Estranged

Fall                                   Waxing Blood Moon

Tomato picking and compost bin rebuilding, the bulk of the morning.  To keep our young pups from celebrating life by knocking down the straw bales out of which I designed this compost bin a wire fence now encircles the bales, with an other, shorter wire fencing material for a gate.

The day started chilly, but has warmed up to 69.  It’s one of those fall days when the Andover H.S. Marching Band can be heard carrying pompoms and the thud of padded football players in its wake.  As this sound comes across the fields of vegetables and the cul de sacs between our home the football field, I become at once both younger and older, thrust back to Alexandria High School and Friday night football while by necessity comparing that time with the present.  It’s not an unpleasant feeling, just a bit strange.

Caught episode 1 of a Harvard class on Justice taught by Michael Sandel.  It’s well worth the time.  Sandel’s teaching style combines the Socratic/law school method of hypotheticals with analysis of responses.  The engagement of the students makes it obvious Sandel is a teacher as well as a philosopher.  I only want to comment on one, striking observation he made about philosophy.  “Philosophy,” he said, “is not about something you don’t know; it is about making you look at what you know from the perspective of a stranger.  Philosophy creates an estrangement from our own experience.”  This is so true, as is his follow-on comment that once you gain this insight you cannot go back to the naive state.

Every hour of every day I see my self and the world through the lens of philosophical analysis, the lens fitted over an anthropological  camera body.  The two together make the world a strange and exotic experience at every turn.

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