Respite 53\Second Pint Friends of the Gorge

36353973323_c0a6f720c3_cThe Commons’ Loud and Clear IPA, with Simco, Ella, Zythos, and Galaxy hops is tonight’s beverage. Citrus in the nose, along with a little bit of peach. Maybe even a little grassy quality-as if this was a fresh hop ale?

Given the time of year, I suppose that would be possible but given the recent news about the Commons, more likely just a hoppy IPA they made.

Friday night seems to be date night. Looks like four, minimum, around me. The world floods, the world burns; dates are still a thing.

A year of the Respite and I feel more worn down than ever. It isn’t even anything personal, no one individual I can point to in my life.

No, I’m worn down because of politics, because of the call to do better, interesting work. To talk to an audience and try to believe that the ideals of America, the notion that we can always be better than we are,  still lives and is being fought: is worth being fought for.

The world still burns, the world still floods. I was supposed to travel this weekend and could not due to wildfires. Friends tell stories and laugh, debate, couples smiles at each other, their unhidden agendas for the evening bringing a little glow to their cheeks.

I am still tired. Tired of the failures: of compassion, of wisdom, of generosity. I grew up in a nation that launched spaceships. I live in a nation that rewards the small minded hoarding of tiny slips of colored paper while children go hungry. Where ignoring the science that could keep us alive is rewarded with money-until the floodwaters come and suddenly all that greed gets a spotlight.

With that failure, of all the potential-that potential to be great-slips away with every fearful glance at a black man, with every man who thinks he can talk away a woman’s experience, with every clutch at money for the one at the expense of the improvement of the all. Every reward of cruelty, writ large across the internet in 140 characters.

That kind of failure worms its way across my soul, some days and erodes the better nature of myself.

The world still burns, the world still floods. The slivery flecks I see on spiderwebs are ash and not dew; four states and one province are covered in smoke; some people haven’t had a breath of clear air in over three weeks. Three days of smoke in Portland and I was feeling sick.

My Dad told me once about a story Garrison Keillor told about a story he was telling on Prairie Home Companion, where the only way out of the situation was to kill a cow. And he really didn’t want to kill that cow. But it was the only way to finish the story.

Which is my way of telling you: I don’t have a good answer, here. I don’t precisely know how to amend the broken qualities. I don’t want to kill this cow, but I don’t know a way out.

I still believe that it is possible,though. Maybe not today. Maybe not a year from now. But someday. What is broken becomes fixed. We do not allow the world burn. We do not roll over and let the world flood. We fix. Or we did anyway: there is no reason why we cannot do it again.

Maybe we lose. The world still burns, the world still floods.

Yeah, I’m tired but I persist. Some days, that will have to do.

The second pint goes to Friends of the Gorge.

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2 thoughts on “Respite 53\Second Pint Friends of the Gorge”

  1. It’s been inspiring to me to see wave after wave of folks rise up and fight against the dismaying stuff you describe. And it helps to stay away from Twitter! Or curate your feeds! Thanks for your hard work, and may some measure of peace and satisfaction come your way soon.

    The Garrison Keillor story — he did a great job there distilling what makes, say, the King Arthur tales or the Lord of the Ring so enduring: the solutions — what has to be done — doesn’t make everything all better and return us to “the way it once was”. But it keeps something worse from happening, and we do what we can, and others pick up the sword or flag or pen or instrument.

  2. Wow, pardon the typos and bad grammar! Thanks. I meant to say “others pick up the …” after we lay them down when our work is done. (And Lord of the Rings, not Ring, and the solutions… don’t, not doesn’t). Coffee. I need coffee.

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