You, dear reader, may have noticed that I have been gone from this blog for over a year. I reached a point where I felt that all I was doing was commenting on how much of a mess our society has become. And, to be sure, that has value, but it felt for me that it served only to deepen my personal negativity.
So, I took a break from it all. In the intervening year, I have painted, taught painting to some very fine souls who are learning beyond my hopes and expectations....and lived. I am sixty-eight now...about to turn sixty-nine in October, and the days, weeks, months and even the years seem to be going by like a fast freight in the night. It is an observable change how fast time is passing now. I notice it when we finish a tube of toothpaste, a bag of dogfood,, or the car is due again for another oil-change. These little markers are like a kind of collective metronome, tick, tick, ticking my life away.
Next month my high school class will gather in Princeton NJ to celebrate our 50th reunion. Holy Shit!! I will not be there because I don't have much interest in fossils, or spending time talking about who has had a heart-attack (...uh, that would be me too) and who plays golf seven days a week. Nah. My time is better spent musing on painting, our home-life with a small menagerie of animals, walking in the Maine woods every morning, and riding my bike around town each day.
The sum of these activities is that I feel younger than my chronological age would seem to indicate. When I am out there in traffic on my bike, I am like a maniac. People cut me off, turn-in on me, crowd me against the curb....and I fight back, with a small electronic horn that sounds like somebody has just broken into a bank vault....no, really..it fairly SCREAMS at lax and stupid drivers, who thereupon almost snap their little necks as they realize it is screaming at them. I weave and dodge like a Manhattan bike-messenger...and, so far, I have been lucky to not weave when I should dodge. It makes life much more exciting when people are trying to kill you without even realizing they are.
I have spent much time during my hiatus reflecting on the state of our society. I cannot help it; it's what I have been doing since I was an adolescent. It's why I majored in the philosophy of ethics at Penn State. I have a thirst for understanding why people make bad choices...and it seems a time in human history when some whoppers are being made. So, I remain somewhat fascinated...sort of the same way a bird is fascinated as a cobra fixes its gaze on it and--according to myth in India--uses its 'magnetism' to draw the bird down to its demise. We are watching something that will only be fully understood by subsequent generations....assuming some of us survive this mass extinction that is already underway.
Only the few souls who have been isolated on remote islands in the south Pacific..and those who feed on the bullshit pouring out of Fox News...will be surprised by the fact that The Sixth Great Extinction is happening already. This is easily documented by pretty near ALL of the scientists who don't work for some oligarch or major corporate interest. Species are dying out and changes to our planet are happening that seem like something out of a sci-fi movie. And, yet, they are real. The time for denial is gone...the time for action is NOW.
So, if you will bear with me over the next however many months or years I can manage to write this blog...I will offer you not only a recitation of pivotal events that seem to witness and chronicle what we are doing to ourselves...but, I will also do my very best to offer items that make watching it and being a part of it all just a bit easier, if not quite digestible.