This summer I had a couple extended times of not checking the news. It was kind of glorious. I found myself less anxious, more attentive to the people and place around me. More attentive to myself. I guess another way of saying this is I was paying attention to other news. The dew on the grass is extra heavy this morning. Our next door neighbor’s kidneys are failing, but he’s in good care and good spirits.
I’m not convinced the New York Times always selects the most important thing to be aware of for the day. I don’t think our nervous systems were built to bear the assault of daily global hardships. But I do want to be an informed citizen.
Drought and wildfires in the West, hurricanes and floods in the South and East, refugees from Afghanistan, the abortion ban in Texas.
How to hold knowledge in such a way that builds solidarity rather than dissipates energy?
I wonder about this sometimes as it relates with church and worship. We engage current events and name injustices, but we also come together to get in touch with the transcendent. Music does this for us. Being in community does this. Prayers. Exultation. Collective silence.
It’s a bit strange being “back” when we are still a mostly scattered congregation. Each household is navigating its way. Perhaps it’s a time when we’re paying greater attention to the news that feels most immediate to us – the people, creatures, and circumstances in our orbit for which we are most grateful and protective.
If you feel like dropping a note, send me a headline. How is it with your day, your month, your summer? What’s new for your family, your work, your leisure? What’s feeding your mind, your soul?