More on Garbage and Treasures and where did the last Journal entry go?

 I am amused by the things I save and the things I throw away.  Let me say others habits of retention and disposal are also amusing, usually, and both are anthropologically meaningful.

I have a friend whose house is the most wonderful treasure trove of stuff, dragons, Harry Potter, Happy Bunny, just to name some main themes but all really collectible cool stuff. Your eyes and your mind are never still in her living room if any curiosity drives you. There is a gentle, sometimes droll, may I say geek humor to the decor of this home. Do not mistake, she is not messy or a hoarder, her house does not jangle the nerves or make you afraid to sit on the toilet, her home instead is just bursting with stuff, cool stuff. The owner of this home is like her house, with many hobbies and many friends. People are not thrown away easily. Even if a friend’s behavior doesn’t go with her inner decor, or the patterns of her other friends, they can still be all beautifully kept in her life.  This friend is one of the most gentle and loyal people I know, and fun. I can always count on some true deep down laughs when I hang out with this woman and delicious, unconventional foods.

I have another friend in our circle whose home is pristine, always. She inspires us all to new heights of order. The woods of her furniture and the books on her shelves and the few complimentary frames of family photos all correspond and unify the rooms perspective. I walk through her door into a Good Housekeeping centerfold.  Do not mistake this home for cold or unwelcoming. Its’s heart is warm and if one sits a bit on the cozy couch or takes the time to read the titles of the books perhaps look closely at the pictures a Zen like joy infects one.  My friend is like her home, disciplined, structured and yet tenderhearted. I love visiting this home, I know that there I will always safe and amused and have a luscious, well–balanced lunch.

This makes me wonder what my home says about me. My first thought as I turned my mind that way was "temporary". I have always been a nomad. Each home had  a different flavor significant to the place I was at in my life and the person I was space sharing with at the time and nothing lasted for any length of time. Every time I thought I was home, I wasn’t.  I thought this part of my life I would be living alone  if alive at all and had moved in that direction. I had just begun to attempt "staying" at the apartment and then this house and a roommate happened. I want to believe this home is permanent. I want to make this my home. 

Interestingly to what our homes say about "us", I discovered this week in a digital world we all play in, our virtual homes were strikingly like our real time homes. My virtual home is a gathering of  grouped things I like, its decor doesn’t flow and there is a lot of stuff stashed in my virtual closets because once I start a theme I am loathe to change it even when a new theme entrances me. So I am in process of cleaning my virtual house and redecorating.

I am doing that in my real world home as well, just slower. Today I pulled one handful of saved magazines from my shelf to excavate what articles I would keep, what I would cut for collages, and what would go in recycling. I kept the Backwoods Magazine from May/June 2010, but the First and the Bark are collage fodder. I moved on further down the shelf. Then I got distracted.

I reread the entire New York Times Magazine from April 4, 2010 again this morning and I am still keeping it, all of it. I was hoping to find a few pictures or one article that had relegated it to my save shelf, but all the articles spoke to me from the one about albatross behavior as a source of controversy to the one about Vishniacs body of work being redefined by all the art he never published. So, I will keep it. I have however compiled a small stack of hardback and tradepaper back books that were keepers when I moved here 3 months ago that now are less necessary to my sense of well being. They have lost my respect and their sense of meaning to my new direction.

Which leads to where my last journal entry went. I wrote that entry early in the morning and then had to post hurriedly and go to work. I didn’t get to edit it first. I went back to reread it last night and it did not convey what I wanted. I tried unsuccessfully to edit it, then in a fit of frustration I deleted it. I kind of regret that this morning and may try again to rewrite the thought later but probably not.

The main point of the whole thing was that at a time when I thought I was garbage and I heard everyone else telling me I was garbage, someone (my foster parents Ed and Connie) treated me with love and respect. They did not say unacceptable behavior was acceptable and my choices had dire consequences. Because they loved and respected me I began to respect myself. It is a slow process turning garbage beliefs and garbage behavior into productive soil. Like composting.

