Wednesday, December 5, 2007

premier ramblings

I was born about 120 miles from the geographic center of the continental United States. Among many things this infers (not the least of which is a stereotypical lack of "culture") is that I inhabit an agrarian land. The soil and climate around this particular place lend themselves to corn. Characteristics of the environs include small towns, multiple bars, healthy elderly people, long vowels, hard -r's, Republicans, Roosevelt Democrats, football, diseased elm trees and a whole host of other important things. You wouldn't expect to find a fixture of North Italian/Lombard Romanesque architecture in the middle of a cornfield. Yet, that is what one may find in Seward NE- courtesy of Sinclair Hille Architects and the Knights of Columbus. Sadly, "Campanile in the Cornfield" is not likely to arouse the interest of individuals interested in either of the two. People interested in campaniles (free standing bell-towers adjacent to churches) tend to not care about corn and people interested in corn tend to have not the foggiest idea what in the dickens a campanile happens to be (much less care). After considering this I find myself disturbed by the sudden realization that we live in a frustrating world. I can't ever quite make things as I wish. I might venture to say that on the whole things will never be perfect- frustratingly close, perhaps, but nevertheless falling short. Goodness, how novel!- a fallen world (or somehow 'cosmically disoriented' if it pleases you). Don't worry though, everyone has a solution! Reagonomics, organic food, Communism, and lead-free toys. (anecdotal evidence- when I was very small I chewed on a windowsill covered in lead paint. Nothing happened). No, I can't waste my time mentally drilling too deep into the semantic quibbles of others- that takes masochistic fortitude that could only end up launching me into the far reaches of pretentious elitism. If I read every piece of philosophical literature ever written and discovered, perchance, a feasible solution to the world's problems I would be, by that point, so hopelessly irrelevant, that I may as well have never wasted my time. This is, incidentally, why I don't plan to resume being a philosophy major anytime soon and very much a part of why I loved the recent blockbuster "No Country for Old Men." But more on this later! I am content to bask in the minute irregularities and subtle joys of life (I'm thinking "Dappled Things" by Gerard Manley Hopkins...) And then I turn on the TV- Presidential Election campaign ads. My head splits. So, off it goes and me as well. I listen to Rachmaninoff's "Bogoroditse Devo" as it snows at 2 am. I recalibrate. He was always a Romantic, even long after the "Emancipation of the Dissonance"- old fashioned music, like Widor 1920, but beautiful nonetheless. I'm glad I came home to music. It can give peace, like God's, if for a moment.

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