It is Friday night and we have just come home from a pleasant evening at our not-so-local-but-friendly pub. I admit I have had a little more than two glasses of wine, and I won't tell on my husband who does love his Old Fashioneds. But we did our traditional end of week date and enjoyed every minute.
Then we came home and turned on our usual recorded news pundits. After about ten minutes I was mired in it, and my husband disappeared to the bedroom to watch the other TV and his latest murder mystery diversion.
I never thought for one moment that we were watching news without perspective, but the mix I see these days seems to be so much more spin, and so much less true journalism.
What happens around here, the place where I live, is really exciting enough that I don't need to watch the big screen. This last fall there was a dead body on my parkway because police had come to resolve a disturbance and were confronted with a very hostile and volatile person. We weren't home when all of this happened, and I am glad to have been spared the experience. But we couldn't come home until Forensics had concluded investigations, and we still don't have the full story because, of course, even the eye witnesses can't remember everything when confronted with such extremes.
Some say the police were justified because the man grabbed a police bean bag shooter and was aiming at the officers at close range. That's all I know, except the body was there on my parkway, and for months afterwards there were memorial items left and mourners at all hours of the day and night. Grievous. People still come by and leave flowers.
He was a young Hispanic, and he visited our neighbors frequently. And he was sometimes pretty high, whether from his own spirit or from those he imbibed. Grievous.
And in my neighborhood we have families who are worried about the homeless who sometimes wander through and sometimes park older cars in the shade of our trees for two and three days at a time.
But we have a growing network of those who stay in touch, who care what is happening day to day. Lost dog? You'll hear about it on our facebook page. Found dog? That too. Yard sale? Need for a dog walker or caregiver? Yes that's broadcast as well.
This news I trust. This news is so local I can check it out by looking out my window. Sure, sometimes there is a perspective I don't agree with, but at least there is a local dialog I can take part in and feel I've had a say.
Global whirled news? Well. It is what it is and I guess I'll get on that carousel too. But more and more I know that what happens locally, what we can address right in our own neighborhood matters more than all the worry and concern that erodes our lives when we are confronted with events over which we have absolutely no control.
Stay connected to your neighbor. Bring cookies. Water thirsty gardens. Notify them if you see a lost dog, or a lost person.
Refuse to get mixed up in this crazy mixed up world when the ballast of your own daily life can anchor you, and you can help anchor those closest to you.
It's all we can do, and it is the very best thing to do.