Where the future isAfter all

Where the future is

After all my frantic writing and pursuing of news this weekend, a little quiet reading and absorbing. Reading that some might think depressing – but to me it’s dipping into an abyss and coming out refreshed and whole and strong. Taking the plunge wholeheartedly renews; edging around nervously trying not to fall in is stressful.

Because you are human beings you are going to meet failure. You are going to meet disappointment, injustice, betrayal, and irreparable loss. You will find you’re weak where you thought yourself strong. You’ll work for possessions and then find they possess you. You will find yourself – as I know you already have – in dark places, alone, and afraid.

What I hope for you, for all my sisters and daughters, brothers and sons, is that you will be able to live there, in the dark place. To live in the place that our rationalizing culture of success denies, calling it a place of exile, uninhabitable, foreign.

In our society, women have lived, and have been despised for living, the whole side of life that includes and takes responsibility for helplessness, weakness, and illness, for the irrational and the irreparable, for all that is obscure, passive, uncontrolled, animal, unclean – the valley of the shadow, the deep, the depths of life. All that the Warrior denies and refuses is left to us and the men who share it with us and therefore, like us, can’t play doctor, only nurse; can’t be warriors, only civilians; can’t be chiefs, only indians.

I hope you are never victims, but I hope that you have no power over other people. And when you fail, and are defeated, and in pain, and in the dark, then I hope you will remember that darkness is your country, where you live, where no wars are fought and no wars are won, but where the future is. Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country.

– Ursula K. Le Guin, A Left-handed Commencement Address

I was happy when Octavio Paz finally won the Nobel; when Le Guin wins it I’ll be a hundred times happier.

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