Welcome to Exploring Life: On the Frontiers of Experience. My name is Brian Alger. I am a poet-philosopher-artist.
My work begins on the frontiers of lived experience and the confluence of subjective situations and circumstances that coalesce into a unique life course. Subjective experience is the origin of seeking something universal. Ultimately, the purpose of my work is to revel in the mystery of being.
A poet ventures deep within personal experience to express something of value in a few words. It is an art form that demands focus, discernment, and clarity. All poets are philosophers because they seek the essence of life through the lens of subjective experience. Finally, the poet-philosopher is also an artist driven by an innate pursuit of creative expression.
Every individual life is utterly unique. It is remarkable that no two people share the same experiences in life. A poet, philosopher, or artist delves into personal experience to discover something remarkable and express it in way that fosters connection with other people. In this sense, deeply subjective experiences contain the seeds of something universal within the human condition.
The frontiers of experience are comprised of the critical thresholds, fundamental change, and transformative events that animate and give character to the individual life course. The decisions we make during important periods become the defining features of our journey through life. We also experience the unexpected and sometimes find ourselves at the mercy of forces we can neither understand nor control. Uncertainty, ambiguity, and hardship are inevitable.
Why this work? There are three reasons. First, during my graduate work in ethnomusicology, I discovered a deep and innate passion for musical creativity, improvisation, and artistry. This provided a significant contrast to my training as a classical pianist. Improvisation is the poetics of sound in real-time. Today, I am learning to improvise the roots, blues, R&B, and funk styles of New Orleans.
The second reason originates in my passion for learning. As a teacher, I was interested in creative approaches to learning. I openly opposed the sterile, bureaucratic, and industrialized methods of the education system. I left education when I recognized that the system was designed to prevent fundamental change.
I was an entrepreneur for most of my career. Business did offer more creative potential, but it was also a cold, transactional world driven by profitability. However, the business world taught me a great deal about the stress of work, the economy, and the forces behind the systematic destruction of nature.
Exploring Life is a website dedicated to the final third of my life. Today, I create because I feel compelled to do so, not to follow a plan. As I approach my sixtieth year, I feel a deep abiding urgency to honor the things that I care about, such as friendship, wellbeing, and spirituality.