This post will be about the number of things –all of them bloggable– that are on my mind. Too many to blog about. Too many to even discuss or reflect about sufficiently so that one can advance them to an even halfway satisfactory state, a state of being able to say “That’s what I think about that.”
The issues are big and small. Many of them are absorbing, intensely interesting. In one very important respect they all vie for a place in my consciousness –a place of “all things considered”– and of course I am the one who has –do I really HAVE to?– come to a reasonable conclusion, or at least a reasonable place along the way, about each matter that calls for my attention.
Fair and balanced? Is that something to strive for? I believe so, though one doesn’t look for neutral ground between, say, Gandhi and Hitler.
More important than the aim of being fair and balanced is the urge towards wisdom. Do we want to be wise? Yes. In the debate, in the argument, in the discussion, in the elucidation, we seek to make a worthy contribution. In a debate we wish to present our point of view well, interestingly, persuasively.
We hope our point of view prevails. And if it doesn’t, well there’s a really important opportunity for us.
So what are the things on my mind? I’ll make a very quick list; possibly I’ll leave some things out.
1. There’s the everpresent Hillary v. Barack debate. Who is the better candidate to face McCain? Who is more likely to win in November?
2. There are the intrusive questions of race that are, it seems to me, intensifying, and that threaten to overwhelm and poison in the coming months.
3. There is the power of the media, and the urge towards the bottom –more sensation, more sales, more battle-for-survival, that constitute its own survival of the “fittest” election that is going on behind the scenes.
4. The “Things are going to the dogs” Department. There are more and more examples every day of decadent developments that press themselves upon us.
One that I talked to J. and H. at Bruno’s yesterday, was the idea Of Jeff Koons being given a show on the roof of the Met. to show his vacuous kitsch, and being lauded by an art critic in the NYT.
5. The economy. Have you noticed the number of store closing? Many.
And yesterday the price of a gallon of premium gas at my two local filling stations were Mobil $3.83 and Citgo $3.89!
6. The cynical Stimulus package is on its way. Please, America, turn it down –for your own self-respect. Think of it as a “moral hazard”. Say to them I can’t be bought. Prove that we are better than this.
7. Progress with my new books –seems very very slow; the number of questions that need to be answered for my “Hermann Gebler” book threaten to multiply beyond my capability and resource to pursue them.
8. The garden is entering a very active phase. The power of nature is everywhere. The mourning doves are learning new tunes; the cardinal is now passing seeds to his chosen female in courtship. I almost got a photo of the moment of passing yesterday…..
9. I am writing a poem entitled “The Piano” which is really about my mother and the power of music and the effect it has had –is having– on my life…..
10. I am getting ready for the West Village Fair coming up soon –in May. (At this very point of writing I am worrying about conflicting dates. I’ll have to sort that out immediately.)
11. Gould Hulse’s Memorial service is happening soon. Already it has expanded almost exponentially in the few weeks since its conception.
12. Then there’s all that stuff that we need to read, examine, catch up on. (I’ve just bookmarked a YouTubed 57 minute discussion on Charlie Rose between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said that happened some years ago.)
13. I have nighttable with two piles of books –to which I’ve just added
Flann O’Briens “At Swim Two Birds” because of a John Updike piece about him that I came across in an old New Yorker (to which I’ve just let my subscription run out….a sad state of affairs, indeed.) Ah well –it may be just as well…who has time to read.
14. How about you? How do you handle overflow? And the quotidian stress and anxious feelings that stalk.
When in doubt, blog.
ETC. ETC. ETC.
There it is –a list that omits much more than it includes.