Down At The River

I’m drawn to the dark stuff. Part of that is my childhood, Kurt Cobain ripping back the veil of cock rock and patronizing pop music, and part of that is just a natural inclination to want to see the world in its entirety.

Not the stuff that’s truly horrific, though I don’t shy away from knowing about it. It’s important to understand things like the holocaust or animal abuse because it helps you to understand how bad things can get if we’re not diligent.

I don’t like the positivity trend, particularly in business, where it’s expected people will only ever focus on the positive. To me, that’s only half the coin, and in very practical terms, creates environments where dissent is looked upon as negativity, even when that dissent points out serious issues that need to be addressed. Pure positivity is how you get a culture of yes men and groupthink.

That said, negativity can be hard to defend, until I found a Tao Te Ching quote about how people are obsessed with elevation and looking high, but we can plant crops or live in the air. All we can do is fall. Rivers cut deep and create valleys, but those valleys are fertilized around the river, and that’s where we live and feed. We can always look up, but if we fall, it’s not from such a great height.

That’s the perfect metaphor for where I live philosophically and in my writer’s life. It’s why what I write is dark and philosophical. There’s an undercurrent of independence and joy, but it doesn’t, like pop music, create a false appearance to back it up.

More truth, less criticism. More reality, less sugarcoating.

Like the river. Cut deep, feed everything around you. Low, not high. Among the people, not above them.

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