The Respite 5

29651007110_5ff260e928_cSo, it’s fresh hop season.

Yay.

But I got Coldfire Fresh Hop IPA anyway, because I don’t know Coldfire and I always go for the new. It has a hop nose but I can’t say that it’s anything distinguishing. Grassy and pleasant though. Pity the rest of the beer doesn’t follow suit; an invisible midrange with a finish that has far too much bite until a twist at the end that resembles something vegetal and…

Well, they can’t all be good decisions.

Nine months in to 2016 and the avarice that people are finding in their lives is starting to feel personal.

Friends and family are having life troubles running a spectrum of issues and week in, week out, my attempts to get a breather seem to be at odds with everything else.

I had hoped to come out to celebrate rest, not as a need to escape conflict. There sure is a whole lot of conflict, too. In addition to the personal trials, there’s a whole country fighting between those who believe they have dignity against those who believe they ought to earn it.

And the fight is worth fighting. But rest is also necessary.

I wonder if my theme is at odds for the time: if my attempt to raise the flag and say “here, I shall listen, I shall welcome. Today I refuse conflict, even when my ribs constrict to shield my heart for the oncoming rounds,” is something that cannot endure in a year of personal trials, tidal strife and the attrition of voices that brought great art to so many.

The mission of rest may need a day of rest. But if the opposite of rest is work and the work of the day is war, then what does it mean when I need to reconsider my theme of respite?

What is that about?

Not far from me, a white guy and a black guy are sitting on the rail, talking. Smiles on their faces, friends having a good time. Behind me a date is happening, and they both seem to be engaged with one another. In the corner, a man sits alone, contentedly eating a burrito. One of the bartenders sits cheekily on the counter, looking over his shoulder to talk to a patron while taking his order.

I probably shouldn’t worry so much.

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