Good day today. Best day I’ve had in a while.
On the drive to work this morning, for the first time in a while, I felt clear-headed. Alert and aware. I’ve been in a fog lately. I can disguise it at work. I’ve way too much pride to not do my job or to let any personal situation become a factor at work. So Monday – Friday I am pretty good. But weekends I’ve been off my game. But today felt a little different for some reason. I’ve not hidden the fact here, in this medium, that all is not perfect in my world. But I’ve also not been completely transparent.
When not at work, I’ve had some difficult times. When I drive, I get lost easily. I miss exits and turns and find that I am losing time so to speak. And I have been a little teary at times. When I was young—very young, this was common for me. I cried about everything. If I read a story that was sad, I cried (Where the Red Fern Grows). But also things like the Kent State shooting—for which I was way too young to have context. Not that context made a difference in that situation. Children in poverty. Homeless people. Vietnam.
Most young kids today, who have lived through 18 years of war in Afghanistan and 15 or so in Iraq, do not know that when I was a kid, we grew up seeing helicopters and body counts and hearing war stories on the 6:00 news at night. I cried. Of course the adults in my life patronized me and told me I was too young to understand, but my instincts were that they were wrong and the human suffering we were causing was not worth whatever goal we hoped to achieve. Turns out that my instincts were correct and they were wrong. I don’t think there is much debate on that anymore—except from the old war hawks who might still be alive who were part of creating that fiasco. ’The Fog of War’ with Robert McNamara was pretty instructive in illustrating that.
But the thing is, that I find myself now somewhat returning to that vulnerable state. And there seems to be no rationale. It is true that humans still suffer needlessly. And animals. And the planet itself and all that implies. But the 3 big killers—poverty, infectious disease, and wars, are far less lethal today than they were when I was young. And yet, I am regressing to my absorption of those sufferings.
I assumed this was all about the passing of Mandela. But now I don’t know. That doesn’t really make sense. Even though I am overly emotional, I have learned over the years to know when to allow my intellectual self to be dominate over my emotional self. I have grieved for Mandela (or really for myself) even while intellectually acknowledging this is the circle of life and the inevitability of befriending a being with a shorter life span than myself. So I don’t think that provides all the fodder for this smoldering of sadness. There’s more to it, but I don’t understand it yet.
But anyway, today felt better.
I’m sitting outside now with the fire, and some Woodford Reserve, and chocolate almonds. And it seems okay.
Cokie Roberts died. She was a big contributor to NPR. I often found her sort of banal and boring, but she was a well respected journalist and I was sort of used to hearing her voice on her Friday morning appearances. What I find cool is her many names.
From a short bio on NPR’s website.
She was born Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs on Dec. 27, 1943, to a prominent political family in Louisiana. She got her nickname Cokie from her brother, who struggled to pronounce “Corinne” when they were children.
And below, an excerpt from a random post I came across that I found sort of cool and nice. I was always a big fan of Pooh and his crew. I even hosted Benjamin Hoff, author of ‘The Tao of Pooh‘ and ‘The Te of Piglet‘ at College Market Books and Coffee for a book signing when he was at the height of his success. Turned out he was sort of a weird dude. But at the time, his books were NY Times bestsellers and just getting him there was a major coup and we sold a ton of books
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
“It occurred to Pooh and Piglet that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats and coats and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood to Eeyore’s house. Inside the house was Eeyore.
“Hello Eeyore,” said Pooh”
“Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet” said Eeyore, in a glum sounding voice.
“We just thought we’d check on you,” said Piglet, “because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.”
Eeyore was silent for a moment. “Am I okay?” he asked, eventually. “Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That’s what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather sad, and alone, and not much fun to be around at all.
Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time with someone who is sad, and alone, and not much fun to be around at all, would you now.”
Pooh looked and Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.
Eeyore looked at them in surprise. “What are you doing?”
“We’re sitting here with you,” said Pooh, “because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling sad, or alone, or not much fun to be around at all. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.”
“Oh,” said Eeyore. “Oh.” And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.
Because Pooh and Piglet were there.
No more; no less.”