The poison in our standing water

William Blake, The Book of Job (Wikimedia Commons)

Today, you can read my latest column for the Minnesota Reformer. The essay is entitled, “The poison in our standing water.” My work continues to transform as I ingest untold quantities of historical research for my book “Power in the Wilderness,” which I hope to finish quite soon. This piece analyzes Range history, Facebook’s power over our lives, and the eclectic works of British pre-Romantic poet and artist William Blake. You know, the usual.

Here’s a taste:

In some bohemian coffee shop you might find a lively argument about who is more unusual, the poet or the artist. But poets and artists might agree that few were stranger than the British poet-artist William Blake. He had prophetic visions, greeted guests to his home in the nude, and believed that he had daily conversations with the dead. Even sexual deviants of his time agreed that Blake was a bit much. 

And yet his work was groundbreaking and otherworldly. Anyone who believes in the spiritual realm could see that Blake was tapped into it.

In a complex poem about the struggle between God and the Devil, Blake once wrote, “Expect poison from the standing water.” Now, this is literal truth for anyone who studies hydrology. But Blake actually meant standing water of the human mind. We grow stubborn in our opinions. And this invariably poisons us.

Read the rest at the Minnesota Reformer.


  1. Excellent essay. Your writing continues to evolve remarkably.

    Facebook is a strange and wonderful thing. I don’t think any of us can really predict with confidence where “social media” is going.

  2. Dawnette Davis says

    A very moving piece, Aaron.

  3. Joe musich says

    I like your lead imagery better then the Refomer’s photo illustration. Before I can forgive I have to understand. That requires one to make every effort to put themselves in the shoes of the other party. I would say very few don’t do that. On social media you the viewer is looking at images and comments that are intentionally there to provoke. Bannon is known for his comment regarding flooding the field with shite. I get that you are saying that one needs not respond to everything until the entire big picture is in view. Small minds are always present as was said in your piece. I would still argue that FB etc needs much more regulation. As to trying to grasp the other side, I visited a doctor for an issue this week. Up until AAA there were over 30,000,000 people without healthcare. Those people were on their own. The lack of healthcare is a scar on our social structure. But my point is did that condition help create the anger we see coming from a certain portion of our society today ? Have people turned against what some say are the values of this nation because the nation was not there when they needed them to be helping ? I surely do not know. But is does help put into perspective that possible the Frankie mess was created.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.