 1200 years ago and think about real-life humans who did it!

Here are some pictures from the exhibition about the Book of Kells:

I thought that many years ago when I was really into history, I read about the origin of the name Pangur, and I thought it was used in the Gargantua book, but I can’t find any references now. All the links point to that cat đŸ™‚
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She Said Movie

I finally watched “She said” over the weekend. I knew it was a great movie and wanted to watch it for a while, but somehow, finding a place online to watch it was challenging! It is not available on Amazon, and it was not on Hulu (I do not use Hulu, but while searching for a place to watch, I decided to accept a free month of Hulu, which they sent to me for my birthday). I finally found it on Apple TV (yes, I also accepted three months free of Apple TV, it came with my new iPhone, and I am going to drop it because I do not use it!)

So, I finally watched it. What a great movie! I do not want to write at length about it, it just checks all the marks. Watching it, I could not stop thinking about how deeply sexual harassment is enrooted in all aspects of our life. I recall my teenage and young adult days, and even later – I can’t believe to which extent it was expected! We never thought about complaining, it was just a force of nature you had to consider. I realized one small but rather astonishing fact while watching – we never thought kissing against somebodies would be abuse! You were not raped, what you are complaining about?!

The movie emphasized one more time the power of numbers and the importance of everybody coming together and raising their voices against whatever evil we want to fight.

Fighting Forward!

It used to be an annual Planned Parenthood fundraiser celebrating yet another anniversary of Roe/Wade. This year is different- for the first time, the defenders of reproductive rights gathered after Roe/Wade was gone.

Despite that, the event was very elevating, and I left the event inspired. Everybody is determined to fight relentlessly to defend women’s bodies and the right to choose.

Dick Durbin
Jennifer Welch

Antis were blocking the way to the venue (anything new?!), although not that many. And escorts were protecting the guests :). I thought I would be alone (I didn’t share my plans with anybody), but I met two escorts who invited me to sit together, so it was even more enjoyable.

The only time I attended this event before was in 2016 when I got discounted tickets for my friend and me. This year I decided to give more to Planned Parenthood by buying a non-discounted ticket. And I also gave money during the event.

We will keep fighting!

Post Roe/Wade Landscape

Today’s escorting was tiresome. It’s not that there were more antis than usual, and not that they were especially aggressive, but they behaved the way that demonstrated their confidence. One of them (I have a history with him and hate him with a burning passion) gave me an evil smile: how many states are left where abortion is still allowed? They act as if they are masters of the land.
I, together with another escort, guarded the side entrance. There were two antis, but they left soon. Shortly before that, a van with contractors stopped by – they were looking for the manager of the next-door Japanese restaurant. They were shocked by the scene they saw and said that they thought it was some rally, and they didn’t want to believe me when I told them that we have it every Saturday!

Oh, and also these protesters announced that they “love Ukraine!” I am speechless!

There was a counter-protest against the March for Life, which was going to “celebrate” a Roe/Wade overturn. Our goal was to silence the speakers on the opposite side of the street. On the one hand, we dominated. I remember many marches with tons of antis and just a few of us. This time, there were more of us, way more! And we were indeed louder than them. But on the other hand, I almost cried all the time marching because we lost no matter how loud we were. We lost when Roe/Wade was overturned, and it will take years and years to fix it. Meanwhile, people need help right now.

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We will Keep Fighting!

My Apple watch flashed on the news in the middle of the conference, and right in the middle of me trying to figure out all the flight changes. I didn’t blog about it yesterday, because of all the other things going on, but this was the worst news of the day.

I said before that I am sorry to miss these warm summer days in Chicago, but what I really miss now – is not being able to march with others, and not being at the Federal Plaza yesterday. I just saw Igor’s pictures, and I am glad that people turned in instantaneously, but OMG… I did not believe SCOTUS will do it for real! Igor’s pictures below:

March along Ida B. Wells Drive

Roe/Wade, Abortion Rights, And All Related

When I returned from Europe at the beginning of May and looked around, I realized that the war dominated my life so much that I completely ignored pretty much everything. Not only did I put my life on hold and almost fail several important things, like conferences readiness, but I also ignored what was going on in my country. 

Once again, I can’t change the development with Roe/Wade, but at least I can protest.

At first, it didn’t look like the potential SCOTUS ruling changed the situation around the clinics, but later, things started to get worse. 

There were some very loud (at how to put it? Not so smart) antis who just repeated the exact text over and over and tried to harras the patients (and often – not even patients, doing horrible profiling).

This time, they brought an amplifier, and they first set it up at the corner of Washington and Des Plaines, but in about 30 min, they moved it to the bridge over the expressway, and then it could be heard at the waiting area of the clinic. We called the police, and they actually arrived, but then they did nothing! I still can’t believe it! They didn’t tell antis to turn the volume down! Honestly, they would rather not come at all!

The video below shows how loud they wee, and how police did absolutely nothing!

Also, I finally got contacted by MAC (Midwest Access), because they are getting ready to resume accommodating the out of state patients in private residencies. I told them that I moved, and I should have another home visit next week. I hope I will be able to helo that way, too!

Roe/Wade Protests And Rallies

While in Europe, I almost entirely missed the new development with the Roe/Wade overturn. Then, I felt guilty that I didn’t pay enough attention and didn’t participate in the protests. I was flying in on May 1, so I missed all May Day things. I got a little bit of the protest last Saturday after I took mom to the Joffrey Appreciation Day, but they were almost done with the rally by then and were preparing to march.

Today, I went escorting and thereby was unable to attend the event in Union Park.
Escorting was definitely more important because antis went wild. What surprises me is that antis are always using the same old tune. They didn’t come up with anything except for the same old “you are murdering the human beings.”Today, I was busy the whole shift, walking the patients to and from their cars, making the human corridors, and making noises so that antis could not be heard.

At some point, a clinic security guard came to stand with us and helped to hold the tarp to cover the anis posters. And he actually yelled at antis because he is not an escort :).

Then, I could not do the later protest today because of the bad planning (I had three other events, and I lined them up in a suboptimal way). I saw a lot of social media posts, and I caught a little bit of the Millennium park event at the very end of it.

The number of antis who appear at the pro-abortion rallies still bothers me. That’s Illinois, that’s Chicago, and I can’t believe it when I see huge groups of antis, so loud and talking the same nonsense. I am so allergic to propaganda after I had it all in the Soviet Union!

And one more thought, When I am asked what the abortion situation in the Soviet Union was, I usually reply that abortion was legal, it was just a very humiliating process, and no anesthetics were allowed unless you illegally paid for them. It was not until recently that I realized that the fact that you could not get an abortion after 12 weeks was an abortion limitation! It just never occurred to me that it could be different!

Last week’s protest – Igor’s photos


I didn’t have time to blog about anything since returning from my trip; there was too much work. I still have a lot of photos from Lithuania, and I do not know when I will have time to sort them. And while I was so preoccupied with my private things and the war, I completely lost the situation with Roe/Wade. Now I blame myself for ignoring most of the protests, not being there, and putting these activities on the backburner. At the same time, I know that participating in Saturday protests completely doesn’t fit into my schedule. Unfortunately, this is not the last protest… not sure which emoji is appropriate here.

A Counter Protest

On Saturday, I went to the counter-protest against March for Life. Good thing – there were way more people than last time I participated. However, I am not sure why the rally or organizers decided to march around the loop. I am not even sure whether the idea was to march to the hotel where the Pro-life conference was taking place, or what, because it ended up by the Art Institute.
In any case, I think that we would be much better off if we stayed across the street from the pro-life crowd.

Some pictures:

Pro-life rally
Dividing line
The counter-rally
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