I’ve been in a bad way lately: physical problems, difficulties in managing my household, a persistent emotional trough, and low levels of energy and motivation. Some of that’s to be expected in a septuagenarian. As for the rest, I try to cope. Still, it can be very hard when the negatives gang up for a frontal assault. That’s especially so when I’m in a “what’s the use?” state of mind over the state of the nation. It’s affected my writing, here and in fiction.
So a reminder that that we might yet have commonalities with our adversaries, potential avenues by which to achieve some degree of reconciliation, is a valuable thing. Long-time reader and commenter Tim Turner, who’s also known as “furball,” chipped in today with exactly that. I present it here for the consideration of those Gentle Readers who might feel, as I often have, that America is going to Hell by the express route and there’s nothing to be done about it. Tim’s thoughts appear below.
Hi. I’m a newbie here as far as saying much, but I’ve been following Fran for years now. And I’ve noticed a subtext in his – and others of my favorite bloggers – recent missives that he’s grown old, tired, and he’s maybe said everything before.
Now, make no mistake. I’m old and tired and not nearly as cogent or sharp at seeing “stuff” as Fran.
Fran does say new stuff, but one can hardly blame him if he gets whacked out a little when he gets up morning after morning and sees the same zombie liberals and media stumble towards mindlessness.
So, apropos of no holiday or anything, I offer what I think of as a “nice thing.” Grace.
That’s “Graceland” by Paul Simon, and, if that didn’t work, here’s another pointer to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9M4XJXnCcw
Why speak so little now, when others are saying get armed and get lots of stuff like medicines, food, a go-bag, etc.? Yes, do that. It’s probably a good idea. I mean, if you can afford it, what can it hurt to be prepared? Better to waste a little money on needed stuff than be without.
Anyway, I’m not real religious, but I believe in grace. I also think things are getting bad enough that it’s time for us “readers of blogs” to add our positive voices to the mix.
Oddly, after being online for over 20 years – AOL, etc. – this is the first time I’ve ever come out like this.
But the voice I want to add is “Grace.” Which is (I think) humility, appreciation of the beauty before us, and even the willingness to actively bow down and be thankful of even the OPPORTUNITY to witness the imagination and incredible innovation and creativity before us, but to also see how listening/viewing that. . . reverberates in ourselves and helps us echo thanks and respect for . . . God, or our own lives, or whatever this is.
It’s simpler and less holy than one might think. Fran presents arguments from a logician’s viewpoint. I’m saying, “WOAH!” things are weird, but even a probable leftist like Paul Simon makes good music.
But everything I’ve said is trying to make us examine ourselves and attenuate our anger or sense of injustice at what the left has done.
As much as I want to . . . no. I can find things I *hate.* Is there still anything in my heart, that can make peace and form a nation again of shared values between me and the current left?
I ask you.
I am hard up against my seventy-first birthday (no to be confused with Bilbo’s eleventy-first) so I can relate. It is hard not to conflate our own aging and increasing decrepitude with the current state of affairs in this temporal sphere. I try very hard to separate my internal from external stimulae, but nevertheless have come to the conclusion that our civilization is in a rather parlous state right now. However, times like this have come–and gone–before and this Earth has never supported more human beings that it does at present, despite war, famine, pestilence and death. (Biblical reference intended.) The White, Red, Black and Pale Horsemen have always ridden over the face of the globe, and will until King Jesus returns to set things back on The Lord’s intended course. I find great comfort in the fact–yes, fact, not opinion–that, whether I am gathered to the bosom of Abraham or called to meet The Lord in the air, my eternal future is assured, just as certainly as my Earthly future is destined to end. It grieves me to know, however, that fewer and fewer people have accepted the Truths contained in the Bible, and persist in seeking their own way, which inevitably and inexorably leads to death in this world and eternal punishment in the next.
Sometimes, we need to take a step back, and ask:
Am I focusing too much on the negative?
Do I need to actively look for positive?
In the theme of “Great Minds” having a coincidental thought, I posted on this point – https://rau-tng.blogspot.com/2021/04/some-thoughts-on-conservatives.html
Scroll down to the part about the “most important post”. It’s changed my mind about what I want to spend my reading time consuming.
I’ve noticed some recent diminishing of my sight – I’ve hit the start of cataracts, and reading the day away is no longer possible. I have to make sure that when I do read, it’s not fluff, but something great. I may even, eventually, start using books on tape. I’ve done that on long car trips, and it’s made those long hours when stations come in only with static, and few of the ones that are available play anything I want to hear. Even AM had dead spots, although the rise in talk radio makes it easier to manage.
So, when I read, I want it to be great. I already use larger font sizes (at least 14, and often 16). If you’ve a web site, please don’t use grey fonts – they can make reading the content just about impossible. Also, dark backgrounds with lighter fonts are also quite hard to read. Unless you’re trying to reach the under 30 crowd exclusively, it is a bad idea.