EPS 41: Jennifer Michael Hecht on Poetry, Wonder, and Preventing Suicide

EPS 41: Jennifer Michael Hecht on Poetry, Wonder, and Preventing Suicide

SCROLL DOWN for much more about my guest and about this special episode.

If it is not already obvious, on Spark My Muse I feature people and topics I find interesting and important. I feature people from a variety of backgrounds and traditions: people of some kind of religious faith and people without belief in the supernatural are my guests. What they all have in common is that I think they are working on something worthy of attention and conversation. It doesn’t mean I agree or come to the same conclusions with every guest 100% but I appreciate them very much and I want to make space for them here and learn from them. It will spark my muse and yours.

Currently, few people meet that standard more than my guest today: Jennifer Michael Hecht. What I have deeply appreciated about Jennifer Michael Hecht‘s work is her curiosity, investigative way of working and writing, her sense of wonder, and her wonderful and sense of humor that comes out perhaps most often in her poetry.


 

In our conversation we cover topics in some of her books, her background, and she even reads a poem (swoon), but the main topic covered is extremely important.

In fact, it’s a matter of life and death: Suicide. There are common myths about why people kill themselves and those myths create more deaths. No more.

If you feel the urge to end your life, don’t. Wait out your mood, please talk about what is bothering you, and seek help. Stay alive.

wuicidehotline

 

I too have had time of deep darkness and thoughts of taking my life have gone through my mind. I haven’t planned how to carry it all out because the finality scares me and the thought of putting my loved ones through hardship hurts me.

The statistics tell us that having these thoughts are normal, just as any other type of thoughts. Our thoughts our not our identity. They are things our brain does to try to solve problems. Sometimes our brain should not be listened to. We must not listen to any murderous thoughts either, right? (Like the ones we have during road rage moments or when we feel like we want to strangle our child when they sass us or boldface lie.) Our meat-like brains might think bad things. So, if a thought of taking your life is happening now, or ever. Please stay. Don’t be rash. Hang on. AND Thank you for making a choice to stay on. 

The best thing we can do during those dark and bad times is to wait it out and support others doing the same. We can also talk to someone to sort things through. If you feel like you are in a desperate mood, try your best to stay until you feel better. Jennifer says it and I concur, your future self will be happy you did. Others WILL be happy you did.

Don’t do anything you can’t undo. First Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)



To share an audio snippet, click on the red and white icon below.

Thank you for listening. This is a very important episode and I urge you to pass it along to as many people as you can for when a very desperate mood may strike them.

Scroll down for notes of the show listed by-the-minute. More resources are at the bottom.

GUEST: Jennifer Michael HechtHecht

BIO
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, philosopher, historian and commentator. She is the author of the bestseller Doubt: A History, a history of religious and philosophical doubt all over the world, throughout history. Her new book is Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, out from Yale University Press. Her The Happiness Myth brings a historical eye to modern wisdom about how to lead a good life. Hecht’s The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism, and Anthropology won Phi Beta Kappa’s 2004 Ralph Waldo Emerson Award “For scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity.”

Publisher’s Weekly called her poetry book, Funny, “One of the most original and entertaining books of the year.” Her first book of poetry, The Next Ancient World, won three national awards, including the Poetry Society of America’s First Book award for 2001. Her new poetry book called Who Said, just came out from Copper Canyon in November 2013. Hecht has written for Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New Yorker. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of science/European cultural history from Columbia University (1995) and has taught in the MFA program at Columbia University and the New School in New York City.

SHOWNOTES

MIN 2:00

Her first love: poetry.

min 3:30
PhD at Columbia in the History of Science

Emily Dickinson
John Keats
W.B. Yates

5:00
The hard sciences in her roots influencing her educational pursuits.

6:30
How she came to write the book Doubt: A History

The End of the Soul (her dissertation)

The Society of Mutual Autopsy
Brain dissections (Paris) done to prove the soul did not exist.

