What I’m fixing:
The farm share is in full swing, and, combined with a zillion blackberries I bought off craigslist last week, the bounty has been shaping our eating.
- Maple roasted beets, carrots and fennel.
- Wood sorrel chive flower salad. J was deeply offended that I fed him a salad of weeds garnished with nasturtium flowers, but it was good!
- Blackberry sorbet for Pippin. My sieve wasn’t the right gauge (size? thickness?) and so I couldn’t get the seeds out. Pip still loved it, though. Ice cream, with added fiber!! (Eek.)
What I’m reading:
- Station Eleven: Someone talk me down here. I really loved this the first time I read it, right around when it came out. But I just listened to it again after talking it up to someone, and now I’m worried that despite the beautiful melancholy (and man, I love me some melancholy), maybe it’s ultimately kinda nihilistic? If the Prophet espouses an “everything happens for a reason” philosophy and he’s obviously (and somewhat senselessly?) a monster, and he is ultimately defeated, and we don’t ever know why all these people’s lives intersect for a second time, is the whole point of the book to argue that things don’t happen for a reason? And if that’s true, can I still really deeply enjoy it? But I do love its wistful, nuanced melancholy for our world, now past:
“I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.”
Or, if you’re up for a longer passage:
“An incomplete list:
No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by.
No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take pictures of concert states. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars.
No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one’s hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite.
No more flight. No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment. No more airplanes, no more requests to put your tray table in its upright and locked position – but no, this wasn’t true, there were still airplanes here and there. They stood dormant on runways and in hangars. They collected snow on their wings. In the cold months, they were ideal for food storage. In summer the ones near orchards were filled with trays of fruit that dehydrated in the heat. Teenagers snuck into them to have sex. Rust blossomed and streaked.
No more countries, all borders unmanned.
No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space.
No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room.”
- Screamfree Parenting: How to Raise Amazing Adults by Learning to Pause More and React Less: self-help books’ titles only make the embarrassment worse, right? This was a solidly helpful book, though.
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait (abridged): confession: I’ve never read a single book distributed free at church. But this was a parting gift from a priest we particularly admire, so a bunch of us decided to read it for book club. And — it’s not bad! Easy, entertaining, inspirational.
“I am a specialist in that, probably the world’s best specialist in cleaning toilets.”
“I’m just trying to point out how ironic it is that in one of the wealthiest and most privileged cultures in the history of humankind, new humans have suddenly been recast as a dangerous liability and an impediment to happiness. We value abundance everywhere except in fertility.”
- Three years ago: An Apology to My Parents on the 18th or 19th Birthday of My Childhood Cat, since dearly departed.
- Two years ago: On Curls and Treasuring the Moment: the curls also mostly dearly departed.
- Last year: thinking about diving in, making a mark, and taking ownership of caring for a home.