Friday, June 18, 2010

Overeating and impotence (no, not that kind)

Coming back from the beach yesterday, my sister and I got into a conversation about the state of the world and our sadness about the kinds of collective decisions humanity makes. The strong role that the thirst for power and greed play in wars, the Gulf Oil disaster (she and I are both skeptical that the world as we know it can ever recover from that as the oil will inevitably spread around the world), our many resources and how poorly they are used. Watching log truck after log truck go by with its loads of our oxygen-producing trees, now dead, it just all seems insane.

And whether it was that conversation alone or that combined with the inevitable mini-letdown of coming home and unpacking and reading the mail and paying bills and just being alone again, which isn't always a relief, I started eating. Again, I never gave a thought to sitting with the discomfort or praying or calling someone to beg me to keep from putting food in my mouth.

And I wondered if there's a connection between our impotence to stop the insanity around us, and to which we inevitably contribute, and our desire to consume while we can. Since we're going to hell in a handbasket, what difference does one more handful of cheetos make? Since I can't fix the genocide in Usbekistan (I cannot fathom the ritual slaughter of people of another faith) or the insanity of Israeli militarism or my own government's complete reluctance to give up warring and save the children, eating and the way it numbs my feelings seems like, well, a good idea.

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