We earthlings need an anchor (our bodies) to contain the infinite energetic matter of our spirits. My body and direct experience help me hold it together. With virtual experience I become one of the ghosts in a machine. I don’t want to live in a machine. I will love being a ghost when it is my actual time and my spirit is freed from a material (mater, mother, matter) vessel, but I don’t want to be swapping out one vessel (my body) for another (a machine).
There are many love languages; I believe food is one of them, and I have probably mentioned this sentiment before. From the simplest to the most complex, scratch cooking takes time; giving and sharing our precious time here is another aspect of love.
I’ve discovered many recipes from assorted cookbooks that I’ve adopted as my favorites, and many recipes I love that people I’ve loved have shared with me. I in turn share the cookies, or the bread, or the carrot cake, or the granola I’ve made from those recipes with others. I’ll share the recipe if they ask, and when they make it for themselves, they’ll always say to me “but it wasn’t as good as yours.” That’s because it didn’t have my own special love ingredient. It had theirs, and they gotta be able to recognize it. And all this sharing, it does keep the love going round and round.
Just returned from an evening walk, and looking forward to finishing bell hooks “Bone Black,” Memories of Girlhood. It’s my second reading, and while I usually don’t like rereading books, this one is lyrical and dreamlike, perceptive and raw, and shares a spirited girl’s journey to becoming a writer.
Looking forward to working more with my journal today. I used to do morning pages religiously, as well as other practices that I learned about while doing Julia Cameron’s workbook, The Artist’s Way, years ago. An artist friend I met through dance strongly encouraged me to work with it and when I finally got around to it, it was a joy to work with. It kept me grounded on a daily and weekly basis. I’ve often thought of revisiting it, possibly with a small group, but wondering if I even have the attention span for it anymore. Perhaps it’s a good time to find out.
I’ve had to adjust my morning routine somewhat — rather difficult as my morning rituals help set the tone for my day. Lately my personal space has felt a bit crowded — that heavy breathing during a phone call? Not me. Strange garbled text you received? Again, not me. Hoping to come up for air soon.
I aspire to live in a land of magic and wonder, and occasionally I realize that I already do. It’s just sometimes I forget. One of the reasons I love vintage pieces is for the stories they hold, and I’ve always loved a good story. The excerpts below from Mary Ruehle’s book of poems, “Dunce,” speak to this. They are from the poem “Inglenook.”
“I live in the museum of everyday life,… Open daily, the doorknobs are covered with curated fingerprints and pass on the latest news.”
“The strange antlered language of phantoms” (quote from Mary Ruefle’s book of prose, “My Private Property”) and flickering shadows playing in the corners of your simple mind…the one that’s in tune with your body and what your body knows from centuries of carrying this knowledge in the DNA that flows from ancestors through their descendants. It’s the more powerful of our two minds, for it is pure instinct and sensual knowing before language steps in to confuse an eternal and universal consciousness.
Books. They are as necessary as breathing to me. Actually, that’s a “slight“ exaggeration, but barely. At the beginning of the pandemic, when the libraries shut down, as the weeks dragged on and I watched my stack of library books dwindle, I tried to pace myself so I wouldn’t run out of them. It’s not that I couldn’t rustle through my own collection of books to find something to read if I really needed to, but I love libraries for the vast choices available — for free — and to suit every mood and interest. I have about twenty books out now, and should we end up with another shutdown, I am well prepared — with culinary histories, mysteries, poetry, and ecological essays and American Indian ethnobotany. Yep, something for every mood and whim.
What if we led poetic lives? To the best of each of our circumstances? If only it were that easy, but it’s not. So many choices we make with the hand we are dealt lead us down paths that make that poetic life a luxury rather than the core of our existence. And some of us are just dealt a lousy hand. I don’t regret many of my choices, only the ones that caused hurt to someone else. Besides, just for today I can choose the poetry. “Every day you play with the light of the universe.”
– Pablo Neruda
Whew! I’m just going to relish the feelings I have had all day — profound relief, a cautious optimism, and delirious happiness that at the very least, while he may not be who I wanted (Bernie always), I sure am happy to have Biden and Harris safely on board. Wise, experienced, compassionate, humble and intelligent leadership. The voices I heard speak today — from Biden to our brilliant poet laureate, Amanda Gorman — reflected many of my thoughts, acknowledging our weaknesses as a nation, but also recognizing our innate capacity for resilience, perseverance, and endurance. We are emerging from a dark time that has illuminated the worst of what we are as a nation for many of us. The white supremacist, racist, imperialist, better-than-you persona that lives deep in the bones and sinew of our collective American psyche, and how we move through a world we all share. The more I learn of the racism and supremacy inherent in the structure of our country, the foundations upon which it stands, the more I believe that until we eradicate that, we will again face another time of darkness like the past four years. And we may not be so lucky the next time. This is the gift of that second chance. I hope we don’t blow it.