Looking Back, Looking Forward

janus facedA strange year to say the least. Travel bans and lockdowns happen amidst flour and toilet paper shortages. Long lost hobbies and cooking projects became the tie that binds. With restaurants, wineries, museums and schools all closed, doomscrolling becomes our favorite pastime and we learn to dress for zoom.

Then comes George Floyd. The rage. The tears. The backlash.  Fascism takes root and grows like kudzu.

At least we can embrace the outdoors. Social distancing on the patio and walks on the beach became profound social occasions, and re-arranging the living room twice in one month takes on the character of a mission. And then the death and sickness press like an anvil on our hearts and people longing for human contact show how irrational we are when facing a crisis.

On the positive side, I finished my book, the blog flourishes (thank you dear readers!) and, with the help of my wife and son, our home-bound, socially distanced wine and food adventures were glorious.

And we got rid (I think) of the cretin in the White House.

I would like to think that with 2020 behind us we can look forward to better times. Maybe 2021 will be fantastic. I don’t know.

But there is no brain bleach to erase this year. This was not pretty. America did not perform well. We have lost our way.

It’s tempting to chalk it up to flawed human nature. But it’s not our biology that is the problem but the self-perpetuating flaws in the software. We extoll the virtues of monsters—from Alexander the Great, the conquistadores, Andrew Jackson,  the J.P. Morgans, to Donald Trump. They come to power and rise to fame while countless mothers, teachers, poets, stewards of the land, and shepherds of genuine community, who develop wiser ways of life, are ignored or crushed.

We need to put our best people in charge and hope we can avert catastrophe but there seems to be no mechanism for that.

I suspect we will stumble along like we have for thousands of years. Human history really isn’t pretty either.

Thankfully there is wine and food—all the little things in life that make it worth living. As skeptical as I am about the future, there is always hope. The sparkling wine will be flowing here tonight.

Cheers and Happy New Year!




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