I am reeling from the chaos around me. I am stressed out. My heart rate is 99 – my resting is usually 63. I have this lovely residual from Covid – I get this tingling all over and it starts making me feel so agitated and restless and then my heart rate goes wonky. And to top that off, I am disturbed by comments around me, that I heartily disagree with. And the sound was loud and it was obviously meant to rankle me and it did what it intended.
Cacophony – a harsh discordant of sounds.
Euphony – the quality of being pleasing to the ears, especially through a harmonious combination of words.Lexico – Powered by Oxford
I am finding that more and more, there are people around me who I believed thought like I do. I am learning, however, they do not. Oftentimes they do not offer a solution, just a comment meant disdainfully to bother me. And it becomes like noise. Absolute noise. Cacophony.
As this world spins (well, that’s a discussion for another day) out of control – as the euphamistic saying goes – I am continually looking for something to hang on to. LOL. My beliefs are challenged almost daily. Things I took for granted are being discovered to be all lies and made up to convince the unsuspecting populace to survive as just fat, dumb, and happy. They are waking to alarms and going off to jobs, working their brains to numbness, and going back home again, only to do it all the next day.
I listened to a posted tik-tok video the other day. The gentleman put forth the idea that we are all being farmed. Just like in the matrix, but it is for our time, treasure, and talents. We are raised with indoctrinated education, which steers us to a pre-set series of career choices, and then we are led to a specific job, meet the prerequisite spouse, and we procreate. Then we dump our kids into the system. It’s a never-ending cycle. We constantly supply fresh meat to our overlords.
Our time is stolen from us. We live where we live to make it easier to get to WORK. Not because we particularly like the area or housing choices – it’s that commute we mostly choose our living situation upon. We rent the apartment that is closest to the office so we are not on the road as much. We buy the house as close to town as we can get so those freeways are not too large a portion of our days. Lucky is the man who can work from home and have his home wherever he chooses – that is the exception and not the rule. Our time is stolen from us – do you think we are more efficient now we have computers for everything? I could disagree ad nauseam about that. We then are taxed on our wages – so many ways. Income tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, use tax…on and on it goes. Why do you think tax codes are so complicated it takes tax specialists to maneuver through it?? Look at how large the IRS has become. And it was supposed to be temporary!!! And then we get evenings and weekends. We cram hours of TV time in the evenings, enjoying program-ing! We listen and soak in all the media feeds us. On weekends we spend our days prepping for the coming week with laundry and groceries. We might try to clean the house. We may attend a little league game or dance recital for the kids. We crash on Sundays, perhaps squeezing in some time with God, and psych-up to start the treadmill of life again on Monday mornings. What is all this for?
Today was interesting because I just stopped. I mean, in my tracks. I chose to leave it alone, grabbed some Skinny Pop popcorn, and took a seat. Because I realized the cacophony of sound around me was not bringing me peace. None. And I longed for a euphony of sound…something melodic and pretty. Something to soothe the soul. I chose to (a) unload on my blog, and (b) open windows and revel in the sunshine and breezes. I watched my brother-in-law stack firewood he graciously split for us. I watched as my hubby reconnoitered a new drip system for our veggies; choosing how it dripped, calculating gallons per minute, as well as placement. And I began to gather that peace. It is that simple. You walk away from the chaos. You choose not to get involved by engaging. You let the others yell on social media, and you disengage.
Even though it’s program-ing, I am obsessed with this TV show. I know it is not a good choice for many reasons, but nonetheless I am still obsessed. It is Yellowstone and it is on the Peacock Network – free streaming. Kevin Costner stars as the patriarch of this ranching family, whose land sits just outside the gates of Yellowstone in Montana. The vistas are incredible. The characters suck you in. There is violence – lots of that. There is intrigue. Some sexual content, yes. Like I said, regardless of the reasons why I should NOT watch this show, I watch 1-2 episodes every night. There are 4 seasons and season 5 is now filming. I am on season 2. In season 2, there is a character named Monica. She is a Native American who is married to Costner’s son (in the story). She is a college professor, although most in the community think less of her because she is native. She is teaching a course to college students and asks them to meet her outside for their class. She arrives and they are all sitting around, no one talking to the other one, out in the beautiful landscape of Montana, on their phones. She chastises them about not even talking to each other. And she goes on to say something to the effect of: I can’t believe you think it is more important for you to like a photo of someone who you do not even know; and that it’s important they like your posts. You have no idea what is going on in the real world, and more than that, you don’t even realize it, and you don’t even care. I don’t know why I waste my time with you.” Sadly, she walks away and the kids return to their phones, like she never said a thing.
That scene keeps replaying in my mind. Why has our social media presence become so very important to us? What is with phones??? On Peacock, it is free, so you have commercials. I don’t normally watch Peacock (brother-in-law downloaded it for us) and am not used to commercials any more. Loe and behold! Commercial after commercial from different providers, all offering amazing deals if you just get the newest phone version. Why is that?? Why do they want us continually updating our phones? Why the built in obsolescence? I’m nursing my 8+ and my husband is nursing his 8 so we don’t get the new ones. We also blocked all the updates. There are so many monitoring systems on our phones, that I just don’t wanna play. I met a man last week, who was a guest speaker at our food sustainability group, who actually got rid of his cell phone. And he is a cervical chiropractor by trade. It’s only been 3 weeks but he was happy he had done it. My next step may be a flip phone – True Talk has some that look pretty cool. It would force my hand. My brother-in-law doesn’t have any apps on his phone. He can talk, text, and share photos. That is it. He does everything else on his laptop and he says it helps monitor his time on social media. I desperately want to do that, but I don’t know if I could. How sad is that?
Many of our friends thought that when we relocated up to Alaska, that we were walking away. In some profound ways, we were. We left all our friends in the lower 48. We joined our son and his family, and brought our youngest son with us. So we were not alone. Some friends we have had for decades had moved here before us and were always encouraging us to come up here. For the most part, we are very happy we did relocate to such a remote place. Once you are here, you do not feel remote. We have grocery stores and Target, McDonald’s and Costco, even restaurants like Olive Garden and the Outback Steak House. LOL. We live in a housing tract. We drive regular cars. The list is endless in how we are like everyone else. We did not walk away, we simply relocated. And we are still the same people who used to live in CA and Washington State. But there are particulars that are unique to living here. Isolated in the sense that it is hard to get here, but we are united with emails, phone calls, and social media. The point is that you can never flee anywhere where you won’t find yourself, because you take you, and all your history with you. You cannot escape yourself. And we all seem to stay connected, if that is what we truly want.
I can choose to isolate myself in a myriad of ways. I am at home alone a lot. I can disconnect from social media and work in my garden. I can choose to disengage in the public discourse. I can refuse to feed their anger, their nasty comments. I can choose the better portion. I can allow the euphony of sound that can truly only be found in God, to envelope me and comfort me and be my portion. I can choose faith over cacophony. I can choose wisely. As can you.
And in despair, I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth and good-will to men!” Then peeled the bells so loud and deep: “God is not dead nor doth He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, on the civil war