Monday, May 27, 2013

I Think Peace. I Dig Potatoes

I dug the potatoes today and that was two hours of hot, sweaty work. But rewarding. We now have an old canning kettle over three-quarters full of the things and they will keep well for a long time. Some of them are tiny- marble sized and some of them are large, chunky things. But most are un-nibbled by ants or moles or whatever it is that so often gets to the potatoes before we do and I am grateful.
I, myself, am not un-nibbled though. The damn ants got to me through my overalls and above my gloves, biting and stinging and it was rather miserable work although there is great pleasure in the finding of the potatoes under the dirt, round and smooth and red. I simply waited too late to begin and thus, the sun was blistering down and it was hot.

I came into the house when I was done and took a shower and and heated Mr. Moon up some lunch and then I took him to where he rents a car to drive down to auction. The rental car place is way on the west side of Tallahassee and we are beyond the east side and so it takes forever and on the way home, I stopped at an Ace Hardware to buy okra seeds and cucumber seeds to fill in where the potatoes were. They had no okra seeds but I bought the cuke seeds and also some zinnia seeds because I have not planted any this year except for the ones I put in the old rusted reclaimed wagon from the dump with the lemon balm and the mint and the flowers were quickly eaten by the chickens although they have spared the mint and lemon balm. I also bought a clothespin bag and a higher quality type of clothespins than the ones I have been using. I love the Ace Hardware. It has a bit of everything and I was fantasizing that they might even have some young chickens I could bring home and set in the coop but of course they did not. It's probably too late for that anyway.

When I got home I was starving and ate a very sensible lunch of some cottage cheese and a mango and then, unsatisfied, I dove into the leftovers from yesterday's lunch in Panacea which was a stupid mistake which I have paid for already in part and will no doubt, be paying for all evening. Fried food. Oh Lord. Why? But it was so good. Cold fried shrimp may not sound like a treat, but trust me- it is.

And then of course I was exhausted and full and laid down on the bed and slept for about forty-five minutes and woke up feeling itchy in my soul and I washed dishes and folded laundry and felt as if I had accomplished nothing at all today, nothing whatsoever of any importance but I am trying out a new mantra which is "I don't give a shit," and it works. Sort of. I think I am completely weary of giving a shit about everything on this earth, from the things which I can do nothing about to the things which I can and which I fret over like a cat worries over a dead mouse which it is not even hungry enough to eat.
I went back out to the garden and picked almost a gallon bag of snow peas and I pulled up two bolted and gone-to-seed collards and fed them to the goats next door and turned on the sprinklers and planted the little azalea Lily gave me for Mother's Day and put the sprinkler on that bed and also set a sprinkler in the fern and camellia bed and put some more laundry away and here I am. Here I am.

All day I have been thinking about the things I touched on this morning in my post about Memorial Day and what Elizabeth said in her beautiful post (her posts are all beautiful) and how we are all on holiday today to honor the war dead and how, of course, in this country that means we get off work and we  grill good ol' American food such as hot dogs and the Florida State Troupers had cars lined up in the shade in Lloyd, ready to jump on the interstate less than a quarter of a mile away because surely this must be one of their biggest money-making days because as Americans we always seem to have to drive somewhere on a holiday, never, I suppose, being satisfied with where we are or who we are with and so must go elsewhere to celebrate with others and it all seems so wrong to me. If we were truly to be acknowledging those who have died in wars, shouldn't we all be shutting ourselves into dark places and keening and moaning over the losses, the unimaginable losses? But no, that is not how we do it. We cook out and we drive places and we put up patriotic posts on Facebook (although it never seems to be actual veterans who do that) and some people, I suppose, shop the Big Memorial Day Sales! advertised in the paper and we do nothing, nothing at all to try and contemplate an end to war and we are still laughing at people like John Lennon and Yoko Ono who had the completely idiotic idea to put up billboards saying "Imagine Peace" and "War Is Over If You Want it" which, it would seem to me, would be a far more fitting tribute to those who died than waving flags and posting pictures of service men and women with their heads bowed in grief.

