We live in amazing times. Amazing, weird, fantastic, troubled, joyous times. Let us sit upon the grass and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings. Or at least of the pending impeachment of Presidents.
It’s kind of hard to sit and write when you’re leg constantly feels like it’s vibrating from your Washington Post app blowing up every 15 seconds. I find it at the same time completely out of this world and also making complete sense where the world and the people who try to run it are coming from right now. There’s seems to be a continuous barrage of a new fearful message or frantic response, all attempting to rationalize chaos or control the uncontrollable. I can’t make sense of it and therefore I try not to. All I tend to see are a bunch of well-dressed people in a chest puffing competition, and none of them are playing by MY rules. So, I disengage. Or at least, I pretend to. Sometimes it works. Most of the time it works. Other times, I get caught in the cycle of CNN, Reddit, friends with too many opinions, Fox, Pepsi, billboards that are signed by “God”. When I’m at my lowest, I’ll even bounce into the comments sections of articles or write out a well-thought out and seemingly brilliant response that is going to change the world…only to delete it in a cathartic attempt to stay neutral. So be it.
Truthfully, things are the way that they are. I, clearly, am not upset enough to do anything about it. I am not marching in protests for either side. I am not attending Make America Great Ralleys. I am not putting on rainbow shirts and walking down Santa Monica Blvd…in THIS heat? I’m not even signing petitions on change.org. I’m not sharing thought provoking Facebook posts. My actual attempts to CHANGE the things that I find disturbing fall at a big, fat zero. Therefore, allowing the circumstances that surround me to dictate the quality of my life would be crazy.
It’s when I need to circumvent that crazy that I usually find myself gazing into the soulful, brown eyes of Jack. He is so beautifully unimprinted by the weight of the world that I cannot help but be in awe. He bears witness to my self-induced suffering and he gives me a “bop” on the nose with the tip of his index finger. Like a wave of the hands of a biblical saint, and I am restored to sanity. My shoulders lift, my fists unclench and I’m making peanut butter and jelly, wrangling babas and Charlie and we’re off for the next adventure. I know of very few absolute truths about myself. I seem to be gifted one or two more each year. One that I know for sure is that I cannot deal in continuous anger. I cannot and will not allow myself to fall victim, or to play victim, to the perceived “bad” of Armani suited ghosts and goblins. I see adorable and consistent examples of this freedom from agony in my sons. Cynicism could easily write this off as the ignorance that comes with youth of this kind. Which, to a degree, is true. However, it’s looking past the qualities that can allow anyone to adopt a similar mindset. It would be disregarding that Jack is front-loaded with innocence and lack of ego. Yes, this is because that awareness of self is not fully developed in him yet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not something to shoot for. The less of myself, my sense of self, my ego, that I can inject into my reactions to the world the happier I tend to be.
To put it bluntly: I just don’t care. Perhaps one day that will change. Today, that’s where I am. Now that MAY sound the same as not giving a shit, and perhaps there is some apathy in there. There is certainly a desire to just look after “me and mine” and allow the rest of the world to fend for itself. That doesn’t sound very compassionate, I know. I tend to justify that with the help that I do provide in other areas. I do give back a lot to the universe. Well, perhaps not a lot. Certainly I’m no where near Even Steven. I think it’s more of an unaffectedness. Once again, I feel as though I’m in a position of neutrality. I knew a man a few years back that would replay equally to both sorrow and joy with the same query each time. The sky could open up and start raining golden coins or dead frogs, the car could start or not start and his response would be the same:
“How ’bout that?”
I can see the “How ’bout that?” in Jack.
I think I need to see a little bit more of the “How ’bout that?” in me.