You may think that this winter kale captured my eye at the farmers market today, and you would be right. You may also believe that I was lucky to be able to walk in a leisurely fashion around a bountiful and lush market in a town such as this, and you would also be right.
Amidst many other bins of the most fetching varieties of produce, the kale was exquisite, so I took a moment to take its picture for this post. But I was thinking about Egypt and Tunisia and Mexico and yet was unable to. There is chaos and pain in those places, suffering and indignity, atrocities I cannot really imagine since I do live here and my life is based on good fortune and pure luck of birth. I have no idea of it really, no concept of mortal danger.
I photographed the winter kale and noticed its shades, its texture and its shape, how it was arranged in the bin at the farmer's table. I was not hungry, but I imagined I would begin to have a more noticeable appetite sometime soon. The kale is safe, clean and delectable, and it is offered to shoppers who may make a multitude of choices about what to cook for dinner or decorate their dining tables with or what they will buy plenty of just to have on hand so that they may have comfort and reassurances in all parts of their unflooded, unburned, unbombed homes. It seemed so weird to imagine both possibilities at the same time, life and death occurring simultaneously, not because of natural disasters but because of human evil contrasting with human goodness.
There is no answer to why I was born here and not in a place where existence is tenuous and life can be an agonizing crush of pain and savagery. I just was. The answer I have to the question why is to honor love and gratitude, to conduct myself in ways that do not support brutality in other countries or even in neighboring cities.
How did a bin of kale bring me to this mood? It was beautiful, plentiful and the ordinary human beings around me were safe from threat and evil and I knew it. That's the only way I can explain it.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way