I try very hard not to burn bras and hold protest signs (although both have tremendous appeal). Amidst waves of nonsense in the sea of our world, the urge to settle down for a good sit-in, march around a building seven times, or grab a bull horn at an intersection gets to be almost an ache in my bones.
The chickens, the sheep, even the rats trying to tunnel into the chicken coop again this year, all make a modicum of sense. It’s the people world I can’t always wrap my head around. I have tried to avoid this moment, but it is upon me. The roar in my head fills up my ears to the exclusion of other thoughts. I can’t help myself: this is a time that demands a list.
Why are we letting go of real things and replacing them with pictures of real things glued around nothing?
Why won’t we stop ourselves from checking endless mostly meaningless messages long enough to think actual meaningful thoughts?
Why do we do things that aren’t important and go places that don’t matter until we’re too dizzy and tired to notice what we’re opting out of?
Why do we turn up the noise so we can’t hear the silence?
All the troubles in the world, all the troubles in us . . . it’s awfully hard to notice them and see them for what they are, much less fix them, if we never stop, in quietness, and wait.
Such is my heaviness. I swear if John the Baptist was here eating locusts today, all the top of the line anti-depressants on the market couldn’t stop him from lamenting the deafening noise of nothingness (clothed as something) filling our brains and hearts with emptiness.
I have to remind myself to take the time to think, yes, but not to hold the weight of it. This is where real things save me. I went outside last week. It was a warm late afternoon with the wind was swirling around in leaves. There was Girl one, barefoot, cross legged, sitting on the old red tractor in the driveway, playing her violin.
Yesterday, my young Queen of distraction took ten or so reminders to open her violin case. I heard a few measures and went about my business. By the time I realized she was gone, it had been a while. I found her outside again.
“Guess what?” she said beaming. “I invented something. It’s called, ‘extreme violining.’ So far I’ve played my violin on the tractor, in a tree, on top of the car, and on the roof.”
Her grin these days is full of crooked teeth and spaces. We’re supposed to be saving up for an Orthodontist, but I’m thinking it might be cheaper to move to a third world country where they don’t have Orthodontists.
I still worry about common sense and quiet reflection, lost in a wilderness of activity. But hope is real on a roof at my house. Long may the band play on.