The start of another week. Looking desperately the same as all the weeks gone before, and like all the weeks yet to come. I had persuaded The Kid to pick me up and take me to the chiropractor today — yesterday the sciatica was really getting to me & I thought it wouldn’t go away unless I got adjusted. But he called me late last night to tell me the air quality was taking another nose dive and he didn’t think I should go out in it. (Luckily I’d laid on the heating pad earlier so wasn’t in as much pain as before.) And sure enough:
Monday, August 31 AQI 165 PM 2.5 UNHEALTHY*
Tuesday, September 1 AQI 158 PM 2.5 UNHEALTHY
Wednesday the same, then the rest of the week classified as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups** (children, small animals, & people like me, with respiratory difficulties. (Speaking of small animals, Marty bolted out the back door this morning & hasn’t been seen since & won’t come when I call him. The little dickens!)
*Unhealthy is AQI 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects and should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Members of the sensitive groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion.
**Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is AQI 101 to 150. People with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk and should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
So, stuck in the house again. Can’t do laundry, can’t even go out to get the mail. I know the definitions say “avoid prolonged outdoor exertion” but I can tell the difference — the cough is back and stays throughout the day and night; it had been completely gone before the fires hit. And my energy level is back to -25 after having been pretty good for the past week.
I read this blog today and it really spoke to me. With all the unpleasant stuff that’s going on right now (smoke from the fires, COVID-19, and the ever reprehensible Person in the White House) I tend to get stuck in fear and anger and spend my day frothing at the mouth, fearful, and/or sad. Not a good place to be! So I’m sharing this blog, hoping it touches other hearts than just mine.
It’s no denying we are living in strange and turbulent times, but alas this is nothing new. We are creatures with a history of chaos and violence that extends through the long lines of recorded history. Then there is that history which was never recorded and extinguished…
But I am thinking of present times and how much the world seems to be tipping on the brink of a major collapse. I am thinking about fear, in particular, and how it has seized the hold of logic and reason, trapping the heart-mind in a suffocating vice.
So many people I admire and respect have seemingly gone down a rabbit hole, blindly following the trail of fear in an attempt to defy anything that comes from the place of logic. The enemy, illusive but ever-pursing them further and further into this pit of chaos.
Rarely a day goes by when I don’t receive a video or read a posting that cries out in the language of conspiracy. “Who started this?” I sometimes ask, “And who is this person on the screen?” Rarely do I get a logical answer, as mostly it is unknown, yet freely the noise of conspiracy is passed and as it passes into each field of vision, its message of chaos and confusion grows.
I get it. We are all searching for answer in these uncertain times. We are all searching for a reason for the madness, but does further madness lead to peace and resolution? Logic states that it does not.
We seem to have forgotten one simple fact: Love Begets Love. Fear Begets Fear. At this point, I no longer care why and how these things happen that spark conspiracy, I care that we are spiraling into their abyss. I care that we have fallen into separation and polarity rather than grabbing ahold of that which binds us together.
We are demonizing the other as though the other is not us. It is this that I find the most disturbing. The few that are truly working to pump fear into our veins are seemingly winning. They have taken hold of our lifeblood and replaced love, empathy, and unity with anything that feeds our separation. This is unsettling.
When I look around and see the individual, I see someone searching for unity. I see a person that is not unlike me, searching for meaning and purpose. I see that which binds us. We share the same air, we share the same basic needs for survival. We are share a yearning for love and understanding.
Perhaps the need to go to battle with the perceived “other” is so deeply encoded into our cellular memory, passed on from generation upon generation through our DNA, that we simply cannot find a way to decode it. Anyone who has tried to break a habit knows how difficult it can be. Imagine the multiplying of its force over millenium inside billions of bodies passing the habit on…
It’s mind-boggling and over-whelming. The force it requires to break it apart seemingly impossible. Yet it is also incredibly easy. It’s incredibly simple. We simply need to look at each other and see ourselves reflected back at us. We simply need to turn toward what we share: the need for air, food, water, shelter, and most of all love and empathy. We need to understand to be understood, but we also need to see beyond the trappings of fear and the dark abyss that it is.
We need to climb out of it holding hands.
I have a dear, dear friend. We’ve been through thick and thin together and she’s very special to me. She’s conservative (watches Fox News🙄) and I am a flaming treehugging liberal. We agree on some issues, and have always agreed to disagree on others. But recently she sent me a scathing email basically spouting the beliefs of the Trumpite groups. I was astounded, I was dumbfounded … and then I was flaming, boiling mad. How COULD she not see what the Aspiring Fascist is doing to this country! So I stopped talking to her. Because I was afraid if I tried to behave normally, I wouldn’t be able to and would devolve into screaming frothing rage at her.
“I get it. We are all searching for answer in these uncertain times.” That line hit me hard. She is searching for an answer in these uncertain times. It’s just that her answer is so completely different than mine. Is that reason enough to throw away 20+ years of wonderful friendship? In my saner moments, I know it’s not. After all, there will be an election soon and either her views or my views will prevail. And either way, we will both have to live with the consequences.
So I think I’ll call her later, and we can chat and catch up. And tiptoe around the elephant in the room, but when there’s no solution, sometimes it’s better just to pretend the elephant isn’t really there.