Friday, February 8, 2013

The Mind of Winter and the Conservative Brain

Where do our most deep seated political convictions come from?  Our parents, habit, life experience, gut, influence, media messages?  Are they tainted by robocalls?  Is it our reptilian brain or rational brain that has the most sway?  Can we be fooled by images of 'presence' in candidates that portray honesty, gravitas, intelligence which suggest perfection?  And can these thoughts move us from being a deep-seated believer in the ideology of our party if the conditions are right?  

Are Canadians capable of moving from being liberal in mind and political affiliation to conservative at heart as the harper government would like to transform us to be?

The answer lies in the wisdom of the cryptic Snow Man poem an apt metaphor for what's at the heart of being Canadian.  And it isn't really an answer I can provide but rather what you take from it yourself.  Sorry, if you're disappointed.  You'll have to use your brain the get at the answers for how and why you vote.

The Snow Man

by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
Ok, I lied.  Even though the snowman is stark, staring, intransigent, I think he's in a good place because he is what he is.  And the person who identifies with him gains some solace in knowing that there's some permanence there.  To me, politics may be a messy, dirty, unscrupulous game run by weasels who don't deserve to be there, there are some who can make it a better place. 

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