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While the bread rises

26 Jul

I was in a serous mood, having just read some thoughtful, intelligent writing, and so inspired, started writing this post. It was about how I have been kidding myself that there’s a Reality, after all, beyond subjective interpretation. That there are time, and space, and atoms, and biological and ecological imperatives, and even something above all that and both superior, higher, and, sadly corruptible at that higher level, resulting in detestable, shameful, manifestations of human free will, and fates worse than death! But that I would, by choice–faith, if you like—continue to believe in  this Reality, or Truth, because I can’t think of any beliefs that I like better.

I took a break, noticed that my store of tomatoes and zucchini were growing, and decided to get on Facebook to ask a friend for that vegetable chowder recipe. Facebook, which I had abandoned over a year ago for reasons of principle as well as personal weakness. I set up an account again a few days ago, because I missed being in contact with some really old friends I couldn’t reach in any other way. Told myself I’d just get back on for a month or two, post a minimum of information, find friends enough to build a network, then say good bye and invite them all to try out MeWe, the private, no ad social network alternative I use.

I got sucked in. Yes, Facebook worked its magic, and soon I was clicking Send Friend Request on names of people I lived near, saw often, or was related to, instead of just my long lost. I started reading, remembering, laughing, deciding which old friends I still might have enough in common with, trying to remember which ones to avoid because they were always liking commercial links and posting photos of their meals, political and religious videos and news items, and rescued dogs. Or because there was am uncomfortable mutual memory I wasn’t ready to hurdle yet. A never ending list of “you may know” names got me scrolling, looking for familiar faces.

Then I came back to WordPress, and my words here appeared to be in a foreign language by comparison. Facebook by its very nature calls for cheery, impersonal, generally acceptable images and phrases, and anything unique, flavorful, provoking, personal must be shared with caution, for it’s bound to irritate, cause concern, or confuse some. Posting for the kind of group I’m now connected to is a strange and artificial act. Maybe the best strategy, besides saying almost nothing and sticking to personal messages, would be to mimic a certain farmer friend who posts gorgeous photos of farm life and landscapes, with a few of his children playing and working. Seems like everything else could irritate or worry the folks on my friend list. On the other hand, it could be a wonderful challenge, like a game with lots of rules, which necessitates strategic thinking and creativity. Would it be possible to get a hmm or a smile (a like?) from both the conservative Christian relative and the beer-happy former school buddy?

That’s enough of that. I think I’ll be okay. It’s good to be back. I haven’t sat down at the writing table much because I’ve switched to food growing mode. My garden is now overflowing with beans, Swiss chard, tomatoes, beets, berries, herbs, and some flowers, and everyone knows about that sort of thing–its just the turning of the seasons. Every year I get more in the swing of this, less likely to neglect the plantings, prunings, feedings and thinnings needed to keep everything growing strong, better at keeping up with the harvest and preserving so not much gets wasted. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that the youngest half of the family prefer microwave popcorn and quick snacks when there isn’t a full course meal on offer. For the rest I cook up or cut up two or three vegetables or put out salad ingredients, and now and then bake some muffins or bread. Every day I dump the kitchen compost pail, pick a big basket of beans and a few tomatoes, and stop to watch the hummingbirds zip over and rest on the wire fence, and admire the honeybees and other pollinators who sip at the ever blooming borage and crocosmia. The spring plantings are at the maximum, early summer plantings coming on, and the next phase of planting is here, the fall crops that will be set in the ground as soon as the summer crops are done. Chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cilantro, carrots, beets and salad greens will stand well into fall and some overwinter. Meanwhile it’s almost time to take a child or friend or tow to a hedgerow to gather wild blackberries, and after that I’ll pick my first crop of apples from the new trees i planted year before last, as well as the golden sauce apples and Italian plums from the older trees. I never get tired of this–it’s the same, but also new every time, and I can become more and more in tune, more in harmony, if am given and make the opportunity.

This Reality that I spoke of before has to do with this cycle, as reflected in the seasons, but also with something linear, a journey of learning, with an option of growth. In my education days, and before that studying biblical exegesis, it was represented by a spiral, each lesson or concept being revisited in turn at a higher level, with the general trend being cumulative and integrative learning. I turn away from that option of growth often enough, as if there is no purpose in this after all but to amuse myself and keep from letting my circumstances give me too much trouble. I certainly resist being shown the error of my ways by anyone close to me, preferring approved, and impersonal, sources. Still, I hope, I hope and try and try to yield, if that makes sense.

 

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5 responses to “While the bread rises

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    July 27, 2015 at 10:09 am

    liked learning about the bounty—noticed the writing style in first graph as significantly different from others—there was a voice you inhabited and then somehow it got dropped—did you lose focus?

     
    • toesinthedirt

      July 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      The first paragraph contained the piece I started with before I went to look at Facebook. When I came back, i just encase those lines in a different piece, which then drifted off into gardening.

       
      • jdawgsrunningblog

        July 28, 2015 at 6:05 am

        you should return to the first graph—and begin a new piece with it–let the others stand alone–see what you can carry forward more legitimately from that–as there is a spark there worthy of your time–it’s a voice i’ve seen emanating from you, which i see as linked to a really cool part of your personality—and i see that linked to aspirations regarding the work you have previously articulated.

         
  2. brightlittlefirecracker

    August 1, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Just a thought that resonated with me while reading this- I feel similarly about Facebook. I have taken it on as my mission to infuse it with positivity, not because that’s all there is to life, but because so many go there with negativity. I try to pick my battles when it comes to posting about troubles, and offer insights into possible change in those cases whenever possible. So… you could think of things that way, rather than feeling you’re being false. You might even link your blog to Facebook and consider your integrity accounted for, since everyone can read it that way

     
    • toesinthedirt

      August 2, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      I appreciate your thought on this, firecracker. Thanks for taking the time. In the past I did have my blog linked, but most of my FB friends/relatives were not interested in reading this type of writing. Also I feel more free in writing without considering so many friends’ and aquaintances’ tastes, and also appreciate the folks who stop by and take the time to read even though they don’t know me (or if they do).

       

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