Gone Mild Going Mild

I want to write about a sandwich, but it takes a big inner shift to write about it correctly.

Gone Mild has been mostly silent for months. No single cause has interfered with my postings, but a series of factors have combined to prevent me from writing in this space. Work, travel, exercise, and a fresh hesitancy to wrestle in mud.

Gone Mild has grown into a mostly political blog, and I’m kind of sick of politics. Plus, I don’t really trust my instincts anymore. There are some fine people out there in politics, but even fine people can be solipsistic and capable of rationalizing any position. Worse are the Voices of Conventional Wisdom – those media voices, politicos, insiders and camp followers struggling like hooligans at a British football match. And I was starting to pride myself on being more insightful and better informed than the rest of the lot. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. Should I really strive for prominence among those so hard to sincerely respect?

And there it is, again. When I write about politics, I want to push the edge a bit. I want to name a politician that prefers to complain about a problem rather than addressing it. I want to call out a columnist or two. I want to take a swipe at the “recall” people for old times’ sake, and maybe make a snide comment about another blogger.

Maybe, if I work incredibly hard and develop my talents to their utmost, I could manage to be mean to everyone in Kansas City, and spread nastiness even further through my corner of the world. Dare to dream, indeed.

It has finally come time for Gone Mild to go mild. I’m going to focus on things that make me happy. And I know myself well enough to know that pretty soon I’m going to be writing about something good, and start to get my jollies by contrasting it with something else. So, whenever I feel that little voice of nastiness start to grab my keyboard, I’m going to back away and refocus on the positive. Or at least I’m going to try.

Now, about that sandwich. It was our first day in Rome, and we were walking from the Borghese Gallery toward the Trevi Fountain, and we were hungry. We stepped into a convenient sandwich shop, and ordered small sandwiches. A slice of prosciutto, a bit of cheese, some greens, and some fresh, crusty bread – skimpy by any American standard.

But the sandwiches were perfect – platonic ideals of the form. As an American, I would have made it a quarter pound of prosciutto, a thick slab of melted cheese, and maybe some crispy bacon for good measure. Go for the superlatives – the biggest, richest, crispiest, moistest possible.

This Roman sandwich had something different. It reflected balance. It reflected sustainability. It reflected good flavors, outstanding ingredients, and even good health. As an American, I want to declare it the best sandwich I’ve ever had, because I’m stuck on “est” – the world is a competition for the superlative, instead of a search for balance and sustainability.

I want this blog to be able to appreciate this simple sandwich for what it is – or was. I will be focusing more on good food, good drink, good art, and good people. I’ll be posting a couple times a week. You’ll find this pretty dull if you’re looking for sharp elbows and devastating criticism. There are other places for that – perhaps even too many. Today, there’s one less.

12 Responses to “Gone Mild Going Mild”

  1. Average Jane says:

    An admirable goal. I’ll look forward to your blog’s new direction!

  2. Susan says:

    Wonderful. Working toward not being angry myself, and read, by happenstance, A Room of One’s Own, which speaks exactly to that, the need to not be angered or bitter, from any direction, in order to write well. Was in Rome at this exact time in 1999. So beautiful. And you are right about the sandwiches. xxoo to you both.

  3. Dan, Dan, Dan. Lovely little blog entry and just in the nickest of time. Thank you!

  4. les says:

    Well, since your writing has generally shown interest and insight, wherever the focus, I’ll be by to see what’s up. I’m not sure what happens when all the decent folk (you, of course, not me) are driven away from politics, if it hasn’t happened already. Did you smuggle some of that ham home? Sharing would make your change of direction here more, uh, palatable.

  5. Nick says:

    Good on you.

  6. Teresa says:

    Well, your writing is good-est, so I’m glad you’re getting back to the blog.

  7. Logtar says:

    I am just happy that you are going to be posting. There are too few of us still writing… and then there are too many.

    I love this post, and like you always have it has inspired many thoughts in my head. Thanks again sir, no matter what you write the result in one level or another will always be positive.

  8. Jim says:

    Those were some incredible sandwiches! And what better way to have epiphanies in life than via salty meat and chewy bread? None that I can think of.

  9. kcmeesha says:

    The sandwich seems to be light on meat :-)

  10. Robin says:

    Good sandwich; good blog post!

  11. Stephen says:

    While I like politics, I greatly prefer food, too. Can I forward you my pictures? :)

  12. gonemild says:

    Pictures of great food are always better than pictures of great politicians.

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