I continue to be swamped with overdue homework for my screenwriting course, and blogging has been coming in a poor second behind that imperative. This morning two other activities took precedent to my course.
Yesterday afternoon in the mailroom I talked to a neighbour who is older than I am, if you can believe it. He had a bandage on his forehead and a black eye and swollen cheek. He’s on a walker for stability but even so, he had fallen and suffered these injuries. So this morning before I sat down to do my SU (Screenwriting University) homework, I made muffins, and delivered them warm from the oven. He was on the computer, studying up on Dying With Dignity. That discussion will have to wait for another day.
The second priority for the day is you, me, my blog and I. Too many random thoughts are flitting by without due consideration. You know that old line, by a writer, of course: “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” I must put my mental finger on my psychic pulse or I will lose focus. I still owe myself a few reviews from my recent theatre tour and I will do them before their immediacy fades, and then there’s a growing list of words I must look up, with your indulgence.
But we are all aware of what’s been going on in our world and I reacted with the expected emotions. But I am not enraged, despondent, hopeless or cynical about these sad events. I re-read (parts of – no time for the whole) the book by the Canadian-American Harvard College Professor of Psychology , Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011), and I am- not comforted, exactly, but – heartened by it.. Granted, as Sean O’Casey’s Paycock put it, the world is in “a state of chassis”, but we muzzy on and if Pinker and his compendium of statistics are to be believed, we are getting better - less bloody?
Hard to believe. But he challenges us to understand our inner demons that lead us into the temptation of violence and our better angels that steer us away. The fact is that many people who are shocked and repelled are also protesting and laying flowers and teddy bears on grave/death sites of strangers and aliens in our midst who happen to be like us, that is, human beings, the same species.
Pinker: “Yet while this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, that species has also found ways to bring the numbers down, and allow a greater and greater proportion of humanity to live in peace and die of natural causes.”
And then? Well, we have to discuss Dying With Dignity. Not today.