I awoke leisurely this morning; thankful for another day, for my fortunate life and my healthy body, for my family and friends. When I checked Facebook one of the first items that came up was a video of musicians playing Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I closed my eyes and listened… a lovely way to begin my day.
I checked a news site. My high spirits began slipping downward. Presidential and Senate candidates dominated the top of the page… he said… she said… I say… he’s this or that… he needs to withdraw from the campaign… she’s lying… what a debate this is going to be tonight…
Like many people, I’m drawn in by the spectacle of the 2016 election; by the potential for dramatic, explosive events. Like an accident on the highway, we slow down to look. Is there blood? Is someone hurt real bad, or dead? I shake my head at others slowing down for such spectacle… and I turn my head to look just like the people ahead of me did.
I watched the first Presidential debate. I watched the Vice Presidential debate. I’ve followed the news. It is critical that people of good will expose and condemn racism, sexism, abuse, injustice, intolerance, dishonesty, and hypocrisy. Our nation is at a crossroads… the human race is at a crossroads; a crossroads at which Love and Fear intersect. The Shift is on. Our world – and we – face major changes as we shift toward Awareness and Love. This stuff is important! So I stay abreast of the news and speak out for truth, justice and healing.
And today I made a different choice. I walked away from the spectacle. I turned off the news. I wrote. I watched a baseball game. I ran a few errands. Anticipating the potential fireworks and high drama that would surely be on display during the Presidential debate at 6:00pm, I opened the front door of our home at 4:30 and walked out.
With earbuds playing a recording of Bruce Springsteen’s epic, 4-hour concert on August 30 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, I walked the two-plus miles to participate in a Yin Yoga class; a relaxed practice of floor postures held for extended periods of time. Yin classes are designed to increase flexibility. I treated the class also as meditation with a strong focus on breathing and not thinking – easing the “busy-ness” in my mind.
I spoke with another gentleman about my age who came to this Sunday evening class as an alternative to the debate. There were just 8 of us in class. And it was bliss. The hour flew by faster than any yoga class I’ve taken in recent memory. I thanked the instructor profusely after class for such a wonderful experience. We talked for several minutes about this particular type of class; the music she played.
When I walked outside I slipped my earbuds back in to listen to more of the Bruce concert, and began to walk a different route home; a dirt path along the river. It was getting dark. The half moon hung high in the sky. A flock of geese flew in formation high overhead. The songs, one after another, seemed to validate my choice today.
Oh, in a world so hard and dirty so fouled and confused
Searching for a little bit of God’s mercy
I found living proof
Can’t see nothin’ in front of me
Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Come on up for the rising
Come on up, lay your hands in mine
Well, I believe in the love that you gave me,
I believe in the faith that can save me,
I believe in the hope and I pray,
That someday it may raise me
Above these badlands
I arrived home after the debate was scheduled to conclude. I made a salad for dinner, made a batch of fresh basil pesto, fed our kitty and petted him to feel and hear him purr. I washed the dishes and then walked into my office and chose to write these words and not check the news. At all.
I’m going to bed now with a good book and will fall asleep when it feels like time… grateful to have cared for my spirit, mind, and body today. I don’t always. This feels good. I now plan on making similar choices multiple times between now and November 8. Another Springsteen song comes to mind…
Wreck on the Highway
As the rain tumbled down hard and cold
I seen a young man lying by the side of the road
He cried Mister, won’t you help me please
As we encounter accidents on the highway, and other incidents and spectacles where people are wounded or inflicting wounds, may we offer blessings of well-being to all who are impacted. At this crossroads we face where Love and Fear intersect, may we choose thoughts, words, beliefs, dreams, and actions that lead toward Love. May we walk together on the path that provides joy in our homes, compassion in our hearts, and peace in our world.
Good night… Sleep well…