Monday, March 24, 2008

take root

I wasn't going to write a thing this morning...misery loves company but company runs out the door when misery wails. I'm not miserable really, just thought I was- had a thick as molasses day yesterday, Easter- holidays stink, they just do and I've tried every way around them from wrapping up everything with bright shiny ribbons, to fragrant flowers to coloring eggs...how about if I make a deal with you and myself? I'll celebrate every day of my life, but holidays-nope, take them away, give them to the people who know how to appreciate such times. OK, it's a deal. Now...on to why I did find inspiration to write.
I was moping around here yesterday, cooking a blue streak, laying out Easter stuff for the kids, never smiling- I'm quite sure my attitude probably made the deviled eggs happy...anyway, even this morning found me in a funk. Money is tight, so tight that when I write a check to pay for this or that- the ripping noise releasing the paper from the checkbook emits a high shrill squeaking whistle, it's embarrassing really- I overheard the feed store guy once say, "she's so tight she squeaks, but her checkbook's so tight, it whistles!!! Scares the hell out of every dog in the county!" (Yes, I made that up- but it is possible...) See, I over drafted my account Friday...forgot to include in my loose accounting the fact that I have electronic transfers coming out once a month...and so on top of the planting and planning and working and holiday and woman living in shed and son not pulling his weight and 46 year old body not acting enough like 26 year old in-great-shape-farm worker...well, let's just say overwhelmed became with the bank notice- over the stress limit. So- what do I do...Miss hopeful, Miss optimistic, Miss it-will-all-work-out...well, I had a bit of a pity party. (No one was invited and no one came 'cept me, thank goodness.) Even I didn't stay long...the music stunk, the food tasted blah, and the company was boring and negative, a real fearful, doubtful experience. "Must seek inspiration..." I thought to myself as my soul lay parched and dying in the dry desert of despair (yes, I really think these things out loud too.) Long story longer...

"The People's Grocery-Healthy Food for Everyone" Watched a video, went online to see more of what these young people were about. West Oakland California- seemed a pretty hopeless place to my eyes. 42 liquor stores- no grocery stores, none. How would these people in such a depressed area get food, healthy or otherwise? They could not drive, very little employment opportunities...the liquor stores made pretty good sense. Drink yourself dry, have pity parties galore...invite the whole neighborhood, let the doubts fill the place, I mean- what's the point? Where, in such a place would or could inspiration ever take root?! The People's Grocery.

I cannot properly convey my awe at the young people who have started this, who have given a community a chance to thrive, a youth movement that says "we're all in this together", a co-founder's vision of love and service and devotion and dedication to making a good difference in the world. A model, truly- for what can work, even in the most depressing, depressed areas- for the good of humanity.
So- if you've lost perspective a bit, like I had...hold their story up to yours, share their story please...it is one to be shared. Should be heard, realized...I know it's not going to make the front page of People, or even the local newspaper...but it should, it really should. "Must buy T-shirts from them, help their message grow...help them in any way I am able to do..." With hope, take care-

3 comments:

Brahm Ahmadi said...

I'm co-founder and Executive Director at People's Grocery. Thanks so much for the great words about us and out work. It's refreshing to read your post and hear the words of appreciation and encouragement. We work hard at what we do everyday in West Oakland, trying to turn the giant ship that is the food system around and in a direction that can benefit poor people and people of color and close the gaps in the food system that leave these communities out. Your words mean a lot to us.

Lorrie said...

Hey there, Lady! So sorry to hear about your pity party. I've been throwing lots of those myself lately, and like you, no one else attends. I have the same money woes, although overdraft hasn't attacked my finances- yet. I feel so far away from "spiritual" lately, and believe it's finally taking its toll. I keep telling myself and God that I'm gonna do things MY way and well...he's lettin' me...and, well...it's gettin' pretty screwed up...and if ever there was a time for God to smile down from the heavens and holler, "I told you so, Little Missy!" he would be doing it. This. Very. Second. But I'm fixin' to get my act together, since I realize this isn't working. Here's hoping you get your's together, too. That is, if it isn't already!

bam said...

oh, my goodness gracious, i was just going to say i love that you just let it all out, the fact that yesterday was molasses, and pity parties sometimes are the only feasible response to the world. was going to say dang i've been up here having a heyday of a pity party, me and myself. but then i read the first comment, the one right next door to here where i'm typing, and i am so blown away that brahm would find you, take the time to write, well holy cow, i am touched. deeply. and i intend to get right over to there, and read all about it. and see if maybe there's a way chicago could try on such a fine idea. who do we think we are--i'll speak only for myself--throwing myself a lonely ol pity party. bless you for this.....