I find myself skimming headlines and not reading further because I get so furious and so frustrated and so sad. Why WHY would the Chinese government legalize the use of tiger and rhino parts for medicinal use? DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND THERE AREN'T MANY OF THEM LEFT? Why WHY would anyone go into a place of worship and shoot people? Or a school, or a shopping center or a concert hall or ...or... or WHY? Why WHY would Trump...never mind. There's simply no useful or believable or reasonable answer to any of the endings of that question. I WAS happy to read about this, though I wonder what the heck they're going to DO with it all, if it works.
Maybe that's why I gravitate so much to Instagram these days. It's SOOTHING. My Instagram feed is mostly full of artists: gorgeous photos, paintings, drawings, illustrations, ceramics, embroidery, sculptures, mixed media, metal, wood, textiles. Scrolling through a feed of beautiful images helps to take the edge off all the things that make me feel enraged and helpless. Playing my Spotify list does the same thing. Reading helps too, but not in the same way.
Right now, blogging, writing, posting seems to be the last thing I think about. I LIKE writing, but I feel I'm writing in a bit of a vacuum so often. And I know that a) so what, who cares, write anyway and b) there are PEOPLE in this vacuum with me, reading. Caring. Maybe commenting. Maybe just nodding and clicking "like". That's not why I should be writing. I should be writing to clear out the things in my head that shouldn't stay in there swirling around, making me crazy. I should be writing because it's a powerful way to share the things that I think are important, or funny, or true. It's a way to REMEMBER. Because good grief, there's too much going on in my life, in the lives of the people I care about, in the world, for me to remember every detail. Posterity doesn't just happen all by itself, you know. It needs your help! You have to WRITE IT DOWN. Otherwise posterity just shuffles off into the past and disappears in a puff of memory.
My friend Chuck wrote a post today about being the archivist for his family and talked about how satisfying it is to be the memory-keeper. I fulfill that function in some ways for my family, too. I write this blog, which misses a lot, but catches at least SOME of it. I print it into books every year so that my kids (and their kids?) will have a record, so something will be PRESERVED. So posterity won't just pass me by, whistling. And one line he wrote really struck a chord: "I started a project that I’ve always been pretty sure would have to be started after I died, when I had more time."
I have some of those projects. I bet you do, too. Even just writing a post, some days, is a project.
But, you know what? I don't have more time. Neither do you. None of us do. We only have the time we have. Don't let the bad news of the day suck you into hopelessness. Those projects won't wait forever. And neither will posterity. Someday, Trump will be history, and someday the tigers will too, sad as that may be. Someday, we'll all be history but maybe there will still be someone around to read what we thought about it while we were making it.
Good things about this week so far: Lots of compliments about Karin at work; getting some scholarship applications submitted for Martin; the vegetarian lasagna that Anders made for dinner last night, served with delicious artichokes; the variety of birds at the feeders this morning: a bouquet of pheasants, a pair of jaunty magpies, a shy blackbird, several obstreperous sparrows and finches quarreling over space on the suet ball holder; the digital communications team's Halloween group costume as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (and the magic mirror and the huntsman and the witch with the apple and the evil queen!); cracking my boss up with a hilarious suggestion for rewriting a sentence about being a brand ambassador to make it more exciting (you had to be there).