I’ve started skimming the front section of the newspaper of late, in the same manner that I watch suspense flicks. I quickly avert my eyes when they alight on images or words that I don’t want stuffed into a brain already overcrowded with unwelcome thoughts that I’m very good at forming without any outside assistance.
The whole “News You Need to Know” thing is highly overrated. Yes, as members of the human tribe, it is important to keep up on world events, but when God created Man, I don’t think She took WiFi into account.
I really don’t need to know every grave error in judgment public figures make. (We eradicated Small Pox, isn’t there somebody out there who can do the same for the Kardashians or John Edwards? I mean that figuratively, of course. And no, I don’t think incarceration will lighten the media onslaught, for any of them.)
I really don’t need to know about the tragedies and anguish of people who should be permitted to grieve in private. It is the kind and respectful thing to do.
I really don’t need to know about every conflict in every corner of every continent. It’s overwhelming. There is only so much data a body can absorb before its circuits overload and start misfiring. And in our 21st Century, we are far past our limit, heading to the danger zone.
This brings me to Emily Dickinson. Now there was a woman who knew how to keep the world at bay. She spent most of her adult years famously outfitted in white and wandering her garden or ensconced in her room. She had what you would call an active interior life – translation: she was definitely an overthinker, and the product of those thoughts was over1800 poems, only a handful of them published in her lifetime.
I think that she liked her little garden world – her poems indicate that she was certainly enamored of nature, even with her limited exposure. Yes, she was a tad obsessed with death but, hey, what poet is going to be taken seriously without dabbling in the morbid?
I would argue that hers was, for the most part, a contented life, and certainly a productive one. It turns out she was far ahead of her time in her writing style, her genius unrecognized until the 1950s. And she did it all without Internet access, or because of it.
Yes. At times Emily’s life sounds mighty appealing, but then it occurs to me that white is really not my color.