BIAS TO BEAUTY
Yes, I know it’s supposed to be Bias to Normalcy. No matter how busy and distracted we are, we still feel things are fundamentally “normal,” no matter what the evidence is to the contrary.
But one can be blinded by “how good things are” too.
So . . . this is mostly personal today, not political.
I decided to mollify that Funk of Doom I’ve been in lately with a trip to the actual, real-life Spruce Tunnel. Usually a lift of spirits and some perspective gained. Here is the entrance. I’m almost – not quite – resigned to the evidence of over-regulation of every aspect of our lives as shown by all those intrusive signs there. But – I can get past that.
The way was a familiar and happy one.
Pleasant curves, gentle hills, groomed pathways.
The deep, rich greens were beginning to have an effect on me. It felt like a good, healthy effect. I tried to forget everything else and immerse my whole self into the little forest around me.
The world must still be “fundamentally” all right, if there can still be a place like this so close to my home. Right? A bias to beauty. A Bias to Normalcy.
The leaves hadn’t become all typically colorful yet, I had expected some oranges and reds, but these really are early Fall colors. A light and happy shade of yellow-green.
“God’s in His Heaven, all’s right with the world!” to quote a young poet from more than a hundred years ago.
Little did I know what was brewing at home.
The Spruce Tunnel is close to my home, and the way home looks just as lovely!
I’m sure you have beautiful roads near your home too. It’s good to open your eyes and drink it all in.
Then. Not long after this trip to the park.
I discovered that while my attention was on Beauty, and I thought everything was wonderful and “normal,” there was a silent, sneaky, rotten, activity going on, right under my nose.
In my nose.
My nose led me to the basement where I was going anyway, going to check on “what’s for dinner?” Hoping my freezer would tell me.
The story it told me crashed my beautiful experience at the Tunnel. Somehow, the freezer had stopped working, and probably several days ago!
I’m a meat-eater – and . . . I don’t have any meat left anymore. Here’s the freezer as I was emptying it. It doesn’t show you the foul-smelling rot of meat that had been decomposing while I was focusing on all that . . . beauty during a normal day in the Tunnel.
(I know it’s an odd time to take a photo, but — “when in doubt, grab a camera.” That’s just me.)
There was a six-inch layer of disgusting “soup” at the bottom . . . I’ll spare you that photo.
I discovered the problem and learned a lesson. That’s just me too; I’m a teacher; everything becomes a lesson.
One time, “several days ago” I was carrying something really, really heavy down to the basement. I struggled with its weight, carefully going down the basement steps, one at a time, balancing each foot on each step as my arms and shoulders were beginning to ache and lose control of my burden. When I finally got the heavy thing to where I was going, I had all I could do to toss it into the corner, where it (and I) could rest for a while.
I staggered around for a while, huffing and puffing, but glad that task was over. Bias to Normalcy! I had done a hard job – and it was over!
Except that I had inadvertently knocked the heavy object against the cord- that attached the freezer to its electricity. I didn’t pay attention to that.
Everything should have been normal – but it wasn’t. I wasn’t vigilant.
And now I’m right back into my election Funk. Everything should be “normal” in the United States. Much of it is “beautiful,” and much of it is all right. But I fear for the rotting meat that we can detect; I fear there is deep corruption in our political process; I fear there is decomposition in our will to fight for our country.
I fear our strengths and our values, our “borders, language, and culture,” our Justice system – our whole Constitution – will no longer be usable after this election.
We have only just this one last chance.