The World Around Me

When I walked out onto the deck this morning, the air felt like cracked, bone dry leather and heavily used, fine-grit sandpaper. Yet the density of extremely high humidity was unmistakable, a set of oddly conflicting sensations that felt natural. And just now, back in my study, when I hit the ‘period’ at the end of the preceding sentence, I looked up and saw the mottled greens and dull greys of an inhospitable morning brought to stunning bright life by the passage of a large deer, a regal doe, slowly making her way down the slope toward the back of the house. Both the deer and the environment around her, suddenly, were incomprehensibly beautiful.

Sharp contrasts often can fade into soft harmonies, each component accentuating the beauty of the other, if one’s mood permits. I suppose the mood is as soft as the harmonies it allows; or maybe one feeds the other and then the process repeats itself. As I think of this possibility, my eyes mist a bit, as I long for a return to a time of peace and mutuality among nations and humankind. As if such a time ever existed. Was there ever a time when the contrasts between cultures and skin colors and religious beliefs and all the other myriad attributes of humankind were allowed to fade into harmonies, each accentuating the beauty of the other?

Will that nirvana ever exist? Not if that nirvana depends on my behavior. I am too quick to judge, too easily rattled, too impatient to allow time to wear down obstacles to peace and joy. Sometimes, I think my absence might be the spark to ignite a passion for universal brotherhood. That’s silly, of course, but one’s subconscious can force one’s consciousness toward strange and dangerous directions. When sanity prevails, and the subconscious demons depart, I realize one person’s presence or absence rarely makes a difference. Occasionally, a truly charismatic leader can so engage so many people that they become followers, disciples as it were. But, as history has so often shown, even the words of the best and most generous and kind and loving charismatic leaders do not always lead to nirvana. Sometimes, it’s just the opposite. Often. Usually. Humankind does not seem universally inclined to accept kindness and generosity and love. But that should not stop us from endeavoring to make it so.

It’s nearing the time I have to leave for my “pre-procedure check-in,” which I assume will involve a little blood-letting, insurance verification, temperature-taking, and who-knows-what-other-forms-of-torture. After the process is done, I’ll drag myself to Kroger to do a little grocery shopping. I loathe the idea of entering a crowded grocery store, especially in an environment in which it seems the majority of people seem to discount the benefits of social distance and wearing masks. But I shall wear my mask. Perhaps I should brandish a weapon, too, just to assert my claim to my social distance spacing? No, I’d like to think I’m not entirely consumed by lunacy, stupidity, and testosterone poisoning. There you go, John, be the change you want to see in the world. Right. I’m not entirely judgmental; just mostly.

Time to go. Enough blathering about the world around me and the me within the world.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to The World Around Me

  1. Kandy, I’m with you on the tasers. I would not last ten minutes in a customer service role today before being arrested for, at best, assault. At worst, I might have to plead innocence on the basis of invoking my right to perform the public service of preemptive euthanasia. I’m glad I’m not alone in veering off every so often. I may be understating the frequency, but what the heck. 😉

  2. Kandy says:

    The atmosphere right now is affecting everyone. Yesterday I was wishing the store employees who are having to put up with cussing, yelling and threats had tasers. I thought a bit of electric shock treatment might help since reason and decency seem to be missing in them. See, you are not the only one thinking they are going slightly off course!

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