I came late to the atheist fold and as a confirmed and ardent believer I kept my head firmly in the sand for too long. I lived that foolish duality that accepted faith and nonsense and unreason while clinging to the rationality that made me an excellent scientist. Oh how I wish I had the blinkers removed much earlier. how much more i could have done and been.
It was late, recently, that i really discovered Christopher Hitchens.
This post is rushed to get some thoughts out before they fully cloud my brain for the day. Hitchens is dead - just yesterday. Too young. Hitch-22 and Arguably are on my list of books for 2012. I wanted to read them when he was alive - I didn't know his end was so close; I have been woefully distracted this year.
"Lunch—dinner, drinks, any occasion—with Christopher always was [bracing]. One of our lunches, at Café Milano, the Rick’s Café of Washington, began at 1 P.M., and ended at 11:30 P.M. At about nine o’clock (though my memory is somewhat hazy), he said, “Should we order more food?” I somehow crawled home, where I remained under medical supervision for several weeks, packed in ice with a morphine drip. Christopher probably went home that night and wrote a biography of Orwell. His stamina was as epic as his erudition and wit."
I miss writing.
New Year's Resolutions are often a feeble waste of effort and simply reflect a fear of mortality and wasted time. However, the Catholic guilt is deeply written into my soul and so I still make them. Faith and Works etc.
PZ Myers sums it up for me perfectly:
"As atheists, I think none of us can find solace in the cliches or numbness in the delusion of an afterlife. Instead, embrace the fierce strong emotions of anger and sorrow, feel the pain, rage against the darkness, fight back against our mortal enemy Death, and live exuberantly while we can. Confront mortality clear-eyed and pugnacious, uncompromising and aggressive."
This year's is simple: Write More, Write Well, Write for the sheer pugnacious joy of the words.