Plain Wonder


Why wasn’t I shocked to see a twelve year old boy plowing a field yesterday? Maybe I was shocked. Or maybe what I was shocked by was how normal it felt to see something like that. We drove through the farmland of The Plains People yesterday. A boy was guiding four majestic horses towing a cultivator rig and the whole apparatus hummed and went clakity-clak as barely a toddler mastered it and the field. I couldn’t take my eyes off the child. He was so focused and filled with drive. It was as though for a short moment I was watching a man in the making. But I was also a bit jealous–and I’m not ashamed to admit that. “They are giving responsibility at a very young age,” I was told by an Amish patriarch. But twelve years old? You mean this is better than a PS3 or Xbox? Why does something seem/feel extreme to me regarding this sighting? Why do thoughts of child labor laws go through my mind as though they were the rain falling on my windshield as I drive turnpikes and keystone roads and my wipers take care of the view? Is it because I was raised in sloth and gluttony suburban hell? But then I recalled my son at twelve years of age. My beautiful and perfect son, with his glowing skin and his bright dark eyes, I used to prey to the god I could never believe in for him to be able to become the man I failed to be. I raised him with only two things in mind. 1) Think for yourself. And. 2) Be honest. With every silly, preposterous, clumsy act on his part–whether tripping over himself to learn to tie his shoes or dropping a plate as he carried it to the sink for clean-up after dinner or helping a ball of ice-cream fall to the ground because he was so overwhelmed with joy to get such a treat–I never thought once that he too could plow a field at twelve years of age. But I know he could do just that–if the circumstances were just right–if just there was a spec of humanity left in this suburban hell world where the show is nothing more than fucking freak show. Still. It should/could have crossed my mind to make my son a real man by twelve. Or maybe not. Now that he’s sixteen I miss his childhood already. Nomatter. My guess is The Plains People, as ludicrous as it all may seem in the year 2014 (which is confusing enough because time shouldn’t start with the birth of an idol), have something going on here. It is a wonder to witness their contentment and their harmony. They do so in the name of their god and I admire them for it because they are NOT in your face with it (like the corrupt Dominionists) and that too is something that people should consider when they prey to (false) idols. Watching The Plains People, watching a twelve year old Man plow a field, saying their grace over a wonderful dinner prepared by harmony, what else can be said? As this world turns on the pins and needles of religious dogma run amok, it is truly a pleasure to be among believers (believers who tolerate unbelievers) whose faith has not corrupted their humanity. Well. Hasn’t corrupted their faith as other faiths lust in and for corruption. Or something like that. Rant on. -T