The members of this group left records of their atheism and she decided that there was not a good record of atheism and the tradition of it.

15:00
Disbelief is “a kind of atheism”. The splits and religions that come about as people question the prominent god or gods and religion of the time.

16:30
The people throughout history who reject the supernatural and accept only the natural world.

17:30
The mixing of cultural and religions in our times and the current idea of spirituality that you can contact the supernatural inside yourself.

19:00
The secular argument against suicide.

Ages 15-44 3rd leading killer of Americans

Ages 44 and up is the 10th leading killer. It happens in greater number among the older population.

In 2000, 30,00 people per year.
In 2010, 40,00 people per year killed themselves and raising.

There seem to be trends like in other social trends like drug use, and the trend rises when people feel it’s a solution others like them are choosing.

23:00
The Christians who leave suicide notes and say that they think that God will understand (and forgive them.) need to hear the reason why to stay.

The TWO MAIN ARGUMENTS in the book STAY:

Suicide harms community
People close to you, that you may never wish to harm to be harm irreparably (especially children who are 4 times more likely to also commit suicide if their parent does, depending on how old they are).
Neighborhoods, schools, families, groups, communities have increased suicide and trauma statistically after a suicide occurs.

Suicide hurts your future self

28:00
People don’t realize how common it is to have a sudden (fleeting) thought that it might be better if they weren’t lying any longer when things are going badly. It’s a mood. Some people act in the worst way about a bad mood.

95% of people who try suicide, if they live, will never try it again.

29:30
Having faith in your future self.

30:30
This is a worldwide problem. 1 million per year. Up 60% worldwide.

32:00
Suicide is more impulsive and is more impulsive than we’ve realized.

Shame has something to do with suicide. People had suffered a humiliation in romanic, at work, or in some other way.

34:30
Knowing ahead of time to be on guard against the perils of impetuous thinking about suicide.

“Don’t let your worst mood murder all your others. The other moods don’t want to do that.”

“Depression happens to you. Not suicide. Suicide is a behavior.”

36:30
Pain can be a helpful teacher. We are stuck with it and it seems to help us grow.

39:00
On Robin Williams’ suicide.

41:00
The executive function and planning portion of the adolescence brain is not finished until age 25. There are many reasons to wait and see that things get better as your future self.

45:00
Looking for the warning signs in ourselves and stay for ourselves and others. You don’t get to choose who suffers.

50:00
The Wonder Paradox (her new book she’s working on)

About poetry and wonder

The people who do not affiliate with any religion. What rituals do and what people use for marriages or funerals, etc. What Poetry can provide for that.

“American religions have offered meaning and an afterlife, yet millions of Confucians and 5,000 years of Egyptians didn’t believe in an afterlife.”

55:00

“Meaning always came from culture and community.”

56:00
Keats’ tuberculosis poem

57:00
On the universe and vastness of creation and our consciousness.

59:00

“We are the universe seeing itself and marveling.”

1:01
On the darkness and struggle.

1:05
Jennifer reads her poem:

History

Even Eve, the only soul in all of time
to never have to wait for love,
must have leaned some sleepless nights
alone against the garden wall
and wailed, cold, stupefied, and wild
and wished to trade-in all of Eden
to have but been a child.

In fact, I gather that is why she leapt and fell from grace,
that she might have a story of herself to tell
in some other place.


 

Plus another poem
As promised, I’m including another of Jennifer’s poems in the shownotes. Below you can click to heard it read aloud and that enhances the experience.


 

Funny Strange

We are tender and our lives are sweet

and they are already over and we are
visiting them in some kind of endless
reprieve from oblivion, we are walking
around in them and after we shatter
with love for everything we settle in.

Thou tiger on television chowing,
thou very fact of dreams, thou majestical
roof fretted with golden fire. Thou wisdom
of the inner parts. Thou tintinnabulation.

