sometimes i just shouldn't read the news. i know there's lots of stuff going on out there that i ought to know about, but a big part of me struggles with the information. because i'm just too sensitive. most of the newsworthy news is bad news, catastrophic news, death and destruction news that i can't do anything about. or sometimes the news isn't even real news at all, it's just a mumbo jumbo waste of time. yesterday, after crying a lot about the Japanese news and worrying about our own impending nuclear holocaust via radiation in the jet stream, i just had to stop. i had to turn it all off. so i went to the school carnival down the street at edison elementary.
there, at the carnival, swarms of kids were running around in a frenzy, getting lost in mazes, eating candy and pizza, bouncing in bouncy castles, doing every which kind of carnival game. the walls were meticulously decorated, with blue paper water and green paper seaweed, brown crumpled paper ocean bottom and colorful stuffed paper fish by the school. the energy was in the air, thick like cotton candy, boys and girls barely at puberty, some wearing clothes that revealed more than i would have at that age, some flirting and posturing, some dragging their little brothers or sisters around to the games. mostly all of them having the time of their life. there were the cake walks, seemingly hundreds of cakes, kids proudly toting the pink and green and blue fluorescently frosted confections wrapped tightly in plastic, either that or gorging from all sides on the long cafeteria tables. and there was the photo booth, stick your face in the hole of a rudimentary looking lobster or mermaid. yes, it was fun, going to the carnival, really put things into perspective, seeing parents so on top of their game not any older than me. it was refreshing, witnessing the kids, so joyfully immersed in their own world, no bigger than that elementary school at that moment, unaware of the larger scope of global issues. and i realized: times like these, it's important to nurture the child inside, that starry-eyed optimist, full of energy for having fun and excitement for the future. because no matter what happens in the bigger picture, life must go on. and sometimes living for joy, in the moment, is the best we can do.