Monday, September 8, 2008

The Goal:

Here I am, starting a new blog, one that intends to set a very different tone than the last one.

It has become very obvious to me in the last year that the world itself is careening into a period of epic crisis.. I think there are few at this moment, who claim any pretense to being informed or educated, who would suggest otherwise. In fact, it's very interesting to me to see the industry that is being created by crying "the sky is falling!" Sure, the sky is falling, but it's yesterday's news, and is of less than no use at this point, although many may enjoy a certain morbid pleasure in the reading and writing of it.

I'm becoming aware that while often I find myself speaking about the various issues that face us, namely resource depletion, of climate change, and a world of ever increasing technological complexity and invasiveness--I have a very different attitude than most towards the response that these difficulties present. As difficult as this looks, I feel resignation, but not dispair. Like hell I'm going to lay down on this. I guess perhaps it's the sailor in me. I'm looking at a sailing passage, and in difficult conditions, reef-strewn, poorly chartered, and in thick weather to boot. There is nothing to be gained by complaining about the task at hand, however difficult it may be--here we are, we have our ship, and we're a 1000 miles from home. There is nothing to be gained by denying the hazards that face our passage, nor is there anything to be gained by overstating them. They must be identified and dealt with, and as best we can, with the confidence and skill that comes from practice--we must press on in a heroic manner no matter what the odds.

So: living with purpose. As this is my 39th year, and a year nearly over, and looking toward a decade likely more difficult than the past--it is a moment ripe for profitable reflection. I have a lot of skills, a backbone, and a thick skin. These are the attributes that are fully needed for the most important task at hand--creating(and NOT re-creating) a manner of living fitting for the future that approaches us. We need trailblazers to take on this task, and it's time, for myself, at any rate, to stop bemoaning the lack of vision and adventurous spirit in even those who claim to be at the leading age of change--and to blaze on ahead, encouraging others to follow.

Catch me if you can.


OwenMcCall said...

Jay, although I do not hold with all the doom & gloom (this is an economic downturn, from which, like all the others, we will recover) I love your overall philosophy of cheap and simple living. Even if your worst fears come true we will not be eating each other (a joke, I realize). Rather we would be forced into a much simpler lifestyle, perhaps to our benefit. In the US we have reached a point of affluence that is damaging our environment, yes, but also our minds and bodies (IMHO). TV is a very negative contributor. We have so many "labor saving devices" that we build "health clubs" where we perform "artificial labor" to maintain our health. What is mandated as essential in a dwelling has become ludicrous: a home thought to be opulent in say, Ghana, would here be illegal to occupy, it would violate so many building, health and safety codes. Good luck in your project! I am at the beginning of thinking all this out myself - so I will be looking to you for inspiration and ideas (as in the past).

Owen McCall

kohledfusion said...

Jay, I'll be following your blog daily. Thanks for the opportunity to pick your brain & follow your process. I have very similar goals & motivations for getting there. I'm really looking forward reading your blog.

Erin (hooligal on PW)

annabelle said...

thank you for your courageous tone, i find your informed thoughts to be illuminating even when they are dark.