pearl-clutching

Facebook is, all at one time, a set of priceless windows into the doings of people I love, and a hive of the stupidest things imaginable. It’s like a microcosm of reality, which is why we chafe against it- the valuable bits are too inextricably woven with the “What Is A Real Friend” posters, the gossips, the grumps, the chain letters, such nasty little throwbacks. The cliques. The goats.

This morning, in my newsfeed, there are pictures of cats, of goats, of bunnies. There are pictures of lunches, dinners, music, reports of doings, petitions to save things that are under attack, the latest awesome move by the new Pope (this week: inviting women to breastfeed their hungry infants in church) and news stories about Pentecostal snake-handling pastors who die of snakebite and the predictable comment streams that follow them. I personally have zero conviction that Jesus will save me from a snakebite, but admittedly were I bitten, I might seek divine assistance to survive.

Just this morning, there are stories of dreams (I had a good one) and of airports, of car accidents, calls to arms for this or that.

USS_Constitution_1997

I was thrilled to hear that I am officially looking forward to a ride on a sailing ship- Bri got me on the list as her guest for the June 4th sail of the USS Constitution. I’m stupidly excited. About everything- the ride on the ship, the semester in Boston, looking for a house with a turret, figuring out the semester for the boys. My focus for them (aside of course from meeting the requirements for their graduation credits) is on living. Because quite soon, they’ll be making choices that will dream their own lives, and they have no idea what is possible. Nor do they do their own laundry.

I could have been nagging them for years. It was always an option. For me, to be around someone else is to constantly evaluate ways that they could improve their performance. This creates a variety of problems, not least for me. Evaluating myself is time-consuming enough. I find that I have almost no tools to weight my decisions; looking at my life as a whole is much like looking at Facebook. It’s a sea; the threads that matter are linked, in ways that I cannot understand, with everything else. Even overtly bad decisions were building blocks to the present. It’s like the Universe; we are actually one organism, but humans don’t know it yet.

The only chaff we can truly cull is the mess and noise we make, and that is more a matter of curating than culling, as nothing ever goes away. There isn’t anywhere for it to go; the Universe is one system, lossless, whole, infinitely flexible in the presentation of its elements.