Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/further/2019/08/02/fire-next-time
The most brilliant essayist ever: clear, compassionate, a man truly for all seasons.
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was Dostoevsky and Dickens who taught me the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who ever had been alive. Only if we face these open wounds in ourselves can we understand them in other people.”
To me he will always be beautiful.
Thanks for posting this, Abby!
“Only someone who has truly suffered would never wish it on another. Never.” A.D.
There was once a drive, a need, a wanting for us to be our better selves. I lived with it, that was how I was raised. To be bigger, stronger than the baseness of humanity. To set the example of a moral and ethical being, though we might fail the task was always in the present and in the future, never to be diminished by that failure. Some 5 years ago in desperation for the key I looked within and outside and saw “all of our shadows are the same”. I try and teach, I try and share with those that have an audience and I get crickets. Only crickets. Have we truly devolved into the mass baseness of animal-ism’s? Have we? There is still the want, the need, where is the drive?
I tend to think that the frustrations and joys of the animal body have taught me to seek wisdom on patience and humility and to be attentive to that flush when I resonate with the joy of others. Every “cultural” limit to extract wealth and power is a shut-down mechanism in the human psyche - as far as I am concerned. And I still have to make a point of sharpening the presence of the spheres of wisdom - otherwise the humanly introduced toxins take far to great a toll.
The thing for me is your position and mine was once a national goal.
I am going to give this conversation/debate another listen. What was striking to me was that Baldwin comes across as the true radical. It was really good to hear Malcolm and Baldwin in a debate. Long ago I read and reread more recently a conversation on race between Margaret Meade and James Baldwin and the two never really had a meeting of minds. Baldwin goes so far beyond nationalism.
I don’t care much about his sexual preference but his ideas are brilliant