While working out today, I had an interesting thought. The African-American and Hispanic urban communities are far away the most hardest hit by COVID. The politicians who most oppose the sensible tools to control it, think face masks, tend to be right wing types with identifiable leanings or connection to racists and/or white supremacist groups. These are the same types trying to reduce minority populations in the US by cutting immigration and deporting the undocumented. The ones they cant deport, they seek to limit their access to ballot boxes.
I
think we may be witnessing the first attempt at genocide in the Americas in the 21st Century.

No part of me wants to go out there this morning. It is already 75 F and 0615. I'm late for my run on the hottest morning of the year. I have coffee and a slice of bread with peanut butter. I remember yesterday's 7 miler. To run like that is to completely embrace sweat. It runs down my entire body, stinging my eyes. It is an embrace of what humans evolved to be. We evolved sweat glands as we chased prey across the savanna. But upright, we have an advantage. With each gallop, our target's hind legs come forward together, compressing its abdominal cavity and pushing up against its diaphragm. This compresses the area available for the lungs to expand, hindering its inhalation. Humans, however, run unimpeded, with the additional benefit that we can carry weapons with our non-running limbs to make up for our lack of claws and teeth.

It is hot out there, in contrast to my dry home, cooled to a comfortable 76 F. But being cool and comfortable is not natural. It is not even healthy.

 Denise's "Chinese" tilapia recipie.

IMG 2775

First you prepare the  aromatics:

  • finely sliced leeks
  • chopped cilantro
  • ginger paste
Sautee the tilapia in canola oil.  
IMG 2778

 Then you sautee them in the oil from the tilapia, letting them steam. After a minute or so, add soy sauce and quar gum to thicken.

IMG 2776  While the aromatics cook, gently steam some bok choy.
IMG 2779  Plate the dinner, placing the aromatics on the tilapia.

I grew up in an imperfect household, like many, if not most of us. One of the lessons clearly instilled in me at an early age was that responsibility and duty are primary. I read the Odyssey at 12. Odysseus had a primary responsibilty to return to Ithaca. I started the Iliad, but could not find my way to go through it. I could not experience the origin of Western literature. It was just too hard, too coldly violent for me to experience. I have picked up the book several times over my 60 years, it remains true to today. I cannot read it. I understand that the Classical Greeks, the people that gave birth to the entire Western Civilization, were an unimaginably hard people.

In 9th grade, my English teacher used to select passages of literature, have us read them, and then do a writing assignment describing our reaction to them. Looking back all those decades, I know there must have been dozens of assignments. But the 14 year old boy only remembered one, which I quote, probably with small errors, here: “Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant only taste of death but once. Of all the strange things I have ever heard, it seems to me most strange that men fear death, given that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar)

We get one journey through life. After that, nothing. For most of us, we may be remembered by the generation that succeeds us, but thereafter, our lives are consigned to be utterly unremembered.

Given inescapable annihilation, we must choose how to create ourselves on the canvas of a lifetime. We can chose to do it with a nod to excellence, an embrace of responsibility and duty, and a touch of panache. The alternative is to amount to nothing.