So we begin
“Thus reader, I am myself the matter of my book; you would be unreasonable to spend your time on so frivolous and vain a subject. So farewell.”
Michel de Montaigne wrote this at the opening of his monumental book, Essais (Attempts.) I wonder how seriously he meant that. What do I know?
But here we are. In the face of widening understanding of the web of interdependence and the vast forces of the universe bearing down on us from all sides, I find myself wondering what to do about it all. The honest answer is not much, IF one only considers the big picture. The other honest answer is plenty. I’ll go with plenty, even if it only means that I exchange pleasantries with a stranger, or add a dollar to my bill when a local store asks for a donation to a worthy cause, or decide to crochet a star blanket for a neighbor’s grandbaby.
Not that this lets me off the cosmic hook. I’m on it. I know that. And I’m well aware that this is ground covered fully by the great thinkers over the millennia. But Montaigne’s the man! He said: I’ll write about myself, that’s the one topic upon which I can claim more expertise than others! and undammed an eternally deepening river of personal essays, in which we all have learned to fish.
And I invite the many and varied denizens of the Pamelapolis to join me in this endeavor! Write about yourself! Everyday happenings, random observations, precious insights, here’s a place for them. I’ll read them! And you’ll have a handy link to share your work with whomever you wish.
And expect to encounter Montaigne, or at least, my own essais as I try to sort out what he means to me today, in my particular corner of existence.