Out of the darkness

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  1. My mother (God rest her soul) had an answer for this. When I was but a wee lad, she had a rule that went like this: when you relate what happened to you during the day, for every negative thing you say, you must first say 10 positive things.
    While I am not insisting that you (or anyone else) start soft-soaping what you see going on in the world, maybe it is time to intoduce a bit of positivity back into the mix. For example, while slamming Ken Lay for what happened to Enron, it doesn’t hurt to acknowledge the fact that he also did some good things for the people (and city) of Houston. While ripping the city of Houston for its muggy, hot summers, one can also note the fact that the bluebonnets in the springtime are indeed quite lovely. Even as we lambast religious extremists for their intolerance, we can admire the beauty of such people as Mother Theresa.
    I remember shortly after 9/11 that my own AC (now AYD) was concerned about further attacks – and he, along with his schoolmates, were looking forward to being able to once again wear their ROTC uniforms to football games, to demonstrate that it is not necessary to always live in fear. This was a more powerful lesson than all the posturing by various leaders as to the resiliency of the American spirit.

  2. Your entry brought back a vivid memory of my son in his carseat, crying profusely when he heard me asking his father about a key. I was only asking for a key to his father’s apartment bldg in order for us to get in later that day, which I don’t normally have b/c we don’t live with his father, but my son had obviously internalized my stress about getting a key to the FEMA trailer on our property so that we could go back to live at our house. He was very upset about a key. He is only 3, an age when keys should hold importance as toys and experiments only. Children so very clearly show us our own reflection — and you are at least aware of that, Polimom. As I read your blog lately, you sound so very much like those of us here in NOLA…which makes sense since you were so very involved in Katrina.

  3. It’s an oldie but a goodie, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. The thing about that platitude is it says nothing about the invisible shovel.
    Congratulations, sometimes the hardest thing to do in the dark is open your eyes to see the light.
    Be well and God bless.

  4. Ed T — I like your mom’s suggestion (although I can visualize some quiet evenings…)
    M, you’re so right. Kids are utterly permeable when it comes to the parents’ emotions. As much as I was involved w/ Katrina, it really was AC who made sacrifices. She was pretty stressed. Amazingly, I think it’s a bit worse now (and that’s sure saying a lot). At least w/ Katrina, there was focus; things lately just seem universally grim to me.
    Laz — Thanks so much, for this comment, and also on the “bye to Polimom too” post. You and I have gone ’round several times, and I know you get pretty angry w/ my positions — so I really appreciate your kind words. Don’t be a stranger, k? This is, though, a much different atmosphere from the chron…

  5. You are right, Polimom, it is worse now. I feel that way, too, and I hear so many others echo that feeling. I wonder what Katrina took out of us. But I do think the grim, negative outlook that is so unlike me is partly from coming down off that focused Katrina world — and that negativity is normal and temporary. I’m no psychiatrist, but everything I read points to the fact that this is how humans deal with loss and disillusionment…and that the mind eventually swings back to the middle ground where it sees the positive, too.

  6. I think a lot of us feel the same way. It’s not just Katrina. I’m extremely troubled by the lack of leadership in the White House over the increasing attacks between Israel and Hezbollah fighters. If it blows up on Israel, guess what, the U.S. will be involved militarily whether it wants to or not. I may have more to say about that in a post — I’m just rambling here. The point is, I think there really is a lot to worry about. It’s true that there’s a lot to be happy about as well, when we stop to look around us and think about it. But I don’t think it serves any purpose to ignore the things that bother us. They won’t simply go away, and that’s what’s so aggravating. I think getting the poison out of our system may be part of the process, but I too have been feeling like the poison is getting backed up in my system, and I might be getting too negative. I have other outlets (than blogging) for the positive things. That’s definitely important. The blog is my antidote for all the bad things in the world.

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