January 22, 2022
  • 7:58 pm Muleshoe Heritage Center’s Christmas Open House deemed success
  • 7:51 pm Muleshoe Crime Reports
  • 7:50 pm Launching into 2022 feels strange
  • 7:50 pm Muleshoe Art Association enjoys sketching demonstration
  • 7:49 pm Muleshoe’s Uncle Sam


The calendar says that it’s now 2022. My various electronic devices all agree on that opinion.

What? You say that it’s a fact, actual reality, and not just an opinion? Wow, your thinking is hopelessly dated, by which I mean, out-dated.

In the very advanced—one might say, progressive, enlightened, and “woke” society—objective reality is yesterday’s thinking; reality now is almost completely dependent upon how you feel about “your” reality. Yes, pilgrim, you, too, can now own a parcel of “reality” in a section of the universe designed specifically for you and your feelings regarding “reality” on any given day.

So suppose you wake up on a day when the old multiplication tables seem terribly confining and, well, old? Who’s got the authority to tell you that, regardless of your feelings, two plus two will always and forever equal four (and you’ll be happier if you learn to deal with reality), even if “five” seems to be a more comfortable answer on, say, every third Thursday in months ending in Rs?

Or what if I wake up on a Tuesday in April feeling much like—exactly like, I’d say—a red-spotted toad (specifically “Anaxyrus punctatus in the family Bufonidae found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico”), who, pray tell, are you to tell me that I appear to be quite an ordinary human with, you might say to be courteous if not altogether truthful, a few distinctly toad-like features? And how dare you suggest that “my reality” and objective reality might not be lining up and that perhaps a good counselor and maybe medication might help!?

Of course, these days I’m sure I could easily find a therapist quite willing to help me accept my new “reality” as a heretofore human biological entity now identifying as an amphibian. (Are there pronouns for that? Dunno, but I’m thinking it might be advisable in this new “reality” to avoid kettles, stove tops, and warming water.)

One day, it was in May, I’d say, / I woke up feeling in a very particular way / That right was left and left was right / And white was black and black was white, / So, said I, this change, let’s try. / I’ve found the ticket / Right out of the old reality thicket!

Aye, and a little more sleep and a tad more slumber, / I rose on a Thursday reconnoitering a brave new way, / Pondering a post-post-modern most splendiforous wonder! / What if today, say, / Up would be down and down would be up / Flat would be round and round be flat? / And thus I declared it, and that was that!

And, while I was at it, blue I pronounced green, / And four, two plus two no more, would be, / I then decreed most solemnly, two plus three! / Says who? Says me! / For henceforth and forevermore, / Or for at least a day, maybe three.

All to say that, though I don’t know what I expected 2022 to feel like, I guess reality indicates that this is how it feels. I do distinctly remember thinking, a few decades ago, that I might well live to see 2000, though I would be quite old when it arrived.

And what do I think now? I think I should admit to being pretty darn near the far side of middle age. And then I quickly think that, contrary to the opinion just expressed, I’d probably better adjust to reality; it won’t adjust to me.

And it wouldn’t hurt me to remember that, if I’m making fun of ludicrous ideas that flaunt reality, the best examples of squishy thinking are usually found between my own ears. A little or a lot of humility might not go amiss.

Anyway, no matter how I feel about reality, it really is 2022. Dealing with it wisely means trusting in the Rock of all Ages, even as the paper pages of the calendar flip yet again.

By Curtis K. Shelburne

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