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omg... my good friend Sandi has magnetized me back over here, .... and I'm rather glad she has. :D Stay tuned...
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Most of my friends hate Woody Allen movies. Regardless of whether or not Woody Allen is a narcisistic twirp, he really hits on certain things.
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"It's better to lose at being who you are than win at being someone else"

This quote above actually has relevance to me on several levels, but a great example: I knew a great guy (Patrick Buckley) in an English class who told me that many years ago, in another English class, he had to write an analysis paper about a piece of literature. He chose to write about a novel by Ray Bradbury. His professor did not accept the piece, and in fact flunked him, because (in the prof's words) "Ray Bradbury does not write literature." Buckley refused to go along with the professor's assumption that Bradbury's stuff was not literature. Of course, Buckley was right, and today everyone knows it and many kids have to read F451 in gradeschool now. But in that day and age he was considered wrong.

Buckley strengthened his arguments, resubmitted the same essay on Bradbury...and flunked...again.

Now, I'm sort of a grade grubber and I would personally have resubmitted another piece to get my stupid A, but I admired that Buckley would not concede his integrity.  {In some ways for all my general good grades, I never expected school to be an area where I could entirely be my true self in, I just saw it as a launching pad to get somewhere else. I assumed from the get go I had to modify myself and be a less edgy version of myself to get through the system.}

 But in areas of life that are too meaningful to myself (or others) to concede on, I firmly believe Buckley's approach is the only way to be (and since at that time in his life Buckley's stance on that essay was more meaningful to him than his gradebook, he absolutely did the right thing). As long as you aren't directly hurting anyone, *you cannot concede your basic soul because for whatever reason you haven't been able to "win" at being you*, or even because society does not accept you for some reason. If you "win" at being someone else, sure people may admire you, and sure on some superficial level you may be happy. But deep inside when you're sitting on your back porch and the wind is whistling in the trees and a leaf falls falls in your hair, reminiscently, and your cat brushes up against your leg and wonders why you aren't petting her, you won't feel that way. You'll feel cheapened. You'll feel like you sold out.

Deep inside, you'd be happier--if only in a bittersweet way--sitting on that back porch knowing that you tried. You might be failure or you might win. You may struggle your whole life and never be able to entirely win at being yourself. (This is natural. We are human. It is human to err, and the higher your ambitions the more likely it is you are going to fail at your ultimate dream.) You may never have a career that quite works for your overshot personality, you may never meet Mr./Ms. Right (or Mr. or Mrs. Rights may come along and not love you) and you may never have a lifestyle that *entirely* is satisfying.

But listen. There is beauty here.

The failure to reach the ultimate is the very mark of the human being. We can reach *just so far.* We can win *just so much.* And as long as you are reaching, you have a shot at coming up against so many beautiful things that you would miss if you settled for that shiny award certificate for being Mr/Ms. Goody Two Shoes Who Always Did Exactly What Other People wanted you to do and no better. You'll experience some of the deepest human emotions possible. Regardless of whether you win. You may get beaten up by life, but like the Velveteen Rabbit of the old children's story, *you will be truly real.*

And once you are truly real, once you have accepted who you are, that is when the Most Beautiful things can happen, and you may reach a strange place where it's not about failure or winning anymore. It's about being real, and appreciating the beauty, and loving this strange world we've been born into not just in spite of the pain, but at least partially because of it. You will be able to love OTHER people not for what they could be to you, but for what they are themselves, inside. You reach a mystical state where it's OK to be you. It's OK other people are them. It's OK nobody is perfect. Sure we're all broken and we all can piss each other off. Sure nations can't agree on the most basic things.

But guess what? GUESS WHAT?

As long as you are doing your best, and you are trying to be loving to yourself and others for who they truly are....

At some level, the level of the whisper of the wind, the pulse of your heart which beats despite everything, and the smile of a friend who hurt you but you maintained friendship with because the depth of the pain revealed that person was worth it to you for some reason that maybe only you'll ever understand--

It's OK. 

I think this is the state of ultimate compassion which many religions (what I consider to be true Christianity, Zen Buddhism, Sufi Islam, deep humansim, and others) aspire to. It's really hard and you DO get beaten up for being your true self, but I think all human beings have it in them and can make it to this point. I'm not saying I've reached it. None of us have, entirely. But it's crucial that we embrace life as it is, not as we would have it be. It's crucial that we accept ourselves as we are, not as we would have ourselves be. It's easy to get into the Beatles "If everyone could be this way..." sort of rant, but that defeats the point. Even if not everyone can be this way, that does not mean YOU should not be. If the universe is going to be beautiful, it doesn't matter if all of society follows suit. All that matters is whether or not YOU can do this. Just like with many voters one vote won't elect a president, but several million single votes will, true change in this crazy world will only happen if 7 billion individuals all decide -- on their VERY OWN -- to be better. To love. To reach out. To turn the other cheek when necessary. I'm not advocating total pacifism in nation states. I'm not advocating any particular system of government. I'm advocating true change from within in all human beings. I think this is the only way humanity will ever improve and in this nuclear age life has a hope of ultimately subsisting.

