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  • Senses of certainty and senses of place

       November 16, 2008

    One of the many things that made so many people so uncomfortable with George W. Bush is his sense of sureness. Oddly enough, these same people seem perfectly content with Barack Obama's own sense of certainty. To me, it's just a good leadership trait. Leaders should know where they're going, right? They may be taking us in the wrong direction, but at least they're decisive. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, in any moment of decision the best thing you can do is go the right way, the next best thing to do is go the wrong way, and the worst thing you can do is drive around in circles.

    I was thinking about having that sense of certainty because of a poem a friend of mine just wrote called "Lost in the City":

    When they began to circle
    Watching, soaring for days
    She was not surprised

    When the hawk came closer,
    talons open
    piercing her flesh
    Lifting her up

    She went without a shriek
    accepting and willing
    knowing they would come

    Both of us have recently moved to a bigger city and we struggle with not having that sense of certainty or sense of place. We don't belong to this place. But it's not about this city in particular. It's about any city. I feel certainty and peace and complete on the water. It doesn't matter if that's a lake in the middle of town or out in the big waters of Lake Superior. That's just me. I have a sense of sureness about the wind and the waves that I'll never feel walking downtown or navigating the interstate. Maybe if this whole internet thing works out I could be like Shreve Stockton and work out of a cabin somewhere (sans coyote).

    There are millions of Americans just like me. I laugh at the media's bewildered observations of us. We're not hicks, we're just not the same. I'm continually amazed by the lack of tolerance and diversity expressed by the alleged keepers of tolerance and diversity. It all comes back to that sense of certainty. They know their views are the right ones. They know what's best for us. They're sure of it. And if you don't agree, you're not just different, you're wrong.

    Posted by at November 16, 2008 09:39 AM

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