I have a very uneasy relationship with the world. I admit I’ve changed over the years (empirical evidence is clear – wrinkled skin, achy bones, far less inclination to accept stupidity in myself and others), but I swear the world changes in staggering ways every three minutes.
I can’t keep up.
I don’t want to deal with the larger world, but I have a deep-held conviction that part of being a viable human being/citizen of the planet is the responsibility to be knowledgeable and act responsibly.
But I’m losing the battle.
The first problem with the world, is which world. I swear my perceptions of planet Earth could be a fantasy novel. Larger universe, natural world, cultural world, family world, political world, economic world, internet world…and the bizarro world of why people do what they do.
A rational being would never believe this crazy quilt of existence.
Let me elucidate by going through my day. The sun’s shining, spring is edging this way and I’m out by my pond, worrying about the migration of bullfrogs into my ecosystem. I’m just realizing that those mega-hoppers are too fast for me anyway, when my neighbor meanders along the fenceline.
“Say, did you hear they’re building a new Costco at the end of the road?” He shakes his head in disbelief.
We have a lengthy discussion about traffic patterns, rising taxes and whether it’s just a rumor. The potential environmental damage by the bullfrog is left behind in the ecosystem bubble world; I head into the house to check online to see if the building expansion rumor is true.
Facebook and twitter are spasming about different issues, and none of the regular media have reported it. There are, however, several articles about rising taxes and people being forced out of their homes.
I forget about Costco and the reality of too much traffic in frantic figuring of how I can squeeze more money out of my tight budget. Then I start worrying about my neighbor struggling on a fixed income. She’s lived in that old house most of her life. My mind rambles over the hearsay about the families that lived in my ninety-year-old home. I wonder if their ghosts hang around, commenting to each other on my decorating choices and sadly shaking their heads. That’s not the way they did things when they were young…and still alive…
At the time these unknown familiars were making decorating choices, I was in a baby carriage…or maybe my parents were. Changes…lots of changes filter through my awareness in the voices of grandparents, parents, and even my younger self. My own kids are doing their best to thrive in the current world despite student loans, elusive raises, jeopardized medical care. Their lives carry anxieties that I didn’t experience, but I feel like I should have some answers for them. Not so much. My experiences were formed without internet – TV and newspapers kept the uncertain world at arms length, letting me live in the bubble of my own small life.
But that’s not the world now, so I do a search on social media for information about what laws are coming out of Washington. It scares me silly – posturing, violence, spitting matches between people who should know better. I shoot off a couple of emails to my reps in support of their battles to make life better.
As I sit back, wishing I could affect the world, feeling like each segment is a jumbled, dangerous and very alien place, I can see the blooms of my flowering quince. I think it’s almost a half-century old, and every spring heralds life with deep orangey-red blooms. Right now the sunlight makes diamonds in the droplets of spring rain.
It’s so beautiful.
I think I’ll spend the afternoon hewing down blackberries, making sure the native shrubs I planted last fall can grow up free of weeds. There should be berries for the creatures that live hidden on my land. I wonder if I can or should do anything about the bullfrogs that have invaded the peace of my pond.
I wonder how long I can rest in this world before I am forced to travel to another.
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