I find myself strangely depressed the last few days, and it seems incongruous to me, given the beautiful weather we’ve been having. I’m very driven by weather I’ve learned. So it’s been puzzling to find myself fairly lethargic lately.
In trying to figure out why, I’ve come to the conclusion that two things are wearing heavy on my heart: the Gulf coast tragedy and the ongoing sadness of those in our parish family who are struggling with major health issues. Our deacon’s daughter is struggling with a deep brain injury, from an accident several weeks ago, and the road to recovery will be a long one. The Gulf coast, as we all know, will be effected by the oil spill for decades probably.
I think mostly, I feel helpless in the face of these two events. There is nothing much I can do. I pray. Everyday. At least against the oil spill, I can vent my anger, since there is a lot of blame to go around.
But, countering that, I’ve been nudged by a couple of other folks. Fran, from There Will be Bread, in a post I recall reading on FB, indicated that she wanted to move into a more positive mode, celebrating where we could join together, rather than emphasizing differences. I’m always superbly uplifted by Jan of Yearning for God for the same reason. It’s always about good stuff there, ways to connect with the divine and happy references to happy dogs.
Of course there is always Tim at Straight-Friendly for honest and beautiful inspiration. And there is for sure a smile whenever Jim at OkJimm’s Eggroll Emporium decides to set down his beer and take up his pen.
Another blog was pointed out to me by the folks at WordPress the other day. A “blogging success story” that I guess gives all of us who really love this writing business, hope. Like Ree Drummond, who has gone from family blogging to national recognition and a new cookbook, with stops at GMA and The View, via Pioneer Woman, Neal Pasricha has zoomed to the top of the heap with his blog 1000 Awesome Things. There is now a book out, and no doubt more to come. Neal claims that he started his blog to find something good and uplifting to help him keep a positive outlook.
I’ve been realizing lately that I’ve been slowly but surely gravitating more to blogs that have something solid I can hang onto, something that tells me more about life and living it well. It’s not to say that I am off the political spectrum. For indeed I find the likes of Tom at Politics Plus, and Dcap at distributorcap NY forever funny, informative, and witty.
Please also note, that in featuring these particular blogs, I don’t mean to slight dozens of others that I follow daily or near daily and appreciate for their inspiration and/or political acumen. These are just the first that came to mind.
What does all this mean? Oh, nothing in particular. I’m not thinking to alter this blog much if that is what you were thinking. I just realized that perhaps when I seem in a rut of rant, or in constant self-analysis in which I usually come up short in my own estimation, it may be time to turn the tables to stuff that is a bit lighter.
I was caught up yesterday in watching the news. The entire weekend has been filled with tributes, and remembrances of veterans, and well it should. However in this household, those thoughts are close at hand most all year, and the constant reference to death and dying is especially wearing. But a woman, spending her Memorial Day with her son at Arlington Cemetery, remarked that she and her family had always “celebrated” the holiday, but now it was celebrated in a very different way.
I realized that that happened to me, without much recognition when I married the Contrarian nearly eleven years ago. It is somber, not a day for play. We do fix a good deal of food and enjoy that, but the day itself is quiet. For us, the constant though understandable references to veterans is tiresome and painful. It recalls for my husband memories he has struggled a near lifetime to forget.
Perhaps that is why I am at odds with myself and the world today. Too much weekend. And the damnable turkeys are still attacking our garden, nipping a pepper plant here and there. And the mosquitoes have radar tuned to me, making it hard to be outside. I am constrained to live with tons of OFF which no doubt is not healthy, but at 60, I figure to die of something else before that cancer matures.
So, here’s to sun and light breezes, and waking up to a cacophony of music in the trees as a dozen varieties of bird greet the day. Here’s to good food, good beds, good movies, and happy pets. Here’s to yawns and fresh coffee brewing. To not having to wear sweaters and socks and caps to keep your ears warm. Here’s to barbecue and pasta salads, and good friends. Here’s to equality and justice and compassion and empathy. Here’s to fresh water and rain forests, and sunrises and sunsets. Here’s to love, and forgiveness, and curiosity. Here’s to companionship, and passion. Here’s to life, good, bad or otherwise, for it changes tomorrow, never give up hope in that. This Bud’s for you! (Frankly I hate Bud, being a Dos Equis person myself-but you get the point.)
really difficult some days to find qualities in life to be hopeful about – so much tragedy. And my own life, at this point in time, is no reflection of hope either…it may be a reflection of hoping for hope, though. I hope you just keep embracing the beauty of this weather and let that carry you through for the time being.
There was a day, some time back, when I had a string of guys in my office at the prison. All of them were struggling with being in prison, the length of their sentences, the time they hadn’t heard from family, the sameness of the routine. By the time the seventh one had come in, I was ready to suggest a support group.
Instead, I made the same suggestion to each: When it’s time for yard, go out and lay down in the grass and look up.
The clouds were particularly wonderful that day, scudding across the sky and turning themselves into shapes begging to be names.
At prison, when you’re walking around, the concrete and the fences are always part of the picture. The trees, although there are many, are far beyond the fences. (“I haven’t hugged a tree in six years,” one of the men wailed.) There’s always a reminder that you’re locked up and that fact isn’t going to change any time soon.
Flat on your back, looking at the clouds, there is no concertina wire to be seen. The sky can look like the ocean and you can sail away on the clouds.
I wondered later if I might have caused some trouble, if a group of guys had taken my advice and just laid down in the expanse of grass and looked up–would someone take that as behavior needing discipline?
I noticed as the weather got warmer there were more guys basking in the sun during yard. Some of them were watching the clouds.
It seems the only thing to do Terri. I realize you too are having a rough time of it. I know that it will end, as do you no doubt, but during the time the enduring of it all can be so hard. Sooner or later we will accept the situation in the Gulf because there is nothing else to do. The admission that the feds have no better solutions and consider the oil industry the leaders in this technology is heart breaking. For they have never had any incentive to care about this kind of thing, and I fear we have months to go before this thing is capped.
Shannon, I think this is a great idea. I have done this on occassion, since you lose all sense of the earth and can just sail into the clouds. At night, you can sail into the universe. Good idea, and I’ll think about practicing it. Perhaps a trip up the hill where the expanse is much greater for me. I need to breath I guess, and just look upon plain old nature without houses or vehicles or anything man made to remind me whence all comes and how unconcerned nature is of my silly troubles.
Lots to be depressed about; I keep trying to remind myself that God is more than I can ever imagine even as I look at all the problems (and devastation)–and God will prevail.
Thanks for the links and for mentioning my blog. You encourage me so much!
Jan That is exactly what I try to keep focused on. I can only pray that God gets through to the hearts and minds of humans to do the right thing and correct old wrongs.
I’m in the mood to hunt down a couple of hazelnuts for my meditation corner. Julian of Norwich saw “all that is” in a hazelnut and somehow knew that “all would be well.” I need something simple for my brain to sit with.
I usually pick up rocks. I love to think about where they have come from, how long if ever they have been touched by human hands. It opens me to the grandeur and the age of the universe and God as the creator of all.