I currently work for a woman, she says I should call her Queen Victoria in my blogs, who reminds me a lot of Connie. I am grateful and happy to go two days a week to care for her children that need a nurse and feel all the love in this noisy yet very well ordered composite family. I respect her.

And thanks to someone like her, today I respect me. That was the point. That, and how an episode of Angel made the whole thing coalesce.  I can never pay back the little things and miracles that have kept me not only alive but with a living heart and soul but I can pay them forward.

I hope someday that is what my home says about me; that I respect myself and I respect others. I want my home to be interesting and yet disciplined. I want it to show I know how to laugh and I value life in all its forms, that I love good food and drink, that I have more truck with Dharma  than Dogma, but mostly I want it to say that I respect you and I respect me.

Writer’s Block: Almost like a song

Curious, Intelligent, Chivalrous, Droll, Spiritual

Curious (Let learning new things and seeing new places be an ultimate turn on)

Intelligent  (Innate aptitude is only a part of this, it also means someone who chooses to learn from each experience)

Responsible (Someone who takes responsibility for their personal physical health and hygiene, financial affairs, and the big things like ecology and peace as well)

Chivalrous (marked by honour, generosity and courtesy)

Droll (having a humorous, whimsical, or odd quality)

Spiritual (seeker and practicioner of any form of enlightenement secure enough in thier own journey to support my path without them necessarily being the same)

Listed in no particular order as All attributes are equally weighted, and it is more my personal goal to be that person than it is my goal to meet that person but this was a good exercise as I am fleshing out my "Hero" in my current novel-under-construction.

Peace….My response to the news of the last few days…feel free to read aloud.

"Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek but a means by which we arrive at the goal." Martin Luther King

From the One Spirit which is the source of all
To North and earth and roots and salty mineral, all bone and flesh
To East and sun’s fire and the sap and blood in all veins
To South and air and warm breath and spoken words and the double edged sword of truth
To West and water, the dreams of sleep and the faith of opened eyes
Which bring us again to the One Spirit to which we all return.
"Grant O Spirit thy protection
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, compassion;
And in compassion, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of Earth, Our Mother, and ALL goodness."  Traditional NeoDruid Prayer

Courage through integrity
Emotional equilibrium, balance, joy

Love to all, especially those I perceive as having harmed me
Others first
Vocation, whatever is required today, May I serve always with love.
Enlightenment. (or for those who prefer  a different path of light than mine insert here "atonEment")

Blessed Be. (or again for those who prefer  "Amen")

Truth is simple. Irony takes more posts.

 I have to echo a certain Storyteller whose posting of his take on the statement. "Truths are simple" created a very long object lesson of the statements simple truth.

It is all the things we do to truth; inverted reasoning, pretzel bend extrapolations and flourished arguments that muddies clear water. It is what we do to truth to make it fit our pet belief systems or support our opinions and actions that complicates and obfuscates it.

It made me giggle. I like irony. 

Even when I am myself unintentionally ironic, I find it funny.

However, its easier to see the funny when its someone else.

Daptones, Hannah Arendt and learning to read in different languages

Much has transpired and nothing since I last blogged. The earth is still turning, moon cycles wax and wan, people are being born and people are dying. Birds have been falling out of the sky, and bushes burning and as they have since Moses and before, they are being explained away as natural phenomena by some and interpreted as God by others. I have not gained or lost anything appreciably significant; still work as a nurse, still a Mom to men, still have friends, and still have those who find the discussion of all that is wrong with me incredibly entertaining. I still owe more than I make and yet have so much material abundance it would boggle me if I had been told even 25 years ago I would have this much in my lifetime. So nothing has changed, and everything. I feel like the little baby "thing" I dreamed of last night that I almost killed before deciding it was a recently hatched turtle and setting into water where it began to recover and swim. I dreamed the birth of the turtle who held the world on his back.

