No News 

The trouble with reading the news is that itís always horrible.

The trouble with not reading the news is that ignorance is the quickest way to bring the horror to your doorstep.

Just as in the rest of life, thatís the catch: A cycle that never ends, lest you strike at the roots (which run so old and deep and strong now, that I imagine them as being impossible to find). So, at our best, we walk the line of moderation.

I canít believe the news today.

There have been a line of school shootings lately, one such tragedy having just occurred in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania.

I canít close my eyes and make it go away.

I donít even want to link to the article.

Of course people make fun of the idea of the Amish. We love the idea of Hobbits and Tolkienís vision of how things were prior to the industrial revolution, but we reject the idea of the Amish lifestyle.

Beyond obvious reasons, this tragedy upset me because Amish Country is a pleasant place, and Iíve always considered the Amish to have tremendous will power. (Although they probably wouldnít see it that way: They are rather modest, after all.) Along with other will-powered communities (monks, et cetera), they are a sort of Beacon of Simplicity, serving as an alternate idea of what true power might be: Knowing what you could have and choosing to lay it down, pass it by... .

We used to play softball up around Amish Country. When you drive through their towns, they wave back at you from their buggies, with their beards and bonnets andÖ You can imagine how this appealed to me as a child daydreamer-storyteller: It was like stepping into a period-piece movie.

Itís important that places like Amish Country exist, and I do not do well to have my last, safe little worlds tucked away in the corner of my mind, the places I think of as better places, rocked by execution-style shootings of innocent school girls.

How long... How long must we sing this song? How long? How long...

The trouble with life being that, while there exist beautiful things that are real, there also exist dark things.

Iím so worried about the whole world, you might have gathered that latelyó Iíve been reading the news a lot and doing so much researchÖ Darfur, Sierra Leone, ethics (or the lack thereof), Iraq, preserving national and international parks, deforesting of ancient forests, global warming, oil drilling, SociologyÖ

The frustration and lack of action and bloody melee of never ending issues is driving me into a black hole, which is why I keep expressing how relieved I am to be involved in certain projects.

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