Thursday, April 18, 2013

Carry On and Carry On

I want to be gentle about this, but I'll still be honest. I'm already tired of looking for the helpers. Sorry, Mister Rogers.

Anytime anymore when catastrophe strikes, someone posts a picture of Mister Rogers, saying that his mother responded to any bad news by telling him to look for the helpers, because there is always someone who is helping.

This is true. It is also just one little thread out of the entire tapestry of experience and observation.

Redirecting ourselves away from negativity is useful and very much necessary, I'll admit. If we didn't do this, we probably wouldn't have made it past the caveman days. If we remained stuck worrying what was going to happen next or didn't consider the possibility, however slim, that things could change for the better, we as a species could not have made it to the present day.

So instead, we ventured out of the cave and tried those berries, ventured closer to that pretty dancing orange stuff where the lightning just struck, whatever. And those of us especially who believed in a higher power--within us, outside of us, or both--believed that life could continue somehow: maybe for us, maybe for someone else, but it would indeed go on.

That's what it's all about, going on. It's not just a feeling. There is more to hope than simply hoping. It's an active thing. It involves doing something as if what you are doing matters, as if the future exists. You plant a tree in hope that someone after you will sit in its shade and look after it. You brush your teeth in hope that you will be munching corn on the cob for many years to come.

It doesn't mean to keep calm and carry on. Calmness is a very temporary state of life, unless you are experiencing a coma or a morphine drip. It is possible to carry on while, well, carrying on. And sometimes you should! Keep loud and carry on. Keep doing whatever it is you do and carry on.

Chop wood, carry water. Take a bath. Replace the batteries in your smoke detector. Life goes on whether you do or not.

Donate blood if you're able. Get your marrow typed. Clean up a highway or a river. These things are also necessary, and they make the world better for others as well. They may seem small and unrelated to the bigger picture, but they get you out of the house at the very least, and at the very best they can save the lives of people and wildlife.

And if making some noise will improve the situation, or at least improve the silence, do it!

These are all very conventional things to say. You may be jaded about these suggestions. I offer one more.

Do something today that feeds you in a non-physical way.

It doesn't have to be an entire Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, although I have seen people perform that to lift a group's mood. For me the other night, my 'ritual' was as simple as smudging myself with white sage and watching the last part of Fantasia 2000, where the spring fairy brings the earth to life after the firebird has scorched it.

At times like these, witches often say 'ground and shield.' I agree with this excellent advice, for every day and for times of trouble. It is a good beginning. Keep going with that.

Get your feet in the dirt or in a body of water. Put your face to the sun. Feel the breeze outside. Dance around a fire.


The news can wait.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I did find it uplifting to focus on the people who kept running so they could donate blood, and offered stranded strangers a place to stay, and so on, and I adore Mr. Rogers, and love any chance to remember him with fondness. But I get what you're saying about the impossibility of constant calm. And that sometimes a little carrying on is appropriate.