a tour of this blog (as opposed to a blog tour)
Happy New Year, one and all!
I'm always saying that January 1st is an arbitrary time for a new start (e.g. back in this very old post).
But it is a new calendar year (how long will it take you to remember to put "15" instead of "14" when writing the date?), and it's also a time when there's a lot of collective energy around renewal, resolution, review, referral.
Blogs are great representatives for this blend of review and resolution, looking backward and forward. Unlike a static website, a blog looks ahead and to the past, and it links and refers to and interacts with other spaces, online and elsewhere. Like the present moment, it's a portal to connection.
This particular blog is for me, of course--many things simply don't exist for me unless I write about them--but principally it is for you who are reading this. The more I follow my path and practices, the more I realize that everything I do is an offering and a gift. Here's some of what I'm offering--in 2015, today, here.
process not product
In creating a blog, in performing a gong, in writing a book, in planting gardens, in the march of days, nights, seasons, there's repetition everywhere. What do you associate with repetition?
- "practice makes perfect"
- conscious replacement of memes
- focus, mindfulness, creation of second nature
- "fake it till you make it"
- "why do I have to sweep the floor/eat/pull weeds when I'll have to do it all again later?"
- So many words I could pick for "word of the week" here ! To push against the negative aspects of repetition, I chose "rote."
a buddy system for days
When I awoke yesterday morning, it was to a sense of anticipation, a little apprehension, and determination.
Just by virtue of having woken up, I'd begun to be "on the Gong." More, it was a triple beginning: the beginning of the waxing moon, the beginning of lengthening days as we turn back toward the sun.
It's wise to have interim milestones and checkins during a period as long as 100 days, acknowledging the smaller cycles within that time frame. This time around, I've recognized the importance of that. A buddy system for days!
talking back to books, books talk back
As a young person, I bought into the idea that books were unalterable. I remember lying on the grass for hours with an eraser, cleaning up my used copy of Herodotus's Histories, not wanting someone else's notes on his Greek or his content, offended that this previous owner had presumed to write on the book!
But in reality, we've been talking back to books for as long as... well, actually, for as long as farming and economies of scale gave us the free time to do so. The root of "scholar" and "school" means...
objects, focus, regeneration
There's a couple posts still to come on the changing face of the book, but it's time to talk about objects.
A big difference in today's bookscape from what went before lies in the material objectiveness of the book itself. Instead of a huge, ornate, unique work of art, a book now can exist solely in electronic form, immaterial in the sense that it's not composed of "matter."
I would suggest that when something is immaterial, non-physical object, it's less likely to be objectified. How appropriate, then, to go visit a touring exhibit of Buddhist relics, where the whole of devotion and spiritual consciousness is focused into pieces of body.
redefining "going by the book"
Back when, books were regarded as authoritative and unchangeable. Difference between one copy and another was "corruption," and scholars would quibble endlessly as to which was the true version.
Hence, "going by the book," "the rule book," "handbook" (which you keep close by so that you know exactly how to do something), "the Authorized version." "Bible" simply means "book," and there are still people who take every word of it literally, and who break out in hives at the idea that there are many more texts that could be legitimately included between its covers.
The static book infects all of our thinking.
What about bookmakers? Perhaps that's a Britishism. Digression:...
there's no such thing as "start at the beginning"
My beautiful new blog is still a new blog, and I'm still learning its outlines and characters. A couple days ago, I discovered, quite by accident, that there was a comment box--with comments in it awaiting my approval!
Comments are now live; please post comments!
And so, with humble apologies to those commenters, this post is all about comments, the word and the abstract object.