July 31: Fluency…I’ve been working on the form and function of this little website. See, I do all this by myself…it’s not a good thing, the way I approach these tasks. I’d rather putz around with trial and error for hours rather than face a workshop or teacher of sorts… Maybe because when I ask for help on tech support, I’m usually left feeling like an idiot. Of course I have a history of feeling like an idiot when it comes to all things digital…but I am making some snail’s progress here.
I am getting to know this “user-friendly” wordpress stuff. But I’m a toddler, trying out a few new words, as they begin to stick in my head with some meaning. My keystrokes feel a bit less random as a few rays of light begin to be shed…there’s some kind of patterns going on here, concentrate LePell, try to see the patterns…
This is how we proceed toward fluency — we begin to recognize patterns… eventually we can manipulate the language instead of it manipulating us…ahh… this could easily take me beyond my years with technology. But I am snailing my way into the ether…
Children are starving in Yemen. Refugees and Human trafficking are killing hundreds, thousands perhaps. The Rohinga are facing genocide. All this keeps happening while so many of us stare at screens, attempting to increase our tech fluency. Oh the patterns…the patterns…
July 30: I’ve been a bit waylaid for a few days by a raging tooth, which has interfered with my more playful stream of words. Somehow, dental pain is so resistant to self-management, refusing to cooperate with the gentle strums of meditation. “Raging” is apt here, the tooth screaming for attention, an explosive tantrum, a fire let loose…
Pain — oh what an inviting experience to explore. What a phenomenon– what exactly is it? what does science tell us? why and how does it vary so much for different people? Why and how do pain thresholds work? What does it mean to “surrender to it?” Does pain always carry an emotional component? A source of some kind? How much control do we really have over it? What does it mean, “all in our heads?”
We hear “pain is a teacher.” I believe that pain is a guide… it’s letting us know, we’re letting ourselves know, we need to pay attention to something –something is out of whack.
I do know this — pain is not stagnant. It moves, it pulsates, it rises and falls in uneven patterns. It is never still. It is vibration, and as you will note over time, I am quite intrigued by vibration, by energy, pulse.
I get headaches, like many of you out there…I used to “fight” them, determined to ignore them, soldier on through my day, cursing and spitting at the fact that I’m plagued for the day, or 2 or 3 days. But now, I often try to “enter the pain” as fully as possible, try to let it have a shape, an identity of sorts. I try to be in relationship with it, with myself. Hard to do this when consumed with work tasks, but given a chance to lie still and let it roam around its territory, sometimes it’s transformed from pain to a companion of sorts. Strange but true. I look at the pain as experience…and experience is always worth examining. What is it? Exactly? Can I put words to it?
But tooth pain is another animal–buried down in the nerves of my teeth, tucked inside some serious fortresses, hard to reach…
(so I did manage to have an emergency dental procedure…a root canal through an old crown, and the doc thought it might be painful for 3 more days, so he gave me some lovely Norco….I haven’t taken any, and the whole thing is subsiding enough now for me to get to the keyboard)
I try to get my dentist to think holistically about teeth…about how when one tooth hurts, others seem to respond in kind, some kind of connection between the two sides of my mouth… I ask him if he’s ever tried letting his patients get their feet massaged while he’s drilling through the enamel? What about letting the patients participate more in the procedure? could they help the doc get to just the right spot in the gumline? Has he eve heard of people poking at their teeth for the endorphin rush? Can we talk about energy, pulse, vibration, pain? Of course we don’t talk about anything…who can talk when their mouth has barbaric little instruments of torture moving in and out…
There’s something seriously wrong with some dentistry — the patient is way too passive in the whole thing..and we don’t really know what’s going on in down there in the nerve canals since the anatomy of teeth is not really covered in basic science class, and doesn’t exactly make its way to social media very often… And we can’t talk…this is, perhaps, the most debilitating part of the whole process–rendering us silent and then poking and prodding us with steel devices. And not even any herbs to ingest or acupuncture to hold our hands… we’re still, silent, and passive…. and it costs a lot of money…and then there’s the time it takes…and oh, what about the pain? Maybe we should be grateful for having a guide to some inner meaning… a chance to have an experience…
Maybe I’ll take some of those pain meds instead.
July 25: I have managed to launch this very simple blog/website thingy.
It has taken me way too long to figure out how and what to do; I’m still discovering the opportunities and the limitations of this site. I ask for your patience…
Of course, I refuse to watch and/or read the tutorials because I just don’t do well with those–I’m impatient and frustrated when I try to learn in that passive way, so I just start playing around, keystroke after keystroke, hunting and gathering… At least there’s a few photos and links…it’s a start.
What do I want from this online presence? — Yes, a chance to connect with you readers… yes, a chance to refine, shape, share, and grow an idea, a thread, a cell of some kind… yes a chance to reach more than one person with my words–more than the friend who I badger with this phrase: “oooh, let me read you what I wrote this morning.”
Here’s to a larger conversation…cheers.
I write almost everyday of my life– I intend my writing to outlive me in some form.
Inside. Outside. Reflections.
I look inside. What is actually happening down in the tissues and cells of my being, how is my very breath and mind working in concert? When and how is energy released and transformed? what IS experience? Is it possible to capture in language? what is language anyway? when does it illuminate? when does it hide? how does it really function? where does it “live” in our bodies? What, where, why and who am I, a swirl of chemical and electrical actions? Or more than that? In some ways, all my work is a kind prayer –a conversation with god. (that’s not God, but god. I do not belong to an organized religion)
I respond to the inside.
I look outside. At times, my work is like a creative column for a newspaper. I might simply chronicle or observe the uniqueness of the day. Other times I may be on fire with urgency, writing furiously. Other times, I may be composing critical commentary on contemporary ideas or events in politics, art, and culture. I write about education, science, books, movies, plays, conversations, concerts.
I respond to the outside.
I am trying to be at peace with the notion that no one will ever read much of anything I’ve ever written…maybe a grandchild or grandchild of a grandchild…?–the whole “discovering grandma’s journal in the attic” sort of thing.
But it’s 2018, and dusty, old, pen and ink journals can now be shared and stored in this new world — somewhere on a screen…this shared experience, a collective consciousness in some way. (I write about this present and future world throughout my volumes.)
Since I have 114 hand-written notebooks, 12 binders with an average of 150 typed, single spaced pages, thousands of saved emails from me and others that are filled with piercingly beautiful prose, I think it might be time to think differently about the future of all these words.
As I alluded to, much of this work, if not all of it, constitutes a kind of prayer, a kind of meditation, if you will. And therefore, if there is no “you” out there reading it, then so be it. It is the act of doing it. The “you” is me/you/it/spirit/god/wind. You will see this lengthy spliced up phrase used in my past work over and over again.
Come back soon, I will be here.