The Landscape of Humility

This is the landscape of humility. We tend to jump to a call for humility when we see a great action of hubris out there in the world. It’s easy to cry out, “Shame!” and “demand” humility from the malfeasants at a time like this. When we do so, we skip right past humility into anger safely directed at some other. On the flip-side, we tend to feel some rising shame in ourselves and turn to some show of penance as a sign of our own humility. The self-consciousness and the mixture of piety and victimization we relish in at such times to guard ourselves from our humiliation – notice how in this context, all the rightness of humility evaporates in our self-justification. At such times we slip right past humility again into just another variety of self-serving behavior. In neither case do we inhabit humility, or truly promote its spread in this world.

Uncivilization and Uncertainty, a cross post from Fine Lines

Uncivilization, the byword of the Dark Mountain Project, is a great “Dumbwaiter Speech,” that pared down “Elevator Speech” distilled to a single word. Scaled up to a sentence we have, “What do we do when we stop pretending?” This hits the point precisely. We face this question as individuals and within the various affiliations weContinue reading “Uncivilization and Uncertainty, a cross post from Fine Lines”

New Year, New Place

“Who is this guy?” That’s what people wonder. I’ve never had a good answer. I’ve never really had an answer for myself, so busy tearing down assumptions or running away from any label, finding them either too limiting or false. Still it’s a valid question, one that should have an answer, one that would help me as well as those I’ve confused up to now.

From Wood End…

Today, I’m inaugurating a new experiment. I’m posting my first non-essay, a poem, From Wood End… As I mentioned in the last post, while I am drawn to direct address, the essay form; I find creative writing, whether fiction or poetry, long or short, to carry meaning in a way that can be more powerfulContinue reading “From Wood End…”

Response to Mark Gordon’s, To Undo the Folded Lie…

Mark Gordon, in his most recent post at chose to point to the anniversary of the start of WWII.  He invoked Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939. My response: So fitting to mark this anniversary.  There is something about early September that has always held portents, at least in my lifetime…. I tend to focusContinue reading “Response to Mark Gordon’s, To Undo the Folded Lie…”