Is it not sweet to hand over the ocean’s
harvest in a single wave of fish? To bounce
a vineyard of grapes from one’s apron
and into the mouth of the crowd? To scoop up
bread and offer up one’s armful to the throng?
Let us live as if we were still among

the living, let our days be patterned after
theirs. Is it not marvelous to be forgetful?


Click to hear this poem read aloud–it’s marvelous that way. It was downloaded from the Poetry Foundation. Visit it and read some of her other poems here and visit her page at the Poetry Foundation HERE.


 

• If you enjoyed this, you will like maybe to hear my personal story in audio I created about six months later:

• In October 2016, I had Ryan J. Bell as a guest, who is a mutual friend. You will also enjoy our conversation that includes a very interesting JMH “girl crush” tangent. Enjoy!

Hear recent episodes of the podcast.


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Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson


First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.

 

And there’s a BONUS EDITION with lots of goodies!
Read a sample here!


Will you fan the spark?

Inspired by how musician Amanda Palmer put it, “Don’t make people pay [for art]. Let them,” I am altering how Spark My Muse stays alive…from bottom to top (literally).

How does it work?

It’s up to you. I need at least $75 per episode to keep it solvent.
Every little bit helps!
So, I invite you to just listen, read, and give as you can.

 

Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,

~Lisa

WINE SEGMENT:

Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!

Why? 

Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


 

Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!

Doug-Jackson

Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


 

Interview / chat notes:

 

MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

8:50
Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

9:00
Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

9:50
on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

10:30
on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

11:00
The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

12:30
on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

14:30
James Sire

15:70
Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

18:00
Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

19:00
on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

21:30
HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.

22:20

“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”

 

22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

23:30
on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

24:00
Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.

25:00

Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

26:00
Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

27:20
A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

28:20
How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”

29:30

“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

30:10
Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

31:00
Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

32:00
Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

33:30
My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)

34:00

“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

34:30
“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

39:00
St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

40:00
…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

41:00
…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

44:30
(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”

45:00

“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

46:00
[GOOD NEWS]
Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


 

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Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

C.S. Lewis on longing and friendship

A few tidbits today from a greater mind than mine by a thousand or more:

C.S. Lewis.

jacklewis

Jack, as his friends called him, lived and wrote with an authenticity that made courageously interacting with the most painful and potent stuff of life an ordinary occurrence.

He loved deeply, he thought deeply, he wrote deeply, he suffered deeply. All these things, love, joy, friendship, sacrifice, loss, and longing were the topics of his work.

A heavyweight intellectual with the rare kind of genius to write concisely and accessibly to anyone, he never shied away from the messy parts of life–no matter who the audience. He might be most famous for his children’s fiction, but his poetry, literary criticism, apologetics, and other works reveal him as a polymath and literary giant. Thanks to the recent Hollywood versions of Narnia movies (which ardent C.S. Lewis fans find grossly wanting) ave created a renewed interest in Lewis making him more widely read now than he was in his own lifetime.

What made the man?

Tragedies cultivated a pensive and sensitive aspect of Leiws that complimented an agile, imaginative, and sharp mind.

Perhaps the deepest wound happened at age 9 when he lost his mother in death. His father was emotionally distant and sent him off to a series of boarding schools–which he deplored. The isolation and grief seemed to create a “heart-wound” from which he suffered his whole life; and from which he found solace in the hope of heaven and in the embrace of friendship.

Author Anthony Burgess wrote that “Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way.” (*source)

But, not at first.

First, the pain made him a committed and intellectual atheist at age 14. Despite his choice, Lewis still wrestled with what most creators and artists do, spiritually, as his journal from that time reveals:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Later, Jack would reconcile these longings more throughly with theism. (An acceptance of God as Creator.)

Subsequently, he found Jesus Christ the fitting Savior and Redeemer of the story–which is life and human experience. The Savior myths of ancient times and other cultures he said evidenced that the story of God and Jesus was a “true myth” reflected in meta-truth and narrative intwined into the cultural fabric and story of (nearly) every civilization.

