Politics is becoming overwhelming. Listening to today’s endless snipes, tweets, melt-downs, and outrage filling all airwaves, I am left bemused at the bubble of now. Politicians are vengeful, reporters are angry. Commentators are in high dudgeon. It matters not what “side”; the basis is fear and loathing.

I think they are missing something.

The news is filled with perpetrators and zealots: it’s the loudest world, screaming in each instant. The breathless desperation of healthy, free, employed participants lives in a tiny place amid the immeasurable context of everything.

For me, there is a perverse joy in seeing the irrational rampaging — it’s delightfully absurd. Similarly, the responses of the befuddled mainstream are highly snarky or defensively derisive — hilariously “off.” This is the oddest president I know of: and the response to him is depressingly angry — and anger is usually the result of fear. The rage of the moment may indeed be momentous (nukes, FBI, InterWebNets are involved) — but, to me, other things matter more.

There is a lot of noise in a world of greater good.

It was an easy winter: our sons are healthy, and we almost have enough money. But more, the presence of God in my life, every day, is as real as the air I breathe and the food I eat. Maybe realer. Despite the last two months.

I know this at 61 not because of any assumption or rationalization but because I know better. I grew up with no guarantees, so all I have is a gift. There were survivalist expectations, so any hopes grow to become daily requests for forgiveness. It used to be that a white-knuckle childhood was the baseline for hearing God pretty much in every consequence, perhaps more now.

But 6 weeks ago, I had 9 sets of wires, tubes, and machines hooked up to me 24/7: apparently a part of my brain had been flooded by an artery break — caused by a genetic flaw in the inner layer of that artery.

I had no balance — easily 3 drinks’ worth of uncontrol: but zero other symptoms: no fever, pain, numbness, headache, dizziness, paralysis, blurred vision, pressure, weakness, indigestion, slurred speech. Nothing. And each day my balance brain was less drunk.

Not being an idiot, I experienced all this with adult supervision.

100 hours at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Neurology Ward, examined by its Chief aided by perhaps 8 other Doctor-types and dozens of Health Professionals meant hourly examination. It also meant a $12,800 1 hour insertion into the Magnetic Resonance Tube, a lot of blood drawn from a permanent port in my left hand, daily cranial X-rays, an EKG and a dozen or two injections into my belly. There were hourly automated blood-pressure bicep-crushings. Every 15 minutes, a pair of compressing airbags squeezed my calves — all set to the regular beeping sound of my heart monitor — with its 5 glued-into-my-chest-hair sensors. These machine interjections were complicated by endless questions, resistance tests (“you are STRONG!”) (I must have looked weak), and endless eye movement monitoring. It was almost $50,000 of doctoring in 5 days (insurance is a good thing).

At the end the “best neurologist anywhere” (a doc friend’s comment) declared, “You are perfect.” She resolutely stated that I have never had any stroke-ish thing happen before, and that no other “incident” was seen to be looming. I had no cancer, a good heart, no disease. My blood pressure was high — I am a few stones fat, and those are now being beaten, hard. But I can drink — booze and coffee — no “low-salt” imperative — but I am off coffee (except 8oz the morning of my Mockingbird NYC talk). I ended milk and cheese and fatty stuff and hold the salt (mostly) — but do love a cocktail every few days. Or two.

But that new regime is not as important as one very odd fact.

I had no fear.

An elemental aspect of living, balance, was gone. It turned out that my absolutely necessary vascular life support system had been severely breeched. But I was not afraid. I was pissed that I had missed doing some things during my 100 hospital hours and the following “limited” week at work. But a true life-altering marker gave me no anxiety: none.

There was no hyper-drive thinking: I felt as I do most days: the huddle breaks, and I sprint to address each play: sometimes knocked down, sometimes knocking things down. Normally chaotic.

Around me, I see so many people losing it over people they have never met, policies they will never be affected by, or just suffering the fears of potentials that are described by extremely obtuse projections of intent or potential. The rage and vitriol fans the flamers to new levels of dismissal and rejection.

But I do not feel it.

When my body gave me every reason to project and regret, to loathe and fear: I did not. I do not. It’s not a brag; it’s just me. No philosophizing: in the hospital, I did not see Jesus — I was just dealing with a new room and many people. I did no Googling, had no anxiety — even though I was darkly warned of pressure-causing “surgery” and “rehab.”

I had no new encounter because God was there, not for any reason; he just always is. I guess that means Jesus, but I do not assume. In all this is just the distinct, ever-surprising, knowing that I am held; though I will always fall short, it’s all good. It, I, might go south. But I was not alone in the Neurology Ward: my wife was ever there, but so was God. No new “conversion” or epiphany: just near death realities amid an unrelenting presence.

So why are we then in screaming obsession with the moment? I know I am: building, creating, clients, money, employees, laws, citizenship, marriage, kids, all have to be grappled with. It’s necessary — if you want to get things done. In the inevitable struggle to make things better, every day is filled with attempts and responses, making it work, or having it fail.

Somehow I have not had the fear I see all around me. This is not a virtue. I cannot lie about that. Still, there is not much, if any, fear. And it has nothing to do with me.

God is with me, all the time. It’s often annoying, even F-bomb-inducing. I did not ask for anything — I know I earned nothing. If nothing is earned, nothing can be taken away that is “deserved.” Everything that gets done is part of the largest order — really beyond understanding — the inexplicable reality of all that is good is just begging for us to get out of the way.

There was nothing to fear in the hospital, or when the fullback cut into me 45 years ago — I will go at it with everything I have been given, and I know it will not be the best I can hope for — but it’s all part of the gift all of us have been given. Where is the fear in that?