Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Getting Beyond the Sadness

There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world.  The news is full of it.  And as we look towards what might be the inevitable result of pollution, war, and the destructive existence mankind leads, it's pretty easy to get bogged down in all that's wrong and miserable in the world.

I had a conversation recently which reminded me a whole lot of this scene from The Never Ending Story:

When you're arse deep in the ugly, it's hard to have hope to go on.

The thing is, that as ugly as things are, there are also things of beauty.  That bog up there?  Did you know that wetlands have the greatest biodiveristy of any habitat?  Somewhere that ugly dark swamp is probably teaming with life, unseen.

And that's pretty much the way it is with life.  When we get too bogged down in the news, in work, in our economic situation, in our health issues, it's all to easy to loose sight of the things that are good.  It takes an effort to seek them out:  The color of the clouds at night.  Holding hands with the one you love.  The taste of a favorite dish.

But there's more beyond that.  Yes, there's a whole world out there of people hurting people and the planet.  And there's a whole world of people helping people and the planet.  But the news doesn't cover that, at least on the front page, on the evening broadcasts... those don't SELL.  Fear sells.

So you have to dig.

And when you dig, you find stories like this:

Published on Sep 20, 2014
Saturday 9/20/14: After nearly an hour stopped on eastbound I-76 just outside of King of Prussia, PA... I met two musicians and convinced them to help pass the time until the accident was cleared ahead.
A party broke out- the best traffic jam I've ever been in. 

And the story about the anonymous donor who helped a number of people set to have their mobile homes go up for auction when they were unable to pay their taxes stay in their homes.

When I see the number of people who care, people who show up for beach and river cleanups, who donate their time serving food to the poor at the interfaith shelter, who volunteer at museums and parks, who march against injustice... I see the things I want to cling to, to hold on to, to keep in mind in the midst of all the overwhelming news that tell me that life is awful.

Because while it's easy to focus on the clouds overhead, it often distracts us from the flowers at our feet.

I'm always looking for an answer.  Recently, I think I found it.  It's still something I struggle with day to day.  It's easy to sink in the swamp of despair.  

And today I found this, that says it oh so much more eloquently than I can:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quick Update:

  • Went to see the doctor finally... who brought in another doctor, both of whom ended up scratching their heads and sending me home with the suggestion of Calamine lotion and waiting a couple weeks. The other thing I went home with was a referral to a dermatologist, and the warning that it could be 6 months before I get in to see him... which makes it kinda worthless.

  • Reading Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood. It's an absolutely fascinating read written by a sociologist about her girlhood in Morocco. Harem life isn't what we in the west think of it, at least for the most part, and the stories she tells lets us EXPERIENCE harem life without being blatant... it shows rather than tells what the pros and cons of harem life are, and how the women in the harem dreamed of and longed for a life without so many boundaries.

  • Today is my day off of classes, and I'm working very hard at NOT working, but taking the day off to kinda kick back and recover from being sick for the last few weeks. I'm really REALLY bad at relaxing.

  • Missed the Ren Fair because of being sick, which makes me both really sad and really determined NOT to miss Harvest Festival a week from Saturday.

  • There's a very nerdy part of me that wants to write an extensive review of the new season of Doctor Who, and another part that's just so happy it's getting better after what I felt was a very rocky start that I just don't want to go back and rehash everything that was so wrong with the first three episodes.

  • I keep looking at houses in California... as well as apartments. Porting my Section 8, the choice seems a no-brainer: Petaluma. Location, Location, Location... and price. But I find myself browsing little craftsmen bungalows around the bay area: my dream home.