The Harvest and The Fallen Towers

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September 11, 2022- The glasses came, in dribs and drabs. My co-volunteer and I cleaned them, in drips and drops, and they were returned to the souvenir table. It was a smaller, more intimate Farm-to-Table Dinner this evening, with the emphasis on up-and-coming chefs, partnering with local farmers more directly. This marks the seventh time I have helped with the event, and the smaller affair was welcome, in that sense, as Hope Fest, which happened yesterday, and judged a success by the director and her management team, still takes a lot of energy. I am grateful to still have enough stamina to help in these efforts.

Farm-to-Table is planned, every year, to coincide with the autumn harvest and its attendant full moon. The team, mostly from Prescott Farmer’s Market, paired with professional servers from the Hilton Hotel’s banquet staff. This added grace to the affair, though in previous years we have had servers from local restaurants, who are certainly competent.

Earlier in the day, the focus was on the twenty-first anniversary of the attacks on American soil. There is a renewed focus on the role that some citizens and government officials of Saudi Arabia may have played in the horrific series of events. The complicated geopolitics that tend to limit a proper investigation may well need to be reviewed and their processes changed. As is being said, regarding another pressing legal matter, no one is above the law. The miasma has not been forgotten in the least, however, and those who claim it was a hoax are only finding themselves held in nearly as much disdain as are the perpetrators.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Fortnight of Transition, Day 13: The Fallacy of Convenience

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September 21, 2020-

A person who I have been helping to get an economic enterprise started recently sent a message, to the effect that he was sorry to inconvenience me as the message came while I was busy with something else.

He need not have been apologetic, as few people know with what activity I am engaged,at any given moment. So, it falls to me to explain myself a bit, to people of good will, that they not feel they are being intrusive.

Many of us have based our plans, our actions, our policies and our very communities on the concept of convenience. Many of the inventions that have come about, over the past 150 years, are designed to make life easier. To a great extent, that’s a good thing, in that people may have a shot at improved hygiene, more time to focus on the other people in their lives, and thus, enjoy a heightened quality of life.

Convenience as a goal for the few, however, rings hollow. The reason is, simply put, that the convenience enjoyed by one, or by a several, is not readily transferable to a sizable number of the Earth’s population-at least as yet. Those who are still making a gargantuan effort to rise up, out of a threadbare existence, cannot possibly understand why it is “necessary” for someone to own three, or six, homes. A person in Africa, just starting in life, may, with good reason, look askance at an older person in a prosperous community, who has no time for conversation-because he’s going out sailing or has to finish the fifth course of dinner.

What brings convenience to one, if it brings destitution or suffering to another, is a falsehood. I have said, in other places, that hunger and starvation, in this day and age, are largely failures of distribution. In Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a growing pecentage of the populace are well-fed, and the rulers include many who are obese. In Yemen, a fairly short distance from those two countries, a growing number of people are on the verge of starving to death. An effort at correcting the errors in distribution of food and medicine, rather than on punishing the people for their dubious leadership’s alliances with a perceived enemy, would go far towards saving the Yemenis, with their hollowed eyes and protruding rib cages. This state of affairs is mirrored in many places, large and small, across the globe.

The scene of the privileged, watching with blank expressions or annoyed at intrusions, while the suffering come into their filed of vision, calls out convenience for what it is- a falsehood, until the day when the hurt of one truly is internalized as the hurt of all.