Beginnings

“Why engage in an activity that I have regarded as narcissistic, therapeutic, self-important, trivial bloviation? Perhaps it is my own narcissism.”

So begins the first blog post by Patrick Deneen, a political theorist whose work I’ve appreciated and whose blog, What I Saw in America, I recommend. I could hardly do better to express my own misgivings and apprehensions. However, Deneen goes on to say,

“Or, I’d like to think that there are things to be said.”

Indeed.  There are things to be said — many things. They are to be said because they are true or good and sometimes also beautiful — or sometimes they are just entertaining. These are hardly ideas that will be original to me. Nor do I believe that they are ideas I will be particularly adept at expressing. My hope is that this blog will point others to the things that ought to be said and to those who are doing an exemplary job of saying them.

The title of this blog is taken from number 213 of Pascal’s Pensees.

“Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.”

That in itself is one of those things that need to be said. Life is the frailest thing in the world, so we must learn to live it well. This is the end of all learning, and it is to that end I hope the things said here will contribute. Deo volente.

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