4/29/21- Hazy, Overcast Thursday.
I awoke early (5ish) again with burning, aching pain in my joints in my neck, left knee, and low back. It was significant enough to awaken me out of sleep, to encourage a visit to the medicine cabinet and to mandate some deep breathing back in bed for another half hour as I returned to a restless slumber. I thought of my comment the previous day to my father as the sound cut out of our conversation…that I was finding myself again exhausted by the ongoing onslaught of acute pain in my joints and nerves. Though I’ve experienced many breakthroughs and more days now (not exactly pain free) but functionally capable nonetheless, it seems this week that I am having a tougher than average time moving through my pain with greater positivity. And although I well realize by now that my mental state has as much to do with the impression left by this pain as with any other variable, I am not finding much confidence in my ability to mitigate my emotional responses to this onerous life scenario.
Still, after some coffee, a meditation sit, and some messages from the family and friends with whom I’ll meet tomorrow along the Olympic National Seashore, I am feeling better than a few hours ago about the work ahead today and also my ability to comfortably perform it through burning nerve sensations, joint stiffness and muscle soreness. Thankfully, I have observed that I can forget about these sensations if I am focused well enough upon something of interest and/or inspiration. And I have 2 strong VO spots to record today, my favorites this week in addition to the PIE script I plan to read for class tonight. The others involve a visionary Environmental Policy Act Bill- NREPA and a children’s book read in the vernacular of a New Orleans’ native. And though I am not, the New Orleans Accent is one of my favorite character voices to attempt and generally in the vein of a Dr. John type brogue. Both are Narration excerpts, one in Conservation, the other in Children’s Literature involving VO niches I love dearly. I am actually thrilled to practice this sort of material which speaks both to my creative impulses in Character Voices and also to a life purpose in supporting a Conservation legacy.
As for the state of my creative pursuits, I am thinking again of posting some of my thoughts, along with cocktail recipes, political statements and preferred VO spots to a WordPress website blog that I have not used so actively, only as a URL address to receive those interested in my body of work so far with a few Voiceover and Film clips and a short Bio. I’ve thought for too long that I had little to say that anyone might wish to hear. I have also been worried about offending friends, family, and others with a direct articulation of my thoughts, but the worry fades as I realize how little attention I am actually paid in the barrage of white noise content which now abounds. Nor is it that I wish to be critical or rude, but having witnessed firsthand responses to my words for some 40 years now, I have a sneaking feeling that I will earn some unlikes at a minimum, though my hope is rather to delve with some degree of integrity into what I see at the essence of the interactions I experience with the world. Neither right nor wrong, just my observations. I just experience, process, articulate, assimilate. It keeps me connected to my life, so I continue.
SO much content. So little substance. Do I wish to add to the noise? May my voice cut through some of it with greater insight and integrity. That is my hope. I was thinking as I walked yesterday through Tryon Creek Park here and was interrupted almost immediately by one woman frantically shouting for her lost dog and another talking on her phone while making a point of passing me on the trail, only to remain right in front of me, very much annoying me with the volume of her conversation. As I listened to the birds return to the background, momentarily silenced by the cacophony of human cluelessness, I thought how much nicer it was to hear the calls of those winged animals than any emanating from so many humans now imposing themselves upon natural settings. A misinterpretation of recreational use and value and a glaring misalignment with one’s habitat, loud human voices in the woods often obscure the greater beauty and calm of a place and also the cultivation of those qualities to which visitors are originally drawn. Please check yourself at the tall trees; it is no longer about you.
Work in Progress…Lately I hear a number of people bemoaning the lack of regularity, the upset of the habitual patterns of behavior that many have come to embrace, the comfort attached to a stasis upon which they may rely. I think that if nothing else, events of the last week and the focus of the light on continued police brutality against people of color, black people in particular, show us that the Normal to which many would like to return is an unacceptable plateau for many others. The Normal to which these people have been subjected has resulted in a subjugation that disallows for their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. That Normal possesses none of the trappings of the America that we customarily emulate. Yet, since many white people are not affected by the same sort of rough treatment that their counterparts of color are subjected to, they fear a change to the system under which they have largely been protected because they have not been subject to the repeated and excessive harassment at the hands of authority that our black folks have faced daily for years. A shift in consciousness to recognize and accept the experiences of others in different circumstances than our own is required to face this enemy of institutionalized racism. The shift requires only that one consider how he or she would like to be treated and then to treat others in such a manner. Once in recognition of this seemingly ordinary piece of wisdom, one would enact it daily through actions of a deliberate nature of reinforcement towards his/her fellow humans without regard to personal gain or punishment. A simple epiphany so rarely celebrated and adhered to, a new normal based upon this simple tenet (Do Unto Others…) would be a Normal I could rally behind. To witness this, I would even venture to accept sacrifices (though I have heard of none requested) simply so that all people might enjoy the same protection under the law and compassionate consideration as human beings engaged in the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There should be no retreat from this simple stance. Our nation of ostensible freedom and opportunity in actuality founded upon genocide and slavery, one wonders if it is in fact possible for disparate groups of humanity ever to live peaceably together in cooperative effort for the betterment of all. Please God, It has to be. Yes, I want a new Normal.