Expect Great Things
The writing class I am teaching resumes today, I am excited to be seeing these people again. I'm heading over to the Round House to pick up some coffee and cookies.
I was up early this morning, reading over three books I have been looking at and thinking about this week. One Man's Meat, by E.B. White, the true inspiration for the Bedlam Farm Journal; Expect Great Things, a look at the mystical side of Henry David Thoreau; and Understanding Power, a timely book on the truth about politics by the famed linguist and essayist Naom Chomsky.
Three great books about the sovereignty of the individual, and our steady progress towards progressive divination, our own personal understanding of our individual destiny and morality. No one ever wrote letters to these thinkers telling them they could not read them because they might disagree with them, each of them would have been or is horrified by the idea of a "left" or "right," the great shrinking of the American mind.
How sad we have been led to believe there are only two choices in our world about how to think, or that argument and anger are the same thing as freedom.
These wonderful thinkers were all celebrated because people disagreed with them, not because they didn't.
Not so long ago, it was considered a noble thing to get people to think, it has only recently come to be seen as a crime or betrayal. Every idea is an argument or thought for someone to belittle or attack, no idea lives very long or stands on its own, or is considered in truth. If you don't believe in truth, you can't know reason.
Thoreau wrote that he expected great things of himself, and I expect the same of myself, although I better get on with it, it's getting late. Many of the people I know and see and hear are in great anxiety and despair, there is much talk of awful times, dark days, evil intentions.
I am, as I often am, something of a freak. I don't feel that way, and hope I never do.
I expect great things from myself, I am feeling necessary and alive. For the first time in awhile, everyone is paying attention to our values, ideas are important, words matter, truth is being defended and debated, images are important. We are all human, we are all different. That will never change.
Over the past two weeks, I have been writing about a previously little know Amazon gift page for newly arrived and much maligned refugees in America, victims of our latest media and social hysteria, our new Salem witches, or Hollywood Communists, or black activists. These are good and simple people, come here to share in our American Dream.
They have lost everything, need everything. They are my brothers and sisters.
Hundreds, if not thousands of people, most complete strangers from all over the country and some of the world, have rushed to send these innocent people clothes, pots and pans, strollers, comforters, blankets and socks. Thousands of dollars worth, enough to fill a warehouse.
People are good, given the chance. I am filled with hope and challenge.
And these inexpensive gifts and donations are still pouring in. A great thing, it makes me grateful to be alive and relevant and doing good. There are so many different ways to look at the inevitable an intense conflicts and difficulties of the world. I can despair and complain, or I can be grateful for the opportunity to expect great things, this is what it means to be alive.
To be alive for me is to show up, feel needed, do good. These are good days.
Crisis and mystery are always around the corner, and we have just turned a big corner. I give thanks for it. I am excited to be alive.