Old habits die hard. Despite hermitting, I feel it is my bounden duty to say something witty, insightful, and deeply profound this morning about the election results. So here goes:
(That’s as much wit and profundity as I’ve got, and even that I had to steal from a friend.)
Expect legal challenges on multiple grounds — vagueness and lack of a definition of the all-important word “transfer” among them. In the meantime, here it is: Exhibit A for what happens when people vote for a “good idea” without clue as to bad consequences.
But the world moves beyond places where old Enlightenment-era political models matter. A new 3D-printable gun is in the works. This one a revolver; very tricky business.
Nobody’s saying this is a great gun (yet). But look at the innovation — and damn politics and laws against freedom.
While it was fun watching the contest for the U.S. Senate (but only because it was a nail-biting contest and not because the new boss will be different than the old boss), Dems weren’t the big losers of the night.
The biggest losers, as Conor Friedersdorf points out, were pot prohibitionists. They didn’t just lose a handful of races; they lost nearly everything. (Even the failed Florida constitutional amendment was a moral victory and a sign of things to come.)
Sure, the current legalization momentum is as much about taxes and regulation as it is about the actual freedom to conduct our personal lives as we wish. But I’ll take anything that kills off the stupid, vicious, anti-freedom drug war; won’t you?
So, you caught me watching current events instead of devotedly meditating by candlelight. What can I say? You didn’t expect me to go cold turkey, did you?
The hermitting business, though a privilege, is actually quite hard. Especially the meditating and “listening” part of it. When “listening to silence,” one of the first things that happens is that every bit of sorrow, depression, anger, self-doubt, failure, and self-loathing within you comes oozing to the surface.
The temptation to get up and run (run to the computer, where endless distraction is literally at your fingertips) is strong.
I say “you,” though of course I mean me. “You” is a pretty good guess, though. It’s no coincidence that two of the main early U.S. popularizers of Zen meditation, Alan Watts and Jack Kerouac, were both hectic alcoholics who eventually drank themselves to death.
What I’m doing isn’t Zen. But meditation is meditation, and for all the self-help rah-rah about how calming and healthy it is (when you do it for 10 minutes in the morning), the initial effects of sustained, focused stillness … can be anything but still and calming.
This is where I’m at right now. Even my “knitting for the soul” feels more like knitting for the sheer annoyance of being so bad and undisciplined at knitting.
I hesitate to say these negative things. But they’re true and I’m committed to being true about this hermitting experience, in deeds, and in words.
So here I am, warts and all.
Regarding blogging: I’m sort of kind of aiming-ish at posting twice a week during this hermit time. Sunday and Wednesday are the targets for the “aiming-ish.” But what will be will be. Thank you all for hanging in there.