Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cornel West and the funk of life

My friend, Kim Satchell, showed me this clip the other day. Thanks Satch!

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I love this approach to thinking about life, relationship, experience, culture, and love. In particular, I love the way he is open to the mess of things - the funk - and all the heartbreak and complexity that entails. Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm all 'Bring on the heartbreak! Bring on the pain!', because I'm totally not. I want to avoid that shit as much as I can. But I also recognise that if you are going to live a life then that stuff is going to come at you, so you might as well have some way of making sense of it. Or at least, to find a way though it.

And of course that means seeing yourself within all of that - for taking responsibility for your place in the mess of relationships, of culture, of difficulties. Seeing your place in this stuff lets you learn something from it, even if that something is simply 'Well, I won't do that again'. Like Mr West here, I don't think that living an examined life is self-indulgent or about navel-gazing. Instead it's about learning and growing and trying to do better. About being grateful for things, about leaving the other things behind.

Or maybe all this just makes me feel better about lingering so long on thinking through every single thing in my life...?

Anyway, this clip is part of a documentary by Astra Taylor, Examined Life, which you can find out more about over here.

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