“But everything keeps on a-moving
Yeah, everybody’s on the go
You don’t find things that last anymore
Like an old woven Navajo rug.”
Navajo Rug, Ian Tyson
I have always loved this song, mostly on account of Katy, a waitress with an eye for woven products; she knew how to make good use of that old Navajo rug. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
I often write about serious stuff, you know long distance running, bad health, bad attitudes, mine in particular, and, around last year’s election about the state of the nation as I saw it. Today with this song as a reminder, I am thinking about something from way back, so long ago, that Dwight David Eisenhower was president. Who?? In my household that was a disaster. If my parents had not already passed on, they would be in that process now with Donald Trump in the White House. Be grateful for small mercies is what I say.
The other day in the seemingly endless cycle of chronic back pain, I was trying to make my bed. These days that takes way more energy than it used to, so I found myself doing a blanket angel on the bed. I noticed not for the first time that the blanket in question was a classic Hudson’s Bay blanket, you know, the white ones with the green, red yellow and black stripes. I bounced up and began staring at the blanket. As with Proust and his famous Madeleine, I was transported back to the long ago days before yesterday, when all the talk was about nuclear holocaust, the Red Menace, and either the Brooklyn Dodgers (yes, they usta be in Bwooklyn) or the New York Yankees. I am of the generation that learned to “duck and cover” in school under those God-awful school desks that were so popular in the 50s. I left PS 164 and escaped to high school, just in time for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Living, as I did, under the flight paths of both LaGuardia and what was too soon to become JFK, it was not only a large scale universal nightmare but also a deeply personal one from the standpoint of a selfish, awkward 15 year old, in that I was terrified every time a plane went over head. In this I was not unusual. Unbeknownst to the millions of Americans whose nightmares were similar to my own, I was sure I had an answer, if not to the missile crisis, then to my own survival. I knew from my earlier experience in the 50s that if I was under my Hudson’s Bay blanket I would live forever, safe from whatever idiocies the adult world beyond my control could think up.
Despite the fact that I am no longer 15, (what a relief), I still confront the idiocies of a world that I no longer understand very well nor which I can control in any way. The one that has Donald Trump as president. When Senator Bob Corker brought up the phrase World War 3, I found myself doing blanket angels on my now straightened up Hudson’s Bay blanket. These were not superstitious, or a return to my misguided, sometimes terrified, youth. I was simply exhausted with the anger that I have lived with since Trump was elected. I sat up on the bed and looked around, listened for air raid sirens, heard none and decided quite happily that today was not going to be a day when I would die in a nuclear holocaust. When I looked down at the blanket, a sense of great relief flooded over me, and just a little embarrassment for my instantaneous return to childhood demons, and to my simple, happy, impossible, solutions.
Peace of mind is where you find it, so too relief… and a veteran blanket.
Photo by Michael Lebowitz – All rights reserved.