|Acrylics on canvas panel, 9x12 inches|
My last two days, on retreat essentially, were delicious. I feel like, in large part, this season of my life is about being "in retreat," in the sense of withdrawal from life, silence, solitude, taking stock, severely limiting distractions, focusing on the now.
I'm really disenchanted again with Facebook, although I'm not withdrawing from it entirely. I go through phases where I like Pages and follow them for a bit, then feel like I'm getting too emotionally embroiled in whatever it is I'm following, then I'll stop following or unlike the Page. The thing about FB that bothers me most these days, is that every time a friend likes or comments on something, anything, then that shows up on your newsfeed. So even if you don't particularly want to follow something, if somebody you're friends with follows it and likes a post, then you're seeing it by default. I swear, if I see one more photo of a poor animal in distress, I'm going to scream. Better to not even look at the newsfeed at all. And soon it'll be election season in the States, and I have zero desire in seeing all that crap.
The best use of Facebook for me is the messaging feature, which is basically a shortcut to emailing a friend.
In addition to the novels I've been reading, many of which I've told you about (the ones I recommend), lately I've been reading non-fiction by a few people I trust, people who tell the truth about our culture, society, politics, the world. Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, Wendell Berry. I want to know the truth. But I'm not an activist by any stretch. I won't spend my life trying to change things that are beyond my control. But I do want to know the truth about them.
I ask myself why these things are important to me, why not just stick my head in the sand. I feel that just knowing the truth, getting confirmation from trusted voices that what I perceive is happening is in fact really happening, makes me feel like I am part of the solution, despite my out-in-the-world inaction (separate from my personal, at-home action), rather than part of the problem (which I define as all those in the world who are ignorant of the truth, those who perpetuate lies and disinformation, those who are at the top socioeconomically and who therefore feel no responsibility for the world's ills because they don't impact their own lives personally).
Also, the more I know about how the world really is, as opposed to how I hope it will be, the more able I am to dissolve my expectations of it. No one is entitled to anything here. What we do get in life are gifts. Even the difficulties and hard lessons are gifts. How else will learn what we've each come here to learn? Just being alive is a gift. I want to use wisely the precious time I have left.