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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Monday, August 15, 2011


News of a gyrating stock market, a wildly dysfunctional Congress, the death of a good friend's mother, disastrous storms, all the bad things that graze a privileged life, may in fact be good things. Not in themselves, as those who are not privileged know, but for the warnings they give. It's very useful to know that in the big things, humans are basically not in control.

For control freaks, for the ambitious, for CEOs, for the greedy, this is news they don't want to hear (but need to). And for those of us who live on a lesser plane, we also need to hear it. We may control much of our lives, the small and daily decisions of white or whole wheat, walk or drive, split some wood or weed the garden. We don't control the big stuff.

Some folks patch up that wound with religion, giving control to someone else (and put themselves in constant danger of hypocrisy). Others do their best with what they see and feel, taking comfort in the randomness of nature (and put themselves in constant danger of innocence).

A wild thing, whether the needle of a fir, a barnacle, a fawn imitating its mother's bounds, even a bald eagle in its majesty, has no control. It has no higher power, it adapts to chaos, it makes no plans for budget meetings or regional domination. It rests. It skitters and flows and respires. It seeks stasis in the middle of growth.

Living in the country provides such daily inspiration. Seeking a natural routine is the best answer to fear. When the news gets most depressing, think of the old joke: The easiest way to make God laugh is to show him your five-year plan.

1 comment:

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

As long as I can remember I have wanted to visit your beautiful state.
Tonight my daughter and I made reservations for next April to visit Portland.
In my excitement tonight browsing websites of Portland I found your blog.
Nice to meet you and I am looking forward to reading your site and your writings