~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trusting the Discourse

In winter, we trust that spring will follow.
I find myself having to trust that my current discourse, whether face-to-face or through writing, is necessary. As I delve into culture, religion, politics, and family genealogy, it feels like I’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole. I meant this exploration to be short-lived, a way to become more at ease during my transition to the Ozarks of Missouri where I’ve always felt like a square peg in a round hole. I expected that I could then quickly switch back to working on my novel, a work-in-progress that is about three-fourths complete. Instead, my inquiry process expands and contracts like a fire-breathing dragon, though, granted, this shouldn’t have been a surprise since the local community and our larger American society as a whole is, in fact, the result of complex people, alive as well as dead. 
History reaches forward as well as backward, and each moment of the present investigation compels me to seek an explanation, an origin, but one that never truly manifests as solid. The fear and anger of the American people is full-spectrum, derived from past disappointment and future expectation, compounded by myriad perceptions of how our lives should be — locally as well as globally. This, too, is part of the fieldwork and analysis applicable to all of us; I am within the spiral of events, yet also a witness to them.

Thus, what began as a form of personal therapy has developed into a desire for greater knowledge and, hopefully, deeper wisdom. I have to trust that there is a purpose to my seemingly endless research, encompassing both my inner and outer work, taking up vast amounts of time, and that it will ultimately benefit others as well as myself. And I have to trust that when I eventually return to working on my novel, that it will be enriched as well — perhaps its characters will be more alive and multi-faceted than they would have been without my detour into the quagmire of the American political and religious systems.

I end with Walt Whitman on "How Literature Bolsters Democracy" … certainly something to aspire to when writing! 
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