He continued to explore this idea of desire and longing–from which any one with an artistic temprament can take confort:

“In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency.

 

 

I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both.

 

 

We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter.

 

Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering.

 

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing.

 

 

These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers.

 

For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

 

How beautifully he captures longing!

For Lewis, camaraderie, fellowship, friendship, and love brought light and healing to his heart and his world. Through them he remained grounded and prolific.

Lewis on friendship:

In a circle of true Friends each man is simply what he is: stands for nothing but himself. No one cares twopence about anyone else’s family, profession, class, income, race, or previous history.

 

Of course you will get to know about most of these in the end. But casually. They will come out bit by bit, to furnish an illustration or an analogy, to serve as pegs for an anecdote; never for their own sake. That is the kingliness of Friendship. We meet like sovereign princes of independent states, abroad, on neutral ground, freed from our contexts.

 

This love (essentially) ignores not only our physical bodies but that whole embodiment which consists of our family, job, past and connections. At home, besides being Peter or Jane, we also bear a general character; husband or wife, brother or sister, chief, colleague, or subordinate. Not among our Friends. It is an affair of disentangled, or stripped, minds. Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.

 

Hence (if you will not misunderstand me) the exquisite arbitrariness and irresponsibility of this love. I have no duty to be anyone’s Friend and no man in the world has a duty to be mine. No claims, no shadow of necessity. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gave value to survival.

Essay: Is Blogging like Ginsberg’s “Howl” and Nano Pop?

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 10.07.00 PM

 

It seems like good writing, the kind of rewrites, and reflection, and deliberation is in short supply, chiefly in the blogosphere and the slapdash sphere of most internet magazines. This post will reflect that flavor too. It will seem to you to (mostly) mirror what I am critiquing. It may seem instant or undercooked. It is caught in the vortex of the medium. I won’t pretend otherwise.

But, it’s also a start.

Blogs, we recall were so-named as a combination (or perhaps even slang) of the words Website and Log. An online record of passing thoughts captured in 1s and 0s for internet reader consumption. Outdated posts not recycled as fish wrapper but buried deep under a mountain of newer posts, like digital tels. The more content the more recognition, so say the experts. Plus, the all-important the SEO. We can’t forget that.

Or, at the very least blogs were and are a chance to make a mark on the world, or to a few friends with knowledge of your URL. Are they more than this? Are they less? (You can tell me in the comments section. I’m working the system.)

The Heights
And we have too-often elevated them to a place inappropriate. At times confusing there position–determining what is prolific to be  paramount. Though airy they shimmy under their own weight more than they don’t. But with their own magic, they may sting or bite. They may incite vibrant feuds that recall schoolyard antics–digital spilt lips. They may seem like a sand lot variety of King of the Mountain, riffing on zingers and cultural assertions. Though not long after, they reek of the “My dad can beat up your dad!” slurs. And these too gain vigor as referenced links in posts fueling more of the same. (I won’t give you links. You probably already know of some.)

Blog posts, plentiful like the sands on our cultural shore-scape have piled up like dunes but don’t seem to become a bulwark–an art form like a Pulitzer article, or piece of superb literature, or even a good film. There are some rare exceptions and there are some blog postings that somehow change lives.

More often though something vital is traded for the speed and convenience of the quick write-up. I’m stating the obvious, right?

What is it really?
Like instant coffee, the full-bodied flavor textures and aromas of this medium don’t quite work. Chronically under-brewed, the bulk of the speedily-penned internet articles too reveal not just slapped together writing but the slapped-together thinking ungirding it. We are awash in sloppiness. I don’t exclude myself either.

The passion and angst of any given post may drown out this feature and we may be convinced that we have meat to chew on, that is, until we read really good writing.

Maybe a precise poem, birthed not just from suffering or bliss or insight but from the careful gathering of words like seed beads and the arranging of them like art and embellished patterns on a long gown of societal topography.

