The folks camping at our local Tent City are getting the boot. Each one was handed a letter today from the State Department of Transportation (on whose land beneath the freeway they are camping) saying they have until October 31st to skedaddle. My usual reflex would be to get pretty irked but no more. Now I think of these impossibly difficult conflicts as one group’s “rock and a hard place” running up against another group’s “rock and a hard place.” There isn’t always a villain. Sometimes, people just get jammed and don’t have a lot of choices – bureaucrats and homeless people alike.
What do I think about Brandt Jean forgiving his brother’s murderer, Amber Guyger? I think it was remarkable and Christ-like. And deeply personal and something on his own soul that us spectators will never understand. His hugging of Amber Guyger was so much what we, as white people, want, forgiveness for everything that has happened. We don’t say that, of course, because it would be unreasonable, but it is what we yearn for, to be washed clean of the volumes of wrongdoing – both centuries and minutes old. Would that it were so easy.
My husband turned the heat on because it was 51 degrees in the house. That’s astonishing and maybe symptomatic since he typically doesn’t turn on the heat until extremities are threatened. This, from a guy who an hour ago was napping in his shorts with the bedroom window wide open. Hormones.
It is fall, the time of the year I shed all pretense of gardening. It is the most liberating feeling on earth. Having leaves turn brown, plants get all leggy and sparse, it all signals to me the end of obligation. And it’s luscious. I feel like a just-paid babysitter walking home with a wad of ones in my pocket. I did my job. They all went to bed.
Our dog, Swirl, yearns to lay on the loveseat but he is deterred by two pillows. This is a dog who, until last spring, leaped on top of his wooden dog house whenever he pleased, along with the other 200 dogs in the dog yard who leapt up and down as if they ruled the world. Now he is citified. He walks on rugs, goes to sleep on his big soft bed, the cushion of which is in the dryer as we speak. He will, however, get on his hind legs, peer into the sink, and gently pick up a cup or a bowl and carry it elsewhere to lick. The pillows, though, are a different matter. They have the power to make him stand down. It is fascinating and lovely in a strange way.