Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sidetracked

Have been seriously sidetracked this past week with the news about the Katrina Catastrophe. I was reading obsessively online all night every night and occasionally watching or listening to CNN simultaneously. I could not blog about it as I could not sort out my thoughts and feelings. Besides so many were doing so magnificently well, I knew that I could add nothing substantial to the discussion. The only thing left in my head was an endless wail interspersed with incoherent rant fugues. Like I said, Nothing of value to add to the discussion.

I felt myself slipping into the same abyss as I did after the Tsunami. A look at my archives will reveal that I was posting sparsely between Xmas and Memorial Day. The truth is, that most of what is there was actually posted between late April and early June. I just set the timestamp to reflect the approximate date I had begun to compose the essay or had read the article I was quoting. At that time I had no audience so no one was the wiser but me. So this weekend when it became apparent that I was heading down that same road again, I knew I had to nip my emotional tailspin in the bud--and now!

The first step was a reinstatement of the moratorium on MSM TV news. It is the video pictures that go into my dreams with me. It is the yakking heads trying to tell me how to perceive what I am seeing that morph me into a gibbering fool. Once I had stopped watching the horror and listening to the spin. The next step was to get some serious sleep. Sleep depravation was a large part of the disintegration of psyche. This is a pattern for me. My sleep-ability is fragile at best. Add to that my proclivity to OBSESS on whatever has my attention in its grasp!

Which brings me to step three. It was time to try to sidetrack myself. I knew that the more days that I did not post to Joystory, the harder it would get. So I had to start making plans for a post. Something. Anything. Yet anything just would not do. Nothing seemed relevant. But that was my obsession talking. I have to trust that something will occur to me eventually--an insight, an encounter with a unique idea that needs seeding into the meme stream.

Meanwhile doing some webmistressing tasks would keep my hands on the tools and my mind in the game. So I turned to my sidebar which has been languishing for months. After I had messed it up somehow I lost confidence. But then a visitor surfed on and answered my plea for help. The mistress of Alice In Wonderland Or Not offered to take a look at my template. She sent me the fix and after a careful line-by-line comparison between her fix and the existing code, I saw where my mistake had been made and thereby understood the intent of the misplaced tags. There is one pitfall I won't stumble into again.

Anyway, the upshot is that I just added a lot of new links to my sidebar. And I added categories. And I alphabetized inside each category. Collecting the links took most of a session and adding them to the template took most of another. I am not finished yet. I still have more links in each category and a couple or three more categories to add.

One of those categories is links about the Katrina cleanup and relief efforts. Both resources for up to date info and for ways to help. Have been collecting these links throughout the surfing I did from day one. I posted a short list of them early on and intended to get the rest prepared for the sidebar, but then I got intimidated by how well and how prettily some of the other bloggers, not to mention the news sites, were doing similar things. But I know that reasoning doesn't wash. I am still working on that list and hope to have it in the sidebar sometime this week, barring unforeseen developments.

One thing became clear to me as my sanity stabilized the past few days. I must find a way to become part of the solution at some level. What that might be is not clear at this moment but my heart and mind are open and reaching out. I wish to find a way to offer what resources I have, but they do not seem to amount to much. They are not monetary or even physical--time, talent, skillset. That's all I can come up with right now and I don't see a way to apply any of it beyond keeping this blog alive and viable for any opportunity that might present itself.

Meanwhile, I am going to return again to the mandate I set myself to keep a balance among the number of sub themes listed in the subtitle of Joystory. One of those sub themes has been severely neglected from the beginning as it has also been neglected in my daily life and that is my continuing Spiritual Quest. The experience of this past week has taught me that one thing if nothing else--it is imperative that I maintain a balance in my life--to stay centered mentally, to attend to my physical health and to keep my skill set honed. Because those are the minimum requirements for me to be of use to self, family and community (local, national, global).

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