“70,000 attend the NRA convention in Houston and I’m struggling to get 400 people who care about the
coast and ocean to come to DC and demand healthy seas. Maybe we should talk less about pollution and more about our right to carry spearguns,” posted author and marine activist David Helvarg on his Facebook page.
The post struck me like a speargun impaling my torso. I gasped for air. It felt like the air was sucked from the room. OK, full disclosure: I sensed a cold coming on with and all those unpleasant symptoms including chest congestion—for which I earlier purchased some Mucinex DM. I was shocked when the sales clerk asked for ID before she punched the purchase into the register—comparing the request to the lack of political will to strengthen ID checks for gun purchases.
“What have we become?” I mumbled to my cat curled next to me on the living room sofa. Thankfully, he had no reply.
I watched the news clips from the NRA rally. My viewpoint witnessed this year’s NRA convention not focused on gun rights as much as with stoking a fire of increased paranoia and fear into gun manufacturers’ target audience. (Pun intended.)
Frustrated and between coughing spasms, I let the TV remote take me to another channel. There stood our congressional leaders proselytizing to the camera the need to surge into a new battle with another Middle Eastern country.
It was as if guns, bombs and glorified violence dominated the weekend’s mindset.
Like a bullet, my thumb struck the remote’s red power-off button. I flipped open my laptop. BAM! On Facebook, a place I visit often because I guess that I’m kind of snoopy about other people’s lives, were the predictable attacks on science and those who report earth climate changes. As if Al Gore just farted in public, the blogosphere gassed-up a regressive debate about NOAA’s reported Co2 397.35 ppm reading at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. To me, this denial is akin to my personal denial of why I can no longer squeeze into a size 8 jean. But for the same reason I don’t even attempt pulling a size 8 off the rack to try on, I don’t bother counter-debate with those who foster denial.
After a 10 minute cough, I unplugged all nearby electronics.
Being weak of body, I didn’t snap to the synchronicity of the weekends’ vibes and my health. Not until today when I began my daily search for good news on The Daily Prism and serendipitously felt inclined to devote the next seven days of posting to peace, did I fall into that message that blessedly arrives when most needed.
“You Are the Lungs,” caught my attention during my YouTube search. Still challenged to breathe properly, I opened the video. “We pull in ideas like oxygen. ..And then, boom! Everyone can get it. Every cell can tap into it and use those ideas to power their processes—whether they are creating a selective barrier to let helpful things in and keep harmful things out, or maintaining the structures that we support…OK exhale.”
I exhaled the paranoid squeals, the blow ‘em up squalls, and the science is dumb screams.
Now, my next breath, as I gaze out over the vast blue before me, will take in the joy of the passing whales, the dance of egrets on the kelp, the hope of the fishermen in tiny boats, and know that 400 people will stand in DC this weekend and initiate positive change.