you can’t always get what you want

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try some time…well, you know the chorus. That’s the theme song of my weekly grocery shopping trips into town.

Toilet paper..nope. Extra virgin olive oil…sold out. Those special garlic stuffed green olives…who are you kidding. Kale? Our garden crop is just about to yield so maybe I’ll leave this for someone else. Organic low fat yogurt? Ha. Okay we’ll eat non-organic and pray like mad over it. Zinc..the shelves have been empty for weeks. But then I’m lucky enough to score some black beans and pound of ground turkey. I”ll make turkey chile.  I’m a goddess warrior with a spear who has stealthily tracked and brought her prey to ground.

I’ve been in grocery stores like this before, empty shelves, a few dusty provisions that required my ingenuity, but they were in foreign countries where the locals often traded simple crafts for food.

So if you try some time, you just might find,……you get what you need.

So what do I need now? Not more clothes in my overstuffed closet, none of the food I couldn’t buy. I need simple things. Long stretches of quiet time in the morning to capture my dreams, to fit their pieces together into the puzzle that is my long dead parents and the legacy I still carry from them.

I need time to walk this desert landscape and follow the song lines of the rocks and trees, how every day they make themselves new, how they whisper that I can too.

I need time to watch the seeds I plant push up from the ground, their joyful hallelujah to the sun.

I need this time of not touching to practice kindness, again and again, even and especially when I fail, because kindness is its own way of touching.

What I need is the quiet of these days to quell the constant consuming of goods, ideas, other people’s theories and opinions. Maybe I am more brainwashed than I thought.

We ask: How long can this go on? When will it end? We say that it might go on for as long as it takes the inferno that is blazing across the globe to burn itself down to embers.

We try to imagine what will remain. We draw pictures in the ash with a stick that blossoms as we pass it to our left, listening to the prayers of the ones we thought were distant. To hands so dark we thought we were not related. To voices singing in tongues we thought we did not understand. Prayers for clean air and water, enough food and shelter, for a land where our children can grow safe and free.

This is what I need: A vision of possibility that grows up from the earth in solidarity with the rights of all living beings. This is what we all need if we are to cross into the dazzling new world shimmering on the horizon.

Tell me: what do you need?

sistine touch

My efforts now turn
from trying to outrun suffering
to accepting love wherever
I can find it.
Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.
We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion…
There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere.
(Mark Nepo, b. 1951)


4 thoughts on “you can’t always get what you want

  1. Loved your slant on foodist elite consumerism! I cannot bake what I want – my favorite Armenian bread. Finding yeast anywhere is like trying to score a cocaine drug deal. Is yeast now a following act to the toilet paper shortage? Who knew? Yeast? Staying home in our cocoons triggers baking bread? A friend of a friend found some in Pojuaque to be delivered sometime this week. Getting insanely high just imagining it and how I had to call in all favors, search 6 stores to now manifest this incredible gift.


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