The Ides Of March


OK. So Nebuchadnezzer II was responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC. I did a little study last night and I stand corrected. However, because I’m not Jewish I don’t regard that as worse than any other cultural takeover in Earth’s history; they all are tragic. But that stuff about Daniel and the lions’ den? Nuh-uh. Not buying it. No more than I buy most religious tales. While I enjoy mythology, I cannot swallow it as actual history. I believe every myth has a seed of truth at its root, but I’m not a literalist with any civilization’s folk tales. Mostly, I just get weary of history always being about men of war. I’d rather study history that has been radically altered by people of peace, like the Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandella. But I understand why humanity’s past is what it is. It takes time for us to evolve. Hey, today is the Ides of March; Julius Caesar was assassinated 2060 years ago. On to the present.

The most difficult thing about this social media fast is that, these days, outside of the occasional benefit event, Facebook is about the only social life I have left. Stillwater isn’t the best place to meet people when you’re my age, unless you attend church every week. The Bible Belt wasn’t made for people like me. I miss the diversity I enjoyed in California, where people did things unrelated to religion and sports. It’s a great town for the university students, though, but the longer I’m here the more isolated I feel. Thirty days is going to be a long time where social interaction is concerned; I’m a social creature. On the other hand, it’s only a month and I have to admit I really enjoyed being away from everything yesterday. Today, I’ll be going out to Aldi and Hellmart for groceries, but I don’t like the fact that this has become the only real social event in my life.  Still, I’m an ENFJ (extroverted introvert) so I’m not really complaining. As long as I have my rich inner life and creative life, I’m pretty self-contained. Plus, I’m not completely isolated where human interaction is concerned. I have my family and you. But I do look forward to moving to Woodstock when we retire. Farmers markets, drum circles, live music, street fairs, and making friends with other people like myself are exactly the kinds of things I enjoy. I miss being part of a community.

I’m finally starting to pick up where my energy is concerned. The last two weeks have been pretty rough both physically and emotionally, but I’ve survived it and am now beginning to feel less fatigued by it all. I think getting away from Facebook, where the drama is ongoing, is a big help. The internet really dupes us into believing that it’s the real world, that the issues and crises that happen there are impossible to avoid. At every turn, with every word we write, we run the risk of pissing someone off and opening ourselves up to abuse with both passive-aggressive memes and outright aggressive attacks. But turn the damned thing off and it all fades away like so much vapor. Go for a walk and no one you see even knows. The trolls, the bullies, the spiteful slander and blame? I can make them all disappear. Poof! Be gone! It’s called a power button for a reason. This is what I’m really trying to do with this fast, you know. It all got too, too heavy and I felt myself being dragged down into a scary depression. One day away and I already feel better. Things already look clearer, my perspective is already beginning to shift, and the knot in my gut is already relaxing.

Well, I guess not all of my entries are going to be interesting, but writing as soon as I wake up is a mental exercise I’ve missed. It’s good to be back, or almost back. It may take a little while to strengthen that muscle.

It’s Tuesday. Make tacos!
Artwork by Molly Haan

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