My mother died in August, 2000. In December of that year, I wrote an article about her life and sent it in to the Ottawa Citizen. To my everlasting surprize and gratitude, they immediately responded and published 'Enie' on Christmas Eve. 'Enie,' and a related 2006 piece published in the National Post, fermented in my weird brain and together are the foundation for Lament for Spilt Porter, a non-fiction book to be published late in 2018. And not being able to leave well enough alone, I've started writing a follow-up book whose working title is Inarticulate Speech of the Heart.
I like to think of the title less as a Van Morrison rip-off, than a poignant distillation of the human condition. The unoriginal questions-- that we all have to work out-- are these: Are we to mute the inarticulate speech of our wailing hearts, and swallow the fiction that distraction, denial and the creeping nihilism of modernity are what this life has to offer? Though the social forces screaming to mute us are over-whelming today, we all still have to square nihilistic death with our actual lives. Can it really be that the well-spring of love, beauty, passion and wonder that pulse within us, are nothing? If so, why do we stroll as if life is but a dream? and if not, why do we not shout from the hill tops, 'there is so much denied, and I'm not going to take it anymore!'
My hunch is that for all the passive acceptance of the vocal, modern, aggressive--progressive Atheist majority, people's private logic is subversively unsettled. The social conformity and passive acceptance of our coming oblivion uttered at 3 p.m., gives way to the inexplicable fear and wonder of our waking dreams at 3 a.m. Maybe our demons are trying to tell us something. Maybe we have a choice to reject modern nihilism for something else. I happen to believe that the small, pathetic story of our lives -- our many flaws, as well as astonishing examples of lives well lived-- are where wisdom of the ages resides. On this blog I will reflect this theme with a selection of writings, some written, some from the two books mentioned, and most to be torturously conceived in the coming months.