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Birthday Check-in From the Other Side

perhaps a monster no longer

Birthday Check-in From the Other Side

From the other side of the world, from the other side of thirty-nine years, I salute my then-new mother on the other side of her hard labor.

From the other side of the screen, you--dear reader--come to this blog to see what's new. Sometimes there's a new post every time you check; other times, all is static for a month at a time. Perhaps that unchanged front-page post each time is no less fresh/novel/new than the parade of new posts.

From the other other side, I am still here, I am working hard, I am in material precarity but trusting in divine guidance.

So, what else is new?

Publication in The Georgia Review

sending words out into the world

Publication in The Georgia Review

An essay by Ela Harrison titled "My Heart Lies in the Choice Between "The Fleet" and "All the Ships"" appears in the current (Winter 2015) edition of The Georgia Review. Harrison's previous publications have included poetry, book reviews, nutrition and food writing, blogging, and academic writing and translations. This is her first extended essay to see publication.

And what a prestigious venue for publication! Prestigious, yes, but also exquisitely apt, both for the essay and for the writer, as you'll see. Likewise, an apt subject for the first post of 2016 on this blog, with its recurrent preoccupations about words, time, and transition.

Rumi's Urs

spirituality without religion

Rumi's Urs

Today, December 17th, is the 742nd anniversary of Rumi's death. The Sufi community celebrates loved ones' or heroes' death days, or urs, with informal but intentional gatherings in celebration of the life and to reflect on how that life lives on in our own lives. So tonight was different from the normal Thursday night Sufi gatherings.

We shared our favorite Rumi poems, we squeezed a couple of Dances of Universal Peace into the narrow confines of the Little Chapel, we did a couple of zikr practices and a carefully contained dervish whirl.

Interesting to reflect on Rumi's perennial appeal and what an apt representative he is of what we call Sufism.

What is a Key?

chasing words around

What is a Key?

Have you ever felt your fingers typing away on a keyboard, watching the words and occasional typos show up on the screen, and thought how no words would appear if there were no keyboard under the fingers? That "typing" would be mere tapping without the keys, but that you could make exactly those movements of your hands, with the same intent to send words and sentences to the screen, mapping the qwerty-map onto your knees or a tabletop?

Black and White, Porch-Shopping, and Bookworms

white is black's black

Black and White, Porch-Shopping, and Bookworms

Every term implies its opposite. Which is why the theory of positive affirmations, the assertion that the subconscious never hears "no" and so you must use positive language, is oversimplified. Rich  contains the imagining of poorlose contains the imagining of gain (and vice versa); always contains the imagining of fleeting.

Yes, yin-yang.

Yes, Heraclitus.

And so it isn't surprising that having just been writing about surrender, when Black Friday rolled around all I could think about was white flags.

Shift, Size, and Surrender

and the gratitude that makes movement possible

Shift, Size, and Surrender

I used to think this only referred to "other people":

Prolonged/habitual dieting will inevitably lead to rebound hyperphagia (insatiable hunger) and accelerated weight gain, until a healthy weight is restored.

 *See the bottom of this post for some sources

I really believed I was a special case. That was never going to be me. Even less me was the accompanying idea that this extra weight would cause the person to feel so much better that soon she wouldn't mind it.

Then, this past 18 months, it happened to me.  "What's constant is the shift..." But how am I going to move through this shift?

Is There Such a Thing as a Missed Opportunity?

on dream jobs and the ocean of possibility

Is There Such a Thing as a Missed Opportunity?

A couple of weeks ago I learned that what I had considered a dream job--an assistant editorship at The Georgia Review, where I had the honor and delight to intern a couple years ago--had come up, been advertised, and been filled. And I hadn't been paying attention in the appropriate direction and had known nothing about it.

The very next day, a friend forwarded me a link advertising that the Tree of Life health retreat center is hiring for a raw chef. Cheffing at "The Tree" was another of my dream jobs. And I'm not even thinking of applying--now is not remotely the time, and now is the only time.

What does this say about the quality of my "dreams" when it comes to jobs?

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