Maybe a travel article written not for the rushed, tired, and ravenous tourist consumer, but for the person who truly wonders about other cultures and ways of being human in distant regions. A piece of craft that may include the underlying philosophies escaping the mind of a deeply thoughtful and curious person who can and does take the time. Here there is peace of a certain kind that never makes its way properly to Facebook.

Survival
Will the banter or the sarcasm of blogging (and commenting) last through the arc of observable time, at all?

Will it survive weeks, years, decades, after the refinement of reflection and chronological distance makes its way down through it like canyon whitewater? Or will blog posts be captured digital bits of immature polemics, impolitic reverie, and dated fervor of a begone time, like Allen Ginsberg ‘s once criminally obscene 1955 poem Howl reads for us now? A once-debauched and revolutionary vocalization now a kind of caricature of a ruckus time; now a relic of a frenzied, outlying beat–a strange light from a olden day.

Will blogging be frittered like a summering free-love hippie of this time in the Connection and Communication Age, rendered not in the insensate fog of drugs, but in the fever of hot blithering and the lechery of notoriety.

What will be the classic (masterly) posts of blogs from our era, if any? What will be the wheat amongst all the gusting chaff?

Where will there be instead that lasts? Perhaps commentaries well-researched and produced in a arduous string of revisions and heartache and a probing of not just of the topic by of the writer’s own inner world. Questions and ideas that could perhaps give voice to something true, useful, universal and somehow everlasting? The shoulders to stand on.

Archival
Will blog posts be like cultural postcards, the scraps from a newly-formed, digital age whose populace didn’t yet crave more than boilerplate reports and passing thoughts? Tweets like echoes of something that mattered. Facebook the endless ticker cataloguing our lives in bits and bytes.

What, if anything, in this blogosphere and this ephemeral epoch will collese and age like well-kept merlot for future readers in future times? Things truly enjoyable and worth saving? Something, say, for high school English classes to ponder 20 years removed?

The postings might go bleached like Polaroids, capturing in anemic hues a snap swatch; the evanescent blush of the solipsistic maiden: the early 2000s cultural zeitgeist.

Not Warhol’s Pop but something slimmer.

To coin a term: Nano-Pop.

# # #

I’d love your links to blog articles that you feel will not just stand the test of time, but may well be considered paragon of blog posting as a literary art form in our times. If you can find any, please put them in the comments section.

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Thanks for reading today.

-Lisa

Creatives:

planesky.jpg

So, I’ve noticed something:

It’s really common for creative types (musicians, writers, artists, filmmakers, etc) to get into a serious funk, especially come Autumn season. Whether it’s the chilly weather, the shorter periods of daylight, the pre-holiday blitz, or whatever else…plenty of us hit up against FUNK.

I’m not talking about catchy music (Funk as in…Soul music with a greater emphasis on beats, influences from rhythm and bluesjazz and psychedelic rock). No, I’m talking about the feeling that something is wrong in the universe.

I was all up in a funk when I read an article from Tim Ferriss. If this successful Mr Moneybags type who’s arguably America’s favorite life hacker gets hit up with a phase of Funk, why should I think it’s strange for me to splash into one. I started listening and looking around, and it turns out it’s “a thing”.

Perhaps it comes out as cynicism, annoyance, restlessness, or ennui.

 

en·nui

  [ahn-wee, ahn-wee; French ahn-nwee]  

noun

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent
resulting from satiety or lack of interest; 
boredom: 
The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui.

(ennui isn’t mere boredom though, the connotation is really more of a life-weariness…a “funk”)

Maybe it’s just low-grade blah or maybe it’s full-blown depressive feelings.
Whatever it is, it’s common. You are not alone.

 

We have to push through. Yes, Winter will be long, but we can use the time to germinate our ideas and bloom in a few months.
If you’re feeling the onslaught of FALL FUNK let me know!
We’ll check up on each other. We’ll un-funk-ify!
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