I've rediscovered twitter and found myself getting quite worked up about what's been going wrong in the world, inaccuracies, political spin and generally descending into grumpiness. And then I got this email from Edward Vilga, author and yoga teacher .....
"It was during the innocent summer of 2015 that, after seeing some downtown theater, I walked for a bit in the balmy June night before hailing a cab.
My crusty driver began our ride barking, “Can you pay in cash?”
(For those not in NYC, all cab drivers are required by law to take credit cards.)
The driver then launched into an extended, spicy monologue about corruption and the credit card companies and the 1%-ers and various conspiracy theories, about well…everything.
He went on about how he’d been driving for 30 years “in this hellhole that gets worse every year.”
In contrast, I was thinking that NYC had never looked more beautiful than on this June night and tried to interject something positive.
He countered by insisting that even the street lights had become dimmer.
I replied, “Really?” gazing out on 9th Street and 6th Avenue and thinking about how delightfully romantic and bright everythinglooked.
He asked me how long I’d been in NYC.
I answered, “Since college.”
“And you haven’t noticed that the streets are much darker than they were years ago?”
I said, “To be honest…not really.”
And then I added something like, “Well, 30 years is a long time to be driving” or something equally bland to which he replied, “Listen, you’re playing Devil’s Advocate. I think this conversation is degenerating so it’s over.”
And then he was silent for the 15 minutes it took to drive me home, his interesting jazz fusion mix playing from the front seat.
But here’s the thing: in the back of the cab, I googled “streetlights dimmer NYC” and learned the opposite is true.
NYC was and is actually getting brighter…much brighter.
( I also realize I'm sending this on the day after the Summer Solstice, the brightest day of the year.)
Anyway, five years ago, in 2015, we were in the beginning of the world’s largest city-wide light replacement project with brighter, clearer LED bulbs everywhere.
Now there are even complaints about how the street lights are TOO BRIGHT.
My cabbie’s worldview was so committed to the darkness increasing that he was blind to the fact that things are truly getting dramatically brighter.
Why am I thinking of this now, in the chaotic mess that 2020 seems to be?
It’s because I’d like to think this is also what’s happening right now.
After all, the light’s job is to expose the darkness––
and there’s definitely a lot of darkness that needs to be exposed––
But perhaps, it’s also an inevitable part of moving us forward.
In some ways, it’s the same as when you decide to upgrade something in your home (say a chair in your living room)…
And then realize that the rug underneath is frayed should probably be replaced…
And then once that’s done, the sofa suddenly looks shabby and then….
Well, before you know it, you’ve completely redecorated.
Maybe that’s what’s happening now.
Things aren’t getting darker…they’re getting brighter.
And that reveals many beautiful things, and simultaneously, how much cleaning up we still have to do." Edward Vilga
...... So I've decided to give Twitter a side-swerve (that echo chamber is really too seductive), focus on how I can make a positive change in my life now (which is all we really have) and be grateful for the image of the redecoration metaphore, I found it really helped put things in perspective for me. I hope you do too.