Saturday, August 14, 2004

Morning going

I just spent two hours reading blogs, following links, entangled in this web of humanity and words. Here's a partial roadmap.

Started at Nomen est Numen where she writes an achingly honest question:
What sort of accomplishment is it to run a gauntlet of one's own making? I've managed only to close my eyes against the feast of the world and gnaw myself to the bone. It's hardly a mark of intelligence.
Then I followed a link from the comments to Mole. There I read a post containing this intriguing statement:

If I can't have irregular verbs, I'd rather grunt and point.

and followed the link to its source at Language Hat. Wonderful blog full of challenges and insights, quite a bit over my head most of the time, which I like when I am in the right mood. Usually when I find a new blog I like, I read the very first entry from the archives. I like to see how the blog has evolved of the years (2 in this case). First entry quite as enjoyable as the last. This one seems to be good to the first drop.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Another quizzie poo!

Believe it or not that is the way my Physical Chemistry teacher would announce our quizzes and tests! Anyway, on a lighter note (I think) here are the results of the stressful, arduous, what-flower-are-you? quiz:

I'm a Pansy. The bloom of thought. Thoughts are my haven. I prefer solitude and quiet places so I can ponder uninterrupted.
What bloom are you? by Polly_Snodgrass

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Searching for truth

From Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies & the Truth About Reality
But if you really thoroughly question everything, if you pursue your questions long enough and honestly enough, there will come a time when truth will wallop you upside the head and you will know.

Not knowing is what brought me to the spiritual path. As a child in church, I tried very hard to believe, like a good girl should (or as I thought she should). I tried and tried and I never felt the knowing, the security, that I had read about others feeling. I was unsure, alone and scared. So then I turned to science. I thought if I could learn everything in the books, if I could become a real scientist, I would know things. But as all students of science learn, what you really find in science are more questions. And what you know, you don't really know because you have to be ready to change your hypothesis to fit any new data that may come along. You can't afford to be sure about anything. We talk to each other using terms like suggest and implicate not know and not certainty. We learn to couch our facts in may and might, to sprinkle words of caution between the statements of fact. Or maybe it is just me. Maybe I am not ready for knowing. The idea of knowing reminds me of my childhood fantasy of a man on a white horse saving me. At first, it was my father, his strong arm comforting me during scary movies and roller coaster ride. Later I hoped for a prince to whisk me off. But those ideas were fantasy. In reality, my father didn't save me, he got drunk and terrorized us. I learned to hope for a savior but at the same time, save myself, always wishing I could relax, let go and be caught in someone's arms, and at the same time, aware that there were no arms to catch me. I was on my own. I guess that's not too bad but it never seemed enough. Not secure enough, not safe enough. With me alone, there was no absolute, no independent measure. Am I kidding myself, deceiving myself? How could I know? It was this nagging question that prodded me on this path and it is still pushing me. And I am still walking, seeking, searching, and crawling. I hope Warner is right. I hope someday I will know, just simply know. Right now, I can't imagine anything better than that.

Minor White

I was in the library tonight perusing recent acquisitions and came across The Zen of Creativity : Cultivating Your Artistic Life by John Daido Loori. I read a passage where the author describes a photography course he took taught by Minor White. The course had many 'non-photography' aspects to it such as early morning dancing and meditation. I was intrigued so I looked for a book of White's work. His black and white images are beautiful and moving. He has a very zen approach to photography.

No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen. -Minor White

Let the subject generate its own photographs. Become a camera. -Minor White

Barn and Clouds, 1955

The Masters of Photography website has more photographs.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Day of rest and renewal

Today has been a day of relaxation and rejuvination for me. I took the day off from work, I wrote emails to friends, I went for a loooonnnnngggg walk to shops and to the library. I treated myself to a nice Japanese lunch of miso soup, green salad and veggie California roll. I didn't take my ipod on my walk and that was very good. Without music to distract me I just thought about things, had conversations in my head, let my mind wander around any ol' place it liked. Very uplifting. I spent some time in the library, browsing books. I took out the first season of Babylon 5 (brain junk food!!). I also browsed the new books and came across Franz Wright's latest volume of poetry, Walking to Martha's Vineyard. I opened it to the first page, read this:

I was still standing
on a northern corner

Moonlit winter clouds the color of the desperation of wolves.

of Your existence? There is nothing

After I read it, I had to look away, my eyes filled with emotion, with the 'rightness' of the poem, the truth. All in 28 words.

Walking to Martha's Vineyard
Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Long trip

I am tired tonight. We just drove to Boston and back (~10 hours total) to take my stepson to his Outward Bound trip on Thompson Island. The course is called Passages and it is for 12-13 year old boys, like a Rite of Passage to celebrate the transition from boyhood to manhood. I was very impressed with all the instructors. I think he and his fellow adventurers will have a wonderful, challenging experience. Outward Bound does courses for women only too. The desert backpacking one sounds interesting. Today I have been thinking about exploring and challenging my body and my perception of its limitations. I looked at the other parents and many were fit and sporty, as you might expect from people who value this kind of experience for their children. I, however, am not. I am not terrible but I am not where I want to be either. This is something I need to think more about, it is just a seed right now but I hope to nuture it and have it sprout some new growth in myself.