• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Pour a Drink, Sit Down With Me


When the day tilts toward dusk, I often shut down my computer, pour a glass of Irish whiskey, sit at the dining room table and think. I love to watch the light move toward evening, hear my partner Mick play his saxophone downstairs, and transition from a day in front of my computer screen to an evening of something with a little less eye-strain.


Lately, I’ve been remembering how my father came home at the end of the work day, cracked open a beer, picked up the Minneapolis Star evening newspaper, and settled in his favorite chair. He usually dozed off for five minutes once the beer was gone and the paper scanned. Then, transition complete, we gathered at the dinner table with my mother and talked about our days, the news, and whatever else came up. We listened to each other, we asked each other questions, and I learned how to debate topics on which we were not always in agreement. We had plenty of time to consider the words that came out of our mouths and chew on that day’s stories.


I miss how there were two newspaper editions - morning and evening - instead of the constant bombardment of information from the multitude of online news sources that dull us, numb us, give us only enough time to react and not to analyze before the next thing happens. The fatigue from never-ending news, something I’ve talked about before at One Minnesota Writer, is something I’m adamant about managing. It’s never been as bad as it is right now, with the terrible super storm of election news, pandemic news, climate change news, and all the ongoing -isms that should have been educated out of us long ago.


When I sit down at the end of the day, it’s with deliberate intent toward drawing inward. I move toward the self that doesn’t stand in the bright light of social media, far from the onslaught of chatter that solves nothing. At these moments, I don’t even want to hear a text message ding. There is just me, my whiskey, the sounds inside my house, and that waning light I can see through the window. I simply sit, aware of my surroundings, my breath.


Our current president would have far less reach without the internet, without Twitter, without the constant attention of media just waiting for him to do the next outrageous thing. Maybe this is one of my own small acts of rebellion, to have these daily moments of disconnection too far from it all to hear the hollering.


What a great idea.


Sláinte.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.


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