Pushing Back On The Mud, Day Fourteen

April 15, 2023, Aptos, CA- I walked into Lillian’s Italian Kitchen, in downtown Santa Cruz, a bit after 8:30 p.m., looked around a bit, and found the party of eight that had gathered in my honour. Such gatherings have not been as rare as my psyche sometimes imagines, and in each case, they come as a pleasant surprise. Lillian’s takes a fair amount of inspiration from the San Francisco ristorante/cucina scene.

Sunday Gravy, a dish popular in New York and New Jersey, which spread to California in the 1940s, was a succulent mix of short rib, beef, pork and blended sausage, in rich tomato sauce. There was no hint of oregano, basil or garlic-just spicy tomato. Each person had a similarly delectable dish, from lasagna to antipasto.

This was a day which began with word that my overall evaluation is “a nice one”. Then came a colourful and heartfelt poster, made by a family who were greatly moved by the love and caring shown by our team. Another woman wanted to express similar sentiments, but was ashamed of the quality of her writing. She conveyed her appreciation, then went shyly back to her cot area.

This was also a day when my heretofore critic responded to the care I showed, at the word of his having experienced severe pain last night, by expressing full appreciation of the way the shelter was being handled. The work that my crew and I have done, without let-up, now seems universally approved. It is not differences of opinion that matter so much, but how each of us grows to relate to one another over time.

Far from here, in Dadeville, AL, a town which I visited a year ago, a young girl sits, head in hand, weeping at the horror which people, who hate her for some reason, inflicted on her, and on her family, by killing her older brother on her 16th birthday. In Guanajuato, Mexico, other men, who couldn’t leave well enough alone, just had to slaughter six adults and a seven-year-old child-because they could.

My, my-the contrast between a climate of understanding, and tolerance that becomes acceptance and oneness, and a climate of toxic abusiveness, ignorance and egoism that fosters hatred and violence.

2 thoughts on “Pushing Back On The Mud, Day Fourteen

  1. I’m so glad the team has shown their appreciation of your leadership! Even the detractor had to come around (peer pressure is powerful) and admit that everything was done well! As for the state of our world – in a word appalling. Still we are not able to change it alone but we can change things for the better in the places we find ourselves!!

    Liked by 1 person

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