Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Surfacing / Touching Down

It's pretty easy to be spiritually inclined when the world doesn't press too much, particularly the whole joyfully detached summer. Perspective changes when the world becomes interesting, particularly my art and this guy I'm seeing.

In any event, it's becoming enjoyable have a real life in the real world: existential questions are fine playthings but poor bedfellows. Thoughts are neither experience nor reality. The world is simply nothingness in the form of existence, tethered to nonexistence by invisible threads. Or so it seems; we need to know why, and so tell ourselves stories. In silence, the connectedness of manifest and unmanifest is known. The way I experience things still feels abjectly ordinary, except when new. It sparkles in the sun, fades into the landscape of daily life.

A year ago (yesterday) I started this blog, and have grown personally by leaps and bounds in the interim. I've also enjoyed the narrations that many fellow bloggers have provided of their own journeys. Thank you. It seems like many years; may those to come be as full.

Time tumbles on.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


What do I want to smell like? Somehow the question defines, in part, who I am, and picking a new shower gel is an arduous task. Last time, because one seemed too finite, too definite, I chose three products that I liked, even though I'm using them one bottle at a time.

And now I have to order checks. My main bank's closed the two branches within a mile and my secondary bank is two blocks away. Don't want to order pandas again, but then what? Something that'll be pleasant to look at, is all I ask.

Come to think of it, every choice I make says something about my priorities or about who I am.

Friday, January 05, 2007

leaving a mark

Merideth quotes an article about obos on Graceful Presence. The sentence that struck me most deeply:

The obos merely says, "I was here."

I wonder why we humans so often want to leave our mark? To know that our lives weren't in vain? To in some way make ourselves immortal? Perhaps, but why do people think it matters?

As an architect and ceramicist, I specialize in the semi-permanent. Some part of my work will probably endure past the end of my life. I'm not sure that doing so is of any importance to me, creating a lasting memory of myself. If I might ask a favor of the universe, it would be that the things I make are enjoyed for however long they exist.

I idly wonder, staring out the window, if making things somehow captures a part of our souls, as some cultures have (do?) believe about the soul-capturing properties of film, if ties to those objects might keep us from moving on, requiring the destruction of any of our memories in order to keep going. Move on to what? If the concept becomes a fantasy novel, then you'll know.

There's probably some pearl of wisdom in there about how attachment to stuff keeps one from experiencing life, even moving on with the living of life as we know it.

Even architecture and ceramics will develop, most likely, an anonymity over time; somebody made this, but whom?

I like the simplicity and instant anonymity of the obos. Finding one is a reminder that somebody has been there before and that we are not alone.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I've been beset by a general sense of helplessness over the last months; wanting to change or help the world, but unable to come up with anything resembling tenable. Not to mention being uncertain of what might be done, what with not having adequate perspective. Over at his blog, Larry reflects on greed and wonders if he's the only Quaker concerned about it. Personally, I think it's pretty intelligent to be concerned with what's often a cause rather than being concerned about the manifestation.

Wanting what one doesn't have keeps one from enjoying what one does have. Unfortunately, that seems to typify American society. I'm not sure what's to be done besides what I can do - enjoy my own life rather than looking outside of it for something more.

My longstanding experiment had been to do or intend as little as possible, so as not to color the results of the experiment... trying to figure out what's going on here.

Well, I still don't know. But it doesn't seem to matter what I do, or don't do - in the long run, everything will work itself out, even immediate general stupidity (which I don't intend, of course) but getting out of the rut of inaction is proving to be fairly difficult, because I keep finding myself thinking that everything matters in some terrible unknowable way, that at any moment I might set off some cataclysmic chain of events and be Quite Sorry. I suppose the counter-argument would be that at any moment I am failing to stop said.

Overthinking does tend to stop one from living, doesn't it? The other big questions, why? and what matters? are equally impenetrable: because! and, whatever I like! Hardly illuminating, and either liberating or paralyzing.

We watched American Beauty last night.
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain, and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.
In any event, I'm feeling rather mellow and content and happy this morning.

Monday, January 01, 2007

people believe what they want to

Email from my sister on 12/11/06:
I found this article online--It's really interesting; it sketches out the development of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (which we just celebrated last Friday!).

It occurs to me that people just believe what they want to: when necessary, creating a logical framework to support the beliefs they want to hold. This framework is usually used as a justification for the belief, or better yet (sarcasm) to give reason to inflict their beliefs on others. If it's logically consistent, it must be true! Well, no...

You'll find at the end of the article that some miracles happened after the belief became mandatory; I'm not trying to explain that away, just find the whole thing to be... interesting.

Thus goes religion.