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.
blogging about blogging, and when not to follow advice
You may be reading this post shortly after it was written, following the sequence of my postings, or you may be reading it at any given time (probably, but not necessarily, subsequent to my writing it). Blog posts straddle a crossroads of the immediately relevant and the timeless treasure. Emphasizing the “timeless treasure” aspect, advice to blog writers often counsels against meta-discussion of situational or sequential issues--it draws too much overt attention to something that will likely be irrelevant two weeks from now.
It’s good advice, but since when have I followed advice 100% of the time? So yes, this is a post about what this blog is for and what to expect from it. The short version: I remain E-la-stic, but there is a rhythm to my blogging.
perhaps a monster no longer
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?
spirituality without religion
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.
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.
on dream jobs and the ocean of possibility
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?
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.