Since Paris, my mind has lingered in a foggy place. My clear vision is limited to that which is directly in front of me. Everything else is degrees of softness depending on the distance from my mind’s eye. Things that are further out gradually soften into a blur and then disappear. Squinting doesn’t help, nor does a good night’s rest, apparently, as I fall asleep easily and go through the night without waking. No, something else is afoot.
I look over the world each day and I see myriad humanity issues. There is no missing the suffering from war, the lack of empathy, the misplaced sympathy, or the diminished caring. There is no missing Paris. What I see is the inability to rise above petty fears to achieve a higher order rooted in compassion and the greed-driven pursuit of material gain over a genuine search for peace, whether that be spiritual or actual. Our seemingly inhumane world and our ineffective approaches to changing this have led to a troubled space with my writing.
I see Paris, and all of this human indignity for a moment, and then the mass of inhumane reality softens gradually until it disappears. I squint, say I will sleep on it, but neither has made a difference in changing my inability to see clearly. My writing is troubled because the one thing most close to me that I can focus on is this – nothing I have to say about any of the “shit” in the world will make one damn bit of difference. The fact is humans will continue to be horrible to one another because the idea that there is a higher place, a place filled with compassion and caring, a place focused on the needs of the many as opposed to the few is still, after thousands of years, just an ideal.
Plato wrote about form in the ideal world relative to form in the world of reality. In the ideal world a chair is a perfect thing. It is straight, unmarred, and dreamily comfortable. In the world of reality, it is, well, crooked, marred, and slightly uncomfortable. We live in a reality that is harsh, cruel, and filled with a Volkswagen ethic that places greed above the wellness of the community.
Actually, putting finger to keys about my fogginess has clarified something for me. Maybe changing reality is not an apt goal. Maybe “railing” against the distortions, misdirection, and sleight of hand to dumb us down does not make sense, if I want to affect a different outcome. Maybe, tilting at the evil giants is just a big yawn, a nonstarter for grabbing people’s attention.
“Yahoo!” We have another writer railing against the evil in the world. So what? Yet another writer expressing righteous indignation and anger injecting even more negative energy into the world does little to alter the reality of it; it does nothing to alter Paris.
I am seeing past the edge of the fog now, past Paris. Shapes further out are forming. Perhaps, just maybe, going to the light, exposing it, and avoiding the darkness is more compelling …
Sepsis affects more than a million people every year in the U.S. alone, and diagnosis can take five days. A new tool cuts the time to five hours.
I ache for Paris, but there is lots of good information out there, and it is straight up fact, and precious little of it reaches the flow of the Breathless Media. It is there but hidden, like the perfect shell on a beach covered with broken shells, broken shells scattered about in the daily tidal flow.
This perfect shell tells the other side of the story, edifying, uplifting, ethically rich, morally sound, educational, inspirational, and helpful. This information depicts our progress as humans, not our decline.
The words I just wrote remind me of a time before the fog descended, a time when my ideal writing world looked at the wonder of advancement in all realms of society. Jumping from neuron to neuron right now is the memory of my fascination with technology that is changing the world for the good, making the lives of all of us better. Yes, the fog is lifting …
Whitacre invented a new class of battery, made of nontoxic materials, that can provide long-term storage of energy from solar, wind, and other intermittent sources at a very low cost (see “Storing the Sun”).
The space around me is brightening. Clarity is coming my way. The horrible people in the world will continue doing horrible things, people will suffer, and there will be another Paris. I can’t change that. On the other side, though, brilliant people are doing wondrous things that are alleviating suffering and making the world a better place overall.
I choose the latter, so I am saying “good bye” to the railing and I am saying “hello” to illuminating that which points to achievement, wonder, and good folks doing good deeds to advance civilization, not degrade or destroy it.
Welcome, I say, to the “Illuminator,” the name arising from the fog, the writer turning in his lance for a laser pointer.
The Rail-inator will be making cameo appearances now and then and, occasionally, that righteous knight on his valiant steed will charge the windmills, if for no other reason than it is the right thing do at the right time. So be it …
Attend Life – Listen, observe, learn …