We find comfort in the familiar and in my husband and my culture, it’s the aromas that emanate from a Sicilian kitchen…peppers, onion, garlic, eggplant and garden-grown basil in the saute pan to be served over pasta with a traditional red sauce. For us it’s a whole grain pasta but that wasn’t an option when we waited for Sunday family dinners, watching our mothers stirring spaghetti as it cooked in boiling water.
The smells, though, are the same, reminding us of our childhoods, of a simpler time, a time we didn’t have to worry about shooters in discount stores/bars/schools/festivals or presidential insults or inane proclamations on Twitter. No 24 hour news cycle. No feeling of hopelessness.
No, back in that day our Sicilian mothers sauteed eggplant in their aprons, worried only about how many there’d be for dinner and we, as children had no worries at all. It was the 1950s and for us kids—second generation Americans of parents old enough to see the NO ITALIANS NEED APPLY outside of Personnel department but still white–for us kids it was an innocent time. A time of comfort.
Today’s kids aren’t so lucky, especially kids of color but then again, all kids are at risk.
I can smell the sizzling garlic as it hits the olive oil. The garlic is from the Gilroy Garlic Festival, given us by a neighbor who had been there just 48 hours before the gunman opened fire.
The answer to all this gun violence and to so many ills in our painfully difficult life in American seems pretty obvious to me: Campaign spending reform.
If we publicly funded all campaign spending-everyone got the same–special interests would lose their power over our spineless elected officials.
If the NRA and Big Pharma couldn’t buy our politicians and our law-making system, then what the majority of people wanted would really count. Not what special interests want.
Yeah, yeah, it could be complicated to set up a new system. And expensive.
But what are the lives of those who died in these massacres worth?
Meanwhile, I wait….and watch the vegetables sizzle in the pan, breathing deeply the fragrance of innocence.
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