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  • Writer's pictureDana Webster


Last week's post took a lot out of me. And from the feedback I received, many of you can relate. My poetry mentor called it a humdinger (a person, thing, action, or statement of remarkable excellence or effect). What a great word!

Wild Ride

To give it to you straight, I'm getting a little bored with myself trying to make sense of the world as it is now. All I know is what's going on inside my own head. Were you to have a backstage pass inside my mind, you'd find yourself on a wild ride. Private thoughts are private for a reason. Am I right? What if we all went around unfiltered, just letting it all hang out, would we find the honesty refreshing? Or, debilitating?

In the Toronto Star this morning, an article opened with this line, "There are certain collective delusions all societies rely on to survive - little lies we all quietly agree to look past to make it through our everyday." (p. B1) Can I get an amen?

I was feeling grateful for a particular aspect of my childhood the other day: roaming free, outdoors, with friends, making up our own games, spending huge amounts of time with our own imaginations, reading books, testing the physical limits of our bodies, having TV restricted to a few specific hours a week. If I didn't have that foundation of time spent with myself, I don't know how I would be coping with things now.

You know how the best thing about being on vacation is not that you get to lie on the beach, or tour fascinating architecture but that you get a reprieve from your own life? You get to step out of who you are in the day to day habit that is your life, and you step into a world that only exists in the moment, in that specific time and place where your worries have been left outside the door. On vacation, the space around you is vast and light because you aren't hemmed in by your psychic and emotional baggage.

I'm looking to recreate that experience here in my home. I want the simplicity of the country life without the weight of the world intruding upon it. I want to wake in the morning to the sound of birds singing, and Paul smiling at me in that way that lets me know how much I am loved. And I want nothing else in that moment.

I want to sip at a cup of coffee in bed, surrounded by sleeping cats, content with my own thoughts. I want to spend my days writing stories, doing genealogy research, meeting with clients, delighting in my gardens, cooking and baking. And I don't want any of the gaps in between filled with the nastiness of the world outside the borders of our little property.

Because it is those intrusions that I find so unsettling, so dispiriting. I don't invite them in; they are not welcomed guests. They push themselves at me, forcing me to acknowledge their existence, cutting me with their sharp edges over and over again. They mock my yearning for simplicity and my belief in the inherent goodness of humanity.

Where does one go now to find quiet contentment? Does such a place even exist? They say that expectation or attachment to outcome is the root of all suffering. I do get that and I wish I could get there, but I am human, connected to every other human, good and bad, and therefore am impacted by what y'all do and say. Suffering is inherent to the human condition. I get that, too. But I'd like some breathing room, please, before the next bomb is dropped.

Let me know if any of this makes sense to you. Are you feeling similarly? Maybe we can start a club. We'll call it Humdinger.

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