As I began to write this week's installment, Jon Brooks' song "Proxima B" was playing on Hunters Bay Radio. It's a song about a recently discovered planet with an atmosphere roughly resembling Earth's. It's a planet that might be habitable for humans, and the song suggests we "pack light" as we plan to abandon the planet we are well along the way to destroying. As I watch the wheels fall off democracy in my homeland, and the international news seems to be grim as well, I am grasping for hope that some cosmic good karma will pull us out of this downward spiral. I just read and posted an article on my Facebook page written by a British writer named Jules Evans wherein he discusses the advent of a strange new phenomenon he refers to as conspirituality. It involves the comingling of spirituality and conspiracy, and the fact that social media facilitates the crazy zealotry that has overtaken common sense, both on the left and on the right. I've been trying to make sense of the chaos, and I think this article is a rational discussion about how we became so irrational. Here is the link to said article: https://www.onecommune.com/blog/commusings-jules-evans-rabbit-hole?fbclid=IwAR155fxsD4-UkgXPBmBWdQH1cZY89bgWZoxseLUS6KmAVShY27_jfKjjWpU.
There has been a lot of discussion over the past few months about the mental health ramifications of another lock down. Certainly, those problems are exacerbated by the approach of the big holiday season. Christmas is just over one month away and the American Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and I fondly remember the wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations my parents used to host in Buffalo, NY. While I miss those parties, I am warmed by those memories, and I realize that nothing lasts forever. I don't think I have ever been more mindful and thankful for what I have. At present, everyone is suffering, and the challenge will be to re-invent the holidays. Some will do it with light shows, some will celebrate virtually, some will self-medicate and live in denial. I hope people remain isolated for the common good, but if reports of crowded airports are any indication, I am not optimistic. One of my Thanksgiving traditions has always been to watch the Macy's Day Parade in New York City. I understand it will be virtual this year. How strange! I can't ever remember that event without huge crowds of spectators.
Thankfully, for the past 26 years, Shauna and I are used to spending most of our time together, getting along beautifully. We try to keep ourselves occupied with plenty of projects (many to do with Hunters Bay Radio). Alone with my thoughts, is not a good place to be at times. On top of the obvious need to be less social because of the 2nd wave of COVID-19, I am physically hobbled as I mend from hip replacement surgery. While I venture out to the porch from time to time, I am reluctant to walk on the irregular terrain surrounding our property. Almost 4 weeks after the surgery, I can easily negotiate the stairs and am walking fairly well with a cane. Still, I'm not supposed to drive for a few more weeks, and I don't want to undo what was just repaired. Until everything is healed up, twisting and bending are verboten. It's easy to forget. I never realized how many times a day I drop something, and I used to take for granted that I could bend over and pick up whatever it was. If you ever have this surgery, invest in a good quality "grabber". It will be worth its weight in gold.
Many of us are full of uncertainty right now, concerned about how this winter will unfold, and about how to remain safe. The anxiousness is palpable. I'm trying to screen out the "conspiritualists" and listen to reason. I want to cooperate with the healthcare professionals and first responders who are putting their lives on the line for you and me. They are the ones who will be overwhelmed should we ignore their simple pleas for masking and social distancing. I'm going to try to stay connected with friends and family as best I can from a distance, and to choose love over hate. I'm not anywhere near ready to give up on this planet yet, and hopefully, reason will find its way to the surface in this maelstrom of lunacy.
Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED