Hard Thinking

I had the misfortune and the opportunity to think over the long break. The misfortune was due to my trip to Tulsa. I have a dramatic allergy response to the city either the phosphorous laden Arkansas River or the emissions of the oil refineries or both. I was down and in a lot of pain for several days. But on a larger note, I thought. I am 53 years old and I am not sure what happens next. Gail Sheehy called my age, the age of mastery. I don’t feel like a master of my career or much of anything else.

So, I thought. I apologize for the lack of posts. I wanted to clarify what it was I was trying to do. I wanted to clarify to myself my purpose and to set some goals for this savage year. Yes, savage year. I predict a rough year for me and, more particularly my students. They have come seeking new lives and all this economy has to offer them is pain. They seek an American dream that barely exists.

Why should I write this when so few read it? I wrote my previous blog for more than a year and never gained an audience. I finally deleted it feeling it was of no significance. This one is different. It is different because I am using it as a tool to seek kindred souls and develop my thought.

I want to talk about ethics seriously and without backing away in educational jargon from confronting the evils of our time. Of particular concern are two issues. One is the total lack of protections for our internet communications. We as a people are entitled to some kind of protection for our e-mail and other posts. The second is privatization in the state of Arkansas, my home. I sense something in motion. I worry about the assets of the people of this state being turned over to private interests for their unjust and cruel enrichment.

Sometimes, I would fold my tent and walk away. I could read, listen to music, play my games and let the sweet things of life escape me away from the tedium of the continuing struggle for significance, for the struggle against evil, for that action that says I stand and while I live I will try to do what’s right. Let me quote Tennyson:

 Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
  We are not now that strength which in old days
  Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
  One equal temper of heroic hearts,
  Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
  To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Not a great post, but my post. A new year. Continued struggle. 2o10

James Pilant

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