This story was collected as a part of the 2020 Collecting Initiative
Thoughts on Thoughts
by Irene Sperber
I was doing just fine, I thought. But I see a few cracks in my fine-ness. Normal always had a sliding scale meaning. I don’t know why we bother with it anymore. It’s added it to my list of no-longer-understood terms, along with Logic, Fun, Security, Truth, Reality.
People are opting for conspiracy theories, more open to snake oil. I have to look at the question: Are others wrong? Am I wrong? I’m thrown off by this thought. We’re so dug into our own ideas. It’s difficult to get around the math that allows each to come up with diverse answers. No fan of the overly medicated society promoted over the last half century, I can balance a properly vetted vaccine over suffering serious illness. I avoid antibiotics at all costs, but when plain old rest, Melaleuca honey, and oil of oregano do not knock me healthy, I will absolutely run for a Z pack before getting into serious trouble.
Truth is losing. Its edges muddied to the point of erasing the import of a simple mommy mandate for Little Tommy to “tell the truth.” If adults are having alternative truths…now what. I recently saw kids rising up against their parents, accusing them of being tyrants during a forced close Covid year. Had a trial for them. They flat out refused to listen to parents anymore. The parents were laughing, the interviewer was laughing. I was alarmed. More of our boundaries are fumbling, crumbling, making living together an impossible task.
How is this anarchy going to work? Let everyone be their own guides? I wish we all lived with a high moral compass, but our world is made up of do-good citizens, and the people that take advantage. Is the information to be believed? Do I believe it? It’s time to drag out that old animal instinct and don survival gear.
I recently ran across the word “indubitably,” meaning “impossible to doubt.” I dislike the sound, too many d’s and b’s strung together to be taken seriously; but I’d better use it while I still can. If the definition of “facts” is no longer relevant, then definitions themselves are no longer valid. Now where are the lines I’m coloring inside?
Theoretical Physicists are positing the possibility that the universe exists as a hologram. Now THAT is making some sense. California is burning up, Puerto Rico and Haiti suffer endless disasters, the deadly Japanese Tsunami, flooding, huge artificially filled butt cheeks all the rage, one universal pandemic, Donald Trump being elevated to world leader of the most powerful country on earth… this has GOT to be the last ridiculously written episode of a holographically sophisticated Jenga game show thought up by powers far superior than this crowd on the earthly plane.
As I was considering the pileup of strange happenings (and the word “considering” could correctly be replaced by “unnerved by”), I redirected my thoughts by thumping on any old podcast; a discussion on twilight and its potentially unsettling ambiguity popped up. Someone objected to ominous music leading to a negative emotion, suggesting perhaps we are ignoring twilight spaces that need to be examined, approach it with an open attitude or run the risk of getting stuck in perpetuity with the known. How can we discover without branching into the mysterious?
Mother Nature is enjoying the break as “she” takes a moment to breathe. We are, after all, part of that nature puzzle. Perhaps with our virus enforced “time out” we will be able, as mom always shouted, to “think about what we’ve done”, and straighten up before earth gives us more good hard shakes off her pock marked hide.