An old Chinese “curse” is “may you live in interesting times “. Ok. You have my attention and these times are interesting, but I would like for you to stop now. I need to catch up. My mind is defaulting to a worst case scenario because I am coming out of isolation, so STOP!!!
Yep. It is March. My month. My birthday is this month. And, this morning, I am paralyzed with thoughts of nuclear weapons in Europe (my recurring nightmare). I then realized I can only control myself and my safe spot on my sofa in the apartment I am living in. I remembered a post I saved
“Several years ago I invited a Buddhist monk to speak to my Senior elective class, and quite interestingly, as he entered the room, he didn’t say a word (that caught everyone’s attention). He just walked to the board and wrote this: “EVERYONE WANTS TO SAVE THE WORLD, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO HELP MOM DO THE DISHES.” We all laughed. But then he went on to say this to my students:
“Statistically, it’s highly unlikely that any of you will ever have the opportunity to run into a burning orphanage and rescue an infant. But, in the smallest gesture of kindness — a warm smile, holding the door for the person behind you, shoveling the driveway of the elderly person next door — you have committed an act of immeasurable profundity, because to each of us, our life is our universe.”
This is my hope for you for the New Year — that by your smallest acts of kindness, you will save another’s world.”
The predictability of unpredictability. I decided to make some lists of things I would like to do if I wanted to. But I don’t want to. And I remembered this meme. After surrounding all of Europe and the brave people of Ukraine in healing love, I put this on Facebook to calm myself down and searched for my meme.
Outside my window is a new day. I have not lived this day before. And, it is a changed world – a post pandemic world. Putin is NOT Stalin. Ukraine is NOT Poland. WE ARE CREATING NEW HISTORY! I am alive today. The sun is shining. I have food in the kitchen and a cup of coffee by my computer. And, the news is happening outside my window. This is an article that I want to share with you:
“In the United States, the Second World War is regarded as a historic triumph — when the Greatest Generation made the world safe for freedom. In Europe [where I live] it is far more complicated. World War II was a time of carnage, total destruction, mass civilian death, occupation and its cousin, collaboration. The scars of the past still resonate. [I have done and seen this] Walk down a quiet French street and you might glance up at a sign in memory of resistance fighters shot at that spot by the Germans. You can walk into Nazi gas chambers documenting the horror of the Holocaust. Tourists still trace the path of the Wall in thriving, unified Berlin. And the sight of Ukrainians sheltering in underground stations struck a chord in Britain, evoking fabled scenes from the blitz. It took the carnage of a Russian leader ripping up the boundaries of the post-Cold War world. But everything in Europe is now changed, changed utterly.“
The predictability of unpredictability. It’s time . The hour of reckoning is here. Will this be the war of wars that is supposed to take us all out because Putin is unpredictable? Did we fail to divide and conquer? Oops . My worst nightmare is happening and I am alive and living in the middle of it. Alone with my active imagination and safe spots. The predictability of unpredictability.
I don’t know but I don’t think so. I need to not think so. Yesterday, I posted this on Facebook (my social media of choice):
“I am happy to report that I am in my safe spot on my sofa in my apartment with a view of the Parc de Princes out my window in the distance. I am getting a lot of information about wartime strategy- more than I need. And war crimes and war criminals. It is fascinating when I can think beyond my anxiety level going bonkers with the thought of nuclear war interruptions. People in my town are very quiet and buying iodine pills but I am stuck to my sofa. My big journey a day is a trip to the mailbox. I will have to get out next week but not today. With God as my witness, I will think about all of it tomorrow. But I must study modern warfare tonight and help Ukraine and all of those people who need help. I am appalled at how politicians and dictators wannabes and dictators disregard laws and agreements. So I am very busy sending love to all of them and handling my fury and knowing that anger only hurts me……. (Please excuse my attempt at levity but I am doing my best to deal with my mental health with a pandemic and my brain challenges and management of life in France.)”
Do you want “safe?” There is not a safe spot in the world anymore. So we must believe that we are safe anyway in order to process the new that is on its way. The predictability of unpredictability.
This is probably what young Jesse Jewell faced when his mother’s feed store was failing. The South was a mess. Famine was everywhere. And it was politically corrupt . Farmers just wanted to eat dinner with their family and needed food for the table.
Daddy was a good man and he loved his mother. He had integrity. I believe Macron has integrity . I believe Joe Biden has integrity.
Does anyone care what I think ? At age 84? I do. I matter. You do. You matter. And I am not too old and it is not too late. The predictability of unpredictability. I am just finding my voice.
“There’s this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting – women, especially – when they reach my age. We’ve got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we’ve got wrinkles, or whether we’ve put on weight or lost weight, or whether we’ve changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow.”–Annie Lennox
Today’s invasion of democratic Ukraine by authoritarian Putin is important. It not only has broken a long period of peace in Europe, it has brought into the open that authoritarians are indeed trying to destroy democracy. Ukraine officially declared itself an independent country on 24 August 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. The predictability of unpredictability.
Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers softly ‘you got this, keep going.’