I’ve stopped tuning into most of what we call news until after the midterms. It isn’t because I don’t care, quite the contrary, but because I keep learning that the realer news is right out the front or back door, which is also a great remedy for tangling myself in the land of what-ifs.
Unlike previous pre-election frenzies when I wrapped myself in polls and pundits, I realize that diving into all things midterm, which dominate headlines and soundbites, too often lands me on the seafloor of speculation, littered with barbs of anxiety and anguish. Besides, I have my deeply-seeded hopes that I will hold to unless/until I’m proven wrong, and no matter what happens, there is still the living earth, spinning off snippets of news you can use every moment.
Part of what turned me away from the usual way I roll is rooted in the Kansas August 2 election when voters, despite polls and signs all over yards throughout the state saying the opposite, came out in droves for a landslide vote against extreme measures to eliminate abortion rights. But I also realize we’re in a time off the old maps when our ultra-polarized dueling news narratives puts us as a nation at a very unpredictable precipice.
At the same time, it’s important to witness what is happening right now in real time, so I read about Ukrainian families suffering and the coming cold, affirmative action, global warming realities and mitigation, and the Brazilian election. I also donate to causes I believe in, and come the day after the midterms, I will continue to care and do the little bit I can, but no matter what happens, I will also step outside of myself and a whirl of future projectors to connect with the realer news.
So often we see the news as a mirror of reality, yet we can engage reality directly, off the page and airwaves, in much more immediate and, even in a severe drought in Kansas in a time of climate disruption, satisfying ways by connecting with the air, the light, the shadows and leaf fall, the shift of wind and rush of rabbit.
Which leads me back outside for this news report: It’s 59 degrees, the psychedelic tablecloth is plummeting down from high flying on the clothesline, and Moxie the dog is sniffing falling cottonwood leaves. The sky is pale-to-mid blue, depending on where you look, with some almost-transparent stretched out clouds. Strangely, there is no bird song for a moment, but a blue jay just landed on the feeder, picked up lunch, and moved on. Underground, there are turtles in hibernation already.
More news to the south: An old 1950’s tractor, not working for about eight years, rests in the field next to what’s left of a burning bush, just a few strands, from a more robust plant years ago. Three geese honk their way overhead. My fingers are cold. A bird I cannot see is barking urgently from an Osage orange tree still in the process of leaf-dropping. The old swing set, sans its swings, continues to rust happily next to three volunteer peach trees.
From our northern gate reporter: Last evening, a friend and his daughter buried a dead python in the brome field. The unfettered wind is making a lot of noise through the dried grasses. The brilliant maple to the west is outlandish gold on the edge of dropping everything for winter to come. Two fawns just vanished into the seam of the cedars.
That’s the news at this moment. Stay tuned for updates in a second, then another second, then another….