Sunday, March 20, 2005

Deep Breath

After about a year of contemplation, I have decided to do it -- start a Blog. It's strange to think of these words being posted in a "public" kind of space, read by people who don't know me -- don't even know who I am. Why are you reading this? (Why have I read others' blogs?) What (if anything) will develop from my taking this step?

So, why I am writing this? Who am I and what is my own purpose?

It seems appropriate that I should start with a little introduction.

I am a recently tenured professor at a small liberal arts college, still reeling a bit from the intensity of the tenure-review process, and struggling to define and hold onto a positive vision of who I would like to be. I call myself "Contemplative Scholar" because it expresses this vision of myself that I find so hard to maintain in the midst of a complex, busy, and demanding life. Even though it seems that academia should be a context in which it is still possible to be contemplative, in fact, it is very hard. But I seek a deep centeredness, a stance of clarity, compassion, and strength from which to live my life and meet the various challenges that face me. And I want to engage in meaningful research and scholarship that will address some of the pressing problems our world faces today.

I entitle this Blog "Embracing Complexity" because, after a long time of trying over and over again to simplify my life, I finally realized that this quest put me in a fundamentally adversarial relationship with the rich diversity of my own interests and the complexity of my own mind (not to mention the complexity of life in today's world). So I was always fighting. And I didn't want to be always fighting -- I wanted to find peace. One day I realized that an attitude change might be helpful. Will I be more successful at finding peace with myself and the world if, instead of trying to force myself into simplicity, I decided to try to learn how to embrace complexity?

I don't think I am alone in these kinds of struggles. This is why I've decided to start a blog. It will be interesting to see what happens from here.

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