I just quit Facebook, perhaps for a little while, perhaps for good. I learned an awful lot there from some very smart people, but I’ve reached the point where the reactive nature of the medium has taken too precious a toll. I’m far behind even the most forgiving schedule on a couple of writing projects, largely because I’ve been regularly pouring energy and time into responding and reacting to current events and other issues that were popping up on my page. It’s time to apply discipline and focus to that energy and pour it into my own projects for a while, if only to pursue something resembling personal excellence or competence as our species puts the pedal to the metal as it nears the end of the Anthropocene. If some event or issue piques my interest enough to warrant a bit of written contemplation, I’ll most likely write it on this blog.
Below I give you an example of the stuff to which I strive and aspire. It’s an excerpt from the novel “The Farthest Shore,” written by Ursula K. LeGuin and first published in 1972.
“Do you think we will find what we seek in Hort Town?”
Sparrowhawk shook his head, perhaps meaning no, perhaps meaning that he did not know.
“Can it be a kind of pestilence, a plague, that drifts from land to land, blighting the crops and the flocks and men’s spirits?”
“A pestilence is a motion of the great Balance, of the Equilibrium itself; this is different. There is the stink of evil in it. We may suffer for it when the balance of things rights itself, but we do not lose hope and forego art and forget the words of the Making. Nature is not unnatural. This is not a righting of the Balance, but an upsetting of it. There is only one creature who can do that.”
“A man?” Arren said, tentative.
“By an unmeasured desire for life.”
“For life? But it isn’t wrong to want to live?”
“No. But when we crave power over life– endless wealth, unassailable safety, immortality– then desire becomes greed. And if knowledge allies itself to that greed, then comes evil. Then the balance of the world is swayed, and ruin weighs heavy in the scale.”