Yes, Gentle Reader, semblances of normality are peeking out from under the dog fur bunnies under the TV.
I have to say, Telemundo has helped, even though my Spanish is not always up to the task. One weekend a couple of weeks ago they showed an entire Saturday of: The Mummy Returns, Snow White and The Huntsman, and Indiana Jones and the Cave of the Crystal Skulls (or whatever it was called). Today we’re watching Salt, and I read this week’s New Yorker. The section on Sixteen Writers on the Election is well worth your time. I’m in love with Junot Diaz anyway but his piece is wonderful. Highly recommended from the Rehab Wing here.
Otherwise daily life continues to remind me that Truth and Beauty are still with us. On one day I saw a HUGE rabbit bound up our “driveway”, with four white paws and a very tall stature. Then, I saw about 24 wild turkeys and a few feet up from them, a HUGE covey of quail. They all seemed to be looking at me (especially the rabbit) and saying, hey! you can’t accomplish anything THIS way! Lighten up!
This lightening up was duly accomplished at the end of a long day of cooking. Although the Partner and I both are unsympathetic to the Pilgrim version of Thanksgiving, I have managed over time to impress him with the fact that the FOOD is wonderful. I usually bake whatever bread we’ll use in the stuffing the day before, and this time it was sourdough. Quite the endeavor this bread, taking an entire day to proof and all. I was really happy to see my now almost 25 year old starter is in tip top shape, too. The bread gets baked in a dutch oven (Tartine recipe) which is, admittedly, heavy. I had struggled with removing the whole shebang from the oven for the first loaf and the Partner said: I WILL DO THE NEXT ONE. YOU ARE NOT SUPERMAN. I huffed a bit but at the time of doneness, I said, OK. As I watched him, with one expert swell foop, remove the heavy pot from the oven and turn the hot loaf onto a rack, suddenly from the television came the William Tell Overture. Somehow it all converged, how I’ve always thought I had to do everything myself, ‘specially since nobody else ever stepped up, and how ridiculous that is. And how good the Partner is at so many of these things and what an excellent thing cooperation is. It’s good to receive as well as give. And it all struck me as supremely funny. The crescendo of the music occurring at the precise moment loaf hit rack, for example. I laughed so hard I cried and pretty soon we were ALL laughing, having our now mandatory group hug with the Dog. See how easy.
Then came the actual day, and more cooking. (Although simplified from the days of yore I can hardly imagine doing, but there it is. I used to even cook my own pumpkin for pie. JEESH.) It all went easily, actually, and well. The Dog ended his Thanksgiving by retiring to the couch (after his small bits of turkey meat and baked squash) and snoring. Loudly. And Longly. He was exhausted, of course, by his day long patrol of the kitchen area and relentless are-we-there-yetting.
I felt, almost for the first time, a profound sense of Belonging. My family is here, so now, in a way, I know where my house is. I decided to let the happiness and joy from that inform whatever else it is that may come, whatever may require doing. I still feel a huge pain in my heart but I also feel far more equal to the task of simply being a decent human being and standing for what is true, for beauty, for hope. And for love. Somehow I am not so afraid as I was. I guess I can endorse a course of Telemundo action films and some turkey as restorative measures when all seems lost.
I leave you with some of what Junot Diaz wrote in the November 21, 2016 NEW YORKER. I do believe that a non-violent person with a base in Nature and Creation can resonate with this and move forward with strength and capacity. There are many ways to deal with darkness, after all.
“….For those of us who have been in the fight, the prospect of more fighting, after so cruel a setback, will seem impossible. At moments like these, it is easy for even a matatana to feel that she can’t go on. But I believe that, once the shock settles, faith and energy will return. Because let’s be real: we always knew this shit wasn’t going to be easy. Colonial power, patriarchal power, capitalist power must always and everywhere be battled, because they never, ever quit. We have to keep fighting, because otherwise there will be no future- all will be consumed. Those of us whose ancestors were owned and bred like animals know that future all too well, because it is, in part, our past. And we know that by fighting, against all odds, we who had nothing, not even our real names, transformed the universe. Our ancestors did this with very little, and we who have more must do the same. This is the joyous destiny of our people- to bury the arc of the moral universe so deep in justice that it will never be undone…..”
Blessings and thanks for reading, as always!