Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 New Year’s Resolution: blog.

2011 New Year’s Resolution: blog.

Actually, this was also one of 2010’s resolutions, and, if I can remember back that far, one of 2009’s as well. Whatever one thinks of resolutions (note to self: check into the social and cultural history of “new year’s resolutions”), I have always been a “list guy.” A visual, need to see it, keep crossing-out/adding, ticker tape, list guy. Whether it is the constant CNN, bottom-of-the-screen, list running through my brain, the grocery/meal list (and the process of making it!), the Brunsma Research Queue (BRQ! LOL. Thanks Kerry) on my office wall, or my “to do” list of writing, reading, and all that goes into being a scholar – I love lists. I suppose many would find lists stifling and burdensome, I find them liberating and freeing.

I use them to work through stuff.

People blog for a wide variety of reasons (Thanks Tanya). If a New Year’s Resolution pops up in one’s cognitive goo for almost three years running now, the universe is trying to tell me something. This two- to three-year resolution to blog, at this very moment, feels like a desire to “change things.” To enter into new spaces, but also to have a space of my own (ours?) to think out loud, to work through ideas in my own work, to keep a good habit of writing every day. Another list perhaps? In many ways, I have used Facebook as an arena in which to think out loud, share new ideas, interesting reads, and to collectively work through various issues and items I find along the journey with my peeps. I will continue to do so, however, Facebook is limiting – it is spatially limiting, and, due to the format, I often feel the “medium” there is “the message” (Thanks Marshall).

Writing is hard.

This blog is a space where I can keep writing, off “the page” if you will, off of the Microsoft Word screen (although this first blog was created using Word because, well, old habits die hard, the space of the Word document page is, I think my mind thinks, the way one is to write), in a new format, a new form. This should allow new thoughts to come forward and provide a new canvass on which to paint them, collectively, with you all.

We do nothing alone.

I want to use my new canvass as a way to practice. This new canvass must provide me with a practice field for focusing. Focusing on a way to see the world that I have been developing over my entire forty years, but, that I want to make even more a central part of who I am, what I say, what I write, how I think, what I dream. Practice makes perfect? I think it is already, but, I sometimes fear, if we don’t use it, it is possible we might lose it (es cierto). I am talking about reclaiming that which is a positive force in the world, that which moves us all forward, to a more unifying experience, toward a matrix of connection, understanding. I am talking about listening for the human experience, and the best ideas and practices, questions and concerns that will move us all toward a greater unity, and a better world for all. Listening for this in everything.

So, I want to listen for utopia.

But not just listening, but also hearing, then speaking. I am talking about hearing the human experience within, say, the loudest growl of a working-class metal tune, within the collective protests of tea-partiers, within the quagmires of negative media, within the pain-filled strokes of a child’s watercolor, within the repressed scholarship of an Iranian sociologist, or within the complaints of my son. Most only hear the volume, the political perspective, the negativity, the pain, the nationality, the complaint and, well, that is it. I am very tired of the climate of hatred, disrespect, and perceived isolation – we miss a lot, perhaps almost everything. 

We share much more than we differ.

With this blog, I want to connect with, collaborate with, and celebrate with my growing network of friends, colleagues, and family around the world. It is an online place to live, learn, dream, and listen for utopia in our brilliant world.

So, welcome to my first blog.