Someone asked me, today, why I so seldom write about the news. Where are the posts, she wanted to know, about the rebellions in the Middle East? -- the union issues in Wisconsin? I almost felt guilty for a second. But, no, in the end I don't. (In my defense, however, I wrote a cracking piece about Happy Meal regulation, once).
Why not feel guilty, you ask? Because we can't ignore the heart for the sake of the body or the home for the sake of the city or the city for the sake of the state or the state for the sake of the world. What's inside can't be neglected.
Overall, I would love for my readers to see this site as a place to slow down on the Internet. (The very proximity of the words "Internet" and "slow" almost seems a paradox, doesn't it?) Here, you'll find old paintings and photos and the muted color tones of a century in the past. I never wanted this site to be "slick" and modern. I want it to feel like an anachronism. (I even made my poor, beautiful, artistic wife -- who gets credit for making everything here look exactly like I wanted it to, by the way -- turn the Twitter link into wood, for Pete's sake.)
Don't we need to shut the door of our house and leave the world out, sometimes? I know I do. Maybe our hearts work the same way. Maybe we need to ignore, at least for a while, even the most world-altering events and talk about poetry, music, love, ambition, morality, childhood and the wonders of everyday life. Maybe some talk about hope, too, would be nice, mixed into all of this -- or, at least, a feeling of hope can be conjured.
I'd rather be skilled at making you ask questions than at giving you answers. On a good day, maybe I can send you down a path that leads you to understanding something that you can eventually turn around and teach me. We're in this together, and I'm not just talking about a website. We need to search the soul more and the newspapers less.
There are those who will tell you what is not immediately and obviously practical is a waste of time. Nonsense.
Yeah, I suppose I am talking to an extent about transcendence, but I am also talking about applying what we come to understand, through our transcendence, to terra firma.
Maybe we can put all of the media that thrives on reporting tragedy, meanness and turmoil out of business. Maybe if some of us keep believing in the growth of the human spirit and in the ability of words to shape the future, just maybe we can introduce an insidious program into this big, artificial, man-made supercomputer of thought-systems that is society. An original insight can be the virus that changes everything. There's a lot of rhetoric about hate and conflict. There is a lot of "this-is-how-it-just-isness." How about pure reasoning? How about questioning? How about refusing to be force-fed someone else's definitions? I'm not talking about locking arms and singing protest songs. I'm talking about peppering the world's consciousness with new and, perhaps, healing ideas.
(I remember an episode of Star Trek: TNG in which the crew of the enterprise decides, first, to introduce a virus into a destructive alien race with a hive mentality in order to destroy them and then decides to simply put one of their lost men, who has learned to be an individual through exposure to the Enterprise crew, back into the mix, hoping that his sense of individuality will change the hive's programming for the better . . . brilliant. And applicable to reality, even though it didn't come out of a procedural manual! See how it works? Wait . . . never mind. Sci-fi is poppycock.)
Sure, I might write about current events from time to time, but you can bet the angle I take will be one that explores the motives of the actions as opposed to the actions themselves. In short, I have no interest in exploring the wilderness and sticking claim-flags into the dirt. I'd rather be an archaeologist of the mind than an explorer of the land. I'd rather delve into the human depths, dusting off what I find and trying to make some sense of it. That's where the answers are and where the cures are and where the wars are going to finally be made irrelevant. Inside, not out.