Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Soul searching

Tonight the Southwest Airlines flight did one of those wing jitterbugs when it hit a storm cloud, rocking to the left, and then rocking to the right. I looked up from my New Yorker, in which the author speculated about Stein/Toklas and Nazi collaborators in occupied France,and said "my goodness".
I have virtually no fear of flying, but these little tremor reminders of mortality and fragility have their purpose.

This week my "idle mind" thought theme revolves around the problem of mixing positive traits and negative traits. I began by thinking of the writer Charles Williams, a mystical and amazing man, but one whom, after his death, has had his personal life examined under the proverbial microscope by an inquiring mind who wants to know or two. Mr. Williams' best writing deals with religious passion, and it's not particularly surprising that in his personal life passion of a rather more earthy kind apparently surfaced from time to time. But I posit here that the deep concern this arouses in some circles merely perpetuates some virgin/whore, elf/orc,
and darkness/light view of life that damns, rather than saves.

I think that as long as people have been recording history, it's been relatively obvious that people achieve the most amazing goals and aspirations, but also that individuals are capable of great error and cruelty. I'll save for another day the "problem of evil". I also will not elaborate on my theory that evil has an objective reality. I want instead to talk about people, and what a mixed bag so many people are.

I think that it's tempting to want to find an unsullied soul.
I notice when I think about an author I admire, his or her professional and personal flaws always come to my mind. It's as though I'm Diogenes, having eschewed honesty as aiming too low, and instead seeking perfection.

But I've noticed that in accounts of people of great courage, great fear almost always gets in the mix. In accounts of great, trailblazing writers, long nights of non-recognition and frustration always ensue. Personal motivators battle depression. Those who wish to be healthy sometimes do just what they believe is anything but healthy.

But tonight I'm thinking that people of good will just pretty much need a cosmic break. Everyone, more or less, completely misses the mark from time to time. Saints have clay feet.
Heroes pale, paragons are sullied. In some instances, archaic definitions of what even constitutes "sin" or "wrong" rise from the grave, like needless ghosts of hellfire past.

But I posit that people of good will have too much on their plate trying to do good to justify hunting for the flawless
"pineapple of perfection". It's not that I'm excusing error.
I just don't see the point of everyone feeling such lack, when there is so much to do.

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