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Creating Your Own Eye in the Midst of the Hurricane
This morning I became extremely aware that when I thought about the news of the day, I felt trapped. Every topic that came up steered me back to some aspect of the abortion controversy. It’s no wonder that we are obsessed with such an important issue, but it also occurred to me that I wanted to have multiple opportunities every day to free myself from the maelstrom. In the demands of our everyday lives, we have earned the right to have moments of peace, reflection, and normalcy.
So I’ve decided to find ways to create those moments for myself.
My husband and I went out to the gun range this morning. (Yes, I know that hardly sounds peaceful, but trust me on this.) There was something reassuring about unloading our backpack, loading each magazine, taking aim, and fully engaging in the task at hand. Slowing down. Gazing at the target. Grasping the gun firmly. Being fully present. Not surprisingly we both were pretty accurate in our practice. And had moments of serenity in that time we shared together. I think, too, that the idea we were doing something valuable to manage our lives, regardless of what happens in the outside world, was reassuring, too.
Since I don’t plan to spend hours or days at the gun range, I now have the opportunity to find other ways to create an eye in our cultural hurricane. It’s unlikely that I will forget that the winds are raging and that danger still exists. But it’s up to me to find that place where I can most be myself. Where I can breathe easily. Where I can appreciate the small things.
So when we toast each other at happy hour, maybe we can celebrate our usual invocation, “to love,” but also “to gratitude.” Or when I pour my cup of tea, I can breathe in its soft aroma. I can take a moment during the day to send prayers to friends who are ill or suffering. I can send an email to another friend just to say I’m thinking of her. The beauty of these gestures is that they not only allow me to comfort myself, but I can extend that experience to others. So many of us are caught in this overpowering disruption.
I hope you will find a way to create your own eye in the midst of the hurricane.Published in Culture
Thank you for these thoughts; self-care is essential.
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”
Good post Susan. I guess I’m blessed to live out here in the country. After an hour of Tucker, I can step out on my back porch and listen to the sounds of silence. Helps to erase the sight and sounds of the screaming mob…
Actually, my ideal calming experience sounds very similar to the one you describe.
That sounds lovely. We live in a quiet subdivision, but it’s not the same as the country. Take good care.
I’m not surprised. ;-)
To create my eye in the hurricane around me, I immerse myself in reading (currently murder mysteries), writing (currently writing romance novels/women’s fiction), or playing computer games (too many to list).
In other words, escapism . . .
My reaction to the abortion question is complex. A part of me is concerned, mostly about the state of our country and potential violence that could break out; I’m bewildered by the number of protestors who don’t even know what is taking place in their own states. But mostly, it is the national turmoil that is so unsettling, especially stirred up by Democrats with lies and misrepresentations. So worry on my part is less an issue than my overall bewilderment and confusion about what is taking place and specifically why.
Those “eyes” I create will become more and more important, no doubt. Thanks, Jake.
I see no problem whatsoever with escapism, as long as we don’t ignore those parts of our life that do need our attention. And that is certainly not you, Stad. So have fun!!
Speaking of mystery, a visit to some old friends in a New York brownstone is always welcome. Especially if it includes dinner.
Yes. Truly Zen. Does the same for me.
Thanks, @susanquinn, I took your advice and did a little spin around downtown Eugene on my mobility scooter. I met a lot of smiles and comments like, “Great day to be out, isn’t it?” Sometimes, it just great to get out of our ruts.
Caryn and I also went out to a gun range over the weekend with another couple (it was on their property). It’s only my second time shooting(!) so it was not as peaceful for me. But I gotta gun and I gotta learn to use it. Caryn is an old hand at this, having been in the military and having lived in Alaska.
That’s great, Jim! I think others need their “eyes,” too, and you gave them that experience, and everyone enjoyed it!
Good for you, Steve. Trying to make regular practice time makes the experience so much easier. Plus we just enjoy the time together, encouraging each other.
If I could @susanquinn I would like to recommend Pere Francois V.S.O.P. Fine Calvados while in the eye of whatever hurricane you may find yourself in:
Pere Francois V.S.O.P. Fine Calvados
It’s great for a little something-something in your morning coffee, and not badly priced (I pay $23.46 per 3/4 liter).
That’s sweet of you, Ronin, but my morning coffee is probably not the best time to try it. I’m a cheap drunk. Then again, what is it?
Apple brandy. It is distilled from cider.
Well, hey, that should count as a fruit serving for the day!
An apple a day …
In the early stages, ingraining safety habits is most important. Skill and accuracy take time.. If you wear glasses, it could require more time, especially with bifocals..
Yes! I need to figure out how to build my eye wall. I’m trying. As a word person, my usual escapes are reading and writing. I’ve already reduced my reading about politics, because … stress.
I’ve just realized that my fiction choices always are excursions to the past—just finished a Nero Wolfe novel and am now devouring a Dick Francis story from well before the new millennium, and, in writing, I’m working on my second novel set in the 1950s. History is my happy place.
Still, it’s hard to keep the present, with all its strife and emotion, completely out. If I escape completely to the past, I’ll be gaga. Sounds tempting some days, but I’d just increase the cares of loved ones. Not good. No, I need to find a way to know without negatives. Be aware and placid.
Not there yet, but I am trying.
The only good thing about hurricanes is that they cannot be sustained.
In a collection of David Mamet essays, he includes this version from Leviticus 26:
Sounds increasingly familiar.
The essays are brutally accurate and insightful about our current cultural and political rot but permeated with transcendent notes of hope. The concluding lines of the final essay:
I have been through a bad hurricane. The eye was only a temporary respite. But it did end.
Your efforts are impressive and admirable, Suspira! Although I don’t read much fiction anymore (my loss) Ithink that is a great way to escape. Maybe going back to the reading of biographies would be a great resource. I don’t think it’s wise to try to escape completely; as you say, others would worry about us. But dealing with the paradoxes of our reality–trying to be aware and placid, as you state, is probably the key. Well done.
Well said. One way or another, we will discover the other side. I read Mamet’s essays, too, and enjoyed his insights.
Dick Francis is always a good choice
In France it is considered a “working persons” or “ouvrier” adult beverage. Your average bar or café will have it, which can be served warm on cold nights, or in warm drinks like coffee. Yes, it’s a cheap drink, but warms the soul.
I’m not sure you’re familiar with the term, “cheap drunk,” which isn’t the same as a cheap drink. It doesn’t take much to put me under, which may have little to do with the quality of the alcohol. It sounds lovely.
I’m not one for accepting the epicurean pronouncements of those who eat snails.
This post is hilarious. I love it.
Hay! escargot is great with lots of garlic butter, after they have been corn feed.