Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.
~ Henry David Thoreau
This post won’t be my usual sort of post, it’s a ‘thought processing’ sort of post – if you’d rather read about food, please close this tab and read my next post.
I recently deleted my Facebook account, so it takes even longer for news like the above to make its way into my conscious mind nowadays. TV/newspapers are my emergency solutions in the rare event of Boredom.
For someone who supposedly cares about people and loves the world, I am shockingly ignorant about – well, normal things. Like knowing what’s in the news, or recognising ‘famous’ people. I only seem to have brain capacity for about nine ‘famous’ people at a time, and that’s only when other pressing things aren’t clamouring for some precious brain capacity too (pressing things include things like recipe ideas, which trump famous people in the queue to enter my brain every single time).
Events that supposedly “shake earth”, that dominate our headlines… I take it in (once the news makes its way into my consciousness), like the rest of us readers/participants/spectators. Except it seems that most people appear to have a more marked reaction to things. They exclaim, midway through a muffin/mug of coffee, at the newspaper. They gather to moan about the non-existence of God, about how they have to change their holiday dates because of some ash cloud or other, about how they’d never do that to their child, about how they won’t have money next year to rent a cardboard box let alone an apartment, etc.
Me? I wonder if I should sing “If I only had a heart” with Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes I can’t tell if I care, if caring equals crying, or reading the newspaper every day, or giving an intelligent/empathetic speech, or passing out, or something equally demonstrative.
I think that I am mostly somewhere in between euphoric and depressed about the state of the world; except, of course, the rituals and requirements of daily life don’t allow for indulgence in these emotional states. Probably a semi-lucky thing. I could be surviving on Kleenex and pills, and Fran could be living with a psycho girl.
Every second, someone is flipping a pancake; pooping; sleeping; giving birth; climbing the Great Wall; fleeing arrest; appearing in Court. Every second, someone somewhere is saving a life; following a dream; making the world a better place. Every second, a child somewhere is dying of malnutrition/malaria/HIV AIDS/dehydration/abuse/who knows what else. How can this be? How can one live in a castle when just a few hours away, another is raped/killed/left for dead in an open field? It’s pretty hard to take it in, especially when my own circumstances have never been that dire.
I’m sure that on some level, newspapers/news channels try to convey all this information to try and save us/encourage us/help us/help others. But on another level, it’s all just become noise – entertainment for bored people, garbage to busy people, an excuse to buy more alcohol and cigarettes.
The thing is, nothing matters and everything matters. When we lie on our deathbeds, we probably won’t be bemoaning the fact that we worked too little or didn’t get round to fixing that broken stool or heck, had a fat bottom. But on an everyday basis, work matters, goals matter, being comfortable matters, image matters, having things to do in the weekend matters, and one’s opinion of one’s bottom kind of matters too.
A dollar seems like disposable change until you are down to your last five dollars.
We give the least care and time to things and people we say we love the most. We belittle/run away from love. And then we get confused and fall into ‘mid-life crises’.
People die all the time. When you read something like accident statistics, it’s easy to think about lives in numbers – to feel sadness prick your heart like an ant bite (if that). But when someone you love dies, it’s different. It’s not just numbers, not just a death, not just another life gone. It’s THAT person gone. Your heart stops. Everything stops. You get angry with the sun for shining.
So where’s this post going? Is this post about a girl who decides to pack her life away and follow in the footsteps of Mother Teresa? No.
I just finished reading a book tonight that roused my anger; that made me want to write about something as true as the sort of food that travels from your mouth to your belly, heart and mind, nourishing and enabling you. Not fast food or bad food which does nothing for you except increase your pimple count.
I think that we need to care about what we care about. We need to seek truth. We need to wait productively when it’s time to wait; move like our life depended on it when it’s time to move. Nothing happens when we all wait for someone else to do something. News will only make a difference if we do something with the news we now know.
I dream of a world where people fight, but not against each other – only against the things that cause division. Where people like Mondays (or the equivalent). Where happiness doesn’t arrive with coffee and depart ten minutes later with an email from a boss. Where less people do what makes them dull. Where more people dream and live those dreams. Where family members aren’t primarily associated with wedding and funerals. Amongst other things…
Whoever said time is the only currency we have is right. And the best part about that is – we determine the value of the currency too. One second, one minute, one hour… it’s all cents and dollars. But some people create wealth and others waste away with the same 24 Hour Dollars a day. We could let the dollar slip, or we could do something useful with it. Stretch it. Feed six people instead of one. Give someone hope.
I really want to use my dollars wisely. I want my dollars to feed more than just me.
Tomorrow, Kath and I are hosting a dinner party, so I should get some sleep. For now, goodnight, and as they say in Hebrew, “Chalmot paz”.