It was an uncharted wilderness along the Aguarico River—a forest Eden roamed by small groups of naked Indians, some of whom believed that the only real world is the world of dreams. They hunted with blowguns, drank hallucinogenic brews, made love in the jungle, and sometimes shrank enemy heads. Dear God, these were people who deserved to be left alone. But God by then had created the United States. In Texas in 1902, in a nasty little town called Sour Lake, the Texaco oil company was born. Equally troubling, a half-century later Oklahoma emerged into the 1950s feeling proud of itself. It equipped missionaries with small airplanes and sent them winging south. Other states did the same. The missionaries flew south intending only to harvest souls, but by contacting and settling the potentially hostile tribes, they served as the advance agents for oil.
Just recently discovered William Langewiesche, my hero/role model/etc.
We are not built for this. We are not designed, at our core, to be able to absorb, at a glance and a click, a tweet and a ruthless video feed, all the ills and horrors of the world, all at once, all manner of chaos and destruction in a nonstop bloody flood over which we are powerless to influence and impotent to stop.
The Boston bombings have forced us, once again, to ask: Are we in an age of miracles or misery? Unhindered magic or cruel dystopia? Is it both? How can it possibly be both? This tech-enabled onslaught of violence and pain the likes of which our ancestors, even as recently as 50 years ago, never had to deal with and could not possibly imagine? It is not within our emotional capacity. Not without serious scarring, anyway.
The answer is almost always the same, but increasingly lost in the modern bedlam of technology: In times of violent, faraway tragedy, you do the only thing possible: You gather in, hold tight, and take care of those close to you. As feeble as it sounds, as meek as you feel, this is the only way. This is also the best way. To help. To be a part. To avoid shutting down, hardening, adding more suspicion and mistrust to the world.
More than half a century after Henry Miller’s meditation on war and the meaning of life, SFGate’s Mark Morford explores the challenge of exploding your emotional bandwidth at times of violence. (via explore-blog)
(Source: , via explore-blog)
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing…
Love this poem.
Can. Not. Wait.
An old Cherokee chief took his grandchildren into the forest and sat them down and said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight and it is a fight between two wolves. One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance, and greed. The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness, humility, and love.” The children were very quiet and listening to their grandfather with both their ears as he then said to them, “This same fight between the two wolves that is going on inside of me is also going on inside of you, and inside of every person.”
They thought about it for a minute, and then one child asked the chief, “Grandfather, which wolf will win the fight?”
He said quietly, “The one you feed.”
Some wisdom for your Friday afternoon.
And this, as a caveat to my previous post.
Responsibility to yourself… means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short, simply to avoid conflict and confrontation. And this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be ‘different’; not to be continuously available to others when we need time for ourselves and our work; to be able to demand of others that they respect our sense of purpose and our integrity as persons… The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.