Counting my breaths
33, 34, 35 to 100
How high can you go?

Slow car passing
Sun inching over sky
Goldenrods wait

My new book is out. new book out today
With both clean essays and jagged diary entries, this memoir tells the story of one person's progress through disability and volunteering, self exploration and discovery, & snippets of growth in the contemplative writing process itself

Why do I see so many more cats than dogs on Mastodon?

VA’s Bristol has no such option. The state has had a moratorium on annexation since the early 1980s. It was supposed to be temporary, so lawmakers could study the issue, and was set to expire this year. But the General Assembly recently extended the moratorium to 2024. Even if there were no ban, the fact that cities such as Bristol are independent entities means they are competing with surrounding counties. There’s no incentive for a county to cede land to a city if it means losing tax revenue.

At the same time, Eads has been replacing city department heads and working to build morale, paying for staff picnics out of his pocket.
But the problems facing the city are daunting. Without changes it will soon face a $2.4 million annual shortfall in debt service payments.
Bill Sorah, city manager for Bristol, Tenn., has an office two blocks from the state line.Bill Sorah, city manager for Bristol, Tenn., has an office two blocks from the state line. (Timothy C. Wright/For the Washington Post)

So just as city leaders had tapped an old quarry to stay in the garbage business, they tapped another old quarry and decided to go into the commercial real estate business. Christened The Falls, the city-owned development was going to be a $260 million hub of restaurants and shops just off the highway.

But there was a potential problem: Less than 10 miles farther down I-81, an even bigger commercial development was underway. Across the line in Tennessee.
Competition in Tennessee

Hopewell, also near Richmond, is so dysfunctional that state officials can’t even review its finances. The Southside city of Martinsville is considering reverting to town status, absorbing itself into the surrounding county.
City on the brink: Petersburg can’t pay its bills, and time is running out @jujube

“We’re about as low as you can go and not have cuts to services,” City Manager Randall Eads said. “We are truly rebuilding this city from the foundation up.”

Virginia is a famously well-run state, one of only about a dozen with a AAA bond rating (including Tennessee). Yet a number of Virginia’s cities are in deep fiscal and economic trouble. Two years ago, Petersburg — south of Richmond — nearly went bankrupt.

this will be published in a second here on youtube. It is my Poetry Reading on Afghanistan by myself, an Appalachian Quaker Pacifist.

Prayer for Peace

Oh God
I learned
It is possible
To stop
A machine gun
Without a weapon

Let someone tell Afghanistan
Please God

Begging on knees

@jujube I love Bristol too. Can be a bad place to feel stuck in. Which side is your favorite? I like both equally. Once I spurred the Washington Post to write a story about my town:

hi! My name is Maggie Hess, I live in Bristol TN, and I am a poet and artist. I am new to Mastadon. Look me up on Amazon! I have 30 books there.

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