Friday, September 6, 2013


Pieces of work, we are.  As I listen to the news these days and the debates about peace, war, weapons, dialogue, pressure, messages, children, women, men, humanitarian motivations, communication, persuasion, support, choices- I am reminded of the amazing thought that we are one body of and as humanity on this Earth. Think of all that makes up a body: the chemical interactions, the ingesting, digesting, eliminating, the pleasures of each nuanced move and play and touch and taste and joy of breath. All that makes us a dynamic system we call a body, even though we may think or know so little of its intimate workings. We are constantly creating, challenging, constantly changing.

Each mind makes its own environment, its own landscape in which to learn what it wants or seeks to learn. This is our gift. Think of W. G. Sebald. “…They combine memoir, fiction, travelogue, history, and biography in the crucible of his haunting prose style to create a strange new literary compound.

Our minds are our crucible in which we digest all elemental information which makes us who we are. What we choose to eliminate as we digest, just as what we choose to ingest, reveals to us the magnitude of our knowledge and appreciation of our gift of life to learn and expand our true sense of who we are as spiritual beings. Sebald’s theme of memory, loss, the fragments and pieces that a mind must open itself to in order to feel truly “whole,” is a key theme for all human minds. For me, a key is understanding and celebrating the trinity of minds and our trinity design – as I was born one of triplets who were taught to think of life in terms of both the and “a” Trinity (as Us, and as “God the father, son, and holy ghost,” or mother, father, child) – ever present in our visible lives and how we live and choose to live. My melancholia was my version of My Antonia (Note, Willa Cather's "prairie trilogy"). Sebald and Cather have places at my table of tour guides, as do many others. 

One body.

Now, I’m turning pages as I see new images of life and our body of human work and art. Kathy Oddenino’s Ancient Storybook, which we have recently published, has brought new satisfaction to my soul in exploring our human landscape and creation. My storybook, at some basic level, is your storybook. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. What fun we can have as we share our stories, as we begin to see them and to see ourselves, together, as one body of work-in-progress.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Joy of Health and Jackson Pollock

Continuing to read Joy of Health this morning (Kathy Oddenino's first book, ca. 1988-89), and prompted to think about fractal patterns again. I pulled out an old beginning of a story I started a year or two ago called, then, Eyes Wide Open. I began it while thinking of Jackson Pollock, of all people, and his continually refining method of dripping paint in patterns. (Discover Magazine wrote a piece on this, among others, years ago.) One comment went something like this - we humans prefer subtle variations on a recurring theme rather than patterns that are too regular, like test bars on a TV, or too random, like a snowy screen.

What came to me when I began writing Eyes Wide Open was this:

subtle, ruffling of the wind
to the freight train force of a tornado, whipping vortices into hungry funnels

We strive to become aware of what we like, what we want, what pleases us on a basic human level. (Enter Jackson Pollock.) This is the beginning of happiness, a refinement beyond the basic survival sense. Then we learn to refine and consciously recreate the patterns that please us. This is a definition and display of learning (living).

In our desire, our motivation, to relive these sensory pleasures, we recreate (repeat) them. When we consciously set in place structures or patterns to repeat them, these became our habits and/or rituals. Our interpretation of these rituals and their purpose became fragmented as the rituals themselves became the purpose rather than the refinement (civilizing, evolution) of our senses. The repetition becomes the purpose and worship becomes the "sense" - we reinforce our fear as "adoration" which we misinterpret as love and thus "obeying." True love is suppressed rather than acknowledged and honored in its energy flow of life and the refinement of the mind coming to know itself and all of life.