Lately, the kids’ questions seem to be outpacing my ability to deliver satisfactory answers. In the past week we’ve covered electoral college votes, climate change, credit cards, and The Democratic Party. The kids are like very small, emboldened journalists who’ve learned the art of interrogation; everything is fair game. When I walked out of the bathroom at our favorite Mexican restaurant last week, Rose shouted across the room, “pee or poop, Mama?”
Col’s weekend activities for Rammy. Left column: swim, listen to radio, look at globe, ride horses. Right column: library, camp, and my favorite, come home.
Also, Col and Rose want to know, definitively, “is it good (the Dems, credit cards, etc…) or is it…bad?” As if you could toss it all in a centrifuge of ethics and watch the heavier “good” particles sink to the bottom.
And it’s not that I don’t have opinions. You could map the brain regions responsible for outrage and pride by conducting an MRI on my brain while I read the daily letters to the editor (especially during this political season). I can get
a little quite self righteous about the righteousness of the right candidates, whom I so rightly identify with.
But, I am noticing that there is skill in considering opposing viewpoints, holding them in balance for even a moment to see what catches in the sieve and what honestly falls away; to see if I can unclench the fists that lock up like Pavlov’s boxer when certain issues enter the ring; and to see the humans behind the ideas.
In our swing state of Colorado, our neighbors on either side are voting for the party we’re not. (I know, I’m so discreet because you guys can’t actually tell who I’m voting for). And we love our neighbors, even the one who sprays his lawn with chemicals, while ten feet away our organic garden blooms with food and weeds and life.
When a farmer’s son’s horse ran away, all the villagers exclaimed “oh, what terrible luck.” The farmer simply smiled and said, “maybe.” When the horse returned with two wild horses, the villagers all cried, “what great fortune!” The farmer again smiled and said, “maybe.” Next, one of the wild horses threw the son, who broke his leg and wasn’t able to help his father in the fields. “What awful luck!” The villagers proclaimed. Again, the father simply said, “maybe.” Finally, the army recruits came to draft young male villagers for a war. The farmer’s son was spared because of his broken leg. “How lucky!” the villagers exclaimed, while the farmer smiled and said, “maybe.”
The best cure for political-overload: a Stone Soup party, in which everyone is fed from the collaborative offerings of the community. Soup cooked inside a squash via hot stones. Read about last year’s Stone Soup party here.
Adding dried oyster mushrooms to the broth.
Boys in buckskin (and not necessarily a Halloween costume).
Cody Kokopelli, who played beautiful flute and mentioned that this presidential election seems like the best way to divide the country. “What if the candidates took all the money pledged to their campaigns and collaborated to focus on solutions.”