Winter Waning Moon of the Cold Month
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment and learn again to exercise his will — his personal responsibility.” – Albert Schweitzer
Schweitzer was a favorite of both my mother and my father, his “reverence for life” must have rung loudly in the ear of the WWII generation. I find his Christianity, though unorthodox, still too orthodox for me these days. This quote seems to lean against the interrelatedness voiced by MLK and quoted here recently and put that inflection point back on the individual. In most ways I agree with it from a personal perspective, a focus on the existential predicament decided by emphasizing personal choice rather than the web of influences from genes and nurture.
As I’ve reflected on the notion of interrelatedness over the last month or so, and commented on it by using the idea of inflection, that is a mental tick by the perspective most important at the moment, this dialectical, tension of opposites approach, seems more and more sound to me. What I mean is that, yes, we are in this together and that, yes, the fate of even the most vulnerable and neglected bears on our own, while at the same, yes, we live alone and will die alone, never really bridging the gap between our interior and that of the Other. Externally we swim in the same waters as one larger organism, a sort of super-0rganism, while internally, we paddle alone in our single kayak traversing the vast expanse of the inner world.
On a less abstruse note, well, a bit less abstruse anyhow, I did very well on my Latin session today. I’ve decided it takes me 4-6 hours to get through a Wheelock chapter and the particular grammatical points presented there, along with exercises. Greg said that was about right. So, I might as well lean into it and learn it right the first time. Then, he says I have to read, read, read. I’m thinking about picking up some Caesar and maybe some Tacitus since they write in prose and that’s easier than the convoluted word order of poets like Ovid and Virgil. I’m sticking with Ovid as my Northstar in all this, but reading some stuff where I’m not stumbling over words and phrases lines apart that belong together might be fun.