Sunday, September 6, 2020

America, we need a cleanse.

This lovely, early September weekend was hilly...a lot of ups and downs.

I gave my twenty-year-old, loyal SUV a mini vacation, after it had a minor operation last week, when one of my dearest and longest friends picked me up to drive to West Virginia last Friday evening. 

My plot of land there is atop a little mountain, and the unpaved driving paths give the steep climb some dimension. I’ve been slowly but surely clearing the land in preparation for growing edibles like peas, mushrooms, a couple apple trees and other things, but it appears that flowers were the first permanent in-ground additions. I ordered roses, which arrived Thursday, and which we brought down with us. They join two crape myrtles I rescued from the outdoor department at the Moorefield, West Virginia Walmart, which I planted a couple weeks ago. 

The ground is tough, and my shoulders can only take so much of the shovel, so I splurged on a little gas-powered excavator - which still sits in the shed as of today, because apparently some assembly (which means needing to read directions as well as coming back with 13 and 15 mm wrenches) is needed. 

Kelly and I also explored some around Hardy (my county), Grant and Tucker Counties and beyond, spending a night in Davis, West Virginia after visiting the Blackwater Falls. We listened to live bluegrass at the Purple Fiddle restaurant in the adjacent and quirky town of Thomas. 

There’s no electricity or proper 'house' yet on Shepherd’s Hill, which is what I’ve named my 6 acres in the Lost River valley area. Some camping is planned for October, but if one wants to shower, or have other amenities, that all must be done elsewhere currently. 

Driving through mountains, uphill and down, offers such beautiful views that I get spellbound. A good friend is one with whom silence is not terribly awkward, and emotional venting - whether uphill or downhill - is not condemned. So I’m grateful for that. 

I worry so much about my country. I worry because I love my country, of course, and know how lucky I am to be born American. Yet it’s impossible not to feel the state of the world, and - more pointedly for me at the moment - the state of this nation. 

America, I think we need a cleanse. 

As an empath, I can’t but feel what others feel. It can be distracting, but I’m improving the security of my own boundaries and my ability to be less porous - or more porous? I still can’t decide which way is better. 

We often cling to the idea of knowing. Knowing what is “true” and what is “right”. Sometimes this knowing is obvious. I’d posit that a sense of justice or injustice should be inherent to one’s being. I hope that more and more this is so. But sometimes our knowing is dependent on external information, and often this information is hard to verify personally. 

If half of this country trusts (or accepts, at least) information sources that the other half profoundly distrusts, we keep stalling out before even getting on the road (of progress). I don’t have an answer to this, only angst. But I do feel as though ‘feeling’ should not be discounted.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem prepared to accept the results of the November presidential election should it go against their candidate. This is obviously a scary and not a particularly productive thing. Or, perhaps the prospect of further – almost certainly untenable division – is an opportunity to shed.

When we keep our bodies healthy, it inarguably improves the functioning of our brains, and I would say it keeps our souls healthier too - or our spirits lifted, as they say. We can also cleanse our minds, allowing thoughts and memories and focuses that no longer serve us to dissipate. Really, the only effort required with this is choosing gratitude. Gratitude for existence, for your breath, for a new revelation, or a good memory…for anything. But I digress.

When our mind spaces are freed up a bit, we are more connected to how we feel - to all of our senses, of course - but to our sense of true knowing. Of right and wrong. Of good and evil. Of what elevates, or will hinder.

When we are truly connected to this, even a brainwashing cult cannot blind us to the best, next step forward.

It has to do with specific moments as well as ‘big news events’. It has to do with our ability to distinguish what our senses tell us, and a consistent, concerted effort to observe and understand what it is that we are feeling in response to external reality. 

I trust every human being to make correct judgment when they do so from this place. I believe we have the capacity (inherently or not) to be good. All of us. I know many would disagree. 

But first, we need to cleanse - not others, not (all) institutions, not others’ belief systems, but our own Selves. It has to start there. On some level, I think this is widely known (felt).

And as a country, it might be a good idea to take something (healthy) in the evening that will allow for a cleaner, (national) body in the morning. 

To be continually observed, I guess…

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