Interesting thing about Bradbury -- Farenheit 451 was about a society where everyone was trying to be perfect by denying a certain depth in life. You could even argue that by destroying literature, which inevitably involves a deep examination of the reality of human beings, Farenheit 451 was about trying to burn out imperfections and in so doing destroying the soul of the human species. 

For society to ultimately improve, we all have to get to the level of MLK, Jr and Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, etc. (You can argue with me that their personal lives didn't live up to who they are supposed to be, but they are society's great examples regardless of whether they deserved it, so I'll list them.) We say peace on Earth will never happen because people are naturally assh$les. Sure they are. But *you* can do your best not to be an a$$h*le. You can plant a garden, be kind to friends, truly love maybe three to nine people and be compassionate and kindly to perhaps maybe 100,  and make one small area of this universe truly beautiful. You really can do that. You can do that and love the people who deserve it, and believe it or not accept others who don't deserve it for being the assh&les they are. And in some brotherly way, even love them!!!

Really. 

And a secret: EVERYONE can do this. It's within the capacity of EVERYONE. We can all do it regardless of whether it sets us up in some ways for failure. Every one can do it if each of us chooses to do it as one lone person.

But you can never, ever do this if you cannot accept your own hurt, your own failures, and are not truly yourself.

------

OK Sorry to be a downer if that was a downer at 9 in the morning or whatever. It was just the essay that happened when I posted a random quote on my facebook wall and couldn't stop ranting. I'm hypergraphic and this happens sometimes.
 



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OK, so first things first: I am NOT a believer. BUT.

Concealed within this goofy song is something very astute about love.




I'm a Believer - lyrics

I thought love was only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me.
Oh, love was out to get me
That's the way it seems
Disappointment haunted all my dreams.

Then I saw her face
Now I'm a believer.
Not a trace
Of doubt in my mind.
I'm in love
(uuuuuu)
I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her
if I tried

I thought love was more or less a giving thing
The more I gave the less I got,

What's the use of trying
All you get is pain

When I wanted sunshine I got rain

Then I saw her face,
Now i'm a believer.
Not a trace
Of doubt in my mind.
I'm in love
(uuuuuu)
I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her
if I tried

Oh, love was out to get me
That's the way it seems
Disappointment haunted all my dreams.

Then I saw her face
Now I'm a believer.
Not a trace
Of doubt in my mind.
I'm in love
(uuuuuu)
I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her
if I tried

I'm a believer
----------------

There's no use in trying to make yourself find something as whimsical as love. Love isn't something you can MAKE yourself do. It happens, or it doesn't. I've had it happen before, and when it happened, I was a believer. HOWEVER, I've never been lucky enough to have that "I love you, you love me, we're best friends like friends should be" thing happen like in "Barney in Friends" all in one time/space coordinate. (I've crushed on people who didn't like me, been crushed on by people I wasn't that into, and even flipped back and forth with people over the course of friendships.) And worse than any of that, I HAVE "loved" people, mutually, but it's Still For Whatever Reason Not the Sort of Thing where I can sacrifice my basic freedom to say "OK, I'm going to be glued to you like Raggedy Ann and Andy the rest of my life."

If there's anything I learned from my first crazy Indian boyfriend during freshman year of college, it's this: Muje tumse pyaar hai. "Where I am with you, there love is." In India, Love's not something you DO, in this very English-language style, I'm faux Jesus here to commit to you whether I like you or not and nail myself to a cross for you sort of way. Love, in the romantic sense--the sense that "OMG, I want to spend the rest of my life with you", is not a verb. Sure love becomes a verb sometimes later on, when things get hard, and when it's not easy to stay on. That's crucial. BUT. I think when it comes to romantic relationships, you NEED TO HAVE THAT OOOMPH at the beginning. Otherwise you're NOT going to be able to nail yourself to the cross for someone and stay with them when things get rough. And even if you do, you won't REALLY BE there for them. You're somewhere else. And when we meet the Guy/Girl/It-Thing(s) that makes us say "I'm a believer" we'll have to kill a little piece of our soul to stay with the one we Decided to Make Ourselves Love.

After all, we're not all Jesus. We're human beings and our divinity is limited. So my advice, from observing friends and myself, is don't force yourself to love someone because you are Lonely or even because you really really care about that person and want to make them happy. My advice: Call it love or call it quits. Sure maybe you'll be lonely longer, maybe theoretically your whole life, but that still small part of you will be happier chasing butterflies than dedicating yourself to something that your Whole Heart is Not In (or yet in, I'm not saying that relationships can't change and evolve, coz they can).

