Archives for November 2019

Reset to Factory Settings

I’m a bit intimidated by this blank screen as I type today. Because on many levels, this blogging thing feels brand new. Never mind that I started it in 2002.

I’m not going to kid you. I won’t be to be able to fully explain what has changed, or how it changed, or where the change started. All I know is I am feeling a shift in the winds of consciousness. And by golly, this blog is coming along for the ride.

(Oh. My. God. It’s going to be one of THOSE posts. Excuse me while I hurl.)

Well. Of course, certain things will remain exactly the same. Sigh.

I will say that one of the avenues that jolted me out of certain ‘ruts of thinking’ was reading the book *12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. If you haven’t read it yet, I beg you, get a copy and settle in with it. You won’t be sorry you read it. It may not rock your world, maybe you already are consciously “taking up your damn burden of of responsibility.” (Jordan has a way with words.) 🙂  Good. Fine. But there are some lyrical passages in there that are worthy reading. 

Another thing that happened… and it happened so slowly that I didn’t really notice (like the frog in the proverbial pot of boiling water)… was that the toxic socio-political ‘climate change’ made it feel like writing more and more generic and innocuous subject matter was probably a good idea. As I don’t really care to get all up in anybody’s face about things. 

Only problem is, in case you hadn’t noticed, everything has become political. And I mean everything. In California you can be fined for giving a customer a straw in a restaurant if they didn’t ASK for a straw. Said fine is $1000.00 to be exact. 

Let that sink in.

Okay… so politics was limiting my subject matter in blog posts. Another factor is that what we are doing, right here right now, is called ‘long form’ communication. This is not a sound bite. It is not a Facebook meme. It’s not a Twitter jab in the dark. It’s an essay. You know, kin to the dreaded questions at the end of the test that you should have studied another hour for. And unlike the sound bites all around us, that all we have to do is click a thumbs up and then move on about our business, (whatever business we have to move on TO.)  The format you are reading requires us to slow down and think. Draw conclusions, put our personal theories to the test, maybe even look at things from a whole new perspective. . . for more than three seconds.

Because of the culture of on-line interaction, we are being trained to react quick and shallow. Here are your choices:

“This is good. This is bad. This makes me mad. This makes me laugh. This makes me sad”. . . but how sad are you really? Sad enough to search your soul? Sad enough to make changes in your life? 

And notice, there is no simple ‘thumbs down’, as in ‘I disagree with this’. No, You have to have an emotional reaction if you don’t agreeI’d like to have one that shows something like…. ‘I need to think about this some more’. Or the more incendiary, ‘What the actual f_ !?’

Another aspect of my re-focusing is that there are the rumblings of a small revolution going on. You can find out about this multi-faceted phenomenon on blogs and on YouTube where there really are long form discussions and lectures being offered. It’s been called ‘The Intellectual Dark Web’.  Venues that invite you to step up your game and do some old school mental exercise. To use your God given faculties of deep analysis to give thoughts and ideas time to develop. To unpack themselves. To unfold all their wisdom, or foolishness. For there are certainly foolish ideas in this world. And we have to be brave enough to say so. Even if it might temporarily hurt someone’s feelings. And even though I do not think that you, my long-suffering readers, are all that fragile, we are living in a climate that encourages frailty of mind, hyper-vigilant sensitivity, and lack of personal fortitude.

 Therefore, I am giving here my disclaimer that henceforth, I may venture an opinion about this or that topic that might ruffle a few feathers. But here’s a remedy. Pretend you are an eagle. What’s a little feather ruffling to someone who has thought out their world view carefully, deeply and long? One who is not afraid to defend it logically, with dignity, strength, and respect. 

To quote a chapter heading from 12 Rules for Life:

“Assume That The Person You Are Listening To Might Know Something You Don’t”

And lastly,

(Ah! There is hope this post is coming to an end! Rejoice!)

I have, over the last few years in the pages of this blog, been disappointed in myself. I felt like I was not being authentic. I was only showing a partial picture. The ‘safe’ one. And while I will continue to share my art, the adventures of my hens, the beauty of my natural surroundings, and hopefully my humor, I also want to free myself of fear. To write fearlessly. Not foolishly. But certainly with more openness. I don’t want to feel ‘safe’.  Hell, I don’t want you to feel safe. I do however want you to feel welcome.

This quote from C.S. Lewis just came to mind, speaking of Aslan the Lion:

“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

We are living in a time that requires courage. Not courage to tell other people what to do or think, but courage to go deep within and find out what we think and what we believe. And once we have made that journey, we might be prepared to share it. And believe me, if you have done your deep inner work, you will not come out on the other side in arrogance. Humility will be the badge you wear. 

Oh, one more thing…

(Here it comes….)

I challenge you, that if you used to write here on DearDiary, pick up your pen again. And if you have never kept an on line diary, this would be a good time to begin. There are stirrings of fresh and refocused energies. Repaired breaches in the interface and a recollection of the unique value that writing down your well considered thoughts can have in your life and the life of others. Thoughtful, slow writing, at this point in our internet journey has become a radical idea. A revolutionary act. 

If you decide to do this blogging thing, you will find a small, but hopefully growing audience of readers to urge you on at DearDiary, with nary a list of emoticons in sight. 

Let’s see what we can do with our refocused energies!

Here’s the link:

 

*For a tidy summary of Jordan Peterson’s book, go here: