I found absolute, overwhelming, heartfelt beauty while standing on the shore of the Pacific, mindfully moving through the Rocky Mountains, and sitting as a grateful observer on the shore of Lake Superior.
Hours can pass before I speak, or am spoken to, each morning. My building is quiet, except for the bass tones of someone’s new sound system near me; spilling out the deep, soft downs of a human voice, and carelessly letting them seep through the floors and walls like some ethereal syrup. In subconsciously analyzing the familiar rate of the tone’s flow, I assume that it is the voice of a news anchor. I shudder. It’s been years since I’ve reflexively turned on the radio for the news; longer since I’ve had TV and regular access to the slick, visual product. I can’t seem to handle it anymore.
How do people do this?
Almost two weeks before writing this, I had turned on the radio in the van to see what the deal was with the bank of dark clouds that seemed to be following me as I drove through southern Saskatchewan. I heard little chatter, and then, as if the sound originated on a different frequency–a beastly noise, hurling itself, like an animated gargoyle, through the whole front dashboard; there came the grating, puffing, raw sounds of a tornado warning. There was no way to consider this as a passing sound bite. This horror was made up of primal waves and gongs that launched themselves past any finger-tenting, turtle-necked editor lounging near the front of my brain, and careened directly to my medulla, that, at the time, may have been occupying itself with remembering the good old days of some ancestral woolly mammoth hunt, or, more likely it had given up and was planning to knit yet another scabbard. The effect was complete. I felt the fear deep in my body and got the hell out of the way; gargoyle doing its’ best to figure out how seat belts work with its’ ridiculous claws, in order to avoid being thrown like jello against the back door of my van while I stomped on the accelerator.
Over the subsequent days of my return trip, I turned on the radio to keep track of upcoming weather along my route, and found myself becoming mired in the bog of Trump. When I did have internet along the way–when I was in a hotel instead of my tent, I could scroll through Twitter and my news sources, and control how long I examined a particular post. While listening to the radio, I had no control other than to turn it off. If I wanted to understand the item, I had to endure the voices. I did.
I am doubtful that I am unique in the visceral reaction I have when I hear Trump’s voice. This began during his run up to the election. My heart fell at his winning. It has fallen even further since, as I hear sound bites of his supporters; a hateful, mean strain of citizen–whelped and fed on a steady diet of selfishness, brazen ignorance, and a seemingly inept, consumer-based vision of the planet as a whole. Now, with children in cages, I don’t think my heart can fall any further. Add to this the election of Doug Ford as the Premier of Ontario; a small-time bully, wound up by the success of his blinkered avatar to the south. I want to be sick. The physical effect I experience when I hear those hateful voices, is similar to that tornado warning:
Something is very, very wrong.
My answer to all of this is mythic, and you will roll your eyes. It involves the clocking of our sights from this unserving, hobbling economy, back to our soul’s fountainhead–fully invested, and supported by our rightful connection with this planet. Such a grand arc of change will likely never happen in my lifetime, unless there are asteroids that pick off a few of the world’s most juvenile, small-dicked, leaders–and that fucking golf course, and scare us out of our petty wants and entitlements into a new story. Something that reminds us, clearly, where we stand in the universe.
I didn't say this would be easy, but haven't you had enough?
Yes, if you look back over history, there is always a terrible leader somewhere. This reality is a lazy, shameful, and tiresome excuse to do nothing, but don’t misunderstand me; I’m not suggesting that you have to march, holler, and sign every petition. But I AM suggesting that, well, wouldn’t it be something if we became fierce in cultivating our direct, perfect line that runs from our thumping hearts to the core of this earth, instead of hiding our heads deeper into the sand? It’s difficult to convey this without sounding flakey, but this paradigm of broken, emotional estrangement, and the willingness to endure the most ridiculous financial expectations, as if they are set in stone by someone who mattered more than someone else, is nothing short of insanity, and far, far away from where from where our potential wants to take us.
Seriously, we are wired for this.
I found absolute, overwhelming, heartfelt beauty while standing on the shore of the Pacific, mindfully moving through the Rocky Mountains, and sitting as a grateful observer on the shore of Lake Superior. I felt the poetry of birth, life, and death in the late spring wind over the prairies, and of course, the terror, and ultimate respect for the power of nature at the threat of that tornado. The difference between the rich texture of those feelings, and the course trauma I feel while listening to this latest fashion of viral meanness is galaxial.
In my quiet in the morning, our earth has no borders. There is no rampant corruption driving families from their homes. I feel the fullness of the greatest universal love, and let myself waft in the reverie of the zeitgeist having the same, vibrant hope. This is shattered by the sound of that voice, and once again, I am a fool.