Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life Happens - a Gross interruption

I don't really get writer's block in the sense of not knowing what to write.

I get life block. The combination of busyness, business, fitness & other "ness"es take over, & suddenly I realize I haven't written anything for over a week. Or two. Or more.

Discipline has always been the dreaded "D" word in my life. The discipline of writing every day has not yet made its way into the elite few things that are my daily habits.

When my writing suffers, my research suffers. And so does my blog.

I think I have a new goal: WRITE EVERY DAY.

As has been said many times, don't worry about getting it right, just get it written.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day - a Gross take on Colonial Times

Arguably, the dawn of the modern era was the most exciting point in our world's history as it relates to the world we now live in.

I believe our colonial heritage is underappreciated in art & literature, which is why it's become my passion to research & write about it.

300 years ago, the world was expanding in more ways than any other time. Our predecessors had discovered key things about religion, astronomy, oceanography, colonization, etc. The accumulation of knowledge and discovery put the world on a fast track to adventure unlike any time before. Suddenly, our globe was vast and conquerable all at once.

One aspect that makes the colonial era so exciting to present day historians is its close proximity to today. In the universal scheme of things, 300 years is a blink of the eye. For historical information about centuries previous, we rely heavily on archeology & architecture. But since the 17th century, we find a lot more written documentation to tell us the stories. And it was written on really good, strong Colonial paper!

Because it was so recent, & we feel we can relate to the people who lived in that era, we sometimes scratch our heads over the behavior of our predecessors in those crucial years. When Columbus discovered the Americas, the world's face began to literally change forever. Faces of countless races disappeared from the planet, & some disappeared from history. Entire nations lost without remembrance.

Every single Indian nation that once populated the Caribbean was wiped out by the Spanish, who also went on to obliterate & dilute the Indians in South & Central America, too. Most of the Indians in North America's southeastern territories fell victim to both Spanish & Anglo colonists, the latter earning a fierce reputation across the entire continent in subsequent years.

The face of the land changed, too. The precious natural gems & metals of the earth were mined ruthlessly from the Americas. Millions of years of God's handiwork stripped out of the earth, leaving a scarred & fragmented landscape.

While much of the damage done in the 16th-18th centuries is undoable, so is the progress it catapulted. Never before was the idea of freedom more perpetuated. Time will continue to test its indomitability.

As we continue to enjoy the freedoms of the New World, we simply can't ignore the historic transition that brought our ancestors out of the Old World.