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.