Weekly Reader

I think I'm turning into Aunt Bee. I looked in the mirror this morning and thought, "Aunt Bee. I'm Aunt BEE!" Let us not go here today.

I was up very early this morning, reading and researching, and one thing online led to another, the way it does, and soon I was reading "26 Things You Can Do RIGHT NOW to Manage Your Anxiety"at a site called Peak Oil Blues.

This depressed me. I did not realize I was that anxious. Then I read, in this article from The Guardian/UK, about America's love affair with the car (again, all this started as Sixties reading and sort of morphed), " "Suburbia has been unsustainable since its creation."

Come back, Aunt Bee! I wanna be Opie's age again!

Or do I?

In the early Sixties, the suburb was becoming king -- it had been growing and growling, monster-like, since Leavittown days. Gas was cheap, and Americans love-love-loved their big ol' cars. My father bought a new car every three years. He traded in the Olds for the Desoto, the Desoto for the Imperial, traded in the Chrysler for the... hmmm... what was it? There was a VW bug tossed in for good measure, along the way. I thought this was just the way it was done. I didn't realize that people could buy used cars and run them until their engines sputtered and wheezed into the junk heap.

Which is what I'm doing, although it may not be cost effective anymore. My car is 15 years old this year. I bought it used. The gas mileage is so-so. And it costs me close to $60 to fill my tank now. I guess that makes me anxious. Or depressed. Or... mindful, at least. I remember my father buying dishes at the Esso station, while he gassed up. A free glass with every fill up -- we bought the whole set of dishes once.

All apropos of nothing. Just thinking about those Aunt Bee days, the way we never were, supposedly, and listening to myself now, as I say, "When I was your age...." ::cringe, cringe:::

To lift my spirits, I read great writing. One of my heroes, Wendell Berry, is interviewed in The Sun this month. Somehow he manages to tell it like it is without depressing me. Favorite quote from this interview: "I don’t think we’re just stories — we’re living souls, too — but we’d be nothing without stories."

I feel better already.

Berry writes quite a bit about sustainability. I'm interested in sustainability today, on the planet, and at the page. I'm trying to write forward, revising what I've got so far, on the page, and pushing into new territory, trying to sustain my energy and focus not only for this story, but for the myriad of other tasks that lie on my desk asking for attention.

Kinship, community, connection. How do we create it, how do we sustain it? It's what I write about. I try to write even when I'm anxious, even when I start to resemble Aunt Bee.. here I am, at the page today.

I think I'll put me up some pickles.

(Rat fink -- that's right, y'all are on the ball and know your Sixties trivia. Thanks, too, for the nods to worry birds, marbles, green plastic army men, and TROLLS!)

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