A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Anchoress Tells Me...

That I have been "tagged with a meme". It took me a bit to figure out what that meant, but I gather I am supposed to make a set of confessions.

I confess: That I deliberately avoided going into the 3 year retreat training to become a Buddhist Lama because of absolutely irrational terror at what I encountered twenty years ago, while doing a short solitary reteat. It was in a cabin where another retreatant had been practicing solo for 5 years. Now that I've gotten to know what I encountered there a little better, I know that they really are tremendously warm-hearted, and will care for you like a doting mother. But I am now to old and ill to meet the physical demands of lama training.

I confess: That for years from the age of 8 I refused my parents' love for what seemed to me good reasons. They really weren't good reasons, but they were real reasons, and I would probably do it again were I young and vulnerable.

I confess: I once had an affair with an older woman, and it taught me more about women than anything else that has happened to me.

I confess: I lost my heart four times and had it broken every time. That's what happens when your mainspring has been wound too tight in your youth.

I confess: That the things I am most ashamed of in my life, and most regret, are still so scalding to me that they sometimes flashback. Looked at objectively, they were not even minor crimes, though they were worth being ashamed of. But I cannot even think about this without risking such flashbacks, so I can't put them here.

I confess: Age has made me more prone to spill food all over myself and to leave my pants fly open. This really annoys me.

I confess: I am short, and wish I were taller. I am fat, and wish I were thinner. But, unlike my father, and like my mother's brothers, I still have a magnificent head of hair.

I confess: One of my greatest fantasies was that, after winning the State Lottery, I would fly to Europe on the Concorde and travel to London to have a bespoke tailored wardrobe made for me on Saville Row. Then I would travel the entire Celtic rim of Britain from Cornwall to Northumberland. Now the Concorde is gone, I am just about as far from being a lottery winner as you can get, and I am often absurdly happy.

I confess: Sometimes what I write on this blog is more literature than strict literal truth. It also amuses me to know that the readers probably can't tell the difference.

I confess: High Renaissance art often repells me. My first choice, were I to go to Italy, would not be Florence or Rome, but the Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna. Of course, I could never say this while I was in graduate school. I made enough trouble as it was.

I confess: For many years I have gotten away with appearing far more erudite and knowledgeable than I really am. I know far less than most people who meet me think, but what I do know is how to find things out when I need them.

I confess: I envy the Anchoress hugely for the fact that the major regret of her life is that she wore the wrong wedding dress. I have not been nearly so good. Things that I really regret quite often hurt people, sometimes very badly.

I think a dozen confessions are quite enough. Also, I intend to keep my meme to myself, thank you.


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