That Gal in the Kitchen
Fear & Loathing vs. That Lovin' Oven
Some years back, John Lennon sang, "Happiness is a warm gun..." He was being ironical of course, quoting the cover headline of a gun magazine and gently mocking it.
Happiness is not a warm gun. Happiness is a hot babe in the kitchen, happily cooking, and humming to herself contentedly as she spices up the stew.
Happiness is hiking in the wilderness, a great warm breakfast on a cold winter morn, and creating something, making something -- whether it is a bridge, a quilt, a website, or love.
What kind of person is made happy by firing a weapon? Simple question, worth pondering.
Okay, I won an archery competition 12 years back, and I enjoyed drawing the long bow in focused concentration and then hitting the target, and a bow and arrow are surely weapons. And I like target practice with a BB gun or 22. That's fun. Hitting the target at a carnival or on a rifle range is fun. It's quietly satisfying. But then so is throwing a long and perfect spiral with a football, or hurling a strike over home plate.
But why be armed to the teeth?
An excellent article I recently read, written by a very progressive journalist, a bonafide liberal, cleanly stated that he kept a gun at home because he thought it the last line of defense for saving his family should he ever need it. He said it was his solemn job to protect his wife and child should it ever come to that. Fair enough.
But what kind of person is fairly obsessed with guns?
Serious gun collectors are one, yes. Men with low self-confidence, ineptitude with women, and a lack of deep inner security are another. But most people who are heavily armed (accent on the heavy) walk the world in fear.
They see the world as an endlessly dangerous place, and every bit of bad news, every single terrorist attack anywhere, every gas station or 7-11 robbery, every bloody gang banging incident they hear about -- and there are surely many -- supports their trembling, it's-all-going-to-hell worldview.
Look for it and you will find it.
Ever read A Course in Miracles, a unique, deep and largely Christian text? In its portion on Defensiveness, it says:
"It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.
No one walks the world in armature but must have terror striking at his heart.
Defense is frightening. It stems from fear, increasing fear as each defense is made. You think it offers safety. Yet it speaks of fear made real and terror justified."
Of course those who are heavily armed would think this silly hippie shit (you know, like "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." so stated by some hippie rabbi about 2,000 years ago.)
Of course the world does have dangers within it, and fear is a powerful motivator.
Yet one just needs to recognize what it is, where it comes from, and what it does to us.
Back to happiness. No, it's not a warm gun. Not for this boy.
It's a beautiful beach walk, a lithe girl entering the room, an expertly crafted appetizer, a good sweat, a light jog on a warm day, hearing my son laugh, and zipping around the backyard with our new pup.
Archery is fine. I like archery. And scrambling up a big cliff or a pint-sized mountain, or scuba diving, or heading downhill fast on a 15 speed bike on a blue sky day, and a physical challenge that requires some grit and sweat, and nearly any trek into wildness.
I enjoy the howl of life, and the rocky path, and the sore muscles after.
But I really love coming home to that gal in the kitchen.
(c) 2013 Ken Taub