The voice of compassion is not absorbed with itself. It is not a voice intent on its own satisfaction or affirmation; rather it is a voice imbued with understanding, forgiveness and healing. This voice dwells somewhere in every human heart. Ultimately it is the voice of the soul. Part of the joy in developing a spiritual life is the discovery of this beautiful gift that you perhaps never even suspected you had. When you take the time to draw on your listening-imagination, you will begin to hear this gentle voice at the heart of your life. It is deeper and surer than all the other voices of disappointment, unease, self-criticism and bleakness. All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul.
~ John O’Donohue, Beauty: Rediscovering the true source of compassion, serenity, and hope
M and I were discussing something the other day and I started a comment with, “Oh, that happened about 50 million years ago, before the pandemic…” It feels that way at times, as if whole eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages have passed.
Last week was a week of busy-work for something that didn’t happen. Late in the week we cancelled our plans due to the pandemic and the local Covid numbers. Things are surging here. The 80th National Folk Festival took place up in Salisbury and we had invited friends to stay with us and attend with us, but the festival wasn’t what was originally planned (fewer bands, workshops, and stages), the local hospital announced they were stopping all non-emergency surgeries and procedures, and the Covid positivity rate shot up. It felt safer to cancel and try again next year.
It was the right thing to do, but it was also a rather depressing thing to do. It has the feel of being back at the beginning of the pandemic. M and I did “sneak” up to the folk festival on Friday evening for Shemekia Copeland’s performance. We stood way at the back, away from the crowd (and there was a crowd). They were requiring masks, but not enforcing the requirement (probably because it was an outdoor event and because it’s a hassle to enforce). Shemekia Copeland was very good, by the way. I’m glad we got to listen to her. We also heard her again on Saturday. A local radio station was broadcasting live performances from one of the stages all weekend, and that was the safest way to listen (from the comfort of isolation at home).
I would say that about half the crowd on Friday night were masked. Before we left for the concert, we watched the local news to see if we could get an idea as to how crowded it was. They were interviewing people about having to wear a mask at an outdoor event and of course they had to find some guy who was angry about it. You know what, dude? Nobody is forcing you to go. Stay home. (And wouldn’t it be nice if the media would stop both-siding this issue? Why keep giving voice to the loud and vocal minority who only care about themselves?)
What I find interesting is how the college students (because Salisbury IS a college town) don’t wear masks because they obviously don’t care. They’re young, they’re immortal, they’re self-centered. That’s the nature of the beast of that age group. The old people who weren’t wearing masks were just happily bopping around in their own “I’m vaccinated and don’t care” attitude. It’s the 30-49 age group that walks around angry and defiant, like old teenagers who are stuck in their high school rebellion. If they weren’t acting like such jerks, I’d feel sorry for them. It must be tough to be stunted and stuck in a teenage mentality.
It was also interesting to note that the law enforcement officers I saw, wearing the label Police, were not masked. I’m not sure how that is safe for them, for their loved ones, or for others, even in an outdoor situation since they were in and amongst the crowd. That was one reason the festival folks were requiring masks — because it wouldn’t always be possible to physically distance from others.
I also got new glasses last week, including a pair of computer glasses. Normally I would not have made such an investment but our insurance steered us towards one of the chains where they make your glasses in an hour (I am used to a 10-14 day wait) and two pairs of glasses cost me less than half the price of what I usually pay for one pair (I wear progressive lenses to deal with the farsightedness of an astigmatism and the nearsightedness of aging). It is wonderful to be able to sit here and see the screen clearly, sharply, without having to hold my head at a weird and upward angle. What I will have to get used to is changing my glasses when I get up from the computer. The computer glasses are not made for long distances. Looking up and out the window is a little like looking through water. Wavy, blurry, and oddly disorienting. The peripheral vision in the computer glasses is weird, too.
The Yoga Sutras class begins tonight. It will be good to be able to see everyone and everything clearly on the screen.
Aging is catching up with my eyes. I have the beginnings of cataracts. The eye doc said it will be about fifteen years or so before they can do anything about them. I’m told the cataracts have to be thick, nearly blinding you, before they can do the surgery that will eliminate the clouded vision. Isn’t that the way of things? I suppose it is a good metaphor for life and the way we often wait until things are really bad before we have some clarity and are able to see what is really happening.
Is it time to talk about Walktober? I think it might be since we’re so close to October. Is anyone interested in it this year? I’m thinking the dates will likely be October 11th through the 25th. I’m going with slightly later dates this year. I might be taking a weekend trip in October and those dates will get me through that and perhaps, into cooler, more autumn-like weather. According to the weather prognosticators, it’s going to be hotter than usual here for a while. In fact, I saw a headline that said “Autumn in the Northeast is cancelled this year.” Well, I don’t know about that and frankly, I’m not sure the weather folks can be sure of that either.
If you’re not familiar with Walktober, there’s a link over in the sidebar that will take you to a post that will introduce you to it. Or, you can click on this: Walktober. It’s an old post but it gives you the general idea. Maybe someday I will sit down and write up an About Walktober page.
I reckon that’s about it from me today. Thank you so much for visiting and meandering with me. I won’t be able to meet you out at the Point for sunset this evening (I’ll be in class, via Zoom), but if you want to go, sunset is scheduled for 7:12 PM. Yikes, that seems so early! It’s hot and humid here today. Buggy, too. If the breeze picks up, it might not be too bad near the water. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to be prepared for the hungry hoards of mosquitoes.
Please be safe, be well, and continue to be your beautiful and kind self.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,866) Being able to hear some live music, even if it was just for a little while. 1,867) M, always and forever. 1,868) The way the zinnias took over the garden this year. I have not had to spend much time weeding. 1,869) Spending time at the beach yesterday. It was surprisingly crowded for the off-season. I suppose that is the new normal and won’t be quite so surprising after a while. 1,870) All of the different butterflies visiting the gardens this year.