Wednesday, March 24, 2010

News Fast

For as far back into childhood as I can remember, my parents taught me to keep informed about current events. My family subscribed to a local paper,  as well as a national one, the Christian Science Monitor. We religiously watched network television news  featuring Walter Cronkite. We listened to National Public Radio.

My wife, obviously, was not raised in my family's value system. She has always been puzzled by my interest in keeping abreast of news-sports-traffic-and-weather, and "information." She has long advocated for a different approach: engaging in local action, while eschewing national news. "Why bother with news you cannot change?" she would ask. I thought she just didn't get it.

When we moved in together in 1971, we had no trouble evicting television; we simply never bought one. Now, almost 40 years later, it appears, happily, that we will never will.

We used to read newspapers. At one point I regularly read three papers. Ah, change! Today, the Christian Science Monitor doesn't offer a print edition. Our regional daily is anorexic— two thin sections, and if it slims down any further it shall disappear entirely. We don't subscribe. I get the regional daily at work, but it seldom interests me enough to even touch it. Our local weekly seems to be hanging in there. It's a quick read, down, now, to just one section.

That leaves radio and the Internet. In regard to radio, I gave up commercial radio years ago because I cannot abide listening to crazed exhortations to buy things. NPR leaves me with the suspicion that all things are not considered, not by far. I don't look at news on the Internet. Blogs are about my only touch with current affairs these days. And my blog list isn't news oriented, is it?

What do I do with all the time I save by not keeping up to date with current affairs?

Well,


There's time to take a walk out to the flower-filled fields.



Reflect on my many blessings.




and to stand under real blossoms, realizing that I'll never really understand them.


That's what I did this afternoon!

21 comments:

Kathleen said...

Wonderful! We turned off the TV when the kids were school age, mainly because I couldn't get them out the door in time for school. I think we're all happy with that decision, but it certainly sets us apart. My news intake if virtually nil, though I keep up on infectious disease stuff b/c that's the field I'm working in right now--and it keeps me plenty busy!

Delwyn said...

Hi Dan

you have provided stunning images Dan and are a man after my own heart...when I think of the mind numbing hours drained from lives by sitting in from of the box and compare it with the joys I obtain from being out walking, musing on little matters of nature I realise how lucky I am.

I love all three photos Dan. May I take a copy of them? They look great full size on the big screen in our office....
The blossom...I can hear the buzzing of bees, the stream...I can see the rippling reflections...The blanket of yellow spring flowers across the breast of the earth I... want to lie in...

Thank you for this most beautiful of posts...

Happy days

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Kathleen, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. The nice thing about the internet is that if you DO want to learn something about most anything, it's just a quick google search away.

Dan Gurney said...

Delwyn, you're welcome. Can you copy them? You betcha. I'm happy to share my poetry and photos with whomever wishes to use them, particularly you, who has provided me with many a moment of beauty.

The Pollinatrix said...

"NPR leaves me with the suspicion that all things are not considered, not by far." (giggle)

I couldn't agree more, and interestingly, my blogging friend Claire posted in a similar vein this week: http://acatholicwomansplace.blogspot.com/2010/03/stillness.html

Lately, I've been wanting to "fast" from everything except digging holes for plants in my backyard. And then planting them, watering them, and watching them grow.

Sarah Lulu said...

Lovely Dan. I watch SBS news here in Australia in languages other than English ...sometimes french or italian or perhaps greek ...I like that I don't have to listen to the twaddle ..but I see some very nice images now and then. I make no attempt to understand!

Autumn here now ...your blossoms are gorgeous and all the leaves are turning in my garden! Ohhh and the pumpkins I've grown are nearly ready!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Such a soul-enriching choice Dan. And what glorious photographs!!

I'm afraid I still like to get the world news and tune in to the BBC for that; and I live with a sports enthusiast so hockey, golf and tennis matches are often on a television in the family room. Fortunately, the house is big enough to escape it when I feel the need. Must say I did enjoy watching the Olympics in Vancouver with him.

steven said...

hey dan we watch, listen, taste, smell, feel the same channel!! these beautiful pictures underscore the wealth that is right at our fingertips. have a peaceful day. steven

Jenny Stevning said...

