We had rain in Sacramento last night, the first measureable rain since May. It smelled beautiful and damp out on my bike ride this afternoon. Living in Midtown is probably one of the coolest places on the planet to live. I can be anywhere in Midtown in 15 minutes or less by bike. I can take an electric train three blocks from my apartment that can connect me to trains that can take me virtually anywhere in the country.
The leaves are beginning to fall. It is amazing how the trees are attuned to the weather. No sooner had the forecasters begun to call for rain than the trees began to shed leaves. All of a sudden the sidewalks are covered with gold and my bike tires make satisfying crunches along the way.
My recent political writing and the cold reality of its growing callousness made me think about what I know about healthy living. It made me think about what I was doing in order to get my mind into a place that enabled me to write posts about Sara Palin – who I still think is unqualified, don’t get me wrong – and John McCain.
I have a sort of Martha Stewart way of thinking about my state of mind and about what I need to do in order to keep it positive and healthy. My theory is about marinating. If I marinate in negative thoughts and if I actively seek periodicals that add spices to my marinade, then my mind will be saturated with what it’s sitting in.
I spent hours reading the net and newspapers and watching TV about the elections and about politics and about the economy. I marinated my mind in the heat of the debate and the partisanship of the country. I spooned big ladles of marinade over my brain about the economy and Wall Street and the FDIC. My brain was ready for the grill of anger and politics.
I noticed lately and didn’t make a connection until yesterday that I was always happiest after I left worship on Sunday. It took my sort of accidental reading of my own writing last night – reinforced by a concerned friend who wrote to me about the level of anger in my posts – to shake me out of my marinade-induced angry euphoria. I had slipped beneath the juice of my marinade. I had succumbed to it.
“The Wisdom of Tenderness” by Brannan Manning also presented itself to me over the past few days and I don’t even know where I found it in my apartment; I just know that suddenly I was carrying it around to review my underlines the other day. So as I was riding my bike this afternoon on the way to the Gifted Gardener for a birthday present, I suddenly had clarity on my poisonous marinade recipe.
I made a commitment to myself that I needed to remember to marinade in positive worship and writing and video and thoughts. I may still comment on politics but I will strive to describe it much more positive and considerate point of view that will provide perspective and joy to the reader.