Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In on the weekend (we need a bigger world)

Jane, Carrie and the grandkids went back home this past weekend and stayed with my parents. They also visited Tanners Orchard and some other family. I stayed here because I had to work Saturday. Plus, I dunno, back home just doesn't have the appeal it used to for me.

So, I pretty much didn't do anything. Friday and Saturday night I went to the old stomp with a couple friends I hadn't hung out with in awhile. Saturday I worked from 9-2. Sunday I just lazed around the house until Jane got home. I didn't even go to church Sunday morning.

It's rare that I miss a Sunday worship service even when it's just me. I planned to go, but I wasn't feeling all that great (lingering cold/sinus stuff/hangover), and.... I dunno.... I'm just kind of not into things at the moment. We will be traveling this weekend and will likely not attend a service again. There was a time when this would have thrown my life for a loop. Sadly, it doesn't much seem to matter anymore.

I can't blame this on Trump, because I don't really even care about that. But I guess I am still a bit thrown by the seeming "empowering" of  a certain segment of society. It's like somebody's let the crazies take over. Although I realize that's just my opinion, and it's probably pretty narrow at that.

There seems to be a mounting steam that people really feel the need to speak up right now - on both "sides." Personally, I'm not interested in speaking up at all. I hear and read what some people are saying, and there's simply no point in trying to reason or argue. It's like the world is divided and we can only see one side of the divide. To try to convince someone on the other side of your side is futile - they're never going to see your side unless they're actually ON your side.

So, at best, I hope to resort to a Eugene Peterson-ish approach. A much more subversive stance. I don't want to argue; I hate confrontation; and I don't see it as my responsibility to get anyone to agree with me anyway. I suppose some would see this as a bit cowardly, and maybe it is, but I don't know of another way right now.

As a result, I'm feeling pretty small. And I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. Maybe what we need is a bigger world right now. What with technology and social media and things being what they are, maybe this idea of a super-smallish world has given us too much familiarity with one another; or given us a feeling of empowerment that might be better fit to only a few, rather than the masses.

One of the best responses I saw anywhere to the post-election trauma many people felt was from my Canadian friend Whiskey Prajer. He wrote an enormously thoughtful and tender piece about how he answered his teary-eyed daughter the day after Trump became king. I especially liked this bit...
I also said that political arguments are usually driven to polarities that simplify life in unhelpful ways. Before she was born there was a moment when I woke up to discover that Canada might, in a few days' time, not be Canada any more. The thought caused me a great deal of anxiety, until I heard someone on the radio say, "Political theory and argument exists in a realm way beyond our back-yards, and our passions expand to meet those borders. It's important to return our gaze to the window that looks onto our back-yards, and to take confident steps into the immediate neighborhood, and reconnect with the people of our communities, to keep our passions in check, and to keep our shared sense of humanity sustained and healthy."
"So make sure you have a good breakfast," I said. "Be kind to yourself. And make a point of being kind to someone else. Every day's a gift."
Yes, that is good advice. I am thankful for the good and wise people I know. I have a "window," and the view ain't half bad sometimes. Perhaps what I need is to refine my gaze, eat a good breakfast, and be kind. I will try.