I am both repulsed and seduced by the news these days. I log on in the morning to see if perhaps a ray of hope is making its way through the gloom, moving from one news source to the next, one political crisis or violent incident to the next. Most times, it’s not. No doubt something dramatic is happening in Cleveland even as I write this but thankfully I’m not aware of it yet. Whatever it is, I can’t imagine it’s good.
Unravelling seems to be the word of the day, and indeed that’s how it feels. The familiar fabric of our world is fraying at the edges and threatens to disintegrate into a tangle of knots too intractable to leave any hope of recovery. My world is nothing like my grandmother’s, but somehow I feel she would recognize the warp and the woof, be able to pick out the familiar elements of an increasingly complex pattern. I wonder if my grandkids and their kids will live in a world that I would recognize at all.
It’s not the first time the world has unravelled, of course. One of the many opinion pieces I read this morning compared the 21st century with the 12th. It spoke of the geopolitical tensions and rivalries, but didn’t mention the difference between nuclear weapons stockpiles and rock piles for catapults. I don’t think CO2 emissions were a problem then either.
This morning I advised an even gloomier friend to stay calm, meditate, try not to carry the world’s ills on his own shoulders. In an attempt to take my own advice, I shut down the computer, took a deep breath, and headed out on my not-quite-daily walk, promising him I’d share whatever insights I encountered on my walk that might make the world seem a sunnier place. You know, we Canadians are all about sunny ways these days.
I didn’t have any such insights. But it was a lovely walk, and I’m going to try not to check the news again today.