“Please do not forget to breathe.”
I follow former CBS news anchor and journalist Dan Rather on Facebook, and this was the opening sentence of his Saturday (Oct. 29) post. “We wonder and we worry,” he went on, referring to the current U.S. election. “We refresh our social media feeds and favorite news sources by the minute looking for affirmation of our hopes or amplification of our fears. There is always more information–always more spin.”
It probably shouldn’t matter to me as much as it does, but this election cycle twists me in knots some days. H. and I watched the debates, we watch the news. Even while trying to write, I keep refreshing the feeds, the sources, always looking for signs that Mr. Trump will not succeed, for how could it be possible, a man so ill-prepared, so incapable of logical thought, so undisciplined, so so so… So dangerous, really, bottom line. And I find myself getting worked up when people I know differently on these matters, and… well, I’m sure you know how it is.
My point is not to persuade anyone or enter into those arguments here, though I suppose I haven’t been exactly subtle about where my hopes lie. I’m Canadian of course, and thus an observer, not participant, but the mouse is always keenly aware of where the elephant is moving next.
The point, though. Mr. Rather said that in the “hurricane of insanity” that is this American election, he’s making a habit of putting his phone away to go outside, to go for a walk, to let himself be refreshed by nature. Yes, I thought yesterday, reading his wise words, it’s time to breathe. So we went for a walk at Brunswick Point in Ladner. And the wind was cold and foul, but we walked into it, breathing hard, and we saw two magnificent eagles and birds on a wire and the light on a distant mountain and tiny flowers and more and if the roil within didn’t dissipate completely, it calmed remarkably, and like any effort of sabbath-keeping, along with prayer, continued to produce calm. I was surprised, and pleased, that throughout the evening I had no need or desire to check where the news cycle might be at; I knew there was a week-plus ahead for all that. The break was a gift.