I haven’t said much here in a while.
[Minutes-long pause while I gaze through a large glass door to my right. I'm trying to conjure blog wisdom from the pine-covered hills in the distance. But in the foreground I see—for the first time ever—the mating habits of squirrels. These apparently include chasing, wrestling, handfighting, and rolling around on impossibly narrow tree-branches before the participants finally and briefly do, well, it.]
Maybe I can mine some sentiment from a stretched metaphor.
What if the societal goods we wish to attain are waiting there in those misty hills? Yes it’s far, and there is fog and/or smog near the horizon. This won’t be easy. There are built-in and unknown and self-fulfilling obstacles.
But what if our focus remains only locked on the small, funny spectacles playing out fleetingly in the foreground?
Reminding ourselves to glance back at the big picture applies to individuals. The accomplishment of our vision is waiting in the hills. But today requires some focus—some small, undistracted steps in that direction.
No matter what these squirrels are doing.
The question of focus also applies to societies, especially in a frenetic age of unending talking heads with their talking points. Recently, Paul Ryan and other House Republicans have taken their tax-paid time to craft their idea of a budget, mostly for the purposes of political theater. It will never (God help us) become a reality. However, it did make a clear statement about some radically shameful priorities (and lack thereof—including low-income Americans).
This is not a political blog. Beyond the Bracelet is simply about people who wish to live out positive change in our world, and shed light on it through creative writing. But there is a need to call out a sideshow for what it is, especially when it so clearly threatens the societal goods lying in the hills.
I found two short articles from the New Yorker to be helpful.
In your own vocation, use some time today to glance at the hills, and take one step in support of your big picture—the vision of what you’re actually trying to do with your life.
Let’s hope our society can make a habit of doing the same as the rhetoric ramps up toward November. Even when political theater chooses shameless horror as its genre.
Otherwise, we’re just the dogs from Up—dropping the significant problems at hand to focus on squirrels.