left on walnut

Tag: guilt

Third Planet of the Sun

Since my return from India several people have asked, in one way or another, if the human condition there was difficult to observe. A mother, baby on hip, taps on the car window asking for money. A man with an open leg wound reaches his hand out for help. A man with no legs hobbles on his hands.

Guilt can be a healthy, compassionate endorsement of accountability and responsibility. Our compassion reminds us that to be truly human is to be uncomfortable because decency compels us to be better than we are.

We fall short as moral beings if we only steward our little corner of the world. I have been thinking about how I can be more effective in social change that reflects my values of inclusion, fairness, opportunity, and concern for the environment. Not more pure, just more effective.

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

by Wislawa Szymborska

The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.

A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.
Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they’re right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,
in every other way they’re light.

On this third planet of the sun
among the signs of bestiality
a clear conscience is Number One.

blueberry morning

Two mornings this week, Tom shoveled while I stayed inside eating toast. This  morning I made blueberry muffins. In the great division of labor, I’d rather bake than shovel. I feel guilty though, especially since it’s starting to snow again.

Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 ounce package frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffins tins with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Divide among the muffin tins and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake about 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Serve them to your husband on a cold morning and feel less guilty than before.