interrogating the words to understand the experience
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” John Muir.
To return is to go back to a former position, to turn and change direction, go back the way you came. So, a homecoming, Penelope at the end of the Odyssey. But you can speak of returning to a place as soon as the second time you go there, and every time after that. Every time you change direction, go back the way you went that first time, you consolidate that sense of the new place as a place of origin.
Resort is a place you go out to (sortie) again and again. And so I keep resorting to the spring at the top of Mount Lemmon--back there, again there. I keep returning, transforming a resort into a source and base.
the creative process and the container
It's easy for me to be highly creative in a situation that already has its external form. This form could be a clinic with its full paraphernalia, or an article that needs translating, or a person who comes to me for help with nutrition or wanting advice with herbs. All of these require presence, intuition, improvisation, focus.
But when I'm tasked with creating the external form from scratch--be that my website, or a poem, or a book, or my "business model," or any of what I consider the most worthwhile sorts of creation... Well, the only reason I don't get really upset at myself if it gets to be afternoon and I've scribbled a few notes and done a few essential chores but that's all is because I recognize I'm not the only person who experiences this. That's when I start to try to understand what it is that I'm really trying to do here.
white is black's black
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 poor; lose contains the imagining of gain (and vice versa); always contains the imagining of fleeting.
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.
awareness is a responsibility
In my new home, my tiny monastic cell, I practice silence. But words join hands and dance the walls like cut-out paper-lady chains. Words cram the pages of books stacked two rows deep on the solitary bookcase left from the three I used to have--books crammed up against each other, words pressing outward.
I bounce on my rebounder, carefully positioned away from the ceiling light/fan which I could easily hit my head on, trying to shake loose all the lint litanies and junk judgments, and words move through the air, Brownian motion, visible crystals.
Used to be that a shaman was only responsible for/responsive to a few hundred souls at most. How do we manage now, when the urgent messages we receive turn out to refer to terrorism on the other side of the Atlantic?
plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
^I think I've used that phrase as subtitle once before. Which makes it QED.
So much to write about! I promised monarda, so let's start there. Actually, monarda is a perfect place to start, for as Michael Cottingham put it so succinctly, "monarda is movement."
I'm moving. Again. And yet feeling some stickiness on certain levels too, and currently in the entropic state where objects waiting to be packed seem to multiply and magnify. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
come along for the ride
Continuing to tail-wag my dogself back into a good flow, I give thanks for the reprieve from caffeine. Specifically, I give thanks for the reprieve from the tyranny of habit. Spirit guided me to notice that my caffeine intake had climbed to at least 500mg/day between various drinks and pills; stubborn habit-clinger insisted this couldn't change. I give thanks for having been able to access the wisdom that so much caffeine is not bringing the specific results I desire and is very possibly doing harm. Taking so darn much, I feared the withdrawal. But this is day two of a much more moderate amount, and the withdrawal's as subtle as the caffeine itself had come to be.
Tolerance isn't necessarily a good thing. How much do we tolerate because it's slipped beneath the threshold of awareness?
context is key; please compare like with like
A well-respected and charming functional medicine doctor, Dr Alan Christianson, recently published an article about satiation in the context of (implicitly calorie-restricted) dieting for weight loss. After running through a few studies purporting to show that the foods you might expect to be satiating are not so, he settles on potatoes--but not chips or fries, mind you--as the most satiating food, and crowns his article with a "recipe": boiled salted potatoes, cooled and finished with a little olive oil.
Now it's not clear to me if the brief research survey is mere preamble to the drumroll recipe or if the recipe is mere rider to the 'shocking research findings,' nor what sort of naive audience is intended here, but there are so many things about this article that seem so wrong to me, it'll probably take two posts. Let's get started.