FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Give Me An Ending

Each time my husband Charles’s career moved us to a new city, I looked through cookbooks, explored groceries, made and modified recipes. I always found comfort in creating meals and do still, for family and those who’ve become family.

I’ve done this often lately. “Cook,” I think aloud. “Gather family while you can before the bombs go off.” That’s what Charles used to say. “Before the bombs go off,” meaning personal tragedies, some hideous medical diagnosis or a phone call that delivers fall-to-the-floor pain.

The bombs are exploding. Real bombs, like the MOAB—the April 2017 Trump drop on Afghanistan that secured praise from corporate news for the megalomaniac-in-chief. Daily, we watch or read threats, threats of violence. Trump’s provocation of “fire and fury” and then his telling reporters this might not be tough enough, that North Korea “better get their act together or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world.”

Nikki Haley said North Korea is “begging for war.” I am begging for peace. Peace and peace of mind.

I know I’ve told you my mother said more than once, “It would be good for the world to just end.” I’d tell her not to talk this way in front of my children, to please control her pessimism.

I’m becoming my mother.

Because of the Internet, Texas isn’t far away. The images of Harvey’s victims (and now Irma’s) are in the news, are in my head. Here’s one of nursing home residents waiting to be evacuated. I look at the photos and videos and think of war—the displaced, people forced to flee their homes and often their countries. I see mothers who’ve had to make a decision about what to grab, mothers and their children, desperate, knowing if they stay they’ll die, uncertain of the future, or if there is one.

I look at the images of water and think about climate change, rising temperatures, rising water levels, hurricanes more destructive, more frequent. I look at the images of fires in the West and think about climate change and recklessness and arson and how we’ve neglected to nurture this planet. Even as scientists debate the possibility of life on other planets. If there is life on other planets is this life imperiling those planets? Are they as destructive as we are?

Earlier today, my guy sent this article about plastics in our drinking water. We already know about lead. Now cancer from the faucet?

I talked with my son H who lives nearby. I had to confirm that he and his wife are coming for dinner. I need to cook. I need to create, to prepare a meal. He knows my neuroses well. “Your concerns are informed by your experiences. Chase’s death. Dad’s death. You see less life ahead than what you’ve lived.” When I speak of doom and despair, he educates. “Every generation believes that he or she has lived during the best or worst of times. Some people have already suffered an apocalypse.” He’s right. Like a bomb, an apocalypse can be the huge, affecting masses, or the smaller, a family’s personal tragedy.

A few days ago, I read an op-ed by a writer who detailed reasons why he wouldn’t send money to benefit the victims of Hurricane Harvey. He suggested “tough love” and said, “Let the Texans reap what they sowed.” Because Texas voted for Donald Trump, a climate denier. Because Houston made decisions that made the devastation inevitable. I’m appalled. So appalled I searched for stories about people who sacrifice their own safety to rescue those in need.

I search and search. For hope. I don’t want to see a grim future, a landscape horrifyingly forecast by science fiction writers.

Give me an ending. Fire or ice? A bang or a whimper? Raging? Gentle into that good night?

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador   Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Matthew Stevenson
Going Home Again to Trump’s America
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
John W. Whitehead
It’s All Fake: Reality TV That Masquerades as American Politics
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
Binoy Kampmark
Shaking Establishments: The Ocasio-Cortez Effect
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Kevin MacKay
Climate Change is Proving Worse Than We Imagined, So Why Aren’t We Confronting its Root Cause?
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Nyla Ali Khan
Kashmir: Implementation with Integrity and Will to Resolve
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Homophobia in the Service of Anti-Trumpism is Still Homophobic (Even When it’s the New York Times)
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
David Yearsley
The Glories of the Grammophone
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail