Monday, April 22, 2024

#113 / Thinking About Moby Dick


The wonderful image above, which is from Santa Cruz artist Marie Gabrielle, has put me in mind of Moby Dick, although the whales depicted are quite "local," spouting off right here in Monterey Bay, and not in the South Seas somewhere. That image above, as I suddenly realized when I was writing out that first sentence, can be seen as a kind of visual reference to what I do right here, in this daily blog: "Spout Off." 

In case it is of interest, I do have a close family connection to Moby Dick, Herman Melville's great novel. My wife Marilyn has written extensively about Moby Dick, and it is her argument that Ahab's pursuit of the White Whale is actually intended to refer to a writer's pursuit of that singular written work that both haunts and inspires the writer, but that seems always to elude capture. Click this link if you want to get a fuller argument in support of that reading of Moby Dick.

My posting from Sunday, March 10th, which was, essentially, a fragment of my own writing, and which fragment has just recently resurfaced from the depths of some long-forgotten files, has made me think, rather explicitly, about my own writing, and about what I think I am pursuing in these daily blog postings, which I began publishing on January 1, 2010, and which have appeared, on a daily basis, every day since then. 

I have, metaphorically speaking, been on a long voyage, and perhaps, like Melville, I have been pursuing something more singular than what can be seen in the series of my "spouting off" thoughts that have surfaced in the more than 5,000 blog postings that have appeared right here. As that fragment of my writing said, "I am pretty sure I know some things." 

I think I do know some things, and what I must admit is that I would like to be able to set them down, in some singular form, so others can grasp their import - not as a scattered commentary but in some integrated way, as a piece of writing that can inspire action. 

I believe that we all, individually and collectively, are coming to a testing point. Many perceive that we will confront this testing point in the elections coming up in November of this year. There is truth in that, I think, though I believe that the testing point we are soon to encounter - that we are already encountering, in fact - is greater, and more serious, and more dangerous than the test we will face in our presidential elections. 

I am going to continue pursue the singular thought that both haunts and inspires me - that the time has come to renew the American Revolution, shifting power as significantly as political power was shifted in 1776. 

Can that even be done? I do believe it can. 

I think we need to try. 

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