The other day Grandma was in the kitchen preparing something for grandpa and I, like she has been for most of her life. Grandpa only now is learning how to cook his own egg, since grandma is tending to sleep in and wake up complaining of her stomach and her left leg which cramps because “its the one I sleep on.” She asks several times now the same questions, “did you want one egg or two?” or “can I get you some juice?”, even though I don’t think I’ve had juice since I got here a month and a half ago. She tells the same stories, as does grandpa. Just part of the aging process of life I guess. Sometimes I become a little frustrated at being talked at (since grandma is certainly not listening, or remembering, anyhow, what I say), instead of being talked to. I have to leave the relatively cool confines of the house for the packing shed and intermittent cooler time, sorting peaches or getting a box to sell. Being alone out there feels much better than being yaked at about this person who died, that person who died, or how her mother was a twin and that the two sisters would trick the husbands and switch some evenings. This one moment though, with her in the kitchen and me walking out the front door adjacent, I got the overwhelming sense of love that god must feel. Even with her failing mind she is the sweetest person at heart. She just loves everybody and wants the best for them. From when I was still in the early grades of elementary school she would feed us gram crackers and milk, spoil us with ice cream, and still make sure that we ate all the pickled beets we put on our plate (I used ketchup to get the wretched things down-now I love beets!). I try to my best to listen to her stories, but I find myself not making eye contact, and just giving the occasional “hmmm”, as she relays her remnant memory one more time. I think grandma and grandpa are far from realizing their own mortality, though they are both certainly close. I would want to be close to death if I were in their shape physically and mentally.
The garden is putting out a good bit of fruit. I have tomatoes and peppers coming out of my ears! Not quite enough to do a big batch of salsa yet, but maybe by this next harvest. Every three or for days I get ten pounds or so of tomatoes. Haven’t pulled too many onions, but the ones a week ago were really starting to bulb up. Nor have I dug any potatoes. My friend at small potatoes farm in Paonia told me a story during wartime when peasants would leave their potatoes buried in the field during the winter, perhaps covered with straw, so they would not end up feeding invading troops. I’ll dig them all before I go on my adventure: sailing or homesteading. I saw a sailboat in florida on the internet going for only 3,500 dollars, a 30′ sloop. At that price I’m sure I can venture around the Islands to the south for several months! I don’t really want to go alone, but I also really am having trouble enjoying the company of others. Being fucked over by a girl before leaving Gunnison to come here has shattered what little heart I had left for humanity. People can be the shits. I had a tough time going to sleep last night thinking about all that is happening, not just to me personally, but to the planet. We are wreaking havoc on the atmosphere with all the road trips and flights halfway around the world for a weeks stay. I want every generation down the road to know just how wasteful we were with their resources, for this generation is transient indeed. I see airplanes by the scores, carrying hundreds of passengers everyday. Some people will fly from New York to Los Angeles several times in a week for business with no thought of their impact, only slightly more worried about their increased risk of radiation flying at 30,000 feet for prolonged periods of time, at the edge of earths atmosphere. Is the whole planet filled with selfish assholes?
The biggest problem may be that we are all indoctrinated into this system at birth. We give toy plastic cars for our children to scoot around in, powered by their own feet, at the age of two or three. I spent my childhood being driven around to soccer matches, judo tournaments, and to visit family in far away places. We drove twelve hours I remember as a very young kid to spend a few days in California around christmas. That may have been the first time that I saw the ocean. I don’t think that we all necessarily need to stay where we are born our whole lives, but minimize the ratio of amount of CO2 produced to time spent at location would be ideal. Even better would be to demand a five dollar per gallon tax that would be put toward renewable transportation infrastructure, or at least trains. It is working well for europe. Also a tax such as that would deter people from taking two cars somewhere, or of not carpooling when traveling to work. Of course this tax could never be because it is taking away from the freedom of the individual, something the United States was founded upon (though under constant attack). But what of the freedom of the next five generations of individuals? Do they not deserve a livable planet and not one scorching hot and an atmosphere that has more PPM CO2 than ever in the history of the planet! There are naysayers, even now they are scoffing under their breath that the climate change hoax is being perpetuated by scientists who want more funding research or corporations that may benefit from selling their carbon credits (CO2 captured vs emitted). What childhood didn’t teach them is how to think for themselves, and how to be smart. Hardly a soul reads a book anymore. Everybody is so captivated by “10 best” lists that they could not possibly have time to read anything else outside of their Facebook feed. Ten fruits not to eat to avoid belly fat, ten exercises that will improve your health, ten drugs that are derived from plants, ten best sex positions, ten most atrocious drug addicted child celebrities now in their 30’s. If it is in a list it is finite, and can be comprehended. Just about all that the current high school graduate can suffer through reading.
What would the world look like if there was a society wide education system that didn’t focus on nationalism, but on personal exceptionalism. Less focus on training more engineers and geologists for mining, and more of a focus on how to grow a garden and be helpful in your community. What would the world look like if people were content to stay where they are planted, since it would be unthinkable for them to leave the people that they have developed so close a relationship with. With the internet any one person is able to learn how to do anything and everything that they want. They have infinite possibilities for their brains to dream and aspire toward. But they don’t, we all are still driven more by our biological urge to fuck the opposite sex than logic.