Thursday, October 16, 2008

Politics and bedfellows and chocolate torte

I dont think anyone wants to read about my political views. Others have said much of what I would say, albeit usually with greater eloquence. So I will be brief. Today I came across a fantastic letter to the next president of the United States.

About food.

If you read nothing else of a political/social bent before the election, please read this.
Rather than all the depressing deplorable and reprehensible campaign posturing, this letter really tries to look at what our future holds. It is filled with optimism and collaboration. I am sure someone will say it is overly simplistic, and as one person replied on the comment section, they are just happy to have cheaper gas. As a nation, we seem to consistently miss out on seeing the greater picture.

Next topic of contention: Facebook.

A week ago a friend invited me to check out Having heard about the social network for a number of years, I figured, sure, why not? At first I think some part of me enjoyed the pseudo-nostalgic aspects of it. The quasi-voyeuristic nature lends itself to the isolation of the computer user. For folks too lazy to pick up a pen or even a telephone, this is the perfect way to stay in touch with friends. When someone suggested that Twitter is the new insta-blog; a more immediate way to connect with friends and family... all I could think was: oh god. we have been reduced to a culture that wants a sound bite for everything including our drab, boring-as-shit lives. Talk about depressing.

So what did I find after a week on Facebook? I found my past. I found lots of folks who I went to school with and I found/remembered the reasons I didnt stay in touch with many of them. Somewhere between humiliation, embarrassment, and frustration there was a sliver of hope that things improve with time. For now, I will call this the mythology of self: that we imagine ourselves to grow better with time. We dont.

From this mythology of my past came the demons, demi-gods and heros. All come to raise their heads from the shadows and beg the question of where I fit, where I belong. After a fair time to think on how that period in my life played out, I can safely say that my past is where it belongs; behind me. My future lays before me, with maps spread out, plans laid, and choices abound.

I guess this is where clay came into my life. Clay pushes me hard. It is never the same day to day. There is always something new to be learned, to be tried, to learn from, to fail. In my talks with my daughter I try hard to remind her that failure is the better part of learning. Trying and succeeding all the time has serious limits. Failure is a good thing and can be tons of fun too! Just ask anyone who ate the failed versions of my flourless chocolate torte.

I think I will end this entry here and hope you read the letter to the prez that I posted above. It definitely is food for thought. I am off to mix up concrete to patch the mighty big holes in my basement where we pulled water and gas pipes through the wall. Something satisfying about fixing holes in the foundation of your home. That idea seems fraught with analogy and I've had enough of that for the day.

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