Friday, December 26, 2008

Comfort and Joy

Good writing is good thinking. In order to be a good writer, one must have organized thoughts and an idea of how to traverse those thoughts in order to reach a point that is already predetermined in the mind. Not being able to think well impedes the process. This I believe is the nature of writer's block. It's something I've experienced periodically. I hate it when I can't think straight. It makes me uneasy and frazzled.

At Burning Man there's a camp known as Comfort and Joy. In 2007, a young man who was deeply depressed chose to take his life there by hanging himself from their dome structure. Nobody from the camp knew him, but that didn't make it any less tragic. The message boards after the burn were filled at first with messages from the young man's friends who lost track of him on the playa, and then with messages of support and sympathy from the rest of the community.

This year, "tidings of comfort and joy" have taken on significant meaning. As I see those around me beginning to struggle in this economy, desperately grasping for a sense of security, I can't help but wish tidings of comfort and joy. It's fundamental to what we really need and want. Comfort in knowing that we can make it through this crisis. Joy in the things we do have. Comfort in our own shrewdness and capabilities. Joy in our ability to employ them for the benefit of those we care for. Contrary to one sad soul's demise, Comfort and Joy is not a place to succumb to burdens or adversity. Comfort and Joy is the place we go to confront them; a place to organize ideas in one's mind in such a way that everything makes sense. And even if it doesn't make sense, at least we hope for such a place for others. So, to my friends and whomever else may come across these words, I wish good tidings of Comfort and Joy in the New Year. It's the best wish I can imagine right now.

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