I have, for as long as I remember, been an insomniac, while secondarily suffering from sleep inertia. It takes a long time to fall asleep, but when I do, I am in the tight clutches of slumber to such an extent it is nearly impossible to disturb me. In recent years, waking has been an earlier and earlier occurrence, but this week has found me a returning victim of dreaded bed gravity, wherein no escape seems possible.
I have rushed out the door for class five days straight. Time is a tricky thing, indeed.
School has moved us to the food of the Americas, and a more confident classroom. It’s interesting to have excuse to ponder the wide variances of cuisine across the U. S. alone. And, in my southern reversion, to be reminded how important the reign of food is over the demeanors of its consumers. Every region has some good offerings, but some just can’t compete with the simple, grandma’s garden, or out of the boat meals I’m used to.
I am spoiled, having grown up in a passionately food-centric part of the country, where nothing can happen that isn’t culinarily associative. Weddings, funerals, holidays, sure. New neighbors? Make them a pie. Fifth Sunday? Potluck. Quitting your job? Let’s hit the local BBQ joint. Your kid is potty trained? I’ll drink to that! And when we’re all stuffed to the gills, we’ll STILL be talking about food.
My excitement this week was attending the Lumineers concert at the new amphitheater in town.
Jack Wilson, an Austin native with serious 70s influence, and the Tumbleweeds – a swampy New Orleans based band complete with triangle, keg drum and mouth harp – opened the absolutely packed venue. Between the Tumbleweeds covering Woody Guthrie and the Lumineers paying homage to Bob Dylan, along with all their cool, simple, skillful originals, it was a flawless musical experience.
Along the way, I sighted some mondo mustaches and fringed tshirts, circa 1986. Dear cultural universe: It’s ok to let some things die.
It only took 2 hours to get out of the parking lot, after 1am, and the town still raged on. This truly is a city that never sleeps.
One last thing –
I am not a tactless person, by any means, but somewhat unedited in my commentary and responses. For me, it is mostly because I don’t like not knowing where people stand, and I have no intention of leaving the question of my take for others on things affecting them. (Also, it’s my defective internal monologue at work, with which a lot of you are familiar. I make no excuses). This week, someone commented to me that they had never been able to do that. It led me to wonder, what would life be, if we all just said what we really meant? Manners exist in order to provide comfort in social situations, to be understood guidelines for conduct. Some are silly, outdated, baffling. Some are useful. Still, I question whether so much self censorship is counterintuitive in some contexts. In others, it is not as well enforced as it needs to be. Those lines are drawn so differently in individual minds, in cultural practice, in private self rule. It’s something I think on from time to time, but rarely does it dictate in me regret for my choices. I am a believer in saying what needs to be said rather than what I think someone else wants me to say. Nevertheless, I am not deluded into thinking my opinions and feelings are the only valid ones. We all have our own inertia to weigh, our own gravity to consider.
Tell me your thoughts.