Tuesday, September 17, 2019
The Things We Do
I'm sitting in my dining room, eating an apple from my backyard tree, some salami and provolone and crackers. I just taught the short story "The Things They Carried" to a tenth grade boy at a small, specialized private school and am getting ready to read and grade a slew of essays on the "American Dream." These were written by my eleventh grade girls who are all part of a very conservative Jewish community. The apple is from the first crop of this little tree. It is green and blushed, tart yet sweet when it counts. The salami and cheese tastes a bit like packaging, and the crackers are banana-flavored, something I didn't notice when I bought them, but all together it hits the spot. As they say. It's all connected, in the end, maybe even by me. An apple tree in southern California, packaged salami and cheese, banana nut-flavored crackers, the Vietnam War and a boy who hasn't heard of it, the American Dream and a bunch of sheltered girls dreaming. That man sleeping on the sidewalk around the corner from my house with the apple tree in the backyard, his dirty feet and that woman walking, the crease where her ass hits her leg, a cup of bright red juice, the photo itself, me in my dining room, eating and reading, looking up at a small orchid, its magenta petals tipped by sun and the sound of leaves outside rustling a bit in a new fall wind.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
A devastating canvas of this moment, colliding worlds, the poetic and the profane. Wow.ReplyDelete
Absolutely stunning visual images and tastes, too, as well.ReplyDelete
Elizabeth, you are incredibly aware and you have such a stunning ability to share that awareness. Thank you.
We are third in the nation for homelessness in Seattle. Disgraceful. Yet I applaud the ingenuity of my unhoused friends to stay warm, safe and fed. They build community, they manage to keep their phones charged, they care for one another often more compassionately than we privileged folk do. Parallel cities, living side by side.ReplyDelete
I made applesauce with my apples because they weren't too pretty.
We are all connected, not just with other human beings, but with the world. We just don't always know it. I can't imagine being homeless, having no safe place to go, to relax, to sleep, to be. No bed, no pots, no toilet, no shower, no place.ReplyDelete
It IS all connected, though it's amazing how often we fail to recognize or acknowledge that fact when we're caught up in the rush of life.ReplyDelete
Your writing makes me see it and feel it in my bones. Lovely.ReplyDelete
Stark contrast, the Woman walking and the Homeless Man sleeping on the sidewalk. It would be fascinating to survey what The American Dream means to various people of all walks of Life... the answers might be so diverse too?ReplyDelete
Beautifully evocative. The homeless man's feet haunt me.ReplyDelete