Friday, November 21, 2008

i don't know...


Okay. I'm at odds. I want to post a picture of the dog pancakes I made for Addie last weekend. I want to talk about the beauty of the simple things. But people all over the country are watching their worlds crash down. I'm especially worried about folks in Michigan .

My father grew up in Oklahoma during the depression. He was born in 1924 and so was a kid when the stock market crashed. All my life he downright refused to talk about his childhood. When I was six he told me he was born at the age 21 and I pondered that. Was he a man-sized baby or a baby-sized man? Could he talk immediately? Did he come out of his mother's stomach wearing a suit and shoes?

Of course I now understand that he meant his life really began at 21. That there were things about his childhood he wanted to escape. He never really talked about what those things were.

There is one thing he told me about his childhood. "When I was growing up I used to eat beans out of a can." He said it as a reprimand one night when I was crying and complaining about some middle class high school injustice -- I wasn't allowed out or, worse, wasn't allowed to drive the car. It was one short sentence but it said a lot. Disgust, regret, anger, sadness, distance-- but those are just guesses. I was left with the feeling that I would never really know what that sentence meant to him. That it was more powerful than I could ever understand. That it deserved respect.

And now, for the first time in my life, I think we could have another great depression. It is completely plausible that thousands and thousands of families could be left with no working parents, no income, and no place to live. And how long has it taken for the economy to tank? A couple of months? How in the hell did this happen?

I have some friends who, from time to time, have explained to me some theories developed by Rudolf Steiner. He had a lot of interesting, curious things to say about the world. Explanations that he believed were revealed to him from the spirit world. I don't know about that. Some of his theories stick with me, albeit probably poorly grasped and half-assedly retained. One is the theory that humans are evolving back toward a higher consciousness. That somewhere along the way we lost our connection with the spirit world. Maybe this financial downturn is a step in our evolution as humans. Maybe we'll finally move away from the "to be a good American you need to spend more" mentality. Maybe people will stop caring who Paris Hilton is dating and why Heff broke up with his girlfriends (I'm not there yet, I want to know…) Maybe this grassroots movement of home crafting, knitting, canning, making musical instruments from household objects, maybe this is gonna hit the mainstream. Maybe life is gonna get simpler.

My dad worked hard his whole life. He socked money away and, when he died, left it for his kids. He’s the reason I don’t have one of those screwy loans. He’s the reason I have a car that works and a good education. He’s the reason I can wake up groggy, but smiling, and make dog pancakes for my kid. He’s the reason I have the leisure to ponder the beauty of simple things.

dog pancakes

1 comment:

jane said...

Lark loves your doggie pancakes.