Monthly Archives: October 2013

On the New, the Old, the Space Between

New is novelty, sharp, a mystery to engage with, desires fulfilled, uncertainty and exploration. Old is known, worn, wise, comfortable, blunted, dull, faded, reliable. There is the between, the path of learning that becomes the deeper rut of existing. The deep canyons of tradition, where the bottoms are shrouded in the darkness of assumption and certainty, and the heights of the unknown. There is also the path of comfort, the path from dynamic to static, from firm to sagging, from energetic to exhaustion. Sometimes is is easy to walk in the path carved from time by parents and community, well worn, known ways where the path can be seen from beginning to end. The same path can be breaking new ground, from the outsider, the curious, the disenchanted.

From ignorance to education, from blindness to insight and from fear to understanding, the path between is the change of the life. Sometimes there’s no escaping the mudslide, the falling rock, the hidden hole.

The desire of the new, the yearning for the comfort, the dyad driving the human condition, the duality of going to be and having been, every now a decision of experience, to do or to have done. To not be, to not decide is not to live, merely to exist.

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On Change, Chinese Food and the Twilight Zone

Today was pretty productive from a certain point of view. New processes at work make sure that everyone is paying attention. Had an excellent dinner with a spicy Chinese dish that I had never quite experienced before.

Then there is the Twilight Zone, we are watching old episodes while doing our evening stretches and ¬†they are really very entertaining, except for when the old sexism rears the ugly head. Everyone is smoking too. So weird to watch and see smoking so commonplace. That has changed in the course of my lifetime. Smoking, the internet, computers, the speed of things. So much change and yet, people don’t change so much. Some do, but so many do not.

The turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving in America is now thawing, and I have meetings for the rest of the week.

On Reading Stephen King “Doctor Sleep”

I have a long relationship with the reading of the novels of Stephen King. From “The Stand”, “Salem’s Lot” and “It”, right through the collections and now, “Doctor Sleep”.

If anything, King has gotten tamer in his depictions of gore and violence, preferring the visceral fear of the reader’s imagination, painting with finer strokes. I like reading his work because he sets them in the part of the world I am from, the Northeast, mountains, woods, winter and sometimes hardscrabble existence. Places where the communities have flourished for a long time, relatively speaking, and where there have been time for nature to go away and come back.

The connection with his earlier work “This Shining” makes for an interesting read, as well as the cameos from his other work over the years. The villains of the piece are surprising in the least appearance they have in whole of the novel. A brief intersection of live, but mostly about a man, Dan Torrance, coming to grips with his heritage and finding a way to make a life after the horrors.

King’s other sleep book “insomnia” is one of my favorites, both for the older characters, but of the discoveries that are made, and the intimate knowledge of the self and how sleep relates to us all. Our greatest unknown country, the one we enter every night and surrender our corporeal selves to the risk of awarelessness, and the exploration of the dreams.

Horror is a genre that excites our fear of the unknown. Sometimes, it is lazily offensive by the description of gore and unspeakable acts, but then there are the time when it is the quiet realization of possibility, and the common fears of us all magnified to such heights as to be unbearable.

On Memories

Farmer’s market day brought the unexpected treat of a Yorkshire pudding, which brough me back to the roast beef dinners as a child, when we could never get enough of the Yorkshire pudding. Going to have to make it for myself and hope it is as good as I remember. In all of the hustle and bustle, the jarring note of a small boy, quietly crying “Momee?” I see the little guy, looking around like he had lost her, not quite crying yet, but the worried, scared tone that said he had somehow strayed from safety and did not know what to do next.

And I remembered the times when I had gotten lost, the times that I had hid from people and the times that I had been forgotten, temporarily abandoned, or told to fend for myself if there were things that I wanted to do at school. I was found, I came out of hiding, was remembered and recovered, and spent many nights at bus stations, looking at the other people and wondering why they were here with me? Or was I there with them? Common purpose in the public place, lives intersecting briefly, and then we all move along.

The boy’s mother was right there, I heard her voice behind, the comforting, reassuring voice that mothers have when their children think they are lost, but they have had their eye on them all the time. Watchfully giving him freedom, letting him know that there is somewhere safe to turn to, it’s OK to test the waters. I watched them briefly, heading back to the playground, the fear forgotten in the comfort of belonging.

I belong, strongly to one, less so to others. I have learned the lesson that family is not forever, and things leave, things are lost, things are forgotten. Letting the memories back, opens the gates wider, the feelings stir, the experience of being. I am freeing the memories and the feelings, and allowing them purchase once again. I am beginning to believe.

On Doctor Who: “Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday”

Another two parter and the glorious collision of the rock and the hard place of the Whoverse, the Daleks and the Cybermen. Torchwood, and parallel universes, and great goodbyes.
The archetype of the lonely god, a being of techno-magical powers, the last of a kind, and one who never wanted to fit in to what his kind was. The weight of legacy, the regard of others who view him from their limited perspectives. The Oncoming Storm, a force of nature with a history of interference and trickster-like destruction. Always regretful, but always ready to let things go, as he must let all that he loves most go. One warning is all he gives, and then chaos ensues as he shapes the world to meet his vision of ought to be.

Getting back on track

So, it has been a bit of a week at work, and my overall feeing of exhaustion just makes it hard to keep my thoughts together, but as someone demonstrated to me today, a few minutes of directed think has opened a constellation of possibility by asking me what I knew, and telling me that it was valuable.
It is depressing how the smallest amount of encouragement can move me to considering possibilities. I think the hardest thing is thinking about how much fun it would be to do what I love, and to avoid feeling like an idiot for not pursuing my dreams before now. As they say, decisions made become milestones as we mark our lives. Where I have been has made me what I am, and I think I am getting ready to be different.

Reflecting on Training Day

My workplace holds an annual staff training day when many of the full time staff, and a good number of the part time staff come together for meals, a message from the director, some awards, and a series of training sessions. I selected Critical Thinking, Relaxation, Databases You Should Know, and Changing Their World.

Some days, the grind just wears you down, and some days, you remember why you are in this line of work after all. This was a pretty good day, for being around people who were not my daily co-workers, for being in a learning environment, and catching up with friends.

I ended the day meeting with my peers and catching up on what everyone is up to, thinking about the direction of the organization, and building a better network of communication. It is times like those that I seem to be in a better state of mind.