Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We All Got Holes to Fill, Them Holes are All That's Real

Italian Polenta Stack
Pan-grilled lemony garlic infused polenta with broccoli rabe, ground turkey, olives, fresh tomato sauce and Parmesan.  I'm saying this was unusually good for a Tuesday.  The best ideas sometimes come on bike rides home, when the juices are flowing and the brain is readily active. 
This is my brother in law's son, P's nephew, Nate.  We were visiting his family during the holidays a thousand years ago.  He was such a cool kid. Extremely bright and his focus was on dinosaurs, lizards and assorted aquatic dealings.  He was raised as a free spirit.  His parents didn't stifle his dreams and so his little brain was free to explore the world.  He made quite an impression, as most kids do if you spend at least 5 minutes with them.  But I guess I felt a kinship to his nature.  He was definitely one of 'us', whatever that is.  At least I'd hoped.  When I spend time with children, it's concentrated time.  I really feel like I know them, their spirit is so crystal clear.  Bright shining stars.  This is Nate today, brilliant as ever before.
But I share the story to remind people that not everyone is living the same life and thank goodness for that!  And this is no longer your momma's Midwest.  It's a crazy mix of living situations and racial pairings, neighborhoods intermixed with particular immigrant groups and real live true Christians (not the fake hating ones) and regular good people swirled in with I assume some if not many real racists and pinheads sure. We share some common ground in the big cities but they also have an entirely different set of issues.  Drugs are a problem in unexpected places but much is uncharted territory. This is the new frontier.  Meaning, don't pretend to know what lurks if you've never spent quality time there.  I hear so much postulating on both sides, makes me nauseous. Nate runs a mushroom farm with his dad and came up with a business idea to sell organic mushrooms to consumers at a time of life when many kids are either safely tucked into a college path or drinking and screwing their way towards oblivion.  Nate's been a silent inspiration to me this month as I struggle to pull my own head out of me arse and get on with it. It, you know, life.  Do you know how hard they worked to get a running farm up in southern Indiana through long winters and no sales. They made their own equipment.  Through no air conditioning and what I imagine many a super cold damp ass night.   And to look at him you'd think he is a little bearded hipster out of Williamsburg in a probably good band but he's the real deal.  He's living his look. He harvests fish in his own pond, he cultivates flowers and cacti, he grows herbs and has multiple dogs. He can talk your ear off about mycelium and makes nerdy stuff sound enchanting.  He cooks his own meals and lives many a day solo, with visits from his mom and dad in a business capacity.  He's so young!  I was calling in take out orders from my mom and dad's restaurant for me and my hungover fellow slacker girlfriend at 2 in the afternoon at that age. My mom would bring it upstairs to my apartment in their house which I paid zero rent for by the way.  A little numbnut rebel without a cause.
To live outside the law you must be honest.  To live today outside the well worn paths of the nice, but boring ass minions is so brave.  To wake up alone way out in the middle of nowhere spending your days in solitude in a society that pays high dollar for youth in their prime is admirable.  Their whole family is amazing actually but I didn't coincidentally find their names scrawled across a fence, so I felt it was fate today to write about Nate.  A Midwesterner and an amazing Bernie Sanders supporting human on the planet.

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