Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Kind of August Bliss

I wonder what's on his mind...
Back at the beginning of the Van Winkle Project I took a picture of this little man you see on the left. The wooden figure was carved in Africa. He resides on a shelf above the flat screen television.

I'm not sure why I took a picture of this nameless one except that at the time I thought somehow I could use him as an illustration in a future post.

Until now he wasn't needed, but now I would like to summon him onto the cyberspace stage...

This week I am beginning my last full month of being Van Winkled. My first reaction to this is to rejoice. The restraints are about to come off and my news, weather, sports and entertainment fast is about to end!

I'm like a child looking ahead to his birthday party and the great, bounteous gifts of information I'm going to unwrap on Sunday, September 11 when I finally awake from my metaphorical slumbers.

Not so fast, Van Winkle...

Honestly, there's a part of me that is drawn to our pensive little African man. Hmm. Should I really be in such a rush to get this over with? Is there more that I can learn?

I believe there is.

I've already discovered that I'm a pretty poor candidate for a year-long news blackout. I'm too "accident"-prone. Or were those really accidents when I stumbled across a few words here and there in headlines and spoiled my potentially pristine ignorance? Or maybe it was a psychological problem? I was too self-conscious about avoiding the news, so much so that the constant tension drove my subconscious to keep undermining my efforts.

But there's still a month left to do things right.
"I know nothing!"

I want to relax a bit and at the same time have for the first time, deep down absolutely zero interest in anything going on in the world. In other words, I want to stop being me.

And I want this month to pass S-L-O-W-L-Y so I can savor one last time what it's like to have a general aloofness from the heavy burden of knowledge.  
  • With no bad news I will have no occasion for pessimism or cynicism.
  • With no good news I will not waste precious emotions on hope that may prove false.

More than ever I want to move about in the immersive envelope of "now" where every whisper of wind on my neck or drop of moisture on my hand has a significance equivalent to a hurricane or some event of historic proportions.

I'm going to collect the pennies in my life and forget about the mountains of gold that presumably are being mined by others.

If the world is lucky, it will be a slow news month: no natural disasters, no airplane crashes, no horrible fires, no shootings, no wars or civil wars, no political shenanigans, no economic crisis, no unexpected deaths.

It's going to feel that way to me regardless of what actually happens. August 2011. The calm month. My final month. A last shot at blissful ignorance. - V.W.

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