I have always hated the news. Mostly because it is so biased and skewed that the real truth is often lost somewhere along the way. Never to be found.
But lately, the facts are undeniable. There have been so many senseless acts of violence both locally and globally that watching the news has become overwhelming. When I do watch, I vacillate between anger and extreme sadness. I’m finding it difficult to merely observe the news, simply listen to the stories, without letting them sink into my body.
Talking about it, watching it, knowing it, doesn’t make anything better. I want to stick my head in the sand, and then I chide myself for not getting involved and trying to change things. I am having a hard time distancing myself from the pain and the sadness.
After reading an article today about the bodies of the people who were murdered on Malaysian Air Flight 17 (the mere thought of it causes tears to well up in my eyes, and bile to rise up to my throat every single time) I decided I had enough. Enough bad news. I can’t get on a plane and help anyone. So obsessing over this, reading every article,seeking it out isn’t doing me any good. In fact, it is making me physically ill.
And just then a friend posted the Bill Withers song “A Lovely Day”. So I watched the video, and listened to the song, and I let that sink into my body instead. Diversion and denial. My go-to defenses.
That video started me on a YouTube roll about happy songs, and I when I stumbled upon The Rascals’ “It’s a Beautiful Morning” I decided to post it. Because it is a beautiful morning. And because screw the news.
I googled the song, as I often do. I like to find out when it was written, what the story behind it is. Are there cover versions? Are they any good? What are the actual lyrics, not the ones I’ve been singing wrong all these years?
I was beginning to enjoy myself when I got to the bottom of the lyrics page and saw the links for other articles:
“Couple Killed Just Moments After Taking this Beautiful Photo”
“7 Stars Whose Parents Committed Horrible Crimes”
and a picture of a mummified face with the caption “There are Places in the World Where this Could Happen to You!”
More bad news. More horrific stories. More sensational, terrific words to drag me in to someone’s screwed up agenda.
So I scrolled back up. “It’s a beautiful mornin’, ahhh. I think I’ll go outside for a while, And jus’ smile.”
And then I turned the computer off. Because screw the news. It’s gonna be a lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, dammit.