Sunday, December 4, 2016

How Lovely Are Thy Branches

Mission:  Christmas Tree
Pequena breakfast in Fort Greene. Chicken Verde Chilaquiles and Western scramble.  Lots of coffee.  So much coffee.

A spicy poach broth for my chicken breasts that night made them juicy and perky sliced over chile lime pinto beans, peppers, avocado, cilantro and homemade chipotle hot sauce.

Buying Christmas trees in Brooklyn.  They make it ridiculously easy.  We chose a nice spruce.  Oh they bend you over for them but it smells up the whole house and we get to see the hipster guy put it through that cool tie thingy. Picking and deciding, it's all a very traditional joy that somehow we have made a part of our holiday.  But each year I feel worse about cutting down a real tree, even though they grow them for this exact purpose. This is someone's livelihood I tell myself.  It's not like it would grow out it's years in the Catskills or anything.  It is only living for this one function.  And that mission is kind of beautiful.  A Christmas tree. Like he knows he will be loved and adorned and proudly displayed in someone's warm home when he grows up. Not before chopping his root nuts off but still.  

But it is a living thing.  Is this the same as breeding chickens in an enclosed pen without windows only to become someone's dinner? In some ways it seems more fair this way.  You're not taking any luxury from them.  They never know comfort. But to realize green grass and sunny blue skies, like the free range birds then to find it always ends in a harsh sudden cruel.  People like me get caught up in the psych-science because if you buy into chicken's having capacity to love and feel, then why wouldn't a piece of broccoli have similar traits? Isn't it relative?  Do organs make the difference?  Does blood running through veins provide feelings?  Roots know how to survive, choke competitors and ensure future growth without any of those things.  Does all life matter? We can't yet comprehend the complexity and value of it in full.  So sometimes I think it's not what you do but how you do it that may matter in the end.
At least that's what I tell myself. 
I loved my tree this year so much.  I dressed it all up and lit it every night. 

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