“Clean-up” underway in the Gulf…
Death toll in Afghan War — 63. An all time high in the nearly-nine-year-war…
Oil pipeline bursts in Kalamazoo River…at least a million gallons of oil…
Immigration law takes effect…protests…riot gear…
Mosque construction sparks debate…
(Here’s my cynic talking)
I suppose it’s nothing new. To say the least — and rather colloquially — we’re a fucked up world full of fucked up people. What should we expect? Oil erupts, gushes, damn near mushrooms into the Gulf for months. Then, just when we cap one volcano, another one blows in the Kalamazoo River. On top of all that, we have exponential tumult in Arizona. Not to mention the war. The (superfluous) debate over the mosque construction near ground-zero.
And that’s only domestic news.
(Here’s my hippy-self)
Much like Anne Lamott in the opening paragraph of Plan B, “…I decided that all of life was hopeless, and I would eat myself to death. These are desert days.” Here she’s referring to the time of the Bush administration. But this feeling seems appropriate nowadays as well —- not necessarily as a result of the current administration, but, in the least, amidst the incessant and exponential bickering by both sides. I hate to admit it, but some days I ignore the news. I go about my day, write a story, a poem, read, go for a walk, put The Band on the stereo, chop, cook, eat, take in a glass of wine —- get lost in aesthetics, pleasure, and creation. If I see one more picture of a rust-colored pelican dripping with crude I’m going to stab myself and hope that my offering of blood, in some strange magical manner, will not only clean up the aftermath of the gusher, but that it will avert all future disaster.
(Here’s my optimist)
Then, on the very best days, the humidity will be bearable not make me want to choke someone. On the best days work feels less like work and more like productive and soulful discipline. On the best days art speaks to that greater peace I’m always trying to attain, the breeze makes me believe in Something Greater, my friends, family, myself. And, on the very best days, when I read the news, it is tragic. It is disconcerting. But it’s mostly just a reminder that we live in raw world with hate and pain and hopelessness and divorce and addictions and suicide. And maybe, just maybe, if I just move aside and let that asshole in the right lane pass be by, or if I stop avoiding calling my family, or if I cook a pithy meal of cobbed corn with herb butter and bison burgers, it might make my close ones a little happier, a little less downtrodden by the ache and the angst and the fighting–always fighting.
So, here’s where I turn (to food, small pleasures). It’s the little things. And questions like, “How to Read the News” becomes less of a headache. More of a rhetorical question that, maybe someday, I’ll learn a little but more about.
Mix up some ground bison, fresh thyme and rosy, garlic, salt and pepper, a splash of oil (season to taste).
Fry it or grill it to medium, slap some goat cheese and an heirloom tomato on a bun or some toasted bread along with your burgers.
Maybe some arugula too to give it a peppery bite.
And eat. Know that the world and the ocean will heal itself. And you can’t do everything. Just try to get by. Try to search for something sublime.
Thanks for reading.