Some people, maybe frankly, were designed to Chase Butterflies/Rainbows, etc. This might be me and this might summarize some of my best friends. I am not quite sure why this is. But if a rainbow chaser ever finds their pot of gold, and gets it, they aren't going to be able to leave. And I think there's some beauty there. 

(Now, granted, you might not be able to explain to anyone what that Rainbow is, but you DO catch glimpses of it, and when you see it you know it.  Also granted is this, that I suspect that the Pot Of Gold might be impossible to get, just like the Rainbow is impossible to catch in a bottle. You can't find the end of the rainbow. It's always on the horizon.)

BUT.

If all you want is the pot at the end of the rainbow, you're not going to be satisfied by a coin here or a flower there. You want IT. The grail. That.

And if you have a soul like that, gosh darn it, there is no going back. You're after IT.

So my suggestion to Rainbow Chasers is this: find someone to chase the Rainbow WITH. Someone who is on the same journey as you. Someone looking for THAT SAME RAINBOW.

When you see the rainbow, or your friend sees the rainbow, you'll see it reflected in your fellow Rainbow Chaser's eyes. And you won't be able to hold onto that moment forever, but you'll remember it. And it will mean a lot.

Man. I didn't even intend to close that way. About finding a fellow rainbow chaser. This kind of makes me disgusted with myself, because I'm done with love entirely and all that Jazz. But.

My advice: Don't settle for someone who isn't a rainbow chaser, or even for someone who is chasing a different rainbow.

And most of all, don't EVER, EVER chide yourself for chasing rainbows.

AND NEVER, EVER, FOR ANY AMOUNT OF SUPPOSED LOVE, MONEY, OR VALUE, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER BIND YOURSELF TO SOMEONE WHO TELLS YOU TO STOP CHASING  THEM.


It's not going to feed your soul and you will become bitter and cynical.


startiger: (butterfly chaser)


Things I love:

Spring breeze and frog sounds from my open window.

Shoyeido Kyoto Moon Creativity incense burning on sill of said window.

The above track by Rachel Goswell called "Thru the Dawn" (mislabeled "Beautiful Feeling").

OmmWriter (and its competition, ZenWriter). :)

Writing when it does not feel / taste like trying to drink black strap molasses through a straw.

Vitamin Water Zero.

My cat who is now in the window sill too.

The StarFox game my brother is playing in the other game.

The feeling of springtime. Springtime of spirit as well as season.

A budding sense of wick new shoots, and whiffs of a more passionate happiness that is coming up again to blossom.

 

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"Listen! I will be honest with you. I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but I offer rough new prizes." -Walt Whitman

That last video post I made basically has to do with something I'm actually very fervent about, which is that Life, as unfair and messy and (sometimes even ghastly) as it is sometimes, is beautiful, and that the darkness and shadows make the colors brighter, like in a Caravaggio, or some other chiaroscuro Baroque era painting.

Lately, I haven't been that in touch with the chiaroscuro of life, though. Things have been conveniently pastel.

I'm not quite sure why this is.

On the phone, at age 18 to a minister I had a crush on (but who was also sort of counseling me):
 

Minister: "Well, how are you doing?" (Are you feeling good enough I can hang up soon and get rid of you)

Jenny: "I'm okay...sort of. It just goes up and down."

Minister: "Well, you know, in my life, I find that there are good days, bad days, and blah days. But ya know, sometimes the blah days are worse than the bad days."

Hmmm. Thanks, Rev. As bad as you were sometimes at dealing with my teenage crush on you (citation: "I love you too, Jenny"), you really hit the nail on the head sometimes with advice or pearls of wisdom here or there. That day was one of them.

So what's missing, right now, I wonder? Why are things a bit blah?

I guess it's partly that I've figured out I can survive the ups and downs (even the eventual fading of the mirage of the reverand's supposed love for me) , which takes away some of their old zingy melodrama. But I think, for the most part, this is a good thing. It's good to feel safe. And yet...

Ya know, right now, maybe things are too safe.

Maybe it's the germinating, the sitting on things, I've been doing the past year. Maybe the seed is getting tired of sitting in the dark. Maybe decision making time is approaching.

Perhaps I'm approaching one of those moments ala Anais Nin: "And then the day came when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

I'm not sure.

