I am truly exhausted by the morally repugnant persons who have hijacked the news cycle and created a furor of twenty-four-hour bombardment aimed at our visual senses. I find myself vacillating between wanting to write my jaunty little blogs because that is how I cope and feeling guilty at not acknowledging my horror at a world that is spinning in a spiral of madness. Perhaps I have been afraid that by omitting references to that which bogs me down I will quietly become part of the public cycle that contributes to the inanity of self-made TV celebrities potentially making policy decisions which lack an ounce of moral justice or intellect or acknowledging the swarms of people trying to understand what it means to understand Civil Injustice. I am not an expert on any of these matters. I don’t have a doctorate in Middle Eastern Politics nor have I penned papers of advisement to our world leaders. I am no Leonard Pitts equivocating on an intellectual high ground, yet my moral compass is whirling and my stomach hurts and my brain parts ache from wondering why the hell we seem to have lost ground with the civil parts of humanity and I constantly wonder why the hell do bad things always seem to happen to good people.
And then I stop. And I take a deep breath. And I listen. And I stroke my puppies soft little ears and I sigh. And I still the constant thrumming of the news cycle reveling in its ugly juices in loud voices and I pause, and I listen with my whole being. My soul sees the compassion in our community which surrounds my friend who lost a son in a senseless and tragic accident. My eyes see the planting of gardens and the magic of artists who continue to create despite limited budgets so that we have visual beauty in our world. My ears are grateful for music and birds and the laughter of my “big kids” and their idealistic friends and the giggles of my adorable little great nieces and nephews. My heart is grateful for my sisterhood of friends who support me both in the difficult times and the celebrations and tonight I send a special toast to my “prosecco sisters” who threw me a belated birthday party last night and poured me good wine and fed me amazing food and reminded me that my voice need not be quiet.
My house is empty today – my kids are working and my Usually Lovely Husband is off attempting to lure fish with swirls of feathers on the rivers of Montana. I have spent the day cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors because that damn fairy godmother has still not shown up to take care of that shit. There has been a persistent little voice in my head all day which I have been pushing aside telling me that I should be typing something besides emails to the insurance company and financial aid letters to my sons’ esteemed universities. Now I sit here with the glass of wine that I told myself I would not have and realize it’s time for myself and all of us to listen harder and quit believing that finding good, beautiful and enjoyable things is morally reprehensible because we are being stewed in a cycle of horror through our endless news cycles and media blitzes.
The ugly of the world is not going to go away. My friend’s son cannot come back, five Dallas policemen can’t step back two days in time, my beautiful 18-year-old son cannot choose to make his new Diabetes diagnosis go away, the election cycle and all its obnoxious candidates won’t suddenly disappear – but neither will sunsets, the sound of hummingbird wings, soft puppy ears or the pure joy of friendship. Appreciate the color, sounds and warmth that surround you and do not be afraid to make other people laugh or cry. Truthfully, none of it makes any sense: the bombings of innocent civilians, the inane public statements of our possible future leaders and their disciples, the negligent policies on guns, the loss of every mother’s child. We need to quit beating ourselves up trying to understand why these things happen. Allowing grief is important, but we need to not shut the door to the bubbles of joy, laughter and humor that can be shared from soul to soul.
I am NOT suggesting we cast a blind eye to what is going on and I am definitely not trying to preach. Ick. I just hope in a tired and naïve way that everyone feels horror at the incivility of actions taking place on a national and global level and remains intellectually aware of what is happening in our world so that changes can be made at EVERY level of humankind starting with our own actions. And actions need to start small and simple so I beg you to seek out and share the day to day joys that surround us. Kiss your dog, smile at a laughing child on the street, enjoy a bowl of ice cream with extra toppings, give a flower to a stranger in the market. Instead of trying to capture a sunset on your phone to post to Instagram, watch the lingering color changes and remember that everyone worldwide sees a sunset on their horizon too. Choose joy. Choose laughter. Choose friendship. Choose inclusion. Choose a smile. Choose to listen to your moral compass and don’t be afraid that giggling at a puppy’s antics or being silly with friends or not publicly engaging in the vitriol of social media portrays you as shallow and unaware. I am choosing to write this regardless of what anyone thinks. I am choosing to not let negativity take precedence. I am choosing to move forward.
I raise my glass to your joys my friends. Don’t forget to raise your glass too.
Thanks P,K and N. I may regret posting this tomorrow when the Sauvignon Blanc wears off but here goes nothing!