Summer’s the Worst (Video)

Something light and cool and bittersweet as the wet electric blanket of the Alabama summer enwraps us.

And, yes, I’ve posted a different video of this song before, at the beginning of another summer.  Hard to know the song, live here and not hear it in your head as summer descends.

Returning to Work

Teaching has preoccupied me lately, as well as welcome visitors and travelling.  My son is playing Tom in Gatsby; I travelled to see him in it this weekend.  Good show.  Wonderful to see my son’s continued growth as an actor.  He works hard at it.

But I haven’t been working hard around here lately.  I simply have too much writing to do off-site to spend much time on the blog.  I am going to try to budget my time better in the next few weeks.  Thanks as always for reading and especially for your comments.

Dog Pause

Sorry to have left things hanging with Browning and Kierkegaard.  I rescued a dog last week and have been busy working with him, getting him used to my routine and to the house rules and to proper etiquette on a leash, etc.  I expect to get back to work here soon.  Besides the B & K, I plan to say a bit about Rush Rhees and the idea of conversation, and about Husserl on psychologism (both topics currently under discussion in my Plato seminar).

My new dog is Bane.

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Happy Anniversary!

Two years ago I began this blog, sitting here, as I am now, at my parent’s home in southern Ohio.  Much has changed for me in that time and much remains the same.  I began serious reading of Montaigne and Marcel and Merleau-Ponty; I kept working on Wittgenstein and Frege.  This blog has been my commonplace book and my testing ground as I have struggled to knead the new into the old, to find my way through a ubiquitous change–not so much of what I believe philosophically, but of how I believe it.  I have made plenty of false starts.  I have written quite a bit of–well, why shrink from it?–crap.  Still, the blog has been of great use to me, primarily because of those among you who have been reading and responding, helping me along.  –I don’t plan to go anywhere.  There’s still so much to think about.

Save the Gnu’s Room! (Local Plea)

I have sometimes mentioned the Gnu’s Room here, a non-profit arts/bookstore/coffeeshop that is the epicenter of much that is worthwhile in Auburn.  The Philosophy Department series, Philosophy at the Gnu’s Room, takes place there and has for the last three years or more.  Now the Gnu’s Room, despite all its good works, is having financial trouble.  If you have a connection to the place and would like to see it continue to exist, go to Kickstarter and pledge something, even if just a couple of dollars.  You can also find out more about the Gnu’s Room, its current predicament, and its future plans on the site.

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A Poetry session at the Gnu’s Room. I am lurking in the back, insofar as someone as big as a barn can ever be said to ‘lurk’.

There and Back Again Again

I am now home, after getting home Sunday (flight problems left us grounded a night in Amsterdam), sleeping, driving to the beach, listening to papers, giving my urban sprawling what-the-hell? essay on Sellars, listening to papers, driving back home, and finally really and truly getting home.  I am now back in my office, prepping to begin the Seven Deadly Sins.  I am tired–but not complaining.  It’s been a wonderful and exhausting month.  Good to be home again again.

Recent Work and Time Away

I have been trying to keep the blog’s heart beating even while my attention has been focused elsewhere.  I am currently trying to finish drafting a new essay on Sellars (and Husserl) on perceptual consciousness; I am prepping to write an invited essay on the Frege chapter of A. W. Moore’s massive The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics, and I am putting finishing touches on talks I am due to give in France starting in a few days (on Emerson/Montaigne and on Wittgenstein).  Expect things to be very slow here for most of May, since I will be in France and likely too busy to keep up the blog.  Once I return, and after I give the Sellars paper late in May, things should smooth out, and I hope to return the blog to more focused discussions of the sort that characterized it in its early days.  –As always, thanks to everyone who stops by–and especially to all those who comment!  I consider you my teachers.

Selah: Pause, and Think of That

I appreciate folks sticking around through the holidays and my long absence–near absence–from the blog.  I have just about gotten the writing projects I had looming into manageable shape, and so I hope to get back to more usual posting sometime early in January.  I imagine my pace will still be slow:  among other things, I will be teaching a phenomenology seminar and that is likely to be a serious drain on my time and energy.  Still, I will be able perhaps to do some writing that will be fitting both for here and for class.

I’ve been lucky to have had the community of other bloggers and commentators I have had.  I have learnt a lot from all of you and, as I have often said, I am getting the better of this bargain.  I hope we can continue discussion into the new year; I wish all of you the best!

The blog has had 40,000 views since I started it.  I have no idea if that is comparatively an impressive number.  But it certainly impresses me, especially when I think back to the day in Ohio when I first thought to start a blog, and wondered if I would have anything to say on it, really, and whether anyone would find it useful in any way.

Trials, Thomas and Tree

I am currently trying to get some writing done–or, more strictly and honestly, I have been trying to get myself to try to get some writing done. It’s been a while since I have felt more distant from the beginning of productive writing. Part of it is the lingering fatigue of the term, I guess; but part of it is a recently settled conviction of emptiness, of having nothing to say, or of not having powers adequate to saying whatever it is I have to say (read this last as a comment on the worthlessness of my powers, not the worthiness of whatever it is I have to say). Oh, well; I’ll get over it. Perhaps the best bet is to just get over the fatigue, and then to see how I need to address the conviction, if I still do.

In the meantime, I have been reading books on St. Thomas and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, usually doing both at once. I hope to teach a course, Concepts and Judgments in Thomism, next fall, and I am trying to get some of the initial blocking-out of ideas done, so that my understanding can ripen over the spring and summer. Here’s a particularly nice line from St. Thomas: “The good of the intellect and its natural end is knowledge of the truth. False judgments in the acts of the intellect are as monsters in nature, which are not according to nature but accidental to the nature.” Monsters! –As for the Hallmark movies, they’ve been mostly light and entertaining and holidaydreamy. Enough, I reckon, to stir the water of the mind without muddying it.

Thanks to my wife and my daughter, our Christmas tree is up and deserving of contemplation. The stockings are hung, and my wife has located both her kerchief and my cap. I enjoy the holiday.

Now for a series of long winter’s naps. Talk to you again in ’13.

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