Living by myself for the past six months has created a new routine for me. I rarely watch TV (except for sports, and even that’s rare), and I rarely read the newspaper. I read the New Yorker and, if I’m online (which is also less common these days), I read weblogs.
So what do I do?
I go to work, visit with friends, play my guitar, take care of my yard, do stuff with my kids, read some books, play my guitar, and go to Dos Jefes Cigar Bar to listen to music (not to smoke cigars). And I run in Audubon Park, which has become my cherished daily Zen moment. Strangely, I haven’t been tempted to bring my iPod with me; I feel like it will detract from the enjoyment I get from the early morning run. I’ve gotten used to listening to the many different birds that live in the park, and I really crave those sounds. Somehow the sounds of the birds relaxes me and makes me calmer.
Yesterday morning after my run I picked up the newspaper that I never read (note to self: cancel subscription to local paper) and scanned the headlines. I felt very disassociated as read the headlines. The words were very specific, but my reading of them translated them to something like this: ‘shooting spree murder, regular murder, violence at a social gathering, criminal investigation of politician, and Michael Jackson’s pajamas.’ I had no desire whatsoever to read any of the stories under the headlines. They were just words on a page about bad stuff happening to good people–some more innocent than others, and some nearer to me than others. I wondered why I didn’t feel bad. After all, I used to feel stirred by these sorts of stories.
Then I noticed that there was a small broken egg on my porch. That made me feel bad. I knew it belonged to the dove that had made a nest at the top of a column on my front porch. I looked up at the mother dove, who was calmly perched in the nest tending to the rest of her eggs. She looked at me with steady dark eyes and for a moment I felt a strange connection with the dove. For a moment, I felt truly sad.
But that’s not really a headline story, is it?