Walking Marley is therapy for me each day, an escape from the endless “Breaking News!” of the day and an antidote to the stress of said news and a wonderfully busy career. Also, it is my time to just think and chew on thoughts and ideas. Sometimes I listen to gentle music, but often I choose quiet, giving frequent praise to Marley, listening to the sounds of our Southside neighborhood.
As I walked yesterday afternoon after what turned out to be an incredibly stressful weekend, I thought about the state of the world and the choices we can make to deal with the onslaught of negativity and fear. Everyone is different and has to choose their own path; Dan loves to watch the news and stay informed. I appreciate that he chooses to listen to views from all ‘sides’, as he believes as my clarinet mentor, Kal Opperman, did, that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Open minds are good things.
For myself, I found that I wasn’t sleeping well and began having more and more nightmares after watching the evening news. I have always disliked conflict; some conflict in life is inevitable, but I can choose not to drown myself in it. I guess at the core of it all is that I can’t fix any of it- I can only absorb it and worry about it. I do want to be informed, but it’s how that information is delivered that makes a lot of difference. I do my best to read about things from trusted, unbiased, sources. No Chicken Little “the sky is falling!” for me, thank you.
It all makes me think of what a dear friend shares about phrasing in music, “Don’t pick too many flowers along the way.” Too many places of focus in a phrase takes away the direction and continuity, lessening the musical impact. Instead, thoughtfully choose where and when to emphasize the phrase where it makes most musical sense; then you have a beautiful phrase that really speaks to people’s hearts.
I am going to continue working on my ‘garden’, carefully choosing which flowers I want to have in my life. I hope for a good balance of work, home, and remaining informed about the world around me. I have this one life to live; I choose to live it in peace the very best that I am able, remembering all of the kind and wonderful people that I interact with each day in my neighborhood, at school, and in virtually every aspect of my daily life. Not everything is gloom and doom; there is still so much good in the world, so many kind and loving people. I really do believe that we can find a place of peace and still stand tall in the storm around us. Every garden has its weeds, but those beautiful flowers outshine them every single time.