Photo: The wild flowers of summer are beautiful and distracting. A blessing and a curse on busy days like today!
It’s 10:40 at night and I am just sitting down in a quiet house to write this blog post. It was my plan to write about the incredible events of this week, the anarchy that seems to have fallen upon our lives, and specifically to lament about the incident that happened at the Boy Scouts Jamboree this week and the weak tea response that the BSA has given to the reaction. But…
It’s Wednesday, Dear Reader, and it’s 10:40 and the house is still. I’m sitting in the stillness. I’m listening to it and I’m breathing it in and I’m letting it envelop me. I want to be still. I want the stillness here to permeate and spread. I recognize that the stillness of this moment is the necessary self-care that I need to carry me through to the rest of the week. Because you know and I know that 10 more awful, stupid, ridiculous things are going to happen between now and the time I end up writing down my Quiet Thoughts.
The chaos and the unrelenting shockwaves are part of a strategy to keep us off balance. I’ve used this analogy before, but it’s still apt: if you’ve ever watched a good kung-fu movie where the hero must face a baddie doing “drunken man” technique, that’s what we’re dealing with. No true stance, no discernible pattern, no style or reason in movement… but all strikes seem to come out of nowhere and land with considerable force. That’s what we’re dealing with. It’s very effective for a few reasons: first, lots can happen while the masses are looking in another direction. Second, no one knows where to look next before up is down and nothing is how it’s supposed to be. Third, we eventually become Pavlovian dogs, trained to eagerly await the next shiny object (read: self-created crisis) or we get bored because we don’t have a reason to pull our hair out.
The remedy to it is a little bit a stillness. A moment to be quite and refocus. Not to ignore, not to walk away. But just a moment to sit in the silence and be still. To give the mind (and the body) time to process and catch up, to figure out the known and unknown, the emotional and the factual. These things take time. These things take moments alone and silent.
If you are, in the course of your week, feeling the same way I do, I hope you’ll take a little bit of time to be quiet and still between now and Friday. Give your brain the opportunity to catch up and process what has been going on. Then react. Do whatever you need to do, but be sure that you are bringing your full focus to it. We need you now more than ever. Choose one or two key causes and then give them everything you’ve got. Then, step back from the body politic for a bit to do the things you need to get done. All of this nonsense will be waiting for you when you’re done.
For me, that means getting this assignment transcribed and edited. I finished writing my opening scene for class this morning and I haven’t looked at it for the rest of the day. I’ll transcribe, edit and turn in tomorrow, then I’ll share a little bit of it with you of Friday. I’m not quite sure how I like it yet.
I am reminded that weeks like this require a bit of patience, focus and regrouping as wave after wave of disturbing news come. To become overwhelmed and therefore disengaged is exactly what some people are hoping for. You are not retreating, nor abandoning the cause, by choosing to step back and find a bit of stillness. A few hours may be all you need. Be a calming presence in a chaotic world, Dear Reader.
What I need is sleep. Tomorrow is another overwhelming day. But I’m here for you, Dear Reader. I’ll see you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.