Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not Big Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
Marianne Williamson

It probably could have stopped at the first two sentences. What would you do? Try to fix the world, treat it as a puzzle to be kept up with? Tweak here or there? Try not to interfere? How to exert one's power in ways that, given our short sight as humans, seem least likely to be, in the end, harmful?

The base assumptions behind that point of view... I'm not sure I accept. Too small.

I recently read "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers", subtitled "The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth" and it's striking a good chord. Mathematicians routinely question the basic premises of mathematics in the search for new correlations. What if all apparently parallel lines actually converge? What if the sum of the angles of a triangle only approach 180? What if some rules are removed from a logical system?

In essence, that's what I've been doing for the last year or so.

[possibly to be continued]

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I rode a different bike this evening

I rode a different bike this evening
With hands on the drops, deeply aero
I felt the kiss of wind, flowing over the bars,
pressing a soft line against my forearms.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Today's Peace Quote

My life is my message.
- Mahatma Gandhi

It would naturally follow, too, that my life is my message, and your life, yours.

I'm not sure it's worth getting wound up over what that message is. Your own, I mean. Everybody brings their own interpretation to art. And how many discussions have their already been on whether the intention or the interpretation matters more? The questions fast becomes impervious to thought, so it's probably not worth trying to think much about it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Another bit of Merton

The activity proper to man is not purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is only by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.

Randomly flipped "Thoughts in Solitude" open to that page a couple of days ago, and decided to share. I remember thinking often last summer, go get your own experiences! and wanting to admonish my dear blogging friends to get out of their heads and into their own lives. Merton says it nicely, here. Vicarious living isn't really living, nor is it living to reminisce about past experience, and to live there. Life is now. Heaven is now. Don't think so? You're just looking at it sideways.

But I digress. First the quote, then what I was thinking about the other day. The other thing is, here I am using a quote to tell everybody to get out of their quotes. Well, it correlates to my experience, and it's nice to find I'm not alone in my thoughts. (A familiar theme from my book summaries, no?)

Then tonight, as I transcribed Merton's words, a corollary occurs to me. But I wonder, will it hold any weight of authority, coming from me? I omitted a word from a post the next day, embarrassed that I'm subject to the frustration it expresses. But I'm human, and have hardly gone to any trouble to hide that in the last year-and-months, no reason to start now. I've grown neither halo nor wings. Well, here goes:

What you live is what you really think, and what you really know. What you lived then was what you thought and knew then. What you're living now is what you think and know now. It's not to say that anything is gone, or gained. You've got it all; spin the wheel, pluck a handful of flowers; they're your lot for the moment, and once laid aside are always at hand, waiting to be touched again. Pause for a moment, see if it isn't so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Saturday I managed to destroy Tuesday evening's work. I tried something new; it didn't work. These things happen sometimes.

When I got home last night, Crazy Girl was dead in her cage. She was my least favorite chinchilla for her escape antics, but still in my care. I don't know what happened. These things happen sometimes.

When I got to the studio tonight, three of my bowls were wrecked because of bad kiln loading. I don't know exactly how that happened. These things happen sometimes.

And I can't do a fucking thing about it.

Monday, May 14, 2007


A sheet of galvanized steel and a sheet of plastic and two people and Boards of Canada in the background... can make for some pretty sweet musicnoises. And it's fun.