That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost. The word ‘lost’ comes from the old Norse ‘los’ meaning the disbanding of an army…I worry now that people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know.
Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so. A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places… I wonder what will come of placing this generation under house arrest.
~ Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost
I have an email address that I use for signing up for newsletters or registering on websites that I know will end in regularly being spammed. It’s a good thing to have and although my regular email address still tends to get crowded (mostly with blog stuff since I like to follow blogs via email), at least it isn’t overwhelmed with offers for the latest workshop or e-course or sale.
After last year’s election, I signed up for a variety of newsletters related to politics in some form. The Women’s March was the first because it was the best way to get information on the where and when. Then I got on board by donating to other causes that are important to me, from civil rights to environmental concerns. I don’t have loads of money to donate, but figure every little bit helps.
I don’t check that particular email address every day. When I do check it, a lot of delete, delete, delete goes on. One thing I noticed this morning as I was sorting through the special offers and “you have to see this!” subject lines is that everything seems to be urgent. In fact, one subject line did note “This is urgent.”
Here’s the thing: If everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent and it becomes difficult to prioritize. It can be almost paralyzing.
The emails of a political nature that I receive are on par with sites such at 5 Calls. It’s a great tool, but… today there are nine things to choose from under the question “What is important to you?” Well, it’s ALL important. That’s what makes the interesting times we are living in so frustrating.
As I sit on the dock watching sunrises and sunsets, I find myself inwardly composing a manifesto of sorts, trying to draw some lines around what is truly important to me. I don’t think in terms of my own life. Rather, I contemplate the kind of world my grandchildren will be living in because this world is their inheritance.
I ponder the #MeToo movement, if it is a movement, and what that will mean for the girls when they grow up. Will it mean anything at all if those high up are willing to offer their money and support to an alleged pedophile? What does that say about the meaning of truth? That truth has no meaning if the ends justify the means? That it’s okay to back a pedophile because pushing through your agenda is more important than women and children?
By the way, I have considered telling my own #MeToo stories and have even started a post about it, but can’t bring myself to finish it. Dawn over at Change is Hard courageously posted Tidal wave, and inspired me to at least want to share some of my stores (because yes, there is more than one story to tell).
I wonder about the sneaky changes going on behind the scenes of the big attempts at change (DACA, immigration, tax reform, health care) and the big distractions (tweets that ought to be ignored), those underhanded attempts to undermine various departments that will have repercussions for the future of education, science, the climate, diplomacy, net neutrality, free speech, voting rights, the separation of church and state, and probably more that didn’t come immediately to mind.
I’m reading Rebecca Solnit’s book of essays, “Men Explain Things to Me.” In the essay titled “Woolf’s Darkness,” Ms. Solnit writes about how “we always act in the dark. The effects of your actions may unfold in ways you cannot foresee or even imagine. They may unfold long after your death.” A little later, she goes on:
To me, the grounds for hope are simply that we don’t know what will happen next, and that the unlikely and the unimaginable transpire quite regularly. And that the unofficial history of the world shows that dedicated individuals and popular movements can shape history and have, though how and when we might win and how long it takes is not predictable.
Ms. Solnit writes that both despair and optimism are forms of certainty, and that it is only in hope, in the dark, in “venturing unknowing into the unknown” that something new can happen. Anything can happen.
I started this post yesterday and didn’t have time to finish it. That’s just as well because this morning Time magazine came out with the Person of the Year cover and story. In case you haven’t seen it:
So, perhaps it is a movement after all. I hope so. It’s about time (no pun intended).
Thank you so much for stopping by today. We are under heavy cloud cover as I type this, but it’s expected to clear up. It might be worth a walk out to the dock to check out the sunset. Sunset is scheduled for 4:44 PM (it seems to be stuck at that time, doesn’t it?). It’s going to be cold and windy. Bundle up.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 461) Taking things one step at a time, because that’s all you can do and multi-tasking is highly overrated. 462) Hope. 463) Morning walks and evening strolls. 464) Inspiration from likely and unlikely places. 465) The shapes and swirls and variety of grays in this morning’s clouds.