Pete and I had company for a couple of nights and I’m buzzzausted. I can barely muster a passable Bronx cheer!
I may not look busy, but I’m actually brining a turkey.
A zillion years ago, when I converted to Judaism in my twenties, the rabbi explained that Jews do not believe in concrete forms of an afterlife because nobody can testify to the truth of the matter. There’s no Heaven or Hell as Christians describe it because Morty who died last year has not reappeared before the congregation with real estate listings. So Jews says that good people walk with G-d. As for Hell, it’s called Gehenom, because some scholar asked some guy what was the worst place he could imagine and that guy said, “It’s gotta be Gehenna, because those people burn their children.” I don’t remember a whole lot from this part of my life, but that explanation penetrated the fog, since we now live in Hell.
For a couple of days last week, my friends yapped about this article at Cracked.com: Six Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person. It is written in an antagonistic manner intended to incite fatass whiners to get off their asses and fatten up their skill set and every person in comments who raves about the message has already gotten it. I doubt the intended recipients of that message appreciate it, but I appreciated this:
Saying that you’re a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn’t make you sick. You’re like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is “The actors are clearly visible.”
I was just about to quit reading when that line caused me to give the article, which had twice cited an odious scene from Glengarry Glen Ross I have no interest in reliving, a second chance. The point eventually becomes: learn things, practice new skills, change to be what you want to be and do what you want to do, but it’s aimed at people who are doing nothing but aging. Yikes.
This method of assessing a situation works for me:
I ask myself this question almost every day: what are my assets? What am I? What do I have? What can I do? What do I want? Sometimes, I don’t have answers. If I am very lucky, I have new and surprising answers. Those are the best days.
I’ve figured out a few things about these winter projects.
1. Start in the spring.
2. It seems stupid, but knit when it’s 90 degrees on the porch.
3. Don’t stop.
Miss Sasha has been making hats on a knitting loom. I have been hmm-hmm-hmm-ing about whether or not I could turn out hats this way, but I’d have to have a place to send them. It must be noted that I am in New Jersey and even toddlers get mouthy when you stroke their hair.
I guess we were all young then.
The horror of a massacre of first graders and their teachers – children and women – was immediately compounded by the loud and persistent call by an apparently endless parade of crazed white men for more guns in schools. Before the bodies had even been removed from the school, white men slammed teachers and unions for the wholesale killing, blamed contraception, blamed everyone but gun culture and mental illness. Columbine was thirteen years ago and I was no longer interested in school shootings because Americans were playing them on TV as spectacles and I wasn’t playing along; but this latest crime brought us a secondary horror. One would think that when women and children lay in pools of blood, men, ultimately our partners in the enterprise of living, would lay down their arms to take us in theirs. Instead, all across the electronically connected United States, white men have chosen to hang on to their guns.
This is not just a gun problem. This is not just a mental illness problem. This is also a profound disconnection of white men from women and children, one I still can’t really believe I’m seeing. It’s shocking and, somewhere in my gut, something has changed. I now wonder if women and children should have safe towns or even states where men are not allowed, and if that is the only way we can live in relative peace and safety.
Before the murder of twenty little children, I would not have imagined President Obama speaking to the nation while wiping tears from his eyes.
Call your representatives. Tweet. Write. Demand action on assault weapons. Talk and talk and talk. Demand the NRA release its grip on us.
Refuse to let this go.