Tokyo Rose

Is it natural to mistrust slow cookers? Because I do. I’m cooking (or it’s cooking, rather) lentil soup, with a ham bone and chicken stock and spices. I put in amaranth, millet, barley and quinoi just because they were here, and it’s so good. It tastes like I put five pounds of cheese in there, but I didn’t. Also basil/oregano/other spices I can’t remember. I was going to make cornbread to go with it, but no one seemed interested and I’m very lazy about cooking for myself. I’d rather just drink seltzer and chew gum.

More things I’ve figured out lately:

The single biggest thing that has rocked, blown, eviscerated my mind since Annie was born is– the fragility of a life of a human. I could go in depth about what has changed, but I’m loathe to offend people. It’s the Southern in me.

Another thing: it seems to me that ‘morals’ are one of two things: either they’re heartfelt and heaven-sent-sincere, as in the case of my beautiful sisters, or they’re symptomatic of control freaks. Not mutually exclusive either, I’d guess. Goodness knows in my case they’ve been co-morbid. This is why true Christianity is such a hard road. It requires a person to let God inhabit herself so utterly that there is no desire left for anything but God, and thus no thwarted desires are left to create those self-righteously indignant “she was so wrong to do that” or “the wages of that sin are death.” To me, it is the hardest thing in the world to take upon yourself the consequences of your misdeed and watch someone else get away scot-free– and realize that you could have done that too. I sort of think it was my hurt self trying to control the world, if only to say, “what he is doing is wrong.”

(On those two notes, I think that probably most religions were made up by mothers who were hoping against hope that their babies would live forever and that wicked people who tried to hurt their babies would suffer forever and ever amen. The maternal force is a hard master to serve. I should know, I’ve got it in droves.)

Thirdly, that old joke about how Southern women can say the meanest things and tack on “bless his heart” and get away with it? I think it’s symptomatic (surprise, surprise).  I just came back from visiting my friend Kate up in the chilly north, in Pittsburgh, which forever is married in my mind with steel and snow– anyway, up North they tell people when things bother them. At least, Kate and I had to tell each other when we were offended or offensive, whichever. It was hard, very hard, for me. Southern nicety is part and parcel in my blood. In the briar patch I was bred to be hospitable, to respect my elders, and to keep a civil tongue in my head at all cost. But I was thinking– what if all that sweetness and light forces our ‘bless her hearts’? Anything under pressure will force a way out. Maybe we’re so polite that we’re under intense pressure. Honesty, if only in regard to our own feelings and emotions, will out. I’m coming to realize more and more how important are the recognition of feelings, the validation of feelings.

[The Megafaun song called Kaufman’s Ballad has always made me think of Ryan Smith, every line, but especially the one that goes, an angel soaked in gasoline.]

I’m mostly gone, tonight, and rambling, and I have nothing left to share with you, no more pearls– it takes me awhile, after all, to come to these momentous realizations– so you’ll have to simply take them as they come.

All that I have left to say is that I love you, World, and your sorry backwoods, a la Zadie (Shweta Dahal-Mishra, for the rest of you)– I love your sorry backwoods and I love your poets who inhabit them, trailer trash nymphs and pans, satellite dish sylvans all. Eight bit codewriters and I’m signing off yours truly, Tokyo Rose.

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