accordions don't play Lady of Spain – people do
Lately, I've been reminiscing about the year that Greatest Husband and I lived in Norway. Maybe it's the time of year since, after suffering through the darkness of winter, we could barely contain our joyousness for those days when the sun never truly set. Most nights we had to will ourselves to sleep through the blue twilight hours between one and three in the morning when the sun dipped briefly out of sight.
It was a simple life in a simple home. There were long bike rides on narrow, hilly roads that wound past wooden houses, farms, fields of horses and cows. I filled every vase with every conceivable (and inconceivable) color of lupine, and when I ran out of vases I filled buckets and still could not comprehend the sheer plenitude of their blooms.
It was a life with time for contemplation and renewal, but it was not a life devoid of contact with the rest of the world. On the contrary. For the first time in my life I felt more knowledgable about global politics, political movements and discourse among world leaders than ever before. Between the Internet, the International Herald Tribune and European television news broadcasts, we not only learned more, but had time to fit-together all the pieces of a broader picture than we ever saw from our home in the U.S.
With so much happening in so many countries, shrieking harpies like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter are rare footnotes, and Rick Santorum's lavender seersucker suit and pink necktie are completely obliterated from sight. And what, I ask, is wrong with that?
This morning, I came across an essay in the Boston Globe by James Carroll. It's timing fit perfectly into my recent thinking about how one can strike the proper balance between staying well-informed and politically active, while taking time away in order to renew and sustain a deep, personal level of energy.
Carroll's essay references the summer solstice to suggest how we might find this balance and why it is imperative that we do so.
The suspended moments of time's zenith are sacraments of life's goodness. Haste, duty, and the hassles of work have no admittance here. In the coming week, you will remember with love all those with whom you have found your ease in such suspension — companions of summer. And in recalling such release, you will look for more. Ironically, this is how you deepen your feeling of responsibility for the world. It is the one thing you have learned: to be at peace is the way to prepare to work for peace.
In the name of peace, I'm cutting myself off from the minutiae of amusing, but irrelevant "news," and concentrating on renewal instead. For me, that means poetry, gardening, photography, and all things yarn-y. You'll see more of these things in my posts for awhile.
Think of it as summer sass.