New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Near-Death Experiences

October 04, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Missy Beattie

To Bee or Not to Bee…

by Missy Beattie

I have a neighbor, F, here in the Kingdom of Cross Words (and puzzling entanglements), who’s been depressed and medicated off and on for months.  The genesis of his anguish is twisted adoration for a female who clutches him closely and then hurls him away with language and equivocation that would send most in the direction of sanity. Seems this woman-like object holding the deed to F’s underwater soul has torture down to an artistic science. And despite my disdain for his willingness to accept abuse, F and I have managed to talk each other up, and by up, I mean elevated from death wishes. Plus, he tolerates my radical political views without recoiling or criticizing.

Recently, F announced he had a story for me. I thought perhaps he was going to report that sunlight’s truth had illuminated his sensibilities as well as his sensitivities and that finally he’d used the word he and his fixation once selected to signal THE END.  But no. (more…)

Works in Progress

February 02, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Robert C. Koehler

Participating in Our Lives and Histories

by Robert C. Koehler

I’m sitting in my daughter’s Baltimore apartment thinking about works in progress. This city is a work in progress and its pockets of vibrancy delight me, partly because, like my own hometown, Detroit, it is too frequently written off in the national mindset as broken, dying — above all, an undesirable place to live.

My apolitical thought on this rainy January afternoon is this: Shatter in your own mind the prejudgments of popular culture, the grinning media dictates of who or what is in and who or what is out. Shatter also any notion of what you can and can’t do.

My daughter the artist. I spent the day at the art school she attends, sat in with the students doing oil painting – painted my first egg. The experience was a stunning exercise in the observation of light and shadow, and the instructor joyously allowed me to be a beginner. I was able to participate.

The physicist David Bohm and others have used the term “participatory consciousness,” which I take to mean the awareness that no truth is complete or solid or locked into place without us. (more…)

The Spiritual Jackpot

December 15, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Robert C. Koehler

Transforming Western Culture with Indigenous Consciousness

by Robert C. Koehler

The topic was “Indians of the Midwest” and the professor was knowledgeable and conveyed serious respect for Native culture, but something kept gnawing at me as she talked.

There are two types of Indian stereotypes, she said — the negative (the ignorant savage, the abductor of white women, etc.) and the romantic (woo-woo, New Agey, let’s play Indian, “go ’Skins!”) — and left it at that, implying, OK, if you are non-Native, the best attitude to strike is a certain respectful distance, neither denigrating the culture nor seizing hold of it like an idiot. If you want more, attend lectures and look at the artifacts on display behind glass cases, but DO NOT TOUCH. (more…)

It Goes Without Saying

July 18, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Politics, Randall Amster

Articulating a New Narrative in the Shell of the Old

by Randall Amster

It goes without saying … that we take the greater portion of this world as we find it, not as we might like it to be. In this sense, we primarily play the roles of resigned participant or cynical observer where conscience exists, and where it does not the outcome is often manifested in terms of either willful neglect or conspicuous consumption. A relative though not insignificant few in every era will take up the thankless and unscripted task of confronting the status quo in an attempt to turn harsh realities into humane alternatives. Still, despite such efforts, it goes without saying that the impetus for positive change is seemingly outstripped by the rate of ongoing decay. (more…)