Sunday, January 24, 2010

patience and presence

My new year's resolution, from which with luck much else will flow, is the maintenence and furtherance of those two aspects/ perspectives. For the last several months most especially, I've been getting impatient. Like, really, really impatient to be further along than I am. And the result has been mostly to lose the sense of being present as I push for some place in the future where I'd like to be, and the result of that has been the loss of creative inspiration and the lack of retainment or much real coordination of the reams of scholastic research that I've been engaged in.

So, something to work on. I'm getting there. Also, making all this seem radically unimportant, 120,000 dead in Haiti. I first heard that number on NPR on my way home the other day, and I thought, this has to be a mistake. Then I heard it again last night, and everything just started swimming. What an immense tragedy. There are no words to express.

But still, life must continue. Still though also, the helplessness is overwhelming. Donating money is something, but you just want to do more. There's no skills I have that would be in anyway useful.

Anyway, helping some friends move today, and then starting the process myself (luckily I have a three week window, which makes things much easier). Looking forward to some new space within which to work. I feel like this is the year that I write my masterpiece (or the first of many, many, many). So, to breakfast and moving.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fihi Ma Fihi, or KMRIA

Fihi Ma Fihi, which is the title of a collection of poems by Rumi, and it translates as 'in it what's in it' or 'it is what it is' (the latter of which has been my go to expression ever since I was told that I had to stop saying 'sucks to be you' everytime someone would commence to griping, way back in like high school). I really love the idea of a sufi mystic poet cracking wise. It makes me ever so happy. Probably because that means there's still hope that I can keep a grain of causticness even as I pursue a path toward mystic illumination. Or some such.

Also KMRIA was one of the headlines in Joyce's Ulysses. And it stands for kiss my royal irish arse. Which was the funniest moment in the book so far. I admit, I get what Joyce is doing conceptually. The whole recreating the true nature of life's narratives and the way we create those narratives and the jarring and uncoordinated and not entirely smooth nature of the reality of those narratives, but A) that's not entirely true because of the nature of memory and identity in which we do smooth out those narratives even as they in reality are jangled and messy and B) holy what? I've gotten so lost in the moment to momentness even as I can keep the overall narrative and conceptual idea kind of clear (which maybe is kinda the point, I guess).

So, I had to take a break and send Joyce back to the library, since I've got about a dozen books going right now, and it was just not possible for me to read it as a just before going to bed trying to relax and zen out kind of book. Which says more about me than the book. My mind would just wander away and not pay any attention to the rythms and stay present with the thing. Which, fihi ma fihi and, if you don't like it, KMRIA.

So again, I saw a question posted on Dooce's community about the best books read last year, and I was trying to go through my brain and catalogue all the books I read last year, and it just wasn't happening. There were just too many to count. So, I thought I'd just catalogue the book reading here every now and again. So, current crop:
Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Macroeconomics by Gregory Mankiw
Native American Religious Traditions: Dancing for Life by Jordan Paper
Tango and the Political Economy of Passion by Marta Lavigliano
History of the Indians of Connecticut by somebody DeForest
Interaction Ritual Chains by Randall Collins
The Shape of Light by Suhrawardi
Structural Yoga Therapy by Mukunda Stiles
a couple of short imagery and relaxation technique books (one with a pelvic focus and other w/ neck and shoulders) by Eric Franklin
A book of algebra and trig to reground my math so I can get back into game theory, which I had to chill out on when they got to calculus, which I'm getting ready to tackle this coming fall perhaps.
Political Liberalism by Jon Rawls
The Mists of Avalon by I forget the author's name and don't have the book handy.

And that's about that. I know boring and ridiculous, but I think you can see the organizational difficulties as it's been like this for the better part of a year and a half since the virtual economic collapse focused my attention on the superstructural project that I've been informally working on for the past ten years. Collins is a significant addition, which I knew from having started his Sociology of Philosophies, but his radical microsociological model is a powerful one, if also incomplete and missing significant neurologic, psychologic, and philosophic pieces. He also overvalues the sociologic, claiming, in a way, that agency is primarily in the social. An understandable statement from a sociologist but just showing once again how difficult true interdiscplinary work is for someone trained specifically in one discipline. The abstract coordination of the varying faceted levels of consciousness can be thought of metaphorically as a series of venn diagrams in which each abstract layer has both it's own area of sole existence and overlapping areas of interrelation that need to be integrated in our understanding.

So, there's that. And the New Year. And possibly moving in a month. And a computer with a video card that's fritzed out, which is why I've been away from blogging for like a month and a half (and also a chance to unplug which is always good). So, lots of fun things. And a month long purificatioin ritual of no alcohol or caffeine or meat or meat products and possibly a fast and maybe I'll do a week of silence (not a vow exactly but just some quietness [I did a week about five years ago of no talking, and it was intense]). It's a fluid thing, no dogmaticism or rigidity, more of a flowing toward the numinousity. Or something.

And if you don't like it. Well, KMRIA. Time for nieces and play and the eight thousandth reading of Where the Wild Things Are (which my niece loves, and I will never tire of reading). Yo, Seacrest out.