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January 27, 2017


One person, one vote!
dual citizen who votes in both countries

Thank you for this, Beth.

I'm torn between the need to stay informed and stay sane. I'm trying to control my media (especially social media) intake: just because something happened today don't mean I need to know about it RIGHT NOW. We've gone from "what happened in the world today" to "what did the President tweet two minutes ago," and I'm easily exhausted by that kind of incessant, instant updating. We can't stay in ALL-OUT PANIC mode indefinitely, and that's what social media feels like at the moment.

I'm also trying to find my own "sweet spot" in terms of action. I like your idea of setting a finite, regular goal. Right now, my social media feeds are erupting in "call your representatives NOW" posts, and it's a bit overwhelming: I can't respond to *every* call to action, and I certainly can't respond to all of them *right now.* A half hour a week sounds do-able, and I like the idea of sending postcards rather than letters.

I'm also thinking a lot about Henry David Thoreau these days. This year is the bicentennial of his birth, and the politics of his day were just as anxiety-inducing as our own. Thoreau was politically active and outspoken in a tumultuous time, and he still managed to take his daily walks, make meticulous records of local flora and fauna, and maintain his journal. I think there's an important lesson there.

I can always count on this space for a thoughtful, compassionate read. Thanks much, Beth. I really needed this.

Lovely, pertinent, sane and helpful. Yep, they don't want us focused, persistent, long-lived and effective. They want us scared, tizzed-out, defensive, disorganized. So let's be just the opposite.

I always look forward to your thoughtful, surprising, interesting posts about so many things that matter to me and to us all. Thank you, dear Beth.

Thanks Beth, this sounds like the tough talk I've only in the past few days been able to direct to myself--fully perplexed about how to return to doing that concrete thing, writing that meaningful essay, any blog post at all, having fresh conversation across the sharp divide among neighbors and family. I still struggle to find Lorianne's "sweet spot." Not surprisingly if you remember me from the days of the Ecotone, it continues to be rebuilding our broken relationship to nature, place and community that is my passion. And so I will have that quiet moment of self-examination--again and again--until the voice of the Muse is more powerful that any midnight tweet in all-caps. Be well and prosper. -- Fred

Lorianne, I know exactly what you mean - I've been checking the news far too frequently myself, and am going to try to get that down to twice a day. And thank for speaking about Thoreau. Centered people know how to do self-care, especially in rough times - he's a great example.

Thanks, Mary - I'm glad if these words were helpful and I hope I can keep listening to them myself!

Hi Laura, it's great to hear from you. That's exactly right -- they want us to be distracted, unfocused, on our back foot -- so we have to find ways not to be.

Fred, delighted to hear from you! It's hard for all of us to find or keep our path in this new environment, but I think it's crucial, not just for ourselves but for others, and the things we have cared about. You've always written eloquently about nature and place and community - maybe what we need is MORE of that - maybe we need to return to the Ecotone. Maybe Phoenicia should do a book that is written by those same authors who came together long ago, revisiting the same topics but from the present day - what do you think? Did you see Lorianne's comment, above, about Thoreau?

Such helpful thoughts. I am working on this balance between being informed, taking action, and living my life.
The being informed is important and has its perils- the daily shocks, the ugly language, the lies, and the sheer quantity of it. Onslaught is a word that comes to mind. Also crazy-making and gas-lighting. Important to resist the psychological aspects of this as well as all the others. And you offer such a sage reminder of how important it is to continue to lead our lives, do our work, be with friends, make art, sing, be in nature, whatever it is that we are here on this earth engaged in. Beth, you have offered such a lovely reminder of this in this post and in so many others. I am grateful for your presence here and for your example and inspiration.
Thank you, Vanessa

Thanks Beth, very important to hear these thoughts, esspecially #4 !

Thank you, Cassandra. This is is a helpful perspective.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.