I was watching Youtube tonight, listening to “Fiddler on the Roof” and some “modern” sacred music as well. It was a welcome respite from the noisy backdrop of political lambaste, rumors on the internet about various government conspiracies, violence, calamity, and the turmoil of our world. Therefore, I turn to music. Not just any music, but a sound for the mood, be it Mozart or Sleater-Kinney. I have my moments when both will suffice.

But the songs tonight reminded me that there is beauty in the world. Maybe not that anyone can see right now, but it’s there, like the stars in the day time. You can’t see them, but they are there. There are a lot of voices drowning out this beauty. Loud, obnoxious voices filled with hate and anger. I have been one of these voices recently. I have been angry at times. But I am grateful for the peace I get when I can get it.

You don’t have to be particularly religious to appreciate sacred music. But I grew up with these tunes, so I am comforted in the sounds, the colors, if you will, of the choral ensemble.

There is a good Arabic proverb that says, essentially, “if the next thing you say is not more beautiful than silence, be still.” I wish most of the world would be guided by this principle. But sometimes we could use a little ugliness. Besides, one’s perception of beauty could be wildly different from the next. I mention Sleater-Kinney again, because I find beauty in the piercing vocals of Carrie Brownstein. Some might find it offensive. There’s no accounting for taste.

Find something beautiful that will bring you joy. It’s more difficult than you think. Turning off the world requires a lot of strength. Gather it up. The world will still be there when you get back. Be careful not to allow the turmoil creep into your state of bliss. Somehow, I find moments when I can really, truly cut myself off, as it were (since I am browsing Youtube, and anything can pop up next.) But it’s amazing when I get in the right groove. I guess it’s like when a surfer picks up the perfect wave she’s been waiting for all morning. Or so I’m told.

I am fortunate that I also get to create. I get to contribute to the beauty of the world. I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like producing art and music, photos and so forth. I suppose I could spend less time on Youtube. My day job is technical and does not allow for much in the way of creativity. But I have to produce documentation, so I tend embellish a bit.

It’s good when you have the opportunity to escape. It’s my wish that everyone has the chance to take a break and experience some real beauty, especially during this season where the nights are long, and the wind is cold. I like to watch the skies when it’s clear. Winter skies are good for stargazing. Others like a good book. The human experience demands so much from us. We have the right to step back and take a breath. It could change the world for the better. I hope it does.


Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride

I have a mild cold at the moment. I’m drinking lots of water, and I’ve had loads of vitamin C through various means. Also, I’m taking some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. The noticeable absence is some real Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine HCI). For a number of years sale this highly effective decongestant has been restricted to an extent that it has become a pain in the ass, officially.

As a substitute, Johnson & Johnson has been distributing something called Sudafed PE, which is not as potent as the other stuff. Pseudoephedrine HCI has been restricted because it can be used to make powerful illegal drugs. Consequently, it has become easier to obtain a gun.

It occurs to me that people in this country are untrusting of their government to the point that there are nearly as many firearms as there are people in the USA. I have several friends and acquaintances who are convinced Obama truly wants to take away their guns. It’s strange. Now, I defend a person’s right to own a gun. It’s kind of part of our heritage. But shouldn’t gun ownership come with some responsibility? Some accountability?

I can buy some Sudafed tonight if I need to. It will take me about 30 minutes. I have to sign something and show my driver’s license. I think it’s about the same process to buy a gun. In fact, I know it’s easier to buy ammunition. What am I going to do with one box of Sudafed? Now if I went from Walgreens to CVS, across town, buying up all the Sudafed, I would expect my name to pop up on some kind of watch list with the DEA. But buying up all the ammo probably won’t set off any alarms. I mean, the San Bernardino shooters sure didn’t raise any red flags.

I have to make this short, because it’s time for me to reload – er, I mean, take another dose.

As always, stay safe.