I've been talking to people who, like me, feel shafted by the election. We know we failed and we have a lot of ideas how and why, and yet the worst thing is the loss of a sense of control.
But I know damned well that most of this world offers only an illusion of control. We truly have control over a fraction of a second after any piece of input we receive, whether to answer with a 0 or a 1. I know this in my head. My primitive heart keeps searching for magic.
She called me and asked me to come over and help her dig some old dishes out of the top shelves of her kitchen, ones she hasn't used in decades. I took them down, and some of them were just chemically-broken-down Tupperware that is now cracked and sticky and discolored. But some of those dishes we got down to look at were fine, painted by hands that had the patience to work in a sweet, even pattern of ornamentation.
"Should I get rid of that soup tureen?" she asked me. I picked it up in my hands, and it felt weighty.
"Why not make soup to put in it one more time?" I asked her. She hesitated and then said all right.
We chopped onions, celery, carrots, garlic. I said don't use parsnips--yuck. She said okay. We browned the aromatics and then we put in lamb. The soup cooked all day and the broth concentrated nicely, and while it cooked we got the whole top shelf of the kitchen emptied, wiped, and decluttered. When you open the cupboard now, you see just a few nice things lined up with a lot of air space between them.
I don't know if Gertrude is a progressive or a conservative. This bothered me a little bit. I had to get over this need to label her like I label myself. Still sometimes I will ask leading questions to try and get her in one box or the other. Today I started doing it again and she tilted her head to the side and frowned and blew air out her nose and scratched her arm. Then she said,
"Here's something from the Blueprint that applies. As the world gets created and sustained, there is justice. It never deviates. Human beings just don't understand that Justice. We think of justice as us getting something that satisfies us, either in thoughts or in materials. Justice is a metaphysical reality that always displeases one person or the other. Like my husband Oswald, back when we thought world wars were over with. He got in a business deal with another man...what was his name? Anyway, the situation never panned out and there was only enough money left in the kitty for one man to get repaid, or both men to take a hit. Oswald didn't get the money--he took the role of the nice guy and let the other man have the last of the money. And Oswald never felt good about it. He wished he'd insisted he get that money himself."
"Uh..." my attention span was waning and she saw that.
"One more second. Okay now, Oswald could not see the justice in himself doing the decent thing. But it was there. What a good man-if only he'd accepted that about himself."
That soup was good and it felt great to get rid of bad old plastic.