Ahhhhhh...love it! Those photos are amazing! That is my kinda news.

Dan Gurney said...

Polli, thanks for the link to Claire's wonderful blog. Yes, we're thinking along parallel lines here.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Sarah Lulu. I'm not familiar with SBS (Southern Broadcast Service?) Thanks for chiming in.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Bonnie. When I was a boy, I followed American baseball. One day, I was overcome by the utter meaninglessness of spectator sports. Spectator sorts served no purpose in my life except to avoid confronting much more important and compelling issues and I quit watching sports. Entirely.


How out-of-it am I? The other day, you'll laugh at this, I was in the company of people talking about the Stanley Cup. I thought it was an award in tennis.

Dan Gurney said...

steven, mon frere, why am I not surprised?

Dan Gurney said...

Jenny, thanks. It's fun to go out, Delwyn like, looking for beauty to share with your friends.

Reya Mellicker said...

After the last presidential election, I went pundit-free. I have never looked back. TV news is - after all - meant to sell, so therefore depressing, at least to me.

My guilty pleasure is the NY Times. I love it, even the articles I disagree with.

The Pollinatrix said...

My pleasure, Dan. I'm glad you two connected.

Reya's comment reminds me of the bumper sticker on my van: "TV is to news what bumper stickers are to philosophy" ~Richard Nixon

Jim714 said...

Great post, Dan. I go through periods where I withdraw from news. I think it's time for another such period. I'm wondering, do you vote? My question comes from the fact that I am usually drawn back into the news because of elections. I have to admit that the last presidential election really got me intrigued, and I began to follow the news several times a day. That's the first time a presidential election has interested me in a long time. But usually there is some ballot measure coming down the line that draws my attention, and then I'm back again keeping track of the news, and once I've started it seems to expand to other aspects as well.

Best wishes,

Jim

Dan Gurney said...

Reya, good for you! I don't see the NYT unless I'm in NYC which isn't that often, though I'll be there in May to see my daughter graduate from medical school. Still I think the Times seriously failed us in the run up to the 2003 war in Iraq. I mean really. Not to mention their myriad failures in 2001 and since. Somewhere between Watergate and 2001 they became a mouthpiece for the powers that are.

Dan Gurney said...

Jim, do I vote? Yes, but not straight across the ballot. I vote in local issue, like for the City Council. (For those who don't know, my wife is the Mayor of my town.) But I don't take elections too seriously beyond the local (read County) level, because the people who hold actual power in this country have never been on any ballot, and won't ever need to run for office.

The government we see in Washington has about as much power as a student government in an elementary school, e.g. practically none.

Anil P said...

Who could possibly fault your choices, for I think they're not just sensible but rewarding as well, and far more satisfying to pursue than being assailed by talevision screaming shenanigans of the latest celebrity.

Sometimes I wonder why newspapers cannot come around to helping keep readers in touch with the humanity that we so relish, content that would be suscribed to, content that is local but positive in tone.

Stream Source said...

News... media... a hot button for sure. I wouldn't have a TV, but my husband has a connection to it. A healthy one, if there is such a thing. He's selective and not much time is spent with it.

I'm teaching myself to be more accepting of all things. I now look at all that finds its way onto my path as being there for a reason.

If politics slips onto my radar, I look for 'my' reason for it being there. The passion this sometimes stirs is so powerful, that it seems a shame to cast it aside. The trick is in not allowing the drama to 'get to you'.

We live in this world and so we need to be informed because there could be something we have to offer by way of assistance. I think we need to be attuned to this... how we stay in touch is a personal choice. The key is to discern the facts and leave the rest.

Sometimes I'm just not able to 'look' out there and by the grace of God, I don't have to. When it's time to tune it out, I plug into much the same things as you illustrated so magically in your awe inspired photos. This fills me up with a healthy dose of the Divine... which gives me the strength to look upon the world at large, again, but with more loving, compassionate eyes.

All the best ~