|by David Eide||.|
It's virtually impossible to "get a true grasp" of America or, certainly, the globe. For instance, I hear the same arguments about America's backwardness and anti-intellectualism today that I heard forty years ago and yet, America has gone into the future and is intact. Most of the passionate arguments for and against America comes from media, pure and simple. And here we say media trumps knowledge and experience and the rest is sadness. This is what the future generations will have to unlearn but there is hardly anything we can do about it now.
The advantage the writer has is simple. His devotion is always tested. The writer learns to write at his best whether the audience is nothing or everything.
I don't know whether the subject finds the writer or the writer is drawn to the subject but there is a collaborative process that goes on. The writer must always be conscious of what subject is alluring him to the rocks.
I know I was intrigued by the subject, "modern myth," and the "tensions that create reality." One of them is certainly the position of America as a world power and the sustainability of that power. So on one side of the myth is the darkness of decline and disintegration and the doom of liberal democracy. And on the other side of the myth is the light of improvement, enlightenment etc.
Yet, is it anything other than an intellectual exercise? No one can really know. The predictions by the left and right are always null and void. It must be that their minds are not developed well enough to either take on these questions or leave off what is impossible to know. Experience counts in relation to the stupidities of intellectualism. The writer is only significant in the intimacy between mind, creativity, and medium.
That is the key relation. These other relations to "nation" or "globe" exist as challenges when the intimacy is too much and he has retreated from its responsibilities.
The challenge allows me to think about history and civilizations and so on. Not as an expert, scholar, policy type but as one devoted to both his intimacy in the art and his freedom as a citizen.
Americans need resource more than at any time. One resource won't do. Many resources from the springs of the culture itself, in all regions, in all activities is what the Americans have to connect to. Simply being "religious" or "intellectual" or "rich" or "hip" are not enough. To be free enough and open enough to search out the wonderful resources of itself, that's the thing to look for. A great teacher for this is to hunt through history for the resources that are still standing and radiating abundance in thought and creativity.
Politics is not the drama it was in the past. That is a good thing. That goes to the genius of the founders. Politics is a duty that all must engage in and, after, make sure the governance is a good for the people.
Our drama comes from two sources. One is the economy and the constant streaming of new things, innovations, changes and so on. And the other is the creative response on the part of the people in relation to these things. That is the modern drama and will continue on for quite awhile.
The individual and his or her response to the freedom he or she enjoys, plus, the strategies he or she takes in the face of the mad, wild, powerful forces of the world.
For the writer it is a personal, intimate thing, is it not?
The world is a vast, complex thing more so with modern media. But doesn't it come down to credibility? Are entertainers credible? Politicians? Religious fanatics? Businessmen? This is how the writer begins to deal with his own world.
I hated the feeling that I wasn't accomplishing anything. That was the most difficult aspect, esp as people tried to convince me and then I surrendered to their judgment. Most bitter time!
I learned through the past but I never "lived in the past."
The writer who does not see himself in a "noble" light is not worth crap. Whatever humiliations take place and many do, the writer's relation to his work should always be "noble." That is, cut away from the ordinary and held in the highest esteem possible. No one else might do this but the writer, him or herself, must.
How can freedom be anything other than a thing discovered? It can hardly be known as a form stamped pressed down on the individual. It is discovered, joy and responsibility arise together. The powerful allures of a stereotypical freedom guided by the institutions collapses and one then is free. That is why I say, America is what you make it to be. Take the responsibility for that and you will be led to splendid places.
© 2016 David Eide. All rights reserved.