My daughters, Sarah and Erin, and I have decided to start a blog. Mostly for our own use, but whoever arrives at these pages is welcome to add their thoughts, opinions, rants or plain two cents. In the end it gives us the chance to have a long conversation with each other, and a place to put pictures, quotes, and links that we like.
In part it is a kindness to me, as I find Facebook a strange and public device. It seems to me to be like a highway with the old burma shave billboards; you drive by comments in big letters and keep moving on. I hesitate to put anything on it, especially my status, whatever that is; because it isn't a conversation, it is an announcement. A very public pronouncement and in fact it is all in the public domain. A blog seems to be, strangely, a more private communication. People have to make a purposeful detour to find it. It is available to friends who know you, but people can stumble upon it and like or vehemently disagree with what you have to say. It leaves room for musing and discussion, even argument
We talked about calling this blog, the blog for the perplexed. A good word, perplexity….for me it replaces ironic as a word to explain our times. We had googled "Maimonides Guide for the Perplexed" out of curiosity and because yes, we are perplexed. Oh great, a guide… What a work of sheer madness that was, the scope was enormous, the influence far reaching. Written in Arabic, it was translated into Hebrew and written in three parts to explain God, the law of the Torah and Jewish mysticism. It was used by Christian religious scholars and Rabbis and maintained that some principles of Jewish mysticism are so complex that they can only be taught to a few learned scholars and then only obliquely through "hints." Of course this great work did not settle the world down into meaningful law and order or useful mysticism. The perplexed are still here.
So every day new perplexities beg to be discussed.
Some personal perplexities……
- How can we possibly be so worried about leaving our children debt and not in the least deeply concerned about what kind of water, air and dirt they will inherit. When that plane full of soccer players crashed in the Andes the only two expendables on the plane were the money, which they burned for heat and their dead friends, whom they ate. Survival makes for tough choices. Not a pretty picture.
- I read a well thought out and informative article about roundup ready corn and soybeans. It was disheartening that most of the research quoted in the article had been done in Europe and that the person who wanted funds to summarize the research was denied funding in the US. The research from Europe pointed to serious hazards of both roundup and the genetically altered corn and soybeans. But the truly frightening stuff began falling on me when I read the comments, which were polarized and vitriolic to say the least. How do we ever get to the bottom of something when no one will stop shooting long enough to read the footnotes.
- I have five blossoms on an orchid in my back yard. They are still closed buds. Every morning five beautiful furry bumblebees come to visit these buds and hover over them. It is not clear what mojo they are performing. But here is the perplexity. How do they know there are five buds and how do they form a small squadron of five bees to grace these buds. Are they communicating bee to bee and bud to bee? That is a pretty picture.