Day 25. Backing Up

We have a day of rest here in Las Cruces, and I spend it soaking up all the current events I can. I’ve been a news junkie all my life; high school debate and a journalism major will do that to you. I’ve been cut off from all but the most intrusive headlines for 24 days now and I need a fix.

The friend we are visiting shares my passion, as does another friend of his I’ve never met but with whom I share a lively email relationship. We three agree to meet for coffee and its fun to get to know this new person in real life.

We spend a satisfying few hours ranting about the sad state of affairs in the world (that is what news junkies most love doing) and sharing our predictions for how our current mess is going to end (that is the other thing news junkies love to do.)

My husband (not a news junkie) agrees to a take-out dinner so we can watch even more news together. Isn’t that sweet…

Leaving our place to get the food, my friend backs up on the long driveway, misjudges and hits a tree. He’s going slow and there is no damage, but he has to laugh at himself. “Just broke one of my rules,” he says. “Never back up more than you have to.”

It’s a such wise insight that I immediately adopt it as my personal rule #25.

Tomorrow we will leave this pretty little casita, and the stunning distant mountain views, and head to Dallas.  For tonight, I’m content to yell at the talking heads on TV as my friend and I debate what’s going on.

This song has seen a resurgence in popularity lately and I’m glad.  It’s a favorite and it fits this day well.

If you’d like to read a short blurb from each day of my journey, check out
Day 1. The Journey of 6000 miles
Day 2. Rules of the Road
Day 3. Just Don’t
Day 4. Bloom Here.
Day 5. Yes Aretha. Respect.
Day 6. No Trucks. Just Corn.
Day 7. Cry
Day 8. There’s No Place Like Home
Day 9. It’s Okay to Ask a Human for Help
Day 10. Always Bring an Onion
Day 11. Gimme Three Steps Towards Nevada
Day 12. I Want to Scream.
Day 13. Dusty Virgin
Day 14: Magical ride
Day 15. As Nice as I Want to Be
Day 16. What Rules? What Road?
Day 17. If you get interrupted by a parade …
Day 18. I, Human
Day 19. A Border Crossing
Day 20. Someone to Help Me Get Home
Day 21. Time flies like an arrow and ….
Day 22. Stop, or Else …
Day 23. What’s Your Reality?
Day 24. If it seems ridiculous …
Day 25. Backing Up
Day 26. To Stop a Hurricane
Day 27. Lights Along My Path
Day 28. Grateful

 

Back to reality?

The last time I paid ongoing attention to the news was in the spring, before a cross country move and the subsequent chaos in my personal life. I was vaguely aware of various GOP politicians announcing their candidacy for president, of several more horrific shootings and deaths, and of a supreme court ruling on gay marriage that pleasantly surprised me. It was sort of a blur of happy, sad and comic, to be honest.

trumpAbout a week ago, something in my brain re-engaged.  I’ve always been a news junkie. It began with high school speaking competitions, and was strengthened as I got a journalism degree in college. I usually care about what is happening in the world, and when you follow it every day you don’t realize that your own mind fails to question the logic of what is going on. The problem with stepping away from it all for awhile is that at least some of it is hard to believe when you come back.

Donald Trump is the leading GOP candidate in the polls? Really? Followed by a distant Ben Carson? Nobody is making this up? What happened to all those other guys who seemed kind of rational?

boyI read that thousands of refuges from Syria and Iraq are desperate to get asylum in Germany but for some reason they are are stuck in Hungary because of red tape. The sad image of the washed up body of a small boy has finally inspired outrage at the situation, and has also inspired this moving sand sculpture by Indian artist Sudarsan Pattnaik.

Meanwhile the hungry, thirsty and exhausted families have banded together in a massive march to the Austrian border. Hungarian police seem to be helpless to either aid them or stop them, and so are advising them to at least wear clothing easily visible at night. It sounds surreal. Surely this story isn’t true. What went so horribly wrong here? And why to do I have to turn to the BBC for more information on this subject?

BL CoreyOh yes. The USA is busy being transfixed  by a clerk in Kentucky who has decided that her personal religious convictions allow her to refuse to do her job.  Apparently resigning isn’t an option for her, and neither is the time honored method of delegating tasks she does not believe in to her sub-ordinates. (Her deputies in Rowan County will obey the law of the land and issue marriage licenses to any two humans who want them, but this particular clerk is having none of that either).

Twitter was LIAO thanks to the witty twits of a fictitious clerk in the same Kentucky office, and while the humor flared on one end with internet memes, George4it erupted with outrage on the other as the U.S. supreme court refused to get involved and a U.S. District Judge sent the sanctimonious clerk on to jail, where she may refuse to issue marriage licenses that offend her for as long as she likes.

What is wrong with us?

I don’t ask that question when I watch the news most nights. It all seems normal then. I think perhaps I should take a break like this more often.