As You Sow

As You Sow September 10, 2020

I picked corn yesterday.

Corn is a plant that only yields if you plant a huge quantity; that’s why real farmers’ cornfields are so big. The pollen blows through the field and gives you a good crop. If you plant only a few stalks of corn, you’ll harvest much less per stalk. I only had room for twelve corn stalks, so I planted twelve, and from the twelve I harvested one armload of cream-colored sweet corn. I put it in a soup, and I composted the husks, and that was the end of my corn harvest.

On the way back in, I saw that the potatoes in my 25-gallon planter were finally beginning to die back. When all of them have died back, I’ll cut them down to the stems and wait two weeks, and then it will be time to dig potatoes. At the end of September, if we’re lucky, and if I’ve followed instructions correctly, we’ll bring half a sack of potatoes to The Friendship Room, and then we will eat potato soup instead of corn soup.  This is how gardening works. What you put in your yard, is what you will put in the InstaPot a few months later. And then you’ll have to eat it.

When I woke up the next morning it was sunny here in Ohio.  I fixed myself leftover soup and got online, where I found that my friends on the West Coast were in darkness. The street lamps were still on at nine. When the light finally came, it was a lurid orange. It’s stayed that way. One friend is posting photo after photo of her San Francisco living room, in perpetual sunset filtered through a firmament of ash.

There are wildfires everywhere, but they’re saying that one of them was started by a playful smoke bomb at a gender reveal party.

When did it become the custom to celebrate a pair of testicles by setting off a bomb, anyway?

Who has a party with fireworks during wildfire season, in a historic record-breaking heat wave, in the middle of a pandemic?

I know I’m one to talk; I live in a neighborhood famous for its spectacular dubiously legal fireworks. But still, what a thing to do. Actions have consequences.

If you plant corn in late spring, at the end of summer you will find yourself eating corn soup.

Do things always happen for such a clear-cut reason? Certainly not. Sometimes things just happen, at random, leaving us to reap the consequences we didn’t sow, and that’s horrible. But sometimes, you sow the wind and reap the twister– and so do your neighbors and everyone who has the bad fortune to live in the path of disaster. Sometimes our actions have predictable results. We knew about climate change for about three decades but kept on doing what we believed to be dangerous, just in case we were wrong. The results were predictable. Then somebody decided to let off a rocket on a hundred-degree day, and here we are.

After I looked at my friends’ photos, I got on Twitter and found out about the Woodward book.

It turns out that the president knew full well how dangerous COVID-19 was long before he let on, and he still told the American people it was a hoax. He knew it could spread through the air and still disparaged masks. We have recordings of him saying it. Nearly two hundred thousand Americans are dead, our passports are worthless, the economy is in shambles, and we are a global laughingstock. My daughter’s social life was ruined and I don’t know when she’ll be able to go back to the martial arts and other classes that cured her social anxiety and gave her such beautiful newfound confidence. People are losing their homes and everything they have. And he knew. He could have saved tens of thousands of lives if he’d acted a week or two sooner. Instead, he worked to spread disinformation.

The president, who likes to terrify his disciples with tales of Mexican rapists and criminals invading the suburbs, is not denying this; rather, he says he did it so that people wouldn’t panic.

In a way, this is not news. Just as his reported remarks disparaging our troops that were revealed days ago aren’t news. We all knew Donald Trump was like this. We’ve known it for as long as we’ve known about climate change or longer. The man is in his seventies, he’s lived his life on camera, and he’s never done a single honorable thing. We all knew he despised self-sacrifice and made fun of veterans. We knew he had no conscience and would sell out anyone if he expected to gain anything from it. Everybody knew that this is how he’d react to a time-sensitive crisis.

I insisted he’d kill us all four years ago, again and again. I said that it was foolish to trust that a man famous for dishonesty, stupidity and greed would somehow make abortion go away forever if only we handed him the nuclear codes and the veto pen. And I was called hysterical.

And I’m certain, as I write this, that there are people out there defending Trump, saying he didn’t do anything wrong, claiming it’s just somebody who sounded like him on the audio recording. That the two hundred thousand deaths so far and the two hundred thousand predicted by year’s end are nothing compared to the millions and millions of unborn babies who will certainly be saved this time if only we buy the lie that we’ve been told over and over again since Ronald Reagan. Never mind that abortion has existed for thousands of years and doesn’t go away when it’s illegal.

You’re going to see laughy face reactions to this post on Facebook and see conservatives in the comments snarling that I’m fat and a fake Catholic and committing a mortal sin if I don’t praise and defend every lying con artist who claims to be pro-life. But I don’t care anymore. There are certain people that just can’t be reasoned with. I’m not going to try to reach them.

A large number of Americans planted very bad corn, and now we’re all stuck eating the soup.

And that makes me angry.




Image via Wikimedia Commons

Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross

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