Tuesday, November 12, 2013

All is Lost

The new Robert Redford movie has a good title, apt since it is descriptive of the disarray in congress, with threats of another shut down, stopping government appointees from doing their job, with Middle East issues grabbing attention again, with the executive branch seemingly paralyzed by these external forces; much like the Redford hero battling the elements, alone in the vast ocean. Sometimes I feel the same thing, helping my friend make sense of the byzantine ways of government bureaucracy, trying to make sense of senseless paper work, with many forms to fill, undertake phone interviews and so on. I am fearful because it’s like fighting a giant machine that is supposed to help people in need, the helpless in society, but instead, shackled by a minority who believe their ultra – conservative ideology is the answer when really compassion for the sick and needy is all. The greatest nation on earth had begun by welcoming the poor and wretched of the earth and now whose modern descendants, wealthy and powerful, are clinging to their money and closing borders.

But I am being emotional, my nerves fraught with visions of catastrophe, fearing the worst when really it is not bad; man’s better angels always rising to help their fellows. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is tainted with fear and hatred, one’s only recourse is to escape in self-degrading abuse, looking for ways to get lost in distraction and fantasy. When did it all go wrong? Based on Stephen King’s book on the Kennedy assassination, it all started in Dallas with JFK’s death; looking at all these JFK programs in television it seems to make sense; but one wonders whether the killing of the American president started the road toward ruin. King has come out in concluding that it would be worse if JFK had survived because circumstances would play out with the failure of the civil rights act (which JFK’s death had mobilized), the atomic bombing of Vietnam and proliferation of nuclear weapons. But this is speculative history, and one cannot base his philosophy on fiction despite its inventive brilliance and impeccable research. So to improve my spirits, I went to a flea market in Highway 101, purchased 2 large ceramic vases for US $ 20 dollars, and watched several movies - the best of which was ‘Sherlock Holmes 2’ and ‘The Madness of King George.’

The mind has visions of doom but it is just the work of the overactive imagination. What will happen? The earth will continue to circle the sun and life will proceed as before, our children will grow up, discover life and find their place in the world, discover themselves and have families and children; we will be but a memory; our struggles today lost in the span of time. But it will all turn out well; thinking all is lost or the center will not hold is temporary lunacy, similar to the madness of King George with the loss of the colonies unnerving his sanity. But he gets well and continues with life. The secret is not to lose one’s nerve despite the many challenges at work, at home and in all of life. The children will survive and live good lives, the sun rises and the sun sets on everyone with equality. Yesterday, I read books in the patio, sitting outside and watching the trees turn into their fall colors, driving to Conestee park, riding the bike in the asphalt road and back down  the nature trail. It took about an hour to prepare the bike for transport and riding the trails but I thought it was important to get outside and away from one’s thoughts, enjoy nature and heal the mind.

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