The Hot Pot Blog


December 17, 2012

Last Weekend

countryside_MG_3621December 16, 2012

The kitchen is our place of refuge and rejuvenation.  You’ll often find us there hovering over the stove, washing dishes or simply sitting together, waiting for bread to bake, on the thick checkered Tibetan rug we put into the middle of the room for exactly that purpose.  It’s where we go when we’re content and happy, and where we go when the world doesn’t make sense.

I hadn’t considered our kitchen as a refuge until I reflected on this past weekend.  We found out about the shootings in Connecticut on our way home from the market on Saturday morning and it was Sunday night before we left the kitchen long enough for the dishes to dry.  I roasted sweet potatoes and made black butter while Chris labored over a seafood stock.  I made bread, Chris made fried rice.  We baked gingerbread dutch babies for Sunday morning breakfast.  Our comfort foods.

I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said or that wouldn’t make me want to bolt into Will’s room right now, pull him out of his crib and hold him in my arms, breathing in his every exhale, until morning.  No one should ever have better access to assault rifles than to whatever level of support, therapy or supervision they personally require.  No child should fear being gunned down in their classroom with a weapon originally designed for use in combat.

Yesterday I was back out on the outskirts of Delhi doing a few meetings and taking photos at a school in a waste pickers’ slum. Thinking of the kids in Connecticut and then hanging out with a group of hungry kids for whom their school–with its dirt floors and no electricity, is the nicest building they know–well it’s a lot to consider.

On the way home yesterday afternoon we passed fields of mustard flowers in bloom and I asked our driver to pull over. He found a space off the road about an 1/8 of a mile away from the field and I tore out of the back seat and ran down the road to take a few photos of the flowers.

Afterwards he reprimanded me a little, asking me why I didn’t ask him to turn around and go back instead of running to the field myself. “Ma’am he said, with real concern on his face, “this is not a good area, that’s not safe. Please don’t do that again.”

Oh how I wanted to tell him that no, I–a grown woman with strong legs and a heavy camera lens was safe in broad daylight–it seemed to be every child around me who wasn’t.

Less downer-ness and more photos coming soon…as well as that sourdough post I promised.

0 responses to “Last Weekend”

  1. Liz says:

    This is something that has affected so many people all over the world. If you don’t know a child in that age group personally, then you will see them in your daily travels. It’s hard to process the event itself and try to wade through the deluge of personal feelings meeting with what is being pushed by the media and other groups with agendas. I am right with you on the complexity of hearing an event in one place and seeing somewhere the exact opposite. It sounds trite and even hollow, but prayer and gratitude seem to be one way to try and reconcile all of this – then go out and share that in our daily lives and travels.

    • Dani says:

      Thanks Liz, you are so very right. This thing affects everyone because everyone knows a kid that age and we all know just how innocent and full of life and promise they all are. Somehow we’ll heal…and hopefully adopt some far more sane gun laws in America…

  2. Ana Gaby says:

    I hear you. I have been so numb these past few days. I think of going back I DC and being scared to send Evan to school. Despite all the bad things here in Indonesia I’m not afraid of Evan’s little preschool ever being attacked. Our refuge is our bedroom. We bring Evan and josh upstairs and hold them and wrestle with them and talk for hours. Sigh… What a week.

    • Dani says:

      I know it’s funny how much safer we can feel living overseas even though life is arguably more dangerous here in many ways. I agree with you, what a week…

  3. cookie5683 says:

    This makes me have dreamy thoughts if my children. The times when they are at their most fragile. I will hug them all and smother them with tender kisses as they sleep tonight. Thank you

  4. sara says:

    I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how to blog about this topic without turning it into something controversial. I’ve just been staring at my 5 year old (the only one in school yet) and taking in how beautiful she is and how precious her life is to me. Being reminded of how fragile life is has been hard.

    • Dani says:

      It was so hard not to write something controversial since I, like a lot of people, have such strong views on guns. I respect the right to hunt (for food, not just for sport) but I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to fill their house with objects built to kill—and why anyone would take pleasure in teaching their children how to use them. Couldn’t everyone just take up darts instead??

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