Archive | May, 2015

He Was Black

25 May

“Naivety is the sister of innocence and the cousin of stupidity.”  Pierre Decourcelle

On Memorial Day I was with a group of people who were sharing gratitude for service women and men when someone shared that he had been in Vietnam for a year and understood why soldiers were told not to make close friends while in combat.  “I had this close friend, he was black, a really nice guy, who got killed…”  Didn’t hear the rest of his share as I was busy wondering why he felt it necessary to tell us that the man was black and a really nice guy,

I was tempted to jump in and share, “I have this really good friend who lives in Milwaukee.  She’s white, but a really nice woman…”  But then I didn’t know exactly what I could share about her that would fit into the Memorial Day conversation.  And anyway, I didn’t feel in the mood to play Poke the Bear.

Our book club recently read “The Cellist of Sarajevo” in which the author, Steven Galloway, wanted people to consider how we react to others.  “As individuals,” Galloway said, “we’re very careful about whom we choose to love.  We don’t typically let governments and huge corporations tell us who to love and when they try to, we become very suspicious.  We are not as parsimonious about hatred,” he said.

In other words, we allow government and other groups tell us who we’re supposed to hate.  This is an easy way to get people to participate in wars.  And this hate is generally dished up to us as groups that we should hate, such as blacks or Muslims or Iraqis.  And they are dished up to us in groups because when we get to know people as individuals we are more likely to see our similarities rather than our differences.  I find it harder to dislike people who are like me. 

I highly recommend “The Cellist of Sarajeevo”.  I also recommend inserting the color of anyone you speak of into conversations.  This might make people uncomfortable.  They might also wonder if you’re going off the deep end.  They also might start to become uncomfortable when someone feels compelled to tell them, “He was black.”

Loveya – The Grandma

Just Like Mama Used to Make!

22 May

“Less is More”

A group of us were together the other evening sharing food and conversation when one of the women, Mary, who shall remain nameless, came up with a brilliant idea.  Yes, Mary is one smart cookie but this went beyond smart all the way to brilliant.

Mary said that she was tired of composting produce instead of eating it, but there always seemed to be meetings and other obligations that took her and her nameless husband, Mike, away from their home at meal time.  Then she remembered how her mother used to shop for meals.

Every day her mama would go to the neighborhood store, shop for ingredients for their evening meal, and cook that specific food for the day.  No piles of ingredients filling the fridge, begging for attention, and getting lost behind containers of leftovers.  “This is the way they shop in Europe,” Mary said.  I would have to Google that before I bought that statement lock, stock and barrel, whatever that phrase means.

At any rate, because penicillin has already been discovered, I immediately saw the wisdom of Mary’s words and even imagined that this way of shopping might also cut down on my composting along with my grocery spending.  And so we’re on the European way of grocery shopping, as soon as I get rid of all those unmarked containers from the freezer.

I imagine that my, and perhaps your, usual way of shopping is to buy whats on sale because it’s such a bargain, and whatever strikes my fancy, so I have plenty of unnecessary goodies in the house to pad my thinning body.  And anyway, aren’t these giant refrigerators made for a reason?  It’s a conspiracy, ladies, which is a great way to put the blame on someone else.  Onward!  Let’s see if this works!