I had to search for quite a while to find a photo that most closely resembled the one room school house I attended from grades 1 through 4. But this photo has many of the elements from my memory. The room itself was laid out just like this, big sunny windows on the left side and the desks with a little groove engraved in them so your pencil would not roll off and the hole for an ink bottle. If I close my eyes and drift back to that time I can still smell the first school book I ever held. To this very day, I love the smell of old books.
I have such fond memories of this time in my life. It was where I was first introduced to literature, art, music, mathematics, geography and other people my age. It was a time before the ugliness and brutalities of life really got ahold of me.
More and more as this pandemic isolation continues, I find myself returning to who that little person was and I am so very thankful for it. Refuge.
Over the last few months I've been gradually leaving many social media venues behind. The reason being is that as I return to that little person I used to be, I can no longer withstand the aggression and anger that is rampantly permeating social media. I recently had a complete stranger aggressively tell me off for something as innocuous as recommending a book to someone in a YouTube comment. What on earth prompts this kind of behavior?
It's almost as if pain and negativity have become a "sticky thing" and people can't get it off themselves, so they project it out onto every passing person they come in contact with in order to find some personal relief and satisfaction.
So, I have begun my retreat from all of it. Just because there is an internet, that does not mean one has to be on it all the time. In fact, I recently noticed that when I sat down at the computer I'd begin to feel nauseous. My first thoughts were that my eyesight may need adjusting, but I do not have this issue anywhere else. Which leads me to suspect this may be more emotional than physical, based on all the negative encounters I've had.
I've recently found great comfort and support from listening to audio books by Eckhart Tolle and Michael Singer while I'm working at the drawing table. I am also practicing brief sessions of a very simple breathing meditation as well, and that has been very helpful.
What I am learning now is that I cannot change anything about this pandemic or other people's anger and aggression. I'm here with this one consciousness - me, and this one moment - the present. These are the only things I have to work with. They are the only things I need to work with.
Until next time ... My favorite film soundtrack composer has just released a new piece, "Where Stars Fall" -