By NEMS Daily Journal
The speed-of-light technology surrounding everyone in the 21st century changes how “the news” is delivered, but in our information-obsessed age, news has not become outdated; it has become a continuous stream of information, including on newspapers’ websites like DJournal.com.
The big news has become a same-day event from virtually all places, so the horrors of this morning’s war events in, let’s say Afghanistan, come directly to a screen with us or near us by nightfall, sometimes sooner.
Some people consider it information overload, Some think it has created a new addiction and compulsive behavior.
But the external events and situations are not the only things – the only news – on our minds, thoughts that have dogged us, sometimes comforted us since our time began.
We are in a sense each a self-contained news event, but as writer/preacher/teacher Frederick Buechner noted in his 1988 book, “Whistling In The Dark: An ABC Theologized,” ours is not the news that gets in the media.
“This is the news of each particular day of each one of us. This is the news that we are so busy making that we seldom get around to sitting down and thinking it over.”
Skipping past those “commonplace events” he says “is, to put it mildly, a pity.”
What we’re letting slip “are the only lives on this planet we’re every presumably going to get.”
Those unreported news events in the brain’s editing room are far more detailed and factual in some ways than anything ever typed, recorded, photographed, Tweeted or emailed because they bear the same unique imprint carried by each human being. It’s the equivalent of DNA that’s physical, metaphorical, emotional and spiritual all at the same time.
Buechner describes all of us as caught up in our “own small wars” and wrestling with our “crimes and passions” as we struggle with successes and failures. His plainly worded descriptives of mental process hit close to home, and so does his understanding of where it’s trying to take us: “God knows we are searching for peace.”
He acknowledges “occasional breakthroughs” which can be so quiet and small we hardly recognize what’s happening.
“Only an unanswered letter. A phone conversation. A tone of voice. A chance meeting at the post office. An unexpected lump in the throat. Laughing till we cry. But these things are what it is all about. These things are what we are all about.”
His perceptions are sharp-edged enough to make most of us uncomfortable in a healthy, necessary way.
The best choice, Buechner suggests, may be sitting down “every evening” to think it all over, rolling it over and processing through it, seeking to come to terms.
“The news of our day,”’ as he puts it.
Sometimes the intimacy of our minds and hearts can be powerfully uncomfortable because it involves all of life – and death – the pain as well as the balm. The fine print and the devilish details. The happy episodes and the critical analyses.
We discover how hard the road is we’re on, and even more, the road people we love are on, and in some cases, the end that has been reached or the hazards encountered.
Finally, and almost certainly most provocatively Buechner says this: “‘It is, if nothing else, a way of saying our prayers.”