December 30, 2010

Thoughts for the End of the Year

Dear Friends (aka DAA42)-

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about the past 4.5 yrs (when, under severe pressure from agent and editor, I agreed to start this blog) and the next few. I'm glad, in retrospect, that I knuckled under to pressure from these folks, as the evolution of this blog has taught me a lot; and it's been great getting to know you guys, if only virtually. It took a while to shake out, as I recently explained: the self-advertising and the severely neurotic have (thank god) departed for greener pastures, and what is left is a group of thoughtful people who want to reflect on what's happening to the US and where we are collectively going. Art, Dave, Susan, Tim, Joe, El Juero, Mike (et al.)--thank you for being there, and for contributing as much as you have.

I suspect the next 2-3 years are going to be quite fateful for the US, and not in a good way. I very much doubt there is anything substantive any of us can do to derail America from its destructive, self-defeating course. But we can attend to our souls a bit; at least there's that. With that in mind, here is a quote from Marilynne Robinson's recent book, Absence of Mind. She writes of

"...that haunting I who wakes us in the night wondering where time has gone, the I we waken to, sharply aware that we have been unfaithful to ourselves, that a life lived otherwise would have acknowledged a yearning more our own than any of the daylit motives whose behests we answer so diligently....I am hungry, I am comfortable, I am a singer, I am a cook. The abrupt descent into particularity in every statement of this kind, Being itself made an auxiliary to some momentary accident of being, may only startle in the dark of the night, when the intuition comes that there is no proportion [i.e., relationship] between the great given of existence and the narrow vessel of circumstance into which it is inevitably forced [Heidegger: thrown]...The soul [is simply] a name for an aspect of deep experience...."

To all of you, a happy and soulful 2011.


December 27, 2010

Could This Country Be More Full of Hot Prunes?