Patience, Peace, and Controlled Breathing

This country is a mess most days. And that’s not just my half-baked, glass-half-empty take on things.

You can always find the good news stories—they’re a dime a dozen. But the big stuff doesn’t go away. It looms, clouds the picture, maybe has us wishing and hoping it’s all still fixable, somehow. Societal decline, huge gaps in income and opportunity, climate damage, two camps dug in, people still sore over the Civil War, frustration and hopelessness and guns and anger everywhere, the latest megalomaniac perpetrating evil on a sovereign nation, maybe trying to start something bigger and wider. Assumptions and accusations flying, a former President who will soon be indicted and has—again!—incited his lemming disciples to cause trouble in his name. There’s imbalance and going without, giant rifts and seeming unquenchable anger.

At least the reservoirs in California are filling up. That’s something positive, and kind of amazing, though not surprising, given the number of atmospheric rivers that have been flowing across the state.

It’s a heavy load for all of us. It feels like a total assault on everyone. People will look out for their own and will abandon any thought of a team effort, of showing patience and strength, asking questions and seeking solutions. We’ll look to someone else for those, always someone else, because we’ll be too busy stockpiling cans of tuna and cases of water and finding a place in the hills on some high ground where we can weather the coming tribulation and defend ourselves with the assault rifles and ammunition we’ve been stockpiling. Holy shit.

What if we didn’t panic? What if we didn’t pay such heed to the paranoid survivalists and doomsayers and their damned self-sufficiency? Is this our only recourse—the “every person for themselves” default?

What if we took a breath and a closer look?

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