blogging, books, community, culture, history, Life, literature, poetry, spirituality
I’ve slackened the pace of posting these days. Taking a step back. Changing the rhythm.
No crisis here at home, all is roses and sunshine.
Quiet workaday life going on. A lower upper middle class existence. A modest house with two vehicles behind. The yard littered with hockey sticks and nets and old unused bikes and neglected sandbox. The house a shamble of kids toys too. Air hockey and goalie pads and chalk board and diminutive Ikea children’s table holding a Lego Hogwarts Castle scattered here and there.
It’s 5:18 AM on a Sunday morning. Later, Sonny-Boy has soccer. Then there will be a snack, some play, lunch, and we’ll probably spend the better part of the afternoon playing hockey on the outdoor rink. Good healthy glowing cheeks and fresh air stuff.
Towards supper the hockey All Star Game is on television. I’m not all that interested, but the boy is, so we’ll watch some of it together.
In the interstices of this eminently average, humdrum seeming life we lead are books… among other things.
“Many of the books, however, we’re not of a scholarly nature. The majority were works of the poets of all times and peoples.”— Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
I’m quoting now. Picked up Steppenwolf as a break from Joey Campbell, which I’ll return to in a few days. Read a post recently and it spurred me to reread Hesse’s classic. The quote was typically dark, a dirge for the crass philistinism of the modern age. All defeatism and despair.
“Now there are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, no simple acquiescence. Naturally everyone does not feel this equally strongly. A nature such as Nietzsche’s had to suffer our present ills more than a generation in advance. What he had to go through alone and misunderstood, thousands suffer today.”—Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
Granted, Nietzsche went mad. But that was over a hundred years ago. And Steppenwolf was published 85 years ago now. A dark time, indeed.
But to obsess on it, to turn our backs on today and the tremendous strides forward since that long ago debacle, is to abandon the future. Do we have the courage, caught between the Steppenwolf’s two ages, two modes of life, to move forward, or do we surrender to despair and focus bleakly on a lost past?
“The shaman is in a measure released from the local system of illusions and put in touch with mysteries of the psyche itself, which lead to wisdom concerning both the self and its world; and he thereby performs the necessary function for society of moving it from stability and sterility in the old toward new reaches and new depths of realization.”— Joseph Campbell, Primitive Mythology
Each one of us has a choice to make.
The Omphalos Cafe
Entrance Not For Everyone
For Madmen Only!