So while nothing and everything has been changing around and inside me, I have not blogged. I have been journaling in the interim, on paper, in private because counter to current cultural trends I believe somethings are better dealt with privately. Although Ego and its no-holds-barred, Look-at-me, look-at-me Western Cultural worship and re-inforcement would have me believe that privacy and silence are counterproductive to growth and happiness, I find the opposite to be true. Some realities are best dealt with silently and in private.  Nurturing what good would grow within us, the seeds of true greatness in their tiny shoot infancy, require shelter and softly spoken words and limited traffic. Also, there are parts of every life that are just better dealt with unannounced,  sequestered. As a nurse and as a human I know the power of isolation. Secrets have there place in daily life.

I close the door to my bathroom when it is in use, use deodorant and launder stains out of clothing, and keep displays of affection between myself and my lovers between them and I. I privatize large portions of who I am, not because I believe any facet of me is inherently shameful. All facts of existence are equally necessary for balance. A cloistered life is as much about keeping things in as it is about keeping things out of the walled and secret places. My invisibility and silence is a greenhouse for my soul.

Today, however is a Daptone day, an out loud flowering, getting my Soul on, hanging with people and singing what I gotta say at the top of my lungs day. I am currently blogging to "Daptone Gold" (from Hoodlum’s, of course). Daptone Records, a post-modern Brooklyn haven of horn blowing toe-tapping and riffing, or more specifically the music they produce is the reason I need (not just want) a great stereo system with a turntable. I am listening to a CD of music that is meant to be heard as an LP or a 45. I need a record player for the same reason I once needed to learn french for Hugo.

My  postmodern period started in fourth grade when I read translations of Les Miserable and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Hugo’s wretched ones redeemed me, hitting me upside my self-absorbed child’s head with philosophical sticks of grace and justice and while I preferred the Hugo opera’s happy ending (later used by Disney for their movie version) I knew love to be more like the betrayal and dust of the book’s Quasimodo. I could not get enough of Victor Hugo and his work. I read and reread them, excavating between the lines, believing somehow the works I was enthralled with were meant to be more than I found in the translations.  Perhaps it was the words themselves, so I vowed to read the words as Victor wrote them.

So five years later when I finally read them in their French original, my obsessive pursuit of their flavor was satisfied by an experience that was as transformative as I had expected, but not for the reasons I expected. I thought I would learn more of Hugo’s seminal meaning by learning his language, instead I experienced in much fewer syllables what Jacque Derrida was simultaneously verbosely describing in the academic world as "seeing through the metaphysics of presence".  I read what Hugo said, as he first said it and knew the words had beauty and worth and also knew for certain I could never really grasp what Hugo meant because I was not Hugo, that meaning and shared experience is more than words.

And with that insight I left my childhood and my brief brush with postmodernism behind before I had even heard of Hannah Arendt or Foucalt, let alone read them. 

There are a few words and a few lessons I regret in my life. I have never regretted learning French, nor have I ever regretted keeping silent.

 But today is an out loud day. Today is a Daptone soul singing day and I now want a record player for the same reason I once was driven to learn French. I want a record player because Victor Hugo transformed me not just by his words but because my desire to read his own words as he spoke them taught me that All things, all things, have their own language.

Hugo spoke French. The Daptones speak turntable. Enlightenment usually speaks with silence.

Parables, and koans, and yes, sometimes blogs are just attempts to translate a  transformational experience into everyday language. I am not at all who I was yesterday, and a stranger to myself a month ago and I cannot, cannot tell you how that is as I stumble over this new language.

I am not a virtual-life loving post modernist even now in my silver digital age but still (as in my minimalist and radical adolescence) a devotee of Hannah Arendt and so will dance a bit today and play and perhaps blog,

Then return again tonite behind my cloister walls to grow a bit I hope and to listen and delight in the quiet.

" Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight. " Hannah Arendt