Monday, November 15, 2010

The State of the World Today

Art by Alison Fennell—purchase at
I was listening to FM radio yesterday, and during one particular commercial break I heard the following products and services advertised, in this order:

Gambling, liposuction, fast food, gambling, petroleum.

What, I wondered, is this world coming to? Can anyone truly listen to a commercial for $995-per-part body sculpting followed by an ad for juicy, crispy, fried chicken thighs without noting the hypocrisy? Is this really what's important in this year's windup to the holiday season?

Today, I woke up with the "gambling, liposuction, fast food, gambling" commercials in my head, and then I looked out the window. Fenway, braying, slopped in from the pasture through a heavy rain. And then, one after another, three goat heads appeared over the shed wall: Pop! Pop! Pop! The chickens began to stir, expecting turnout into the gardens and orchard, and the rabbits rang their bells in anticipation of breakfast and a mornings' free exercise. My daughters clamored for paintbrushes, some creative exploit in their sights. The cats twined themselves through and around the dog's legs, each waiting for his turn to gallop through the rain. A caraf of coffee, still warm, stood as evidence of my husband's recent presence.

I signed onto facebook, and got mixed news: a lost calf in New Hampshire? Sad, but not without hope as friends mobilize to find her. A caroling party in Wickersham? Scheduled, and looking more festive with each passing minute. Fundraisers for various social and humane issues are running fast and furious, and the donations are flying. Backcountry adventures, community events, small businesses, small miracles. Good dogs, good horses, good mules, good people—they're out there. They're everywhere. They're riding, planting, writing, teaching, hiking, giving, biking, painting, reading, learning, growing, reaching. This is the state of the world as I like to see it. This little slice of the world—the slice that facebook showed me this morning—is what I choose to believe in. I think it's growing.


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