Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Friction of Grains

On the consenting, injured tip
Of a madly colored though feeble crayon,
We began a game of chance
And the final days are upon us.
The cell doors are sprung,
the backs of the public buses all turned to beds
Each buzzing with the activity of honeysuckles and orchids and prickly pear
Beside streets paved with rancid butter and bean husks
Smaller than those that nourished us during winters and springs in not long past;
Our gardens plowed and gutted, roots and vines displayed as trophies for inspection
by arts councils, tallied by crooked pens.
And though the number of eggs hatched
Naturally corresponds with the number of those fertilized,
I keep my heart-sleeves fully extended despite the promises of absentee neighbors and
my eyes on the sweeping hand of father time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The roof is, for the winter at least, finished.
It's a deeply satisfying realization that we don't have to worry about the drippy leaks or amount of heat pouring out into the dark nights.
It wasn't a simple labor, nor was the price in work, stress or money easy to take in the moment. If it weren't for friends and family who helped, it wouldn't be even a project finished, or for that matter, a thing began. Seriously. And that makes it even more gratifying. Besides, it's so nice to be warm and dry.
'Twas a cold morning. It got down to nine degrees Fahrenheit as the sun came up, so I thought I'd go out and reacquaint myself with the temperature of things to come. Moshe was happy about the turn of events; then again, he's always happy when I take him out and about.

He's been part of our family for almost ten years now. Just a big, half-blind old puppy, really.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I went to a nutriceutical presentation at the behest of a friend last night. It looks to me a good product with, perhaps, a huge potential for health and curative benefits. The friendly people who were there to present the product and ideas were certainly sold on the product, and while I was aware of the (in Utah) inevitability of some connection to multi-level marketing, I went to the presentation to find out a little more about the contents of the wee can. Again, I came away duly impressed with the quality and potential of the product, but I was surprisingly fascinated with watching the salespeople switch between heartfelt and amazing testimonials about the merchandise and ‘the tremendous and ground-level opportunity for growth and income potential in this group’.
In this case, it’s hard to not come away with some amount of interest in distributing the stuff, if for nothing else the ingredients and quality thereof. I’ll probably give it a try even though it’s fairly expensive to see if it can help a few of the things I’m trying to fix or stave off in the future. But Get Out There and Hustle It? Nah.
I have a deep and abiding desire to not sell things. I know all of the arguments of the salesman: “You sell yourself to your boss every day!” or “You might as well sell something you believe in to people you care about rather than being poor and miserable the rest of your life, think about the number of people you could help if you just had some more money from selling (insert product or service here).” Then there’re those more personally directed, “You sell yourself and English to your students every day!” EVERYONE’S a salesman, no? It doesn’t really work for me.
The money from this fine medicine will circulate many times over after the sale is completed. The financial pyramid will ascend to the sky (or at least to the peak of the mansion on the roof of some numbers-oriented person in Utah Valley) and the money will swirl and work its transformative magic, but I really don’t see much in the way of real benefit in it for me. We have what we have and will rely on my own lame ability to provide a teacher’s service or product to those who can see the merits of my person or manner in exchange for paltry sums and lame excuses for the lack of more offered. If I have something that I’ve specifically done or made, I might sell that, but something that seventy other people ‘above’ me have sold and will profit from through a well-oiled, slippery multi-level hype machine? I just can’t bring myself to get enthusiastic about it, no matter how truly quality the people making the pitch are.
Perhaps I’ll miss the boat on this again. I’ve done that many times over for varying reasons. At least I’ll survive a little longer with my ideals and principals intact, and I’ll live another day to search out that little thing that might connect me more closely with God and others who might be willing to cooperate in making my family and the community more livable and perhaps more happy from day to day.