Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What I Don't Know

I haven't followed the referendum in Scotland. I don't really know what ISIS is up to. I'm not entirely clear on Question 1. In fact, from a news-of-the-world standpoint, I am utterly uninformed.

It's self-preservation, really, but it is larger than that, too. It is possible to fill every minute of every hour with news media and analysis. It is possible to occupy the entirety of one's time with the angst of the world. Some people enjoy that, but I have discovered that I feel worse about myself and the power of peaceful interaction when I immerse myself in news.

Access to information has gone from nonexistent to tightly controlled to more loosely available to completely saturating. The old saying "If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention" says a lot about the level of psychic misery we think we are supposed to experience to be contributing members of society. My experience on the internet, either through Facebook, or twitter, or innumerable comment threads, is that hostility and negative energy are the driving emotions behind much public "debate." Every time I have tried to engage in these environments in a meaningful intellectual way, I have discovered that there is always someone, somewhere, that wants a fight, or a ten second hate, and that person is happy to bring a steamroller into the garden to shout and squish. Yes, it is a good exercise in not internalizing other people's anger and being mindful of one's own emotions, but it is also exhausting.

So I've dropped out. I'm looking for peace in the moments I'm in, in the human interactions where I have an influence, in dreams and visions. I am staying local.

I have been fortunate to undergo an utterly transformative physical experience. Three months ago I was a different person; now my blood is 100% generated by donor cells. The dragon has shed a skin. As I find out who I am all over again, as I process the ordeal I have endured, I have the opportunity to see the world and my role in it anew. A large part of this is being able to recognize the places in my life where there is psychic dysfunction; what makes me feel out of sync? I do not like being angry, I do not like feeling powerless, I do not like playing rhetorical games of one-upsmanship. I do not like having my information flow create a dark haze over the beautiful realities of the life I am living right here.

Last week I went for a hike with a group of kids and parents who are wonderful, loving people. It was a gorgeous day. I have been nervous to take on a day out with the kids, but my aunt came with me, and I came home feeling completely recharged. On Sunday I visited a friend with a one-month old baby, and spent a happy few hours in her kitchen just chatting. Yesterday I trucked the kids around to pre-k and coop and they got to create and experiment and run with friends; they came home so tired and happy.  

This is my world. This is my news. It is a beautiful place, full of optimism and promise. It might not make the headlines, but everywhere I look, I see peace. And when I am full of peace, I can share it. And that can make the world more peaceful. So I'll have to accept what I don't know as a fair trade for what I do.

No comments:

Post a Comment