Wednesday, January 20, 2010

402: some green in winter

My worms arrived in the mail about a week ago and have begun to bunker down in my new vermicompost bin. This one has more clear walls, so, in my laziness, I can keep a better eye on development, and it is smaller, which feels a bit more manageable, though I hope it's not frustrating to the worms themselves. A few nights ago we came home, and I thought I saw a stray stick the dogs brought in with a white spider moving along--I was proud at my bravery in approach, but I discovered one of the worms had slipped from the bin, which would be fine if it were outdoors, but in this house, there's little but more dirt and more dirt to be found on the ground.

Because it is winter, from what I've learned from Chris, they can, indeed, arrive in a bit of a ball: due to the sub-zero temperatures, those little guys furiously shimmy and move around one another in a lump to keep warm.

Last night my good (and so old friend--it's been a while, hasn't it?) friend Angie and I went to see a reading of Green Barbarians at Magers + Quinn. Of course, the two of us come from drastically different backgrounds when it comes to a bookish event, so me, with my university internship and what else, was expecting a more "professional reading," until I realized any crowd called on by the green movement will feel a bit antsy, a bit like Wellstone's memorial so many years past, that cheer at a call to action, that demand for more information.

[Side note: I went to that memorial disastrously saddened, and I get all bleary-eyed as soon as I begin a full discussion of Wellstone. I remember the day he passed, the call from Kelly, the call to E, the "who will take care of us now?" question she asked, the calling of my father, the desperation. the aloneness, the shape of my apartment at that time.]

Each bit she read was compelling, and eventually we discovered the impetus (one of which) for the book was that her father was a hypochondriac for his last 47 years, and she was exhausted by the "corporate machine," which, I think, a great deal of us are, so she sought to negate some of those myths.

From where I am, just now: we don't shop at Wal-Mart or Target and haven't for a long, long while. We've enjoyed the works of Pollan, have joined a CSA, all of that. But we also aren't about to ban corn from our household, which is what one audience member proclaimed to do, and I respect that, but I think it's especially important to not replace one brain-washing machine with another.

The idea, in fact, is to be mindful.

And that is what I'm trying to do.

A few notes from my first class of the spring 2010 semester. I'll try to keep up, and I hope any classmates (or anyone else!) who wander on over will feel OK adding their own perspective / disagreements / etc. My filter can be off, quite often!

Also to come: last weekend. I've gone from some strange hermitage to socializing quickly, and on Saturday, I had a few foibles in the cities with Brianna and Meryl, and on Sunday, Ryan and I headed up northwest to have the holidays with Kelly and her sweetest son Christian.

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