Friday, May 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday (Friday)

...because I was too tired last night to type.  But I have been thinking of this post for a while since I have been reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" and "The Botany of Desire".

Growing up, when we said the blessing at dinner, my brother would like to sing this:

"Oh the Lord is good to me and so I thank the Lord
for giving me the things I need
the sun and the rain and the appleseeds
The Lords is good to me"

We called it the Johnny Appleseed blessing.  I actually don't know where my Mom (probably) got it from or how we learned it.  Well crap, I just googled it and here it is, sure enough!


Pollan's first chapter of "The Botany of Desire" is "Desire: Sweetness, Plant: Apple".  Yes, really for 58 pages he talks about apples.  Of pertinence to this post is that he talks about how apples were cultivated along the Ohio River in the Northeastern US by a Mr. Johnny Appleseed.  This dude sounds like quite the character and Pollan uniquely elevates him as an American Dionysus of sorts who, by planting orchards and enabling the production of hard cider, cultivated the early US settlers as well.

The story is not that simple, and Pollan can draw you in for 58 pages of it, but it is amazing to think about.  I think in order to agree with the Appleseed-Dionysus comparison you would have to believe that alcohol complements civilization but not to the exclusion of alcohol complementing chaos either.  I can see that making time for drink would mean quite a few things in that agrarian culture like 1) you had time to stop working for a drink and 2) enjoy some time with other people and 3) maybe the combo of 1 + 2 would lead to discussions about politics and poetry and art and news, like it does these days.

In closing, this Friday I am thankful for numerous things again but they are simple.  Let's say 1 and 2 and 3.  Yes.

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