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Monday, August 25, 2003

Catching Up, and the Face of Love

Damn! Whenever I go away the blogosphere seems to take it as a cue to start crackling. Elaine was good enough to shoot me an email on my return pointing me to some of the juicy stuff that I missed.

An entertaining dust-up between the Crone and RageBoy. The whole episode with Lindsay Vaughn briefly taking down her blog (what a remarkable young woman, by the way. It’s nice to have made this discovery). A fantastic post on the matter by BurningBird (not that fantastic posts are anything unusual at her blog, but this one surpassed her usual high norm). The rare experience of RB eating a bit of crow (this may be an unfair characterization with which RB might well take exception—but I can’t resist casting it that way. I mean, RB making civil comments to Elaine? Not your usual day in Blogoland. And credit where credit is due—RB’s astute perceptions and gentlemanly comments were a great service to the gifted young blogger, Lindsay).

And it wasn’t just the intriguing stuff. I also missed out on the sad occasion of the passing of Doc’s Mom. Even though it’s now old news by blogging standards, I’m compelled to comment on it because the event provided an introspective spark for this old bird as I settled back into my nest.

Although Doc has written many times about his wonderful Mom, he needed only one word to sum it all up when she had departed the scene—Love. All you have to do is look at that amazing face which Doc has been good enough to share with us. The love just spills right off of the monitor. You can’t look at that woman’s face and not feel better.

It’s a reminder of how powerful love really is. Of course, it’s not particularly insightful or original of me to point out that love is powerful. I’m trying to get at something else here. I heard a sage once remark that there are only two forces, or states of being—love and the absence of love—and the absence of love is fear.

This is striking a chord for me at the moment because so much of my emotional energy these days is being drained off by anger at all the political outrages abounding in this era of Bush the Younger, and the thievery of the electoral process taking place in this crazy state.

I claim to be committed to healthy living, but this isn't it. I look at Doc’s Mom’s face, and I realize that there’s another way. I’m sure there must have been plenty that she disagreed with in the political sphere. But you just know that she must have managed to disapprove of the things she disapproved of without compromising that fundamental state of love that she radiated.

Actually, you get a sense of it from some of Doc’s own writing. He’s no stranger to bitching about politics or technology policy or the sorry state of modern radio or whatever. But there’s never a whine, never a snide remark betraying a malaise of the soul. He makes his point and gets on with it.

To be painfully honest about it, it’s a state of grace I’ve yet to attain. I may not make snide remarks, but I know that, in my soul, when I’m upset about Bush and all the rest of it, the real emotion underneath is Fear. I allow the things with which I disagree politically to rob me of my emotional equilibrium because I have this gnawing fear inside—this Absence of Love (hard as that is to say)—that the situation which I find undesirable is ultimately going to lead to some vague kind of danger to me personally.

So it’s very helpful for me to face this and reflect on the paradigm, “All There Is Is Love/Absence of Love”—and to recall the radiance of Doc’s Mom’s face.

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