saved by a tomato

Indeed, Gentle Reader, yes.  This morning I woke up and felt like a squeezed out tube of something.  Like a car up on the rack completely drained of fluid.  The Partner noticed this as I remained unresponsive when the blessed elixir    the coffee cup was placed before me.  He then, without saying much, placed tomatoes from the garden (picked a day or so ago) in my hands.  The effect was remarkable.  Suddenly I felt as though a living thing was breathing its heart into me and just like that, I came to.  Noticed the coffee and everything.

It was quite extraordinary, even if I did realize that since on some level this is what I do for other people in a way (here, drink this! put this on your forehead! hold this rock!)  it only made sense and of course it works.  My goodness.   The impact of things themselves is something often overlooked in today’s world, I think.  It is also true that most of the food people eat now is really totally dead.  You pick it up and feel? Nothing.   These tomatoes, though, practically sang in my palms.   It made me wonder if really, help is at hand for this world and it’s simpler than we might think. I mean: reconnect directly with the real world- the world that has animals and food and actual people you talk to in it.  The rest begins to take care of itself in that dance of time you recognize after it is over.

Lately I’ve been having conversations with people where they’ll say how awful they feel right now, how alienated and empty.  Then they’ll look at me and say things like, well, but you don’t feel this! (To which I respond with a strangled cry, of course.)  You like to cook! You ENJOY those things.  Like gardening.   I’m not interested in any of that, they’ll say.   I don’t want a spiritual grounding.  But I spend too much time on Facebook.  Well, I say.  Interesting.  You cut yourself off from everything that actually keeps you alive and then wonder why you feel so bad.  Since we do have to eat, shouldn’t we pay attention to that?  A spiritual grounding is not a confining religious program of doctrine.  It’s simply the ability to breathe in and realize you are part of a huge, humming entity and the longer you keep your heart and eyes closed to that, the more you suffer.  The sooner you realize you truly can breathe in this medium, the sooner you begin to actually live.  Marx wrote that people do things by hand, make things from scratch as it were, as an antidote to alienation.  There is something to that.  The time you spend learning to make bread or knit or build a cabinet is profoundly helpful and empowering.  You learn how to be at home with yourself and the earth and the record of your progress is right there to see, in a garden or scarf or cement counter or bicycle or engine or whatever it might be.  We’ve been bamboozled a bit, I think, by “technology”.   It’s kind of the same thing as being told in grammar school that you “can’t do math”.  We now seemingly all think that not only do we not need to do things like cook our own food or read a map because some technology can do it faster- we think, really, that we are not able to do these things. It’s “too much work”.   It is true as well that on some level the technology is smarter than we are.  It speaks a totally different language which takes a different sort of brain to understand and utilize properly.  There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, either.  It’s just that it should be another piece of the whole, and not a full frontal black and white operation, from which, given the politics of the world, many are excluded off the top.  It shouldn’t be a choice between spending hours liking things online or paying attention to real needs.  It’s just that paying attention to real needs generally means feeling what you are actually feeling.  That, of course, is what our culture is optimized to have you avoid.  Boy, oh boy.  Sleepers awake.

But there was also something this week that made me laugh so hard I just knew things are moving along as they should, somehow.  Dashing to the post office, as I got to the end of our gravel pit aka dirt road, what did I see but a passel of small pink pigs.  One velvety tiny brown one. The most adorable looking little cuties ever.  This, of course, was nothing like what I expected to see on that hiccup of a bridge and it took me a minute to adjust the gyroscope, stop the car, and realize these were probably our friend’s pigs out for an unauthorized stroll and not the usual wild pigs who would’ve  been chewing the car bumper by that time.  His animals often get out and they all have the same charming, frank but devious demeanor of a kid in a candy store.  We can be out here! yes! What?! Carry on!! We’re busy!!  As I sat there one small pig got so excited in telling the story that it toppled over onto its side.  Quickly scrambling up, just a bit muddier for the wear, and continuing the exciting pig escape story,  I looked at them all and just thought: Life is beautiful.  When I got to the fire station, which is the first place the cel phone works, I called home, The Partner called our friend, pigs were brought back into the fold, and all was well, once again, in the now.  As, weirdly, it is.  No matter how it seems.

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