Five simple words popped into my head after being exposed to current news from the media I had, up to today, done so well in eliminating from my life. Those words are: For Whom the Bell Tolls, written by John Donne in his book, "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.”
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee
Basically, it is talking about humans and how we are all responsible for each other. In my opinion, this is a bar set too high for this world which acts as Babylon, at best.
“For whom the bell tolls” refers to when the church bells rang after a death. This passage means we should not be asking for whom it is tolling, for it is tolling for you.
In this modern age of time, as I read it, I believe it is tolling for all of us.
What lead me to think this?
A recent trip back home to Chicagoland where I had no control over the television.
At nine in the evening, after enjoying a few shows of “Family Guy,” the television filled the airwaves with its negative propaganda by the nasty circus clowns as they bounced in their seats as if electrical shocks were being transmitted to keep them in line.
I made a hasty escape from the room, but even though a valiant effort was made, I could not avoid hearing the verbiage (sewage?) coming from their mouths.
Since June 2016, I have done very well in blockading mainstream media from my life. In one fell swoop, most all I have worked for had been eliminated. The stress and anxiety were back.
How have I managed such a Herculean feat in this modern time of avoiding television and social media everywhere except for my one major news source, Lanterns.buzz?
Part of my plan of action was to move to an area that is more peaceful and landscaped with nature and good people everywhere. I canceled my cable and cut my FB time to an hour a day at most. There is so much to see outside city limits that I didn’t even know existed.
Some may consider me an anti-social recluse, but in today’s world, some ignorance can be bliss.
I now live in an area where I can get up daily and be fully confident the tires on my car have not been slashed or windows broken. I don’t miss the emergency vehicle sirens splitting the air at night. I can leave my car running outside of a gas station, and it will still be there when I get out. Gas pumps still allow you to pump fuel first and then pay inside. I can look out my windows and see a valley of rolling hills covered with vegetation and trees lined across the horizon turning various colors in the cool fall temperatures.
What was on the news that led me to think about whom the bell tolls?
Let’s start off with Trump/Sessions playing good cop/bad cop with the scandals involving the media queen, HRC. (Her name will never cross my lips again). Trump, (good cop), wants investigations. Sessions, (bad cop), is dancing around the issue playing word games.
More people are raped, mugged, or shot and killed in Chicago.
Our beloved President has been now put on a hit list from for insulting the “Rocket Man” from North Korea. Yet another one at that, considering how much hate there is in the US for him. (Would there have been this much hate for Lincoln if the internet was around then?)
After I escaped the room to another part of the house, I visited my emails. In one of them was an article from The Sun, a UK based paper. There was an interesting article that caught my eye— it was a letter about the Warning to Humanity signed by15,000 scientists. It was about how the future of the world will be if we don’t change our habits and stop polluting the atmosphere, using up natural resources, over-populating the world, and destroying our food supply. I think it is safe to believe nothing is going to change since humans can’t even decide and agree on what gender they are moment to moment.
The letter was sent to scientists, citizens, and the media in the hopes of influencing policymakers and big business.
To show what I think of media, policymakers, and big business, I prefer to watch Family Guy, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, even Dora the Explorer, or any other cartoon show.
There were also other very interesting Sun articles to read along with that one on that subject, but I had to take a break to regroup my mind and view my photographs of the morning fall mist creating a beautiful fog across the landscape dotted with evergreens, oak, maple, ash, and river birch trees. I did my best to get back to reading about the apocalypse awaiting humankind but came across a photo of a cluster of frost on a little green plant on the ground.
So, when that bell tolls, whether it is the final one for me or for humanity as a whole, hopefully, I will be in a field somewhere surrounded by waist-high wild grasses taking photos of a beautiful sunset, nature, or writing my next contribution to Lanterns.
photo by david herman 2017