The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
There is too much Moloch in the world. Too much gray modern ugliness. Too much hate-driven oppression, anguish, and despair. Sometimes the mechanic nature of modernity makes it awfully difficult to continue. And while I try not to overshare overmuch about my emotional state in this space, today I had a very, very difficult day coping with modernity. It is hard, in a world of NOMs and teabaggers and other threats to the sanity of the public discourse, to maintain an even keel. It’s challenging to look the world in the eye day after day, and to believe in that increasingly trite-sounding quotation about the arc of history bending towards justice. There is an expectation in our society that thoughtful people interested in the world around them engage with politics. But what if politics doesn’t want to engage? What if elections and campaigns and battles upon battles speak only to Moloch, not to humanity?
Sometimes reason just won’t do. Sometimes we have to step back and rely instead on art and eternal beauty. There are things that matter more than winning elections and coming out on top of the 24-hour news cycle. It is never wrong to do what we can to maintain our faith in the promise that we will find beauty all around us, if only we keep looking. If it comes to a choice, throw reason to the winds and run headlong for beauty!
In the back of my mind, there’s a voice telling me that this is the corniest post I’ve ever written. But you know what? It’s time I stopped worrying about that voice. There are so many things more important than it.
Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met there who detain’d me for love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together—all else has long been forgotten by me,
I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another…
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.