We had a family garden party in Yoakum Saturday, with kids, beer, Easter-eggs, Frisbee-throwing and a barbecue grill. A contingent ended up spending the night, which was safer for them than driving, and we had the bed space as part of the plan.
Everybody just came and engaged the space, the food, drink, and each other. We didn't have to explain anything to anybody. The plan seems to be self-explanatory.
"Thing One and Thing Two" who are very active brothers, aged 2 and 4 got a tutorial on the big vegetable garden, and did comparative tasting of the green bits of purple and yellow onions..
They like the garden a lot, and are interested in how food grows.
Phoenix and Hendrix went home with some black beans to plant.
It's not that I don't want to drill down into the news and post it, but I am often forced to choose between life in the flesh, and searching abstract information for emerging threats to life, and possibilities for enhancing the meaning of life. It's hard to work out the enhancement of life in the abstract, and doing it in person demands complete engagement, at least for me.
I can think about things when I mow the lawn for 4-5 hours, but I still have to pay attention to all of the corners, edges of gardens, borders around 45 fruit trees, those stumps and the drip hoses, while my mind muses, and my heart reaches out.
Jenny was back at her library this morning, so I dropped her off there at the school and drove down to Yoakum, to plant more replacements for dead fruit trees, make coffee for her sister, who is spending the week there, and make sure that she is able to cook things, and shower, and we didn't forget something. She's doing fine.
The thought rolls over and over that this-is-human-life. We are living as humans, social animals with the capacity for abstract reason.
We live and die as social animals, not as abstract-reason.
In crisis, we save each other, and kill each other in person, not in abstract.
There are killer drones, though, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were abstractions of killing for a few people, who gave orders, but did not need to attend.
I feel that we have gone way too far into abstraction of life and all of the essentials of life. I feel that we are simplified and abstracted into confusion and frustration. This past year of isolation has taken people away from each others' breath, warmth, tone of voice and tingle of touch. Social media, Google and Amazon have placed themselves between us, controlling our inputs of abstract information, our food delivery and our social prerogatives and group beliefs.
Masks and electronic interface-distancing have atomized us. We are not whole. We are not "individual-humans". Humans die in isolation.
What am I? Who are we?
We have to know with certainty, like we know when we'll hit the ground when we jump those last two steps, not like we know the alphabet.
You are bound to know what I mean. Life is the living, the engagement.
This is what our kind of animal does together, and we need to do it, because our owners are abstracting us out of existence.
Pictured below is the self-organizing party, with Jim adjusting the line tension for the kiddy swings that he, Steve and Tommy just put up.
Yellow T-shirt Guy