Every fall since we have lived in our present home, it has been my immense joy when the two surprise maples in our back yard go orange. From year to year the shade may very slightly but they never cease to delight me. Recently both of these trees were cut back and therefore are not as full as usual. But one morning this week, I opened the door to let the dogs out into the yard and there they were in their flaming glory.
They always envelope me in a state of tranquility that I look for each year. I think it must be that Capricorn pretext for consistency. When I look at them I want to go read something astounding or write something superbly done. It's like a grounding of my creativity or bringing everything into balance.
This past week has been an emotion filled and energy draining week. If it were not for the the two civilians shot and killed by police and the 10 Dallas police officers shot by a sniper killing 5 and wounding two other civilians, I could still be mulling over this same question in my mind.
The fact is, we live in distressing times. Terrorist attacks at home and abroad, destabilizing economies around the world, epidemic gun deaths across the United States, North Korea testing medium range missals, daily barrage of hate openly expressed by people because of gender, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and a presidential contender that routinely fans the hateful fires that rip us apart.
What are we supposed to do? There is an internal voice that wants to argue with me about this. Actually, there are two separate voices. (I know, this is scary to me too) One voice keeps telling me that all this crap going on in the world is consuming me and my time. That I only have so much time, and it is also smothering what creativity I have to offer. This voice cautions me against becoming overwhelmed by it all.
Still, the other voice, (which is just certain it is the wiser of the two) reminds me of the words of Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." This is my voice that reminds me it is important to stay informed and not count on others to do this on my behalf. Bad things have happened throughout history when people assumed others would do the right thing on your behalf.
There is no one correct voice here. They both speak to truths. The answer has to fall somewhere in between. I must do my homework, so to speak, and be informed both for the purpose of voting and also being outspoken when and where necessary. At the same time I must allow myself to break at times from extensive and draining news coverage of things. I must allow myself time to take a walk and absorb nature. Take a long soaking bath. Or read just for the recreation of it. Years ago I learned that we should never lose our ability to become indigent when something is wrong.
Now, I need to learn how to feed optimism and believe in change for the better. I also need to keep open the pathway to writing and not feel overwhelmed by the world or the struggle to write what needs to be said.
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings