January 2nd, 2016

Mitchell's silver lining


I'm watching the clouds this morning.  There is movement in the gray.

Yesterday I was reading the New Yorker, and came across a synopsis of Susan Cheever's book, Drinking in America.  Intrigued, I downloaded it to my Kindle, started reading, and didn't stop until I finished.

Those who love to claim relationship to their Mayflower ancestry might want to re-think.  What intrigued me was that John and Abigail Adams lost two sons and two grandsons to alcoholism. I had no idea how many lives have been ruined by this disease.  She also gives a sobering account of the drinking the secret service agents had done the night/morning before Kennedy was killed.  What if they had slept well and sober as they had signed on to do?  Would Kennedy have lived?  And Nixon - I had no idea that Kissinger saved us from WWIII.  Okay, this is her interpretation and research but it is sobering, literally, to read.

I love this from the New Yorker synopsis.  "Not every boozy encounter ended poorly though - the Colonies' taverns, which the Puritans considered "gifts from God," became the primary meeting place for revolutionaries."

Good to know.  I recommend this book as a look at how history forms and is formed.  It's worth a toast, or not, but it is a sober look at how alcohol founded this country, and how we still struggle with how to, or whether to, regulate substances like this.  We come across as a pretty crazy country, and one can laugh and/or cry at the humanness of we fragile, mostly well-intentioned and sometimes needy human beings.

Pivot Point!

These days around the new year can be a pivot point for looking back, reflecting, and setting intention for the new year.  It feels like a clean slate in one way, and in another, there we are, with our long train and trail of peacock feathers, either lifted in the air, or making contact and patterns in the dirt on the ground.

Today I am with these words of T.S. Eliot.

But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.

May you ride the waves with ease.