Setting Out

I’ll confess right up front that I’ve struggled to get to this spot, my first blog post. And I’m not even talking about my usual struggle with semi-colons versus commas, Arial versus Verdana or even my titanic passes through the thesaurus looking for the word that perfectly describes the nuances of my idea. I mean that I’ve struggled for years to give life to this web site, this simple bare-bones statement of who I am and what is my work in the world. And I’ve struggled for weeks with the text of this first blog entry: what new is there to say about the struggle of beginning? Modern life and technology has made it possible for us to regularly engage in the act of setting out. The kinds of settings-out our ancestors engaged in were epic and huge, requiring tremendous acts of courage, expenditures of time and resources, and even the consumption of human lives. Migrations and explorations are the stuff of our history: entire continents, people and cultures “discovered” halfway around the world; the flight into space; the journey of our species to become one human race through all of our wars and peaces, disasters and triumphs. I can’t help but contrast these epic efforts with the ease with which we modern humans can simply open an electronic space and create something entirely new where nothing existed before. And yet, despite this ease, I have still experienced a great reluctance in this stepping out, this setting out. When I’m stuck in a process, I sometimes like to ponder the cultural understanding of that process, and so I often begin my process of getting unstuck with the dictionary. And this time, I find that Webster’s [...]