Comfort me with history and books

I’m looking for ways to ease my troubled soul. Before I punch someone in the nose.



Georgia Brooks

Once, I nearly drowned in the Snake River. I was on a float trip in Wyoming. I fell off the raft and got caught under rapids. I was wearing a life jacket, but every time the life jacket popped me to the surface, the rapids pushed me back under the water. I was caught in this cycle, couldn’t breathe for the water in my face and soon knew I was drowning.

Strangers formed a human chain and dragged me to shore. But it wasn’t over. When I was conscious and strong enough to stand up, I had to climb a steep, muddy bank to the highway and hitchhike back to the car.

For months I have felt as if I’m drowning again, but this time in a sea of anger, bitterness, malice, spite, rage and every other synonym for political and cultural fury. I’m back in the Snake River! How can I get back to a happy life?

A friend posted on social media, “I am in outrage fatigue.” Aren’t we all.

Except for the witty person who posted, “Life is short. Spend as much time as possible on the Internet arguing with strangers about politics.”

I’m looking for ways to ease my troubled soul. Before I punch someone in the nose. If I do, I hope it’s a stranger and not a close friend, but these days you never know.

For me, a surefire comfort is rereading some of my favorite British female authors, especially Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor (the writer, not the actress.) These writers write what has been described as a “‘quiet’ kind of writing.”

Quiet, but not shallow. Pym’s “Excellent Women” and Taylor’s “In a Summer Season” look and truly see ordinary people in the luminous moments of everyday life.

During the roiling period before the midterm elections, my sole reading was about beekeeping. I had broken my leg — a fractured femur — and was on a walker, becoming a stuck-at-home hive bee instead of a worker bee buzzing around town. The political and social turmoil raged on outside like a hard storm as I read books by American author Sue Hubbell, who lived alone on an Ozark farm tending 300 beehives to support herself. Beekeeping is fascinating work, I learned, and something I never want to undertake.

Reading books by these women was comforting. I sank into it thinking all is right with the world, or is going to be.

I had the same comforting thought when I saw a TV interview with Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of U.S. presidential biographies. She said we should look to our laws and to our history for assurance. In every time of national crisis, she said, leaders have emerged to heal us. During the Civil War, it was Abraham Lincoln; it was Teddy Roosevelt during the Progressive Era; in the Great Depression, F.D.R.; and during the race riots of 1960, Lyndon Johnson.

A healing leader will come, she said. In the meantime, we should read the Constitution to our children at night, just as we read them the Bible.

That’s not easy. Have you tried reading the Constitution lately? Sentences such as “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.” (Article I, section 2.)

And yet, the Constitution is the landmark legal document of the United States, so we should soldier on reading it. Not just for our children but for ourselves. Luckily, free downloads are available and so are analysis, interpretations and annotations — all helpful for understanding and conversation.

The Constitution is much in the news these days, even to the off-Broadway play “What the Constitution Means to Me” by Heidi Schreck, which traces the legal evolution of women’s equality stirred with stories from her own life.

Evolution and stories. That is life, isn’t it.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Tulsan of the Year: Judy Kishner

Judy Kishner doesn't shy away from the tough issues. For that, we name her Tulsan of the Year.
Edit Module

Add your comment:
21c

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

So You Want to Make a Movie? Learn how to take your movie idea from conception to reality through hands-on guidance. The goal is to create a short digital video to be submitted to a local film...

Cost: $375

Where:
Ahha Tulsa
101 E. Archer St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Every Wednesday Live Event Trivia is at The Willows Family Ales - Show starts at 7 and is free to play! Movie scenes, Finish the Lyric, Classic Trivia, and more! The crew from T-Town Tacos will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Mothers of Preschoolers (and preschool means prior to school, ages 6 weeks to 5 years old). MOPS warmly welcomes any mom that has at least one child age 6 weeks to 5 years old. By joining MOPS, you...

Cost: Free

Where:
Eastwood Baptist Church
948 S 91st E Ave
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Eastwood Baptist Church
Telephone: 918-836-8686
Contact Name: Shirley Pittenger
Website »

More information

You weren't going to keep them anyway. Break your resolutions in style with your girlfriends.  Check out The Melting Pot's special Resolution Buster Ladies’ Night Out on...

Cost: $29.95 per person

Where:
The Melting Pot
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Tulsa, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Body/Mind Techniques for Managing Stress.   Trauma, fear, panic attacks, PTSD, diabetes, chronic pain, anxiety and phobias all have components related to emotional or physical...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Hardesty Regional Library
8316 E. 93rd Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

More information

Come see ORU Mens Basketball vs South Dakota!

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Ave
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Sponsor: https://mabeecenter.com/event/californiabaptist1819m/
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center
Website »

More information

Third Thursday in the Rainbow Room returns January 16 in the Lynn Riggs Theatre at OkEq.  John Hawk Co-cke’s one-man show, “The Beginnings, Into Possibilities” takes you through time with...

Cost: $10 General Admission; $15 Bistro seating

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OkEq
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: OkEq
Telephone: 918-637-2866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

Come and Support ORU Women's Basketball as they jump into another exciting season. Join in on the fun and purchase your tickets today! All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will...

Cost: $7.00

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Experience our blue planet through the eyes of National Geographic explorers and those who are taking action to make a positive change. National Geographic explorers will share their stories and...

Cost: $40, $30 Members

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

Pain Management Class Non-medical Treatments for Pain Non-medical treatments may be used to treat chronic pain, along with pain medicines. They might also be used alone for mild pain or...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Glenpool Library
730 E. 141st Street
Glenpool, OK  74033
View map »


Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Toyland Ball, held every January, is The Parent Child Center’s annual signature fundraising event.  This black tie gala with a whimsical theme offers an elegant evening of dinner and...

Cost: $1,000-$25,000

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Parent Child Center of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-599-7999
Contact Name: Cox Business Center
Website »

More information

What better way to start the new year than recognizing some of the weird, winter holidays in January? If that restraining order keeps you from enjoying "International Kiss a Ginger...

Cost: $8.00

Where:
pH Community House
306 South Phoenix Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Come check out LYRX in concert at the first annual OILFIRE Chili Bowl Concert Series! This event is 21+

Cost: 25

Where:
Agora Event Center
1402 S Peoria Ave #200
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Giving Guide
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

TULtalk


2.2: Mending with Gold — Ana Berry

On this episode of the Tulsa Talks podcast, Ana Berry is a champion for the city with a new perspective on life.

Comments

Video: Soundscapes Tulsa

Comments

2.1: The Pivot — Meg Myers Morgan

Season 2 is all about reinvention, and you could say that today’s guest, Meg Myers Morgan, wrote the book on how to do it — through negotiation and self-reflection.

Comments

Lives well lived

Remembering the prominent Tulsans we lost in 2018.

Comments

Can soothing sounds help the healing process?

Amy Hamilton, a certified sound healing practitioner, offers a monthly SoundScapes class at Zen Body in Tulsa.

Comments