Once we begin to recognize what it feels like to be alive it can still be a shock to acknowledge how much of our lives is spent in circumstances that are dead and threaten to engulf us once again in the numbness we’ve just begun to leave behind. But, if we fail to let thisContinue reading “Out of the Depth of Our Numbness”
There come times when what asks to be done is for there to be silence. This can seem harder to accept than many other demands the moment makes on us. We have momentum. We consider our habits valuable. We expect and we expect others do too. Expect a certain “output.” This gets tricky when theContinue reading “Consuming Community, Consuming Our Selves…”
We expect a leader to “play the part.” Anyone caught-up in roles has nothing to offer us in our predicament. Facing our predicament requires that we embrace uncertainty and set-aside the doing-things-twice role playing forces upon us. Someone acting in this way just does not, “Look like a leader.”
That is the problem. We don’t know what works. We DO know what doesn’t. The whole chasing-after-control-by-wielding-power-thing. Call it civilization. Call it whatever you want. From this abstraction; taken from a moment of survival when wielding strength brings us another chance: to eat, to be left in peace, to protect someone we care about; weContinue reading “It’s not your/their urgency…, it’s mine…”
We stand at a portal of transition, neither here nor there. The things we do to maintain our selves this day and what will keep us going farther down our track have little in common. Our predicament could be said to lie right at this point of divergence. What works – however poorly – todayContinue reading “Our Predicament is Both Tangible and Elusive”
“Forever.” When I read this simple word no matter where, it gives me pause. There was a time when forever had a tangible solid ring. Today? No more. There are countless assumptions that were once seemingly reasonable, that ring hollow today. It is a symptom of the end of an era. In this situation theContinue reading “Where is the break with our past most apparent?”
It was June of 2009 when I first realized that Obama was to be our Gorbachev. June 2010 when I first wrote about it. We are now living through what that means. What happens when the apparatchiks themselves no longer believe their own propaganda? If a people are lucky, and Russia was, to some extent,Continue reading “Our Gorbachev, The politics of disillusionment.”
It strikes me that today all of our publicly accepted myths are propped up and support profit, for someone, some entity, institution or other. As we fear the commodification of everything, everything, as can be found in the stories we turn to to give our lives meaning, has already been commodified. All the bluster thatContinue reading “All of our myths”
This piece has grown during the writing, pushed ahead by the ambition of its title, only slightly modified by the insertion of the word “Notes…” I’m resisting the urge to break it up into my customary 1,500 words. I need to break that habit as much as we all need not to get too comfortableContinue reading “Notes on the Sources of Art”
Berger’s essay explodes with the import of rediscovery of what had been lost in a stratification of layers sedimented over as the years passed. When I look at where I now stand, I see this essay and its insights as essential elements of my foundations. Berger shows us that there is a curious parallel here to our moment in the close synchrony between their moment of realization and the latent consequences of mounting conditions that made it too late to avoid their tragedy.
They began to see complexity not as a negative, as the merely inconveniently complicated; but as a fact; an essential attribute of our condition; something that must be confronted squarely, not simply wished away. This can only happen through the direct experience of complexity. This cannot happen without a ground for experience.
This is the first part of a different sort of post. I’ve mentioned John Berger’s essay, The Moment of Cubism a number of times recently. While I recommend you read the original I felt it was time I describe why I find it such a vital document. Berger differentiates “The Moment of Cubism” from theContinue reading “On Berger’s “the Moment of Cubism””