I mean- aren't we Americans? Aren't we supposed to be able to figure shit OUT?

Doesn't it say in the Bible in Isaiah that they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks and nation shall not lift up sword against nation and they shall not learn war any more?

Yes. It does.

Well, so what? It says a lot of shit in the Bible and you get to pick and choose as you want but that verse, that's one of my favorites. But really, is that any crazier than imagining peace? Than saying that war is over if you want it?

I heard our president on the radio today and he was talking about how we all need to be worthy of the sacrifice that our fallen soldiers made for us and again, that sounds way too much like Jesus dying on the cross to me. Here's what I think- I think that most of the soldiers who die in battle are not thinking one iota about freedom or liberty or even the United States of America. I think they are probably thinking, "Oh shit."

Well, thank god I do not really know. But I will tell you this- I am quite sure that every mother whose son or daughter was killed in battle did not have, as an immediate reaction to the news of her child's death, the thought that there was any glory in it at all.
There is NO fucking glory in war death. And I am not ashamed or afraid to say that I believe that. Not for god, not for country.

There is just waste.

I should go move the sprinklers. The sun is setting and the sky is golden and actually, I do give a shit although frankly, I don't think the planet does. It will go on or it will not. We humans can lie to ourselves about everything from our poisonous effect on our very mother Earth and her salty amniotic birthing oceans due to our greedy gas-guzzling needs (me too!) to the glory of war and death. We make up stories and we choose to believe them while we ignore what is right in front of us, be it flood or draught or the melting of the icecaps or the blood of our children.

I'm gonna cook me some peas and potatoes. I am a human being and an American and I am at the top of the food chain and I can eat whatever I want and I can use the earth's water for the benefit of myself.

And I'm going to keep telling myself that I don't give a shit, meanwhile being so crazy in love with the trees and the light on the magnolias and sound of the water falling on ferns and flowers and tomatoes and the vision I have in my head of the way the sun is looking right now setting over Dog Island and the little bonnet shark that kept visiting us every day in the very shallowest waters of the bay like a friendly little puppy that I sort of want to swoon.

Imagine Peace.

War Is Over If You Want It.



  1. You sure get a lot done for doing nothing all say. I love this post. Good Monday sermon. Sweet Jo

  2. Perfect.
    It's hard to not give a shit, though, when you're crazy in love with the trees and the light and your grandbabies. Oh, the humans. We yearn and weep and try to act like we don't give a shit. Blessed be.

  3. Elizabeth- Thank you. Always.

    SJ- And I love you too.

    Anonymous- I seem to hold myself to a ridiculous standard or maybe not. I don't know. But it does help, I am finding, to say, I don't give a shit. Really. It does.

    Betsy- Girl. You make me wonder about things. There is no higher compliment I can give.

  4. I don't think war is glorious or necessary. Well, maybe the American Revolution was necessary if we were to become our own nation. But maybe if it hadn't happened we would be more like Canada. Who knows? I just know that I don't like the flag waving and all the nationalistic stuff that seems to be spoken by those who talk out of two sides of their mouth--one side hating the President and all he stands for and the other side saying how American they are. Bull.

  5. another memorial day has come and gone. soliders are still in the theater of war. i cant.

  6. Syd-I think you nailed it when you said that perhaps we would have been more like Canada. And would that be a bad thing? Don't even talk to me about certain types of people. Those jingoistic president-hating people.

    Angella- I know. I know.

  7. That is one of the most sensible Memorial Day posts I've read. I don't know why we insist on romanticizing war and military service, except that it's all part of the brainwashing campaign to get people to keep signing up. Don't get me wrong -- we need to mourn those who lost their lives -- but we need to temper that with the knowledge that there are better ways to solve conflicts. (Or not to start them in the first place.)


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.