This post is silly, redundant and self-indulgent.
But I am doing it anyway.
Recently, I saw something in the paper that reiterated the theme of this blog’s immediately previous outing. Except instead of exemplifying something I’ve been saying – not for months; See: Yesterday’s post – it reflects instead something I’ve been saying – and regularly practicing – for decades.
How’s that for being “Light years ahead of the curve.” I hope that, though today’s post echoes the same message of the post immediately before it, it will earn at least an accepting, “Okay, fine.” Though I am always hoping for more.
No more sniveling. Here we go.
Yesterday, I mentioned a recognized journalist, offering an idea I myself have touted for some time, that idea being that, in anticipation of the release of the Mueller Report, in its blanketing speculations and expert predictions, cable news feels akin to an extended NFL “Pre-Game Show.” (Lasting a year-and-half, instead of a couple of hours.) My pre-mentioned point exactly.
Ipso facto: “I’m no dummy.” Point made. Never to be revisited.
Ten I read an essay in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review Section, and there’s someone unwittingly quoting me again. Except this time, my original pronouncement goes way back.
And I have proof.
In her collective assessment of three books written about dealing with anxiety, essayist Judith Newman includes a selection from Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet.
As a method of stress reduction, Haig suggests going outside and communing with nature. Relaxing at the beach, Haig hears the beach itself say to him,
“Hello. I am the beach… I have been around for millions of years. I was around at the dawn of life itself. And I have to tell you something… I am entirely indifferent to your body mass index… I am oblivious.”
Pretty good, right?
CUT BACK TO: 1988.
I have created a half-hour comedy called Family Man, based to a surprising extent on me and my family. To avoid standard sitcom clichés, I decided that all Family Man’s storylines would derive exclusively from personal experience. (Of me as a parent, or of me as a kid.)
I wrote an episode called “The Preferred List”, about the time when, after undergoing an “at-home” health exam, my insurance company removed me from their coverage “Preferred List.”
Receiving the “downgrading”, I felt devastated. I was a reputable restaurant, getting a “B” from the health inspectors. (That line wasn’t in it, but if I had thought of it then, it would have been.)
Feeling terminally vulnerable – more so than usual – guess what I did?
I went outside… and went down to the beach.
Sound familiar, Matt Haig?
I communed with the ocean.
And the ocean communed back.
Sending me the same message the beach sent Matt Haig.
Though the ocean was nicer about it.
The point, however, was the same.
OCEAN: “I’ve been around a long time, and I have seen it all.”
SHELLY (SURROGATE EARLO): “So what’s going to happen?”
OCEAN: “Whatever it is, I go in… and I go out. I go in… and I go out.”
That was the message.
Context and perspective.
The indirect comfort of remembering “The Big Picture.”
I did that back in 1988. (In the show. In actual life, it was earlier.)
(And by the way, it helped. And it still helps today.)
It’s nice to see somebody finally caught up. I plan to brag about that on my next visit to the ocean. Although I know its reaction.
It’ll go in…
And it’ll go out.
The good thing is,
I’ll know exactly what that means.
“Stay humble, my friend. Your illuminations and insights… as well as your personal difficulties…
“None of them… are new.”