Aristotle once said, "It would seem that experience of particular things is a sort of courage." I think I know what he's getting at. There was a period in my life when on a daily basis I'd just go sit in the woods behind my house for half-n-hour up to a half a day. I'd take in all the surroundings and activity with my senses. In other words, I payed attention. And it had a revolutionary feel to it when I was out there on a weekday when everyone else was at work. I eventually quit, though. Why? I didn't want to go broke. There is no money in it. And besides how can one pay attention to particular things if one is living in a system that, as Lewis Mumford so eloquently pointed out, is based on "order, power, predictability, and above all, control."
The system has to go. But I'm hoping I find the courage Aristotle is talking about before that happens.
Today, I work with wood. I'm either going to get a load of firewood or work on my son's bunk bed. Working with wood, I've noticed, grounds me.
Conversations with 13yr. old son.
Son: Are we going anywhere today?
Me: We're journeying to the center of the universe.
Me: Haven't you ever heard of that song from sixties or seventies? (I hope I'm not just imagining this. For some odd reason I'm think the Moody Blues had a song with this lyric)
Me: Yeah, it came out during the sixties. When your grandparents were young. You know, when a lot of them were doing acid to find out the meaning of life. Or, like Robert Bly has said, they were trying to dynamite the water out of the pond.
Son: Oh yeah, instead of bucketing the water out.