20 May 2007

On issues, opinions, and the creative spirit

I had written up the below almost a month back. It's a reflection on turbulence experienced in blogland. I felt like I wasn't really standing in the piece, like I was still hiding something from myself, so I put it on the back burner.

I had the opportunity to speak with Esther Kustanowitz at PICZ about blogging, it's ways and means, and its discontents. The lady's got wisdom, and the conversation has drawn me back here.

I'm leaving the post as written, even though I think it reveals a bit of my own issues.

I'm sensing that running underneath the whole current is a desire for truth and beauty, and I'm hoping that somehow along the way I'll have the grace to nurse it to flower.


A quick wander through the Jewish blog world, and I see all these blessed people concerned with issues - political, social, religious-polemic, environmental, moral, etc. Opinions and positions are taken and defended.
I suffer a bit of worry that perhaps I am failing to encounter the truth, perhaps I really should be concerned with issues. The truth is, issues usually make me tired, and I find opinions to be wearying.

What is the spiritual dynamic at work here?

An old friend came to visit Israel this week. He and I stood next to each other in prayer for hundreds of hours over the course of years. I was lucky to be at his wedding, years back, blessed to spend time with he and his wife in their first years of marriage. Now they are out in the wilds, working in a place without peers, struggling to see enough light that they can shine a bit out to the world.
This friend is deeply connected to the land. He knows every flower, every fragrance and motion, feels the spirit of the land running through him.
We both see the way the Jewish environmentalists campaign and we are both intuitively repulsed. They have their issue, and everything becomes subservient to it. The opinion draws credence from its place in the whole, at the same time that the global perspective is forsaken for the deification of the issue. Details are washed out or corrupted, all in service of the ever-important opinion.

Let me be a servant of the unknown. Let me stand and be honest about what I feel, what I believe, what I have seen, but let me please not twist reality into my image. Please give me strength to not hold an opinion, to hold many opinions. Please give me the grace and good eyes to see the drive to goodness of every man who stands so strongly on his issue.