200,000 Years of Evolution Wasted?

My husband is addicted to documentaries.  His main obsession is with various fairly revolting creatures (spiders, snakes, insects) mating and murdering one another or sharks and other predators of land and sea, doing the same.  This is not my thing, but every now and then I am intrigued by one of them and participate, usually while eating dinner (not necessarily a great combo.) A few nights ago, however, the Smithsonian channel ran a documentary called: The Perfect Runner, which seemed like something you could eat a salad while viewing without closing your eyes.  The narrator was a jock reporter and (guess what?) A RUNNER.  And the premise with which it began was that the human body today is just about exactly the same as the human body of 200,000 years ago when what we were designed for was non-stop running around. Now, this made sense for then.  First, well, there wasn’t a lot to do and second, running meant either fleeing some of the beasts featured in those other documentaries or chasing after the evening meal.  Quite logical, given the alternative (death). Cut to Runner/Reporter in a lab at some university where two, fairly generic, nerdy little scientists (who are also . . . I think you can fill that in yourselves). Their premise, which as the hour progressed seemed increasingly more verisimilitude than hard science, was that we are absolutely wasting our lives, and health by doing things (they do not say this, this is me filling in the blanks) like THINKING RATHER THAN RUNNING ALL THE TIME. We are wasting our non-evolved bodies, since they are perfectly...

Motherless Mother’s Days and Other Anti-Ceremonial Spins

April 7th was the forty-first anniversary of my mother’s death. Grief cracked right through me like some sort of trick, soon to arrive Easter egg, I thought was hard-boiled but had eluded the process.  Forty-one years and all that oozing loss still in there. A very wise therapist who wrote a book about grief, said our problem as adults is we never learn how to grieve, which is a necessary and on-going process (loss being so continual a factor in our lives).  All change, good or not so, involves letting go of something. Simple math. April 7th is just about a month and change before Mother’s Day and thus, on the list of the ceremonial occasions I truly either dread or loathe; Valentine’s Day, Xmas, New Year’s Eve, weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, all events that require performance masks (“this is how you are supposed to feel, dress, behave”), Mother’s Day reigns supreme. So, my first Motherless Mother’s Day, all those years ago.  The mantle, had really passed eight years before when I was twenty and my mother was first operated on for the colon cancer that eventually killed her (or, mercifully removed what little was left of her, effective human disposal machine that it is). But, now, there was no possible hope of some miraculous return to the Bunny hutch.  My daughter was three. My son was 3 months. My father was crazy, my relatives were, shall we say, not even in the omelet line.  My then marriage was disappearing as fast as the Easter Bunny the day after.  And my mother was dead.  What did that mean, exactly?...