Thursday, November 08, 2012


i keep trying to keep the jersey shore and new york fresh in my mind, because it is so easy to get caught up in pettiness. i realize, i don't have half the problems most people in jersey have right now. i'm trying to keep that in perspective.
it's curious, the way we are so dependent on technology. that we can't really survive without it, it seems. and not just technology, but artificial environments. i guess that is the genius of the human brain, that we can inhabit uninhabitable places by piping water into deserts and having big air conditioners. also by owning big heaters and using tons of fuel to keep warm in really cold climates.
the dependence on infrastructure has me thinking. what would i do if we really had an emergency and i had to survive au naturale. how would i even begin to know how to build a fire and hunt my own food. let alone find something to wear or some place to call home. there has to be some balance, i think. there has to be some familiarity with nature and an ability to adapt to rustic living if and when there ever is a real emergency (in my area, let me qualify that statement right now). i understand many, MANY people are now forced into this real emergency situation, and i wonder how to even being to help. where to start.
some part of me just wanted to not contribute to the chaos that was beginning to unfold around me. people who had gas, waiting in eight hour gas lines, makes no sense. if everyone just holed up and rationed (a concept unfamiliar to americans) their gas, their food, their essentials, then perhaps those who really needed to be out and about and using the gas would have it. emergency workers, etc.
i understand we live in a day and age when we have a no work, no pay system. we all seem to suffer when these kinds of events take place and there isn't much that can change that, nor do i think it likely to change any time soon.
but we americans are also inclined toward excess, and while i am all for preparing for disaster, i don't think hoarding is the answer. whether that applies to gas, food, water, what have you. the scarcity mentality strikes me as odd because we are a rich (even the least wealthy in this country far surpass the impoverished of other countries) people. we just don't see it.
my preparedness, while it could be thought of as the lazy way, was to know we were going to eat and cook what i already had in my freezer and pantry. i have plenty in there. during the week we were home, i got creative and cooked up some things i'd been meaning to make. i knew we would be all right, even if our power went out, because we had so much in the pantry. if we didn't have an actual meal, that wouldn't kill us. it would inconvenience us. it would be different than we are used to, for sure. but it won't be the end of us.
i didn't acutally shop for groceries until the friday after sandy came to town. and didn't shop again until the next week because i'd run out of eggs and milk. i'm not entirely sure this is the best approach since people shop like armageddon is upon us even when they are not directly in the path of a storm.
what i wish, what i hope, is that from this sandy disaster, which is still very much affecting my loved ones, who continue almost two weeks now without power, i wish that the christmas spirit, the giving spirit, the brother's keeper spirit would start to kick in and that the hoarding would stop.
if we just shared a little, everyone would have enough. please check on your neighbors and friends. they may need you, even if they say no.

Saturday, November 03, 2012


i have always subscribed to the theory that those who love me, love my child. they are not in my life if they do not accept my child alongside me. this has always been the case. the tacit agreement being others are in my life to contribute a different color, fabric, or weft to my particular woof.
the hard part about this is, seeing patterns. patterns i, as the adult, had never believed possible. when my grams raised us, we obeyed. blindly in many cases, but with respect regardless. i understood this way of being. it was, and probably is, why i have such difficulty with authority and being an authority figure. it's a complicated bag for me baby.
on the one hand, i am not my grandmother. that is understood with much sadness, but much gratitude as well. i have had opportunity, education, experience far different than hers. i love and honor her way of being in the world and think she made castles out of crapcakes most of her life. hers was not an easy lot by any stretch.
the ease of someone's lot does not determine much, in my mind. we all have our own particular brand of burden. mine, may be far easier for you to carry, while yours may suit me just fine. which is why they are assigned to each her own. and by looking in on you and you looking in on me, we can
share the load,
as they say.
what perplexes me most, is perhaps the vast array of shit that can go wrong. i know about it. i understand it. i lived my teenage years in such a haze of confusion, i rejoice daily that my girl does not carry that particular burden. she has her own. which she handles, as you can imagine, differently.
so when i come to what i see as a crossroads. and i stand there, looking up one road and down another. baffled, i may be, but this i know. i have done my best. it has not been perfect, never could be. i have not been my grams, because i am not my grams. and curiously enough, i keep finding papertowels stuffed here and there, places i don't normally have papertowels. i am very utilitarian, and if something has a function, i use if for that amen. so the papertowel as tissue option is really not, for me. tissues are tissues. but today, when i drew a stowed papertowel from my coat pocket, i couldn't remember what had brought it there and said,
hi gramsy.
since i couldn't think of anything better. it had to be what it was. i don't tend to hang on to papertowels much past their designated service: wiping a counter, corralling mandarin rinds. yet, there it was. now as i lay here, contemplating everything parenting, gramsy, of course is the one that comes to mind. i want my child to turn out like she turned us out (though i know a lot of that is we turned out ourselves, but it's a nice thought). perhaps it's just wishful thinking. perhaps combined with some delusion. but these are the moments, in times past, when i would pick up the phone and call my gramsy. maybe, just maybe, she stashed the papertowel, so i would know she is still with me.