There is inherent power in telling a story. It matters not if the story is good or bad, fiction or a someone’s living truth. What matters to many is the outcome – namely how the reader or listener feels or responds after absorbing the words. What matters to me mostly is how a story is told. Therein lies the truest command of a teller of tales.
August in the Midwest can be a relatively gentle time on the farm despite the ripening of much of the produce. Kitchens are busy with canning tomatoes as quick as they drop from the vine and between the sounds of back porch corn shucking and the screen door slamming, batches of apple butter and fruit preserves are being put up to carry the family through until next season. Mason jars still warm from the pressure cooker and rich with the colors and the labors of the season are taken down the road and exchanged with neighbors and relatives amid bushels of tomatoes and apples and that oft repeated “just won’t be able to get to all this” during gravel driveway conversations of catching up that last just long enough to stay on top of the latest and are always cut short because, “you know how it is. Got to get back to it.”
I opened the front door to let the cat outside. Somehow I’d missed that there was rain in the forecast. An unexpected rain is always an agreeable interruption to my day, or night for that matter. Often rain can be an emetic in times when one wishes to purge one’s self from the remnants of a difficult day or simply relax. There is something truly releasing about a rain in any season. I would gladly permanently trade the piercing sun for any form of rain if given the choice.
“The shortest answer is doing the thing.” – Ernest Hemingway
In the year 2021 I resolve to…nope, I don’t. I don’t see any point in doing this year any differently than the last. You see, I didn’t have one of those horrible, crappy, miserable years that so many have been telling us they had. Oh, sure, the pandemic part of it sucked, it pissed me off when people didn’t wear their masks, and I did lose a few people I knew – which sucked even more; but for the most part all of that seemed to be not much more than background noise to everything else that took place over the last 10 months of the year.
I woke to a number of “this needs to stop” and “something needs to change” posts across social media this morning. I have not seen one “I’m going to…” response to last night’s shootings in the city.
If you can’t see that this problem reaches beyond the responsibility of parents and city officials then you inarguably are not looking hard enough at the real issues. To choose to reside in an area where violent acts continue yet put the onus on others to rectify the situation so that you have a better place to live is irresponsible and elitist.