Sunday Morning ~ A Different View

Sunday Morning ~ A Different View

Cakudya cimodzimodzi sicinonetsa. ~ One kind of food does not make you fat.

~Chewa proverb

August 16, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I’ve lived and worked in a few different cultures and the idea of being fat has different connotations. In our culture the commonly accepted form of “beauty” as promoted by advertisers, is thinness. But elsewhere in the world, being fat is beautiful. I was mocked in Samoa for being too thinly unattractive. The nurses used to say to me, “Doesn’t your husband want a better mattress?”  They were always trying to pop pieces of fried dough in my mouth. They are the largest race of people in the world and they did not view small, white skinned people as beautiful. The fact that we colonized their beautiful island probably had something to do with their perception of our attractiveness as well, but size was important. 

I think about opposite viewpoints as I grapple with understanding how our country got to where we are, how people I used to respect, maybe even admire, are now so far gone down the cultish political hole I can barely remember who they were. It’s terrifying to me. Being too young to really understand what was happening in Vietnam at the time, I’ve felt sandwiched between tragic world events and, though have had my share of hardships, have lived a blessed and privileged life. Stories of war time heroines fascinated me but I could no more imagine myself in that role than I could be Cleopatra. It was serious fantasy of an era long past. I think I truly believed that past conflicts and travesties happened because humans were not educated or informed in a way we are now. I think of the line from Jesus Christ Superstar, “Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication.” I always liked that line and thought that’s why that story went down the way it did. But here we are, watching our democracy being dismantled before our eyes and I find myself wondering, is this what it was like for them? What if Ann Frank was not the only one to keep a journal? Would we have been better able to relate if we’d learned a few different perspectives first hand? 

The proverb alludes to, fat, being a good thing, requires many kinds of food. One can not become healthy and beautiful without variety and balance. Extrapolate that out to life and a variety of opinions, careers, forms of entertainment, colors, weathers, landscapes, all make us a rich and healthier nation. But to what extreme? I in no way believe the cult forming now will succeed or survive; there are too many of us who will not give up the protest. Though history is bizarrely repeating itself in the most evil manner, history also shows us that steady and sustained protests are the only way to bring this insanity to a halt. I guess there is comfort there but also trepidation, knowing the price that many pay for their protest. I am digging deep to question how much I am willing to sacrifice. Time and money are easy, injury and death, not so much. What are we each called to do? 

I’ve had several dreams this week, vivid ones, about having lost something. One was my car. I trudged miles in my subconscious looking for the car I knew I had left in a certain spot. I was exhausted by the time I woke, still carless. This morning I dreamt I lost my grandchildren. I’d let them run ahead of me in a city, believing they were safe. I had to navigate a huge area of construction and got confused about which way they had gone. I was frantic and ran around every building looking for something familiar that might lead to them. I heard my granddaughter crying, explaining to some adult that they’d lost me and we reunited before I woke. I walked around the garden this morning wondering what I’m looking for that is giving me these recurring themes in my dreams. I was calmed by the fact that today’s loss was resolved before waking. I didn’t have the lingering anxiety where I have to reassure myself over and over that it was just a dream. Lord knows there’s already enough anxiety going around. 

Yesterday I went for a hike with friends in an area I had not explored before, off the island and further west. I thought it would be an easy hike being a little snobbish about having the National Park in my backyard. I was wrong. The hike was more strenuous than I imagined, and though less crowded, took some effort. My blueberry muffin was definitely not enough fuel. When we arrived at the summit, I was stunned by the view looking back toward home. It was magical, a perspective I’d not experienced before. I was discouraged by how much the hike took out of me, still tired from the Lyme and unable to eat much because of the treatment, but I was grateful for the stunning new view. It makes me consider the value in looking at things from different angles, being more open to new perspectives and possibilities, while staying focused on the common goal.

Love to all,


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