As you know, I’m re-imaging bedlamfarm.com once again; it’s something I do every couple of years when I can afford it. It is never cheap or easy but has always turned out well.
It’s not a radical change, I’ve been drifting in this direction for a few years now, but this week, it finally crystallized. I know where I want to go.
At breakfast, I looked at Maria and said, “Love, Care, And Hope.” She blinked but quickly got it.
“This is what I want the blog to be about,” I said, “I want that motto to be somewhere near the logo at the top of the page.”
We’ve never had a motto before; I think it’s time we came out of the closet.
I’ve often been hypocritical, something I intensely dislike; I often succumbed to the lure of anger and cruelty even while railing at it. Something broken inside of me was and sometimes still is, drawn to it. Hatred and rage attract more of the same, like bees to pollen.
The way to deal with hatred is simple: don’t.
Let it go, and it goes away. I don’t know how or why, but that’s how it works. My therapist and I – she is iron tough and intelligent – worked hard on it, and I’m much lighter and happier for it.
Anger, like fear, goes right through me sometimes and is a trigger.
I’ve had enough of it in my life, sliding towards the end. I don’t want to carry hatred and anger to the end.
Anger is a part of being human, and I am too human. But our humanity is defined by our compassion and empathy, not our ability to hate.
The blog is, to me, a shining star; it has helped me and many others. It lifts some people and inspires others. That’s what I want. It is a safe place or getting close. That’s the path. That’s the idea.
I messaged Mannix Marketing today and asked what they thought and if they could make it work, along with some graphic changes – lighter, brighter, more colorful, and more readable.
I value their opinion; I hope they like it and can squeeze it in.
I want the blog to be a hate-free Safe Zone for a world in troubled times. There is a 100 percent ban on nastiness, rage, and stupid arguments from anyone outside or from me.
We can argue and disagree and challenge and question all we want, but we must be civil and thoughtful and sensitive to other people. If not, the hater’s message will never see the light of day on my pages.
I know much of the world is going the other way.
All the more reason for us to swim against the stream.
I reject entirely the idea that I am morally or ethically or otherwise obliged to enable cruel, full of rage and grievance, or rude people to come into my house and crap on the people who read me or me.
It’s my blog, I pay for it and write on it, and I feel no obligation to peckerheads, toothless ducks, and tiny minds to invade my space overflowing with hatred.
Everyone else is welcome—a safe and hopefully uplifting place.
In 2016, I resolved not to spend any significant part of my life arguing. I would instead do good. Thus came the Army Of Good, the best idea I ever had in my life, next to getting Maria to marry me.
I am not close to being perfect or wanting to be sainted. But we kept our promise. We did good.
I’ve often fallen off the wagon, but we have done a fantastic amount of good together. I’m proud of that. That’s where I want to go, only, even more, when I can.
I never succeeded at creating an online creative community, I wasn’t ready for it, and it wasn’t prepared for me.
But I did succeed at creating a different community online, one that has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of people who needed help.
Christ could not have done much better than the Army Of Good. I have no desire to be bigger, just to keep on doing more. It works.
The original inspiration of the great moral philosopher Hannah Arendt’s last book, The Life Of The Mind, examined whether human thought could help us resist evil, even when that was dangerous.
Arend’s answer was yes; thinking was perhaps our only and best shield against evil. She wrote that thought is the only natural barrier to sin, if one studies the history of corruption in our world after the Dark Ages came the Enlightment.
That seems to be the pattern.
I have faith in thought and truth; that’s what I want the blog to be about. I don’t believe in telling people what to do, only what I think I should do. You have to take it from there.
I am so grateful to be living among animals; they have taught me more about being human than humans have. They will always be a focal point of bedlamfarm.com.
My life is structured around three ideas – my daily life, work, writing and photography, and marriage – love, care, and hope.
I want people to find and see this next iteration of Bedlam Farm and perhaps the last version of bedlamfarm.com.
The news here won’t be all good, as always.
Being a Pollyanna is not in my nature.
But it will be marked by love, caring for others, the wisdom of the animals, and for hope, always. The world is not coming to an end, not just yet.
I can’t predict the future any more than anybody else, but I promise to offer hope; without it, we lose humanity’s best and most unique gift.
If you believe in God, thank him for that. I will never waste it or throw it away.
Thanks for staying with me so far; I intend to make the blog even better as we move forward. The plan is pretty much the same – good works, my life, my marriage to Maria, the dogs and animals on the farm, my photography, and the blog itself, the centerpiece and crossroads of much of this work.
I renew my pledge to be authentic. You will get the good Katz and the bad Katz. Both are very real. But you will always get the real one, and he is always working to be better.
I will continue to ask for donations, contributions, and your moral support. This can’t happen without you, and this is America. Change is expensive, so is doing good.
I am not a saint or trying to be one.
I am as flawed as most humans are, probably worse. As I have made clear.
If you are looking for the perfect person, or one who claims to be perfect, I’d advise you to look elsewhere. Don’t even try to come here if you love demagogues and liars and traitors or care nothing for truth.
You won’t be welcome or happy. There is nothing here for you.
Our lives are real, health is natural, and the truth of any life is sometimes ugly and cruel. I won’t hide anything. I will continue to be honest.
So thanks for coming this far, and keep an eye on the blog in the next week. The change is designed to make it brighter, a bit cleaner, more colorful, easier to navigate, and safe, a respite from the insanity tearing our country apart.
And most of all, to be a safe place for you and me, where you are welcome to drink from my potion of love, care and hope. As always, it is free.