Monday, July 10, 2017

This Is Our Balance

How are you doing it? Staying sane in these times. Do you avoid the news? Avoid Facebook? Avoid thinking all together? We're having a bit of a struggle these days. We've always liked to stay informed, but suddenly it all feels like too much. Just typing those words reminded me of this cartoon I've seen floating around the internet these past few weeks and months.
One of the things that works for us to maintain our sanity (such that it is) is to take long walks. A couple of miles a day really helps to balance the things we know are going on, but don't really want to delve into too deeply. We breathe in the ocean air and exhale the mind-numbing reality that is our country these days.
A scene like this, the marsh on Sunday, the sky blue, the air calm, the duckweed vibrantly green across the whole pond; this is our balance.
Further along the trail the lake is covered in algae, more than we've seen here over the years. The colors remind me of a map of the world, stretched out before us like a beautiful reminder of our earth. This is our balance, the place we take our steps, our breath. This.

It occurred to me after I put this post together to search the blog on the word "balance." Interesting how often in the past few years I've posted something about seeking balance from the onslaught of the challenging world. It also occurred to me that the other thing Roger and I do to balance the insanity is we have wine, wonderful organic red wine from the wine country of California. Roger suggested our new motto: Wine or whine, that's your choice!

35 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Tara-- You know us, it's one of our daily answers to the world.

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  2. "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible."- Epictetus

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  3. I avoid the news when it gets upsetting. For me, the whole thing is complicated because I don't agree with the liberal or the conservative agenda. I feel like a political orphan. I also like what Harold said and try to apply that to my life in all kinds of places. Can I do something about it and if I can't release it for a time until I can. Getting angry or fearful doesn't actually accomplish anything for me, although listening to the media, on either side, could definitely make a person think that was accomplishing something. The other thing that gets to me is how many versions of the same truth are out there. For those who only listen and read one side, I suspect this is worse as the talk is purely intended to upset the reader/listener. I've done a lot of watching home remodeling shows, documentaries, or movies that have no agenda and are intended purely to entertain. I don't feel guilty about not staying upset although I admit when I hear about this or that I can get upset too especially since I don't actually know the truth of what's going on.

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    1. Rain-- We've re-watching The West Wing to help us get through this political time. It really does help.

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    2. The Campaign and My Fellow Americans are good for that too :) Laughing is healthy

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    3. Rain-- I'll have to find those shows. We're always looking for something interesting to watch. Thank you for that.

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  4. We live within the natural environment and the more contact we have with it (in its natural state, not mowed down, poisoned, and redesigned by human hand), the better we will feel physically and mentally. I suspect that's part of what's wrong with our body politic now: They never stick their tiny heads and fat tummies out of their air conditioned bubbles, unless it's to venture onto gutted, pummeled-to-death bits of the earth known as golf courses.
    I wish Blogger could record the sounds of the marsh. It must sound delightful!

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    1. CCorax-- The interesting thing about the marsh is that it has been made into a natural wastewater treatment environment. A wonderful merging of human waste and environmental energy. Most of the people in Washington don't have any idea of the vast beauty of our planet. Yesterday's sound was mostly quiet except for birdsongs and the sound of hundreds of Willets hanging out on the rocks of one lake. It is serene.

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  5. Love the photos and your views on maintaining balance. A few favourite lines from Wordsworth speak my thoughts on all of this --

    Knowing that Nature never did betray
    The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
    Through all the years of this our life, to lead
    From joy to joy: for she can so inform
    The mind that is within us, so impress
    With quietness and beauty, and so feed
    With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
    Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
    Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
    The dreary intercourse of daily life,
    Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
    Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
    Is full of blessings.

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    1. bev-- Thank you so much for this poem. I've never read it before, and I am going to save it. I love, "...Nature never did betray the heart that loved her..."

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  6. Despite most of my efforts I feel unable to fully shake free of the worry and concerns, so even when I am otherwise focused, there remains a pending sense of gloom and doom waiting in the wings. I keep the TV off for hours at a time and try to engage myself in the gardens now that the weather is warm again. I am listening to more music now, reading lighter fare, watching more comedies, shopping online - I have bought hubs so many clothes he does not need! Overall, I am enjoying the blue skies and feathered friends who visit, looking forward to a couple of excursions, and hoping to get some major organization - (merge, purge, donate) done in the house, garage, and garden shed. Oh, and naps - I have returned to my toddler self and now take daily naps!

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    1. Sky-- I can't really, fully shake of the dread, but walking in the fresh air and sunshine really does help. This a particularly challenging time because it's not just about left/right politics, but a sense of foundational turmoil that could fundamentally change everything on our planet. It scares me. Whoops there I go, I better go for a walk ... QUICK!

