“It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.” —Epictetus
I dove into these patterns and related clothing art because I like them and have never before been prompted to learn about them but also because as a result of watching the unfolding assault, murder and destruction in Ukraine, I arrived at a decision.
While I do feel it's necessary to stay abreast of developments on that front, my personal life is just fine now after a long stretch of it not being fine. So, while everything is in order in my life, I am focusing on everything I have to be grateful for and am committed to appreciating the beauty I am surrounded by and to creating beauty in every way that I can. Ideally, in thoughts, words and deeds though I am having a human experience after all and do forget my high ideals at least several times a day. Fortunately, I've had a lot of practice creating beauty so that's mostly a matter of sitting down to do the work.
It is work to keep our thoughts and attitudes properly adjusted in the face of so much information coming at us so fast and so relentlessly. And so much of this information is horrific because, frankly, that's part of what is happening and, traditionally, is what sells soap.
I had an antique book of murder ballads for a while and the editor wrote a fabulous introduction in which he described how the reports and tales of heinous murders and crimes were the subjects of a large percentage of early broadsides. He also shared that as young child, his mother would hold him on her lap while singing a vast array of murder ballads.
But I digress. Slightly.
We may not have control over war and politicians and the planet, weather and life and death but we can have control over our thoughts and what we choose to focus on. As with most things, this is a practice.
My go to remedy for refocusing my attention is to stop what I'm doing and to go outside for a walk in nature. Fortunately, I'm steps away from wooded trails filled with plant and animal life and bird song. But you can find the beauty of nature even in the most urban experience if only with plants pushing up through cracks in the sidewalk or in vacant lots, even just by looking up to see the sky. If you know what you're looking for, you can find it. I suggest you look for beauty.
"The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God. For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature's beauty and simplicity.
"As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances. I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer." —Anne Frank
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. —William Morris
"At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: "Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you're not part of it." My advice is: "Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy."
"I don't think Mother's advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You'd be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains, even in misfortune. If you just look for it, you discover more and more happiness and regain your balance. A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!" —Anne Frank
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. If we want to change the world we have to change our thinking...no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew." —Albert Einstein