Seared into Flesh

cow-hug

This insomniac is scanning the early morning papers. It’s becoming a 3 a.m. ritual.

My right index finger swipes through the Photos of the Day. Another ritual.

I freeze here. Right here on the dairy farmer from Budapest.

And like Marilynne Robinson in Housekeeping, where every memory is turned over and over again, and eventually becomes flesh.  Or Jim Harrison in Golden Window where memory is more vivid than life. Memories begin to roll backwards.

The dairy cows laying under shade trees in pastures lining I-77 S.
The docile cows chewing their cud on the side streets in New Delhi.
The black dairy cows on the towering mountain hillsides in Geneva.
The dairy cows (“Maggie & Betsy”) on our hobby farm growing up, waiting for their 5 a.m. milking.

But no, it wasn’t these memories that seared the flesh.

It was this one.
[Read more…]

Let’s just say: “Oh”

meat-water-vegan-vegetarian


I had to validate. I did.  See water.usgs.gov for fact check.

And this “theme” has been top of mind following a passage I read in Elizabeth Strout’s new book:

I asked if my brother had a job. “He has no job,” my mother said. “He spends the night with any animal that will be killed the next day.” I asked her what she had said, and she repeated what she had said. She added, “He goes into the Pedersons’ barn, and he sleeps next to the pigs that will be taken to slaughter.”

~ Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton


Source: Thepoetoaster

I can’t do anything / Contradictions / Blown by the wind

cow-calf-mother

8:06 p.m. on Friday evening.
I’m getting off the train returning home from a long work day in Manhattan.
T.G.I.F.
Susan and Zeke greet me at the train station for our walk home.
Zeke’s tail is wagging wildly, his head on a swivel searching for a present to bring to Dad.

“Eric had a bad day.”

I’m still winded from walking up the stairs from the platform.
The weight of the work week lifts, and anxiety flushes in.
My pulse starts to race. I’m gulping for air.
Bile rolls up my empty stomach and sits gnawing in my throat.

No. Please, no. Not my Son.

“He went to a bull fight with his friends.”

Panic begins to ease. Ms. Drama’s overstatements, or my fatigue misinterpreting degree of “bad day”?

“They left before half. He said there was one bullfighter. The matador has six ‘assistants’, 2 mounted on horseback, three flagmen and a sword servant. Six men looking to kill a single bull. He said it was barbaric. Sickening. He had to get out of the stadium.” [Read more…]

I’m not one. But this stopped me in my tracks today…

Vibrant Produce

“The risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease is 32% lower in vegetarians than people who eat meat and fish, according to a new study from the University of Oxford.

Heart disease is the single largest cause of death in developed countries…The new findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that a vegetarian diet could significantly reduce people’s risk of heart disease…This is the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The analysis looked at almost 45,000 volunteers from England and Scotland…of whom 34% were vegetarian. Such a significant representation of vegetarians is rare in studies of this type, and allowed researchers to make more precise estimates of the relative risks between the two groups.”

Source: University of Oxford


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