Saturday, June 9, 2012
Something that Made Me Mad
Anyway, it made me mad--with a bitter feeling--more than I usually feel about political issues or questions. I'm far more interested in literature and art and sociological/anthropological questions. It rattled me (and by the way, that's not a rattlesnake up there; it's a python). And it was a feeling that's been hard to let go of. At the same time, it's a feeling that's hard to know what to DO with.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my friend Margaret. She lives in DC, and I hadn't seen her for a long time, and it was wonderful to see her, and we had a great afternoon, sitting in my yard and drinking homemade ginger limeade and catching up on old times as well as the present. But as it approached the time for her to leave, our conversation sort of veered into the dark territory of uncertainty about the future and the economy and all the rest.
It seemed important not to part from each other with that kind of darkness in the air, so I told her about Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif's commitment to optimism as a moral imperative, which I have written about here before. And that seemed to soothe Margaret a bit. And then she told me how living in DC had gotten her addicted to following the news, in every detail, including reading every opinion piece, and how this had really come to wear her down, especially last summer, during all the budget shenanigans. And she told me that she had decided to almost 100% swear off reading the news, and especially opinion pieces ("They're just opinions," she said), and that as a result, she has come to feel far more centered and peaceful, focusing on the pieces of the world that matter most to her and that she can actually affect. She also mentioned how much she appreciates Jon Stewart and his take on politics, as well as the rally he held last year, and which she attended. And together we expressed awe at what he did that day, and especially (in my opinion) the piece he did at the end, about how humans really do know how to cooperate. Look at what they do every single day to get through the Holland Tunnel.