there’s one man at soup kitchen from poland. he told me last night he’s 47, but his skin looks real soft with only as many wrinkles as a dumpling straight from the steamer. stalin killed his grandparents apparently. we usually just talk about toasted sandwiches and how many sugars he wants in his tea. he’s easy to ignore because his english is hard to understand and he just sits, quite like a dumpling in fact, big and white, with a fedora and big blue eyes looking out semi-vacant, but really these are exactly the reasons to sit by him more, lean in close if you have to, and hear what he has to say. last night what he had to say was why we shouldn’t let refugees in, “trouble-makers” he managed to mumble through his pink lips and soft face, “trouble-makers”. “but if they have war in their country,” i said, “where can they go?”
it’s impossible to know why people think the way they do unless you ask them. there was that photo of the big tooth-poor face-tattooed reclaim man on all the facebooks today. when i heard him speak in the minute video i wanted to hug him. mainly i want to hug certain kinds of people, and organise a dinner where they get to meet some families from the countries they’re scared of. it can work. other people i burn in anger against. at the moment – george pell and all the actual war mongers making the weapons that are flying their ways all over the globe to plug flesh with bullets.
for a week i kept thinking of this sentence “how to turn a man into cream”, and it was after my friend in france asked me, “amber, do you know how big a hole the bullet of a kalashnikov makes?” i didn’t know but by the sound of his text message he’d found out, watching videos of his countrymen being turned into cream by a long series of international relations events that end up in someone taking a big gun and plugging their fellowmen with projectiles. but i said to matt aitken as we walked by the swan river, “there’s a reason why we’re not doing the plugging, you and me, and it’s not because we’re better people.”
the other day i thought about how i’m never going to work at a pizza shop now. i’m past the stage where that’s a possibility, but i thought how i’m connected to all humans and so some other human having that pizza shop experience is still somehow part of me. then i thought about the boys plugging others with bullets and blowing their bodies up, i’m never going to do that either, but they’re doing it in our place.
sometimes i think about the world like an othello game, if you’re sure you’re right, you just have to try your hardest to flip people over to your side. and there are ways to do it. there is pure evil, but there’s also dinners where in two hours someone meets someone new and they’re changed a little bit.
anyway, ‘eventually’: that’s the song i’m listening to by a band from our city, and it’s the thing i’m holding on to at the moment. the word eventually. “and i know just what i’ve got to do, and it’s got to be soon.” the song might not be about a renewal of all things, and of permaculturalists being the main people we should listen to now, or about stepping back and taking stock of one’s own life to see how to turn creamed humans back into flesh, but that’s how i’m taking it for now.