Monday, July 18, 2005

It's a Practice

Is it worth it?

I struggle daily with the temptation to give it all up. I mean, this diary, Bush. It's not just laziness on my part--though I'll admit that laziness is a factor: one of my worst judgments about myself is that I'm a lazy good-for-nothing who never achieved anything worth a damn. Just a judgment, Bush, but there it is. And it's an effort to get the brain working every morning.

It's also not just a matter of time--though life has come along, as it usually does, and slapped me with a thousand other things to worry about: the old house, and whether it will ever sell; the new house, the construction work, and the cost involved; and the downsize--packing up and scaling down on thirty-five years of stuff.

All of which leaves me little time to read the newspapers and keep up with the news on radio and television; and little time to wander through the blogosphere, picking up on the ideas and opinions that stimulate my own. Oh, and being hooked on the Tour de France takes up a lot of the time I might otherwise have devoted to you, Bush, and your doings. But that will be over in a few more days. (I'm still rooting for your fellow Texan, Lance Armstrong. He's doing great in his last Tour, Bush. Have you been following?)

But no, it's also a deeper and more philosophical question that I struggle with, having to do with the matter of engagement. At this stage of my life, I wonder, is the greater wisdom not to be found in standing back from the political fray, in recognizing the truth of my own infinite smallness, in choosing the simplicity of breath and being, the open heart over constant criticism and carping, equanimity over partisanship? Should I, in other words, allow you to go on your merry way, and concern myself instead with what I can affect, with those places in the immediate sphere of my own life where I really matter?

And then I realize the vanity of this thinking--as though these diaries were in fact what they pretend to be: a dialog with you, rather than a dialog with myself. When you get right down to it, it's just the thing that I need to be doing, in order to be the writer that I've always known myself to be. It's a practice. A way of sharpening and maintaining consciousness. No more, no less.


Just one more note about your Rove, Bush. For me, it's not a matter of the right and wrong, legal or moral, of the Joe Wilson business. What's truly sad for me is the knowledge that your whole career, these past thirty years, has been orchestrated by a man whose pattern is to smear all those who stand in his/your way. I'm thinking of Anne Richards. John McCain. John Kerry. What's truly sad for me is the glimpse this episode offers once again into your cowardly heart, and your willingness to hide, with a smirk, behind the sleaze that others use to clear your path. What's truly sad for me is the understanding that all this is done in the name of Christianity, and moral rectitude, and truthfulness. What's truly sad is to see good men and women destroyed by these cynical hypocrisies.

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