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the ever turning wheel of life

I recently lamented on Twitter (twit-mented? lamentweed?):

This past weekend was similarly excellent, though not because of all of the events going on, but because of the lack of them. For the first time in many weeks, the husband, the baby, and I got to be together from Friday evening all the way to Monday morning.

While the baby was at his piano lesson Friday after school, the husband and I went on a little date to Fuel & Fuddle. We met up with the baby and my mom afterward and then headed to Squirrel Hill to see Samsara, a documentary that I’ve been anticipating for years. I had told the baby going in that this was a different kind of movie: there wasn’t any dialogue or a story, per se, just images of life and the world for the purpose of giving you something to think about.

SAMSARA Teaser from Baraka & Samsara on Vimeo.

He did have a few questions of the, “Where is that? Why are they doing that?” variety during the movie and I tried to get him to save them until after. A film that quiet and atmospheric needs a similarly serene and receptive audience. Overall, however, he handled it amazingly well and even had some really interesting thoughts afterward.

(The fact that a 10-year-old was able to experience it that way should have made the grown people sitting behind us feel that much dumber for talking the whole time and drunkenly getting up and falling down several times. If you’re over the age of say, 15, and you can’t sit still and contemplate life for at least a little bit, you need to just put your eatin’ dress on and stay in the house. We have shit to do out here.)

During our furious discussion of the movie afterward via iMessage, Frank had told me that he felt very grim after seeing it. I can see why, there were some very unpleasant things portrayed. But even the shots of landfills and meat factories didn’t upset me the way that they might normally. I just kept seeing images of chaos and our sometimes precious attempts to impose order on it. It made me feel very serene, like nothing that is happening is somehow surprising or out of turn. Not that we should take that as a reason to be uncaring or cold or seek change where it is needed. But that familiar panic that ordinarily wells up inside of me when I think about all that there is to think about didn’t show up. And it can stay gone, for all I care.

I think this moment is really what did it for me:

Who knows the story of his life and his tattoos? But it seems safe to assume that some chaos, good or bad, led him to mark his body, his method of asserting control where he could. But none of that is relevant here, as he nuzzles his infant daughter. She softly touches his face as the world suddenly becomes very small, a population of 7 billion reduced to 2 in a moment that is repeated over and over again everywhere.

The absence of Big Exciting Things to do this weekend meant that my world got to be wonderfully small for a few days. On Saturday, we went to Trax Farm to re-up on our decorative gourds (motherfuckers). The baby tried to tell us that he was too old for that stuff and after I pieced together the shards of my shattered heart upon hearing of this omen of adolescence, I pushed him into the car with the promise of, “FAMILY TOGETHERNESS AND FUN TIMES GODDAMMIT!” But after we drove past all of the pretty foliage and once we got there and that unmistakeable potpourri of kettle corn and animal poo hit him, he warmed right up.


Adopting Captain Morgan poses on pumpkins and whatnot.

Earlier in the week, he came up to me and said, “Want to do something together this weekend?” And then I died. He does a ton of stuff with seemingly everyone else in his life, while he and I seem to have a strictly business relationship sometimes. Of course, we have moments of enjoying each other’s company, but I realized that very rarely do he and I ever do anything just the two of us. I was trying to think of something to do and we kept shooting down each other’s suggestions. I thought about trying to find a cooking class, since he often wants to help me cook which is hard to do in our tiny kitchen, but I couldn’t seem to find any that were for kids and parents. Finally, I said, “Do you want to cook something together?” He liked that idea and it seemed like the least stress-inducing option. We wouldn’t have to go anywhere or spend any money, and he had an eye on a recipe for mini deep dish pizzas.

He's making mini deep dish pizzas for his lunch for this week...and looking disturbingly identical to me from this angle

So, yesterday I set everything out for us and let him do mostly everything, only helping when he asked me to. “This is so much fun!” he said. And it really was. Plus, those little pizzas were so good. He also helped me to make some applesauce from the bushel of apples that we brought home, which was especially exciting since he got to use the cool apple peeler.

Homemade applesauce is really just an excuse to use the medieval peeling device. Also my garbage can says hi.

Today, the world is its usual size and its attempts to bring order to everything seem so silly. I can’t wait to get back to my cozy little microcosm.

2 comments to the ever turning wheel of life

  • I loved this movie and felt similarly to you in that the images of factory farms and landfills weren’t enough to put me into that “depressed about the state of the world” place either. I thought they did an awesome job of having a delicate balance of suffering and beauty. I think dwelling on the really terrible things wouldn’t have worked, and I’m glad because I was not about seeing them cut open that huge stomach that the doctor was drawing on in the obese portion of the film. The part that made me shed a tear was the African tribe all laying on each other and just being all pack like, breast feeding and what not. Damn pregnancy hormones.
    Ps. That’s a sweet boy you got there. Lucky lady. :)

  • Healing’s Dragon

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