Category: Ideas and Reflections

The Last Day

Even the most beautiful experiences must finally come to an end. Thus it is that after a luxurious, put-your-feet-up sojourn at Camp Xanadu, I am at last facing the prospect of returning to the humdrum reality of everyday life. One of the most disappointing aspects of such endings is that one is rarely able to extend the ease and enjoyment all the way...

As I Lay Living, Epilogue: Memories of Walking

I am back to where I started, trying to think and write in the midst of the cackling hollowness of the young and mindless — this time a gaggle of twenty-somethings shouting and laughing uproariously about the same nothingness with which teenagers had surrounded me two weeks before. Again I exhaust every resource of the mind in a life or death struggle against...

La Dolce Vita

Well, I’m well into my third week here at the spa, and, well, all’s well.  Hope you enjoy these few pictures from Camp Xanadu, taken, I confess, with my third camera, the Samsung flip phone with the shattered lens. Wish you were here — especially if you are someone I hate.

As I Lay Living, Part Three: Twenty Piddling Little Fountains

(If you have not done so, please read Part One and Part Two.) I concluded Part Two of this series with the challenge, directed at all my students, real and hypothetical: “Why are you living a life you don’t want?” In a sense, the answer is obvious: Because they don’t know what life they want. In fact, I believe the problem is even...

Update on Life in Limbo

As regular visitors may know, I’ve been temporarily dragged away from Limbo into something closer to my version of Hell, i.e., a modern hospital. Surrounded by people at all times, prodded by strangers, bombarded with incessant noise of all sorts, and every bit of privacy overruled in favor of unwanted exposure — essentially, modern progressive society in microcosm. As a result, my writing...

As I Lay Living, Part Two: You Are Going to Die

(See Part One) If the civilized life is akin to a long walk through nature — and that includes human nature — then its definitive character is not destinations, not “highlights,” but continuity. The key to continuity, in all matters of will, is the avoidance of distractions. Destinations, too, when regarded as definitive, become mere distractions. A destination is not only an end...

As I Lay Living, Part One

I have been away from Limbo for a couple of days. The reason is explained in the following: Day 1 The Moonlight Sonata is being performed at this moment, but only I can hear it. In fact, even I cannot hear it. I hear Beethoven’s mind interspersed with the cackling cacophony of mindlessness. Beethoven, mercifully going deaf, shares his private musings on passion...

Why Freedom Just Doesn’t Work Anymore

A limited republic is, in practice, partly a matter of constitutional restrictions on government power; but it is at least as much a state of the national mind. Does a people, en masse and in each private adult soul, feel independent, self-reliant, and competent to manage and govern itself without the positive guidance and protective regulation of its coercive betters? If not, then...

Moonset

If sunset is a perennial symbol of glorious endings and the gaining of understanding, then what does that make moonset, sunset’s widely overlooked and uncelebrated mirror image? A symbol of new beginnings and their inherent innocence? But sunrise, nature’s other glory-stealer, is the obvious bringer of new beginnings. Or perhaps, as befits the moon — the secondary, feminine, modest, passive, reflective light —...

The Individual

Most political calamities in this era of the Politics of Calamity, if one were to analyze them down to their barest elements, would prove to revolve around the problem of the lost individual. This is not surprising, since both of the defining currents of modern politics, totalitarian progressivism and strongman populism, are perspectives which systematically reject the individual soul — its natural needs...