Sunday, November 28, 2010

Overcoming Inertia

This is not an exit. This is a beginning, the start of a new consciousness. We have to square with the reality that stares at us down its hairy gilded snout. It is too easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, to get bogged down in the daunting challenges before us. So many of us go through life in a state somewhere between sleep and awake--not in a landscape of dreams, but stumbling along the gradually-eroding grade of a hazy path following hastily-posted signs to nowhere.

It is an easy-enough path to navigate, but it is hard to see another way. Distractions surround us, lights and clockwork overwhelm our senses, petty differences consume our public debates. Talking heads, screaming and tearing each other apart in uncanny high-definition-3D clarity, are beamed into households across the country. The angry fluff is just incendiary enough to hold your attention, but is anyone clear about what they are actually saying? Would you speak to your mother in that tone, sir?

Fear is everywhere unsettling, unavoidable, and distracting. Fears of blurry international enemies, vague blanket wars, lost jobs, faulty mortgages, all help to maintain the status quo. To keep everyone on the straight and narrow. It is hard to pull the wool from one's eyes when facing the loss of a house or job. The positive feedback of inertia keeps the world spinning in just a way, and it is easy to feel the tug, to fall in line like everybody else.

How can we attempt to take a step forward, to push back against the forces that would have us continue down the windy unknown path? We have to turn and face the cold steel of reality, to dig our heels in and grit our teeth. Overcoming the inertia is not going to be easy, but it is the necessary first step.