A Moveable Brunch

thomas_gardiner_20_o

So there were these brothers some time ago, Phillip and Paul, and they had two tasks: find lunch, and clean the chicken coop. Phillip, the elder brother took it upon himself to fish and delegated the chicken coop duties to Paul. Paul, the good brother, agreed, since Phillip always had good luck when down at the fishing hole. After a few hours passed, Paul had that chicken coop clean enough to eat lunch right off the floor, and shortly thereafter, Phillip proudly marched back with a big smile and two trout; one large, one small. He handed the small trout to Paul, sat down on a rock, and dressed his lunch. Paul watched him gut the trout and threw his on the ground. “You know, if I were to have gone fishing and left you with the chicken coop, I’d ah’ given you the big fish and me the small fish!” Phillip looked up from his fish and said, “What are you kickin’ about? You got the small fish.”

I wouldn’t say that we’re making a fuss about getting a small trout, but I would say there is plenty of time (or none at all) to reflect about such paradoxes. The small trout is lesser in size but greater in principles; the very principles we as a nation are retroactively installing over our pre-fabricated sidesteps. The grass is always greener, yes, but that grass is costly and requires extensive hours of central planning. More importantly, it requires action rather than discussion, especially if it’s transplanted to a side street and deemed a public park. Once we get to the other side, it will probably be evident that the side we once occupied actually has no grass at all.

But these contradictions are intertwined with our genetic make-up.

For instance, when Paul and Phillip were born, they didn’t exactly hop on a slip and slide and breeze into this world armed with any birth, entailed a push forward, a retreat within the confines of a womb, a larger push down the canal, another step to the rear followed by an instinctive thrust towards a fundamental purpose. Take a breather; since we’re speaking in a large series of step backs, let’s think about what we’re birthing while we close the eyes to our midwife (rather than a doctor). Is this going to be a new life that we will love unconditionally until we expire? Is it a condition connecting creative economies with farmers’ markets, a spike in small business, and a smaller trout on a smaller plate in a smaller house with a larger sense of gratitude? Or, will this be an “are we there yet?” until we have to stop and ask someone for directions (sans GPS) to a grave we dug, in what used to be a green space, because we continue step in palindromes? Take an additional step backwards or forwards. Let’s ask about the parents. Actually, let’s not.

Was this a mistake? Yes. Maybe we’re not giving birth. Maybe we’re not living on a farm with the prodigal son. Maybe we’re actually building Wright’s colossal progression trap. Our study in green is somewhat of a macro “better late than never.” And I’m all for it- but doesn’t this shift in principles ostensibly provide us with answers? And more times than not, doesn’t it steer us to more stagnant ideals and aggrandize conversations about articles we’ve read about our current state of affairs ending in a retreat back to yuppy isolation on brunch island? These concerns with exposure via brunch conversations or charity or conscientious docu- mentaries etcetera, etcetera, are progression traps in themselves. So if this isn’t a waste of time, what is? I bet if Phillip and Paul built the chicken coop next to the fishing hole, life would be a little better.

Frank Young



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