Optimist ultimately, but this bothers me deeply

My tolerance for the news lately is minimal, but events still bother me deeply and it felt good to write this piece - December questions - which appeared on the Op Ed page of the New Bedford Standard-Times today - December 16, 2004.

I don't know how others will receive it, but it did me good to write it. It feels better than simply screaming at the radio or television. I mean, giving the Presidential Medal to the three turkeys who totally fouled everything up in Iraq? Does this man have any idea what's going on? Or is he the world's biggest cynic? And yesterday I was listening to NPR which was reporting on a woman gang-raped by Muslim fanatics in Africa and how her and her child were being rejected by her family and community and I snapped the radio off while screaming something like "screw the whole human race," though I don;t think I used "screw" - and then I wiped the tears from my eyes. You know, some folks are heading to Canada. I'm looking for another planet!

Arghhhhhhh ....

Which is why, quite literally, I have been avoiding this machine and the news of late - just too much for my blood pressure - and heading instead for the peace and coolness (well, damned right cold this morning at 14-degrees) of my little observatory in the backyard. Boy is that a great way to leave this fantasy world behind and get a huge dose of cosmic reality and proportions. In the cool, darkness - alone - looking at the faint blur of light that is all we can see of billions of stars because they are some 20 million light years from us - that really does drive home the message that it is NOT all about us. There is more - much, much more. And that is comforting in a way, since right now we seem to be making a mess of things here.

Ok - enough brooding. Off to do a little searching for eagles - I know they're out there - real ones, of course. . . yes, beneath it all at the deepest level I'm still optimistic. My blood pressure is still reasonable. I'm enjoying life - but I can only dip into the news occasionally without having it sending me way off balance.

Posted by Greg Stone at December 16, 2004 10:02 AM