Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Purpose of Life

    As it seems to be, as we move into Thanksgiving, is to enjoy it.  Celebrate our ability to cook, as much as the joy of having a really stupid bird to do it to, and the revealed fact that we have hearts to open and check if everyone we know has someplace to go.  We are, I believe, a genuinely caring people, we Americans, even if we get sidelined into absurdity with a frequency that is dazzling.
    Now that the first blush, and the deeper reddening of the Petraeus scandal is off the rose not to mention various body parts of America, especially Paula's upper arms, the newspapers can return to their real interest: war.  I have been pondering the last few days the early days of literature, Homer and the rest of the kids, wondering why it is that humanity has been consistently propelled in the direction of battle and conquest.  I mean, God comes into this a little, I would think, since Bill Maher notwithstanding, these past few weeks with their disasters and salvations have sung to me clearly of the Hand of God.  Even as parts of the country sank, its basic spirit was lifted, along with its continuation as an evolving manifestation of its founding principles.  All sounding pretty arch, unless you actually read them, and see what Greaties Jefferson and Franklin were from the creative point of view, not to mention sentence structure.
    So the United States for the moment having been preserved, except of course for the states that now wish to secede, the Middle East is free to flare up, which it could not wait to do.  It's a head-scratcher really, though, why people want to hurt each other, our tenure on the planet being so short and fragile to begin with.  I have to figure it's about greed, fear, all the negatives of human nature that make us willing and ready to hurt.
   But not on Thanksgiving.  
   To cure myself of this mawkish love of country I am going to all the movies just coming out.  Yesterday, Tuesday, which I thought was Wednesday, I saw Starlet, a curiously touching little movie with Dree Hemingway, Papa's granddaughter, who is indeed as charming and fine-featured as one would wish, and apparently sufficiently free-spirited enough to unselfconsciously play a young porn star.  Today I am going to see everything else, before making my contribution to the Thanksgiving dinner at Sue's house, up a few flights of stairs.  Some of my closest friends in life have been Sues, but this one belongs to the Angel Carleen, whom I have known and loved since San Francisco.  I am making Cranuberry Much, a side dish I learned to make when I went to a cooking class in D.C. during the tenure of Jimmy Carter, when I was learning about my country from Marty Hoffman, patriot husband of my loved classmate Muggy, and staying with Sally Nevius, who took me to her cooking class, where, because of the then current climate, they taught turkey and Grits. 
    Cranuberry Much has chopped celery in it, only slightly cooked, so it crunches.  I have the same feeling about America.