How to walk in the woods without being in the woods? This is the dilemma before me this day, a fine winter Saturday in this January. I am feeling under the weather, and it has tempered my plan to walk down by the river to restore some balance to my inner self. Perhaps I am a reverse Muhammad, seeking to have the 'mountain' come to me, just this once. In my current state, I may not have the energy to go to the mountain.
In the pursuit of balance, this walk may be necessary. The noise of the world has been heavy on my mind in recent days. The fault lies entirely within myself. I opened the spigot far too much, as it were. A strange intersection of necessity and idleness led me astray into the wilds of social media and Internet. Useful tools and conduits I'm sure you would agree. But shiny and seductive in ways that are not always good for us.
Paraphrasing a friend of mine, who was actually referring to F**eb**k, the Internet is like one long conversation that never ends. So many thoughts, observations, quotations flying back and forth. And like any medium of communication, besmirched with a lot of ignorance, misinformation, and wrongheadedness. This environment can be mental quicksand for those inclined to tilt at windmills.
Those people such as this author. Harrumph.
I have allowed myself too much traipsing about in the wastelands of social commentary. I have allowed myself to be entangled far too deeply in the small-mindedness of consumer culture and politics. Politics in particular. Election years in specific tend to be time-sumps, and with the "facilitator of dreams" that is electronic media, the sump is in danger of becoming all-consuming.
Another wise friend of mine had advised me some weeks ago forgo tilting at windmills, and she was spot on in that advice. This is a time now that I should let go, back up, and leave the windmills to their own devices. I am only one man. I have only one voice. That voice cannot sustain infinite conversation and fruitless dissipation. that way lies weariness and stress. It behooves me to temper myself, my leaps into the din and clatter.
It is time to reacquaint myself with my center. It is time for a walk in the woods, whether they come to me or I go to them, so I may discard the noise of the world and hear my own voice again.