Summer Woolly Mammoth Moon
After the Durango trip, during which I read three articles I’d saved for down time, I made two decisions.
First, I would shoot for 100 rejections in 2018. I just submitted Missing to Parvus Press and School Spirit to The Metz Review. Since I’m starting with the year almost half done, 100 may be ambitious, but I’m going to work toward that end.
Second, I reaffirmed a decision I’d made when I started caretaking for Kate after her shoulder surgery. When she had recovered enough to clean up after I cook and feed the dogs their lunch, I’d go back to five days a week exercise. Three days resistance work and two days HIIT. This last week I got back there.
In that reading I also learned, in an article focused on Gauguin and the moral philosopher Bernard Williams, about the idea of ground projects. “If you are going to live a life that is true to yourself, then you had better know yourself, and remember that ‘know thyself’ was one of the Delphic maxims that set Socrates on the road to philosophy…A wiser, older Williams gave more emphatic expression to the fact that the pursuit of authenticity can lead to ‘ethical and social disaster’. He also moved away from the stark individualism of ‘Moral Luck’ and stressed the role that one’s community plays in preventing or enabling one to become whom one wants to become.”
Without tumbling around in the conceptual concrete mixer that stirs together individualism and authenticity vs social responsibility I’ll say I like the idea of ground projects, projects that give us a reason to live. This conforms well to my existentialist self who believes we are responsible for the meaning in our life and with my Taoist self who seeks the Way regardless of social convention.
My ground project for many years was economic justice, transmuted later on into the Great Work of Thomas Berry, creating a sustainable presence for humans on this earth. My ground project of the moment is reconstructing faith with the assistance and stimulation of the Reconstructionist Jewish movement. I have a side project, perhaps a little hillock on my ground project, which is creative writing. All of these have and do give me a reason for being alive, for being enriched and enlivened. Good enough ground for me to stand on.