Writing we invoke. If it is ever to be anything more than a display of cleverness, writing is an act of prayer. We seek out; we ask for; we hope to receive something from beyond what we think. What we think we know.
We feel the weight of this admonition upon us everywhere we turn. It stands like a wall between us and it echoes in our minds. We take it as a warning. In fact it is our prison.
We’re inundated with arguments and counterarguments over what are considered facts and counter-facts. There is a scramble to create ever-larger data-farms to handle…, well, all the data. There’s also been a curious turn of phrase used by one buffoon, George Will to describe another, Donald Trump. Will has claimed that “Trump doesn’t know how toContinue reading “Navigating Quality”
Isolation. I wrote about it here. * Lewis Lapham has had a seminal influence on me. he’s always been a writer pursuing what lies beyond the superficial. I read Harper’s religiously when I was young, amazed at how anyone could see so clearly, write so well…. His recent remarks remind us of the birth ofContinue reading “On Isolation”
We hear this often enough. These days it probably sounds like good advice. Yet behind it is a troubling assumption. One that touches on how we keep running in circles, returning to the same traps again and again. We confuse ease with relaxation. What does it mean to be relaxed?
Fifteen years between these two dates. Seventy eight years since Kristallnacht…. Landmarks on the path to disillusionment. A road we’ve not seen the end of…. A road from complacency and an unearned certainty to humility. A humility we may feel we don’t deserve. A humility that brings us no where we wanted to go.
This thought experiment came to me while out sailing with a friend. What if we discovered that our boat has a compass? What if we had no idea what it was, or how it worked? There it sat. And, at times we would notice certain apparent coincidences. Certain alignments with other things we were familiarContinue reading “Imagine we had a compass…”
You might say we’re drowning in facts. We have enough information before us to come to valuable conclusions concerning how we’re trapped in a vicious dynamic that can have no happy outcome. A dozen times a day we can realize how a particular institution or corporation is acting to further destruction. And…? We click onContinue reading “Drowning in facts”
If we have relatively good eyesight it’s easy to think that’s all we need, “I know how to see! Just open my eyes and look!” One of the first lessons from learning to draw and paint was that I had no idea what was involved in seeing. Not just that I was lacking techniques usefulContinue reading “Learning how to see”
Cognitive Dissonance occurs when perception shows us what we are unable to accept. We fail, actually refuse, to see something because to see it will break something we rely on for our deepest security. This challenge to our world view is too much to bear. It is felt… we just can’t…. Who would have thoughtContinue reading “Hanging on”
There is a gulf between two attitudes and ways of working that can be described by looking at the distance between foraging and mining. When we forage we gather what we need. We also limit our effort. If a spot is too resistant to our efforts; if what we’re after is scarce; we move on.Continue reading “There Is a Gulf Between Foraging and Mining”
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”