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  7. I avoid Facebook & twitter (no account) I don't buy newspapers and I watch the news occasionally. Like is too shor to worry anout what other people are doing

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    1. Bill-- No Twitter for us either. We do read online news, and maybe that's the source of our worry. Life really is too short.

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  8. I love "wine or whine". That needs to be a tee shirt or bumper sticker.
    I tape the news shows and find myself fast forwarding past most of it anymore. I so understand your need for balance in today's world. It is pretty darn destressing anymore.

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    1. Patti-- What a grand idea, a tee shirt or bumper sticker. I love it! We don't have cable or satellite, just over-the-air TV, which we never watch. Lots of online news though, and Netflix streaming. Just worried about the attempts to deceive rather than inform these days. Very distressing indeed.

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  9. ¡Viva el vino! (And to hell with the greed mongers).
    Always appreciate your photos.

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    1. isabelita-- Yes! Thank you for that.

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  10. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one still struggling. I go from keeping up with the news to avoiding it completely. I definitely whine more than I wine, but that's mostly because I don't wine. (Beer, maybe...) I should probably do as you and Roger do and start walking more.

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    1. Sharon-- We really are living in very challenging times. We do have some wine with dinner, and that does take the edge off a bit, but really a nice long walk everyday helps in so many ways. I hope you head out to some place beautiful for a walk.

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  11. I get my news in small bits from trusted Internet sites. I watch Newshour briefly on Mondays for Politics Monday and on Friday for Brooks and Shields. And whenever I know Marcia Coyle will be on to discuss SCOTUS. And I'm definitely in the "wine" group, since
    whining doesn't seem to help. Although I have recently discovered Pimm's Cup, a very refreshing summer drink. Mix it with ginger ale and a wedge of orange.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- I like how and where you get your news. I think about turning on PBS for a bit of the Newshour, but often just open the computer to look at headlines. I'm going to have to google Pimm's Cup!

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  12. I find it hard to not follow the news, although I wish I could. Whenever I do try to stay off it, I can hear my father's voice telling me about how his family listen to the BBC in secret during the nazi regime and the dreadful risk this involved.

    We try not to talk too much about it, esp. not a mealtimes but it doesn't work. This morning when I came late for breakfast, R read out to me the same article I had read earlier when I had woken up before dawn and had been wondering whether I should forward it to him. (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/10/earths-sixth-mass-extinction-event-already-underway-scientists-warn)

    I rely on a good network of old and new friends, we all read various sources (daily papers, national and international, various commentary sheets, NGO news feeds, etc.) and try and stay informed and alert. It helps to know that they are there.

    The colours of the water are amazing! As always, very inspirational pictures!

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    1. Sabine-- I've been reading about the sixth mass extinction lately, and it breaks my heart. I sense where we are headed, and sometimes I just grateful that I'm as old as I am. That must sound a bit mean-spirited, but it's not meant to. I'm just hoping I won't be around to see the worst of it. We know what's coming, and for some reason power and monied self-interest go hand-in-hand. That's why we walk and walk, to forget what we already know.

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  13. Hi Robin, so glad you and Roger have such wonderful places to visit to keep your sanity. I tend to stick my head in the sand and ignore the terrible things that are happening. We have two local weekly papers that keep me informed of the things going on in our community. If something major happens Chuck will hear it as he listens to the news driving to and from work and will pass it along to me.
    Enjoy the rest of the week.
    Robin

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    1. Robin-- I like how you manage to keep your sane distance from the tragedies unfolding on our planet. Smart, really smart. We here in the states look at Canada with such envy.

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  14. Hi Robin and Roger! Thank you for the beautiful photos.

    I look up and look outside my window and step out on my porch when I need a break from working 6-7 days a week on the transcription backlog. I check the news online briefly each morning.

    Throughout the day, I look at my favorite ocean webcam and I can feel the ocean air and hear the wind in the grass:

    http://www.agatecove.com/webcam.htm

    I think of George Harrison's song, "All Things Must Pass."

    I laugh with my cat when she tries to tell a funny story, but she can't keep from laughing (-:

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    1. am-- There is something about the ocean air that really does works. I love thinking about "All Things Must Pass"-- it's to to remember that in theses times. Love your laughing cat too!

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  15. A nice walk near the ocean, followed by some good wine. It sounds like a great recipe to me!
    That cartoon really does apply for me right now.

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    1. Pat-- It's the combination that works best for us: ocean and wine! Yes, we are living in such interesting times.

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  16. i really likes your blog and You have shared the whole concept really well. and Very beautifully soulful read! thanks for sharing.
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