Tuesday, July 04, 2006


As a refugee of one of the (alas, no longer) best message boards on the Internet, I decided to strike out on my own and create this blog. This is my page, on which I can trumpet my joys, my woes, my steadfast opinions, my unapologetic positions on this and that, without being heckled and jeered at by anybody who does not like the colour of my eyes or the shape of my mind or the insistence of my identity. It feels odd, this surge of rebellious energy. The “rebellious” modifier, in this context, does not imply any inclination for revolutions on my part but rather is used to imply defiance of an anxiety. Like a child whistling in the dark.

In starting this blog, I’m trying to dispel a certain feeling of loneliness and alienation. Hoping that what others, and I, say on these pages will somehow touch other minds.

I once imagined what it must be like to spend a night alone on a mountain. You can't sleep for fear of the night noises and the solitariness so you sit up and light a little candle, to chase away some of the darkness. And as you sit there, you suddenly perceive from afar other tiny flickering lights, there and there and there. So you may be alone on that mountain but you know you are not alone in an absolute way.

There is a song by Bruce Cockburn (“Loner”) which speaks to this lonesomeness:

"Wild shadows, acid verbs
Eyelids opening dans mon coeur
Tu me touche comme la pression
Des etoiles sur les tenebres*

In the elevator and the empty hall
How am I ever going to hear you when you call"

(You touch me like the stars
press down on the darkness)

What can stars do? They let out faint light that can hardly be of any use (except inspire poets and painters) but they do touch us in a tender way. A touchless touch. Just like these conversations on the Internet.

More about me and I and other Contentious Centrists,
in the following days and weeks.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this poem to read, enjoy and ponder. It may be considered as the poetical prop upon which this blog will take shape:

Bloom—is Result—to meet a Flower
And casually glance
Would scarcely cause one to suspect
The minor Circumstance
Assisting in the Bright Affair
So intricately done
Then offered as a Butterfly
To the Meridian—
To pack the Bud—oppose the Worm—
Obtain its right of Dew—
Adjust the Heat—elude the Wind—
Escape the prowling Bee
Great Nature not to disappoint
Awaiting Her that Day—
To be a Flower, is profound

PS. I invite anyone who is interested in making an opinion to visit this blog’s Message Boards and post there. Particularly interesting and brilliant comments will be posted here, with the proper attribution.

To all Americans, everywhere,
Happy Birthday, America!


At 6:45 AM EDT, Blogger Sumariel said...

In hopes that this lands in the right area, good morning, Noga, how wonderful to see a blog beginning!! Let us hope this works and we have conversation without hassle again!!!!! Love it!
Suzi (Sumariel)

At 12:02 AM EDT, Blogger Sumariel said...

Hi, my brother and SIL have dial up, so have been getting on the web only long enough to check my email and off again, had hoped to see this blog fly, and was looking for some commentary on the Mideast. Know that my prayers are very much with Israel at this point, would value your input, Noga, on what is going on over there. Hope you and family are, as always, doing well.

At 5:16 AM EDT, Blogger Sumariel said...


Hopefully, this link will come through intact.the authoress, Rebecca Goldstein, has some great commentary on the relevance of the events surrounding the excommunication of philosopher Baruch Spinoza from his community. As his plea is reason, rather than some form of certainty that one knows that one has the "skinny" on God, it most definitely feels relevant to the middle east today.

See what you think Noga, something to think about?


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