(Family drama this month. An uncle of mine fell and hit his head, had amnesia surrounding the fall, and is having some problems getting his cognizance back together. This has spurred a lot of (abnormal) levels of sociality and activity on my mom's side of the family, and has given my mom, my family, and me more than a little stress, since this uncle--despite his forgetfulness of birthdays and fondness of the bottle--is my favorite on mom's side. Getting him to go to a hospital to be evaluated again (and perhaps weaned of the alcohol) is turning out to be quite a to-do...But this, again, is not my drama. I'm just sort of sitting at the sidelines, cheering on the people who should be cheered on, and patting people's shoulders. It's hardly any sort of blossoming.)

I'm giving up perfectionism for Lent, because I think, sometimes, perfectionism holds us back -- it prevents us from doing anything, sometimes, because anything we do is going to be much less than perfect. There's a reason that the Narcissus, who froze staring at his reflection, is the symbol for narcisism: we all have a tendency, sometimes, to freeze in that "perfect" stance. Worried that the next step we take, we're going to--on some level--be made a fool. 

But then we can't get anything else done.

I know, in my writing, that perfectionism is one of the chief hold ups. I want what I write to be Good. The problem is, I'm not allowing the writing to have its own chinks, its own imperfections and shadows which embolden the colors. I know the art of chiaroscuro in theory, and can even work it out consciously, but I don't allow nature itself to do it through me.

Each step we take involves a falling motion, and then a catching just before the fall.

My rising sign is Sagittarius. One of the themes of Sagittarius is a certain willful naivete. You know life is not perfect, that there are risks (it's not like Aries--who laughs at danger like baby Simba, because that's sort of what Aries is), but you make that leap anyway and hope the net materializes. The Fool Card is a good analogy.

I haven't been feeling very Fool Cardish lately. I've had more of a 7 of pentacleish case of the Hanged Man. My feet are tied to the tree, and I know none of my choices are precisely, exactly what I want. I think inside I'm really sort of steamed about this. Maybe that's why I haven't been making a decision. I know, wherever I land, it's not going to be perfect. And the sad thing is, even though I was pretty confident (in an Aries sort of way) a while ago that I knew just where I had to go to be perfect, I have now not even the foggiest notion of how to bring about a state of True Happy. I have parts of True Happy, but there is that subtle, pastel and fluffy suburban discontent.

I'm hanging by a thread, and I've got a pair of scissors, and Iknow I can make the cut whenever I'm ready to. I just haven't been ready yet. I don't want to be a Hamlet type, unable to ever act, but I just haven't gotten around to making the swipe. I keep waiting for the net to appear.

But I think in a little while I'm going to have to make the cut.

I  may be pretty perfectionistic. I may be a bit embarassed about the fall. 

But at least, so I learn, if I fall too hard, there is amnesia.


startiger: (Default)


Stuff Finish Soon:

1.) Finish program at work
2.) Finish birth charts for friends
3.) Finish Chapter 3 of novel
4.) Blog more.

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To the point Youtube requested embedding would be disabled...

But...

IT IS STILL MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG, AND IT MAKES ME SNIFFLE IN THE WEE HOURS OF MORNING WHEN I'VE BEEN UP  ALMOST ALL NIGHT SOMETIMES.

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I'm feeling with it.

I'm in the rhythm of things.

Not sure why! It might be one of these things that just happens. Like depressions, but now I'm at a peak--or just before the peak--just wave riding. I'm sensing the joy underlying the flow.

Maybe it's just that I'm recently home from Seattle, and I liked Seattle. I liked the rainyness of it, the light, jacket weather chilliness. Maybe it's the Kyoto Moon Creativity incense from the local hippie herb shop* I'm burning, which is making my room smell exotic, like a floral rainforest. Maybe it's the Vitamin Water Zero. Maybe it's the corn pasta with peas I just cooked. Maybe it's the lingering snow, or the Listening Earth CD I just downloaded and am playing. (<3 nature sounds). Maybe it's just that I'm sensing the brilliance of things.

I want to *stay* like this, is the thing. I have these clear water moments, where everything is just right, everything is *good.* But I don't always stay here. I leap up too high--like Icarus--and crash to Earth, with melted, waxen, molten wings. I fall and cry--or worse I hover or slosh about in murky fog, floundering. Maybe the lows are there to make the highs better. But I want Soltura. Ease of motion. Flow. Love of life.

I do love life. But I don't always know it. My love of life, my joy in things, is not always on the top of my heart, showing itself, like a dolphin surfacing. Because there is agony in there, too -- agony at the unfairness, not just in my little life, but in the big mess of Universe I'm trapped in, against my will, and yet set free in, and with, to free my desires and yearining amidst things. Incarnation is strange--life bizarre--born from entropy and energy, dark, absorbant matter and fierce, burning light. I love the pattern, don't get me wrong, I love the Dance, but the Dance is hard, and you have to keep dancing, even when your bandage is broken and the reason you signed up for this contest has slipped your mind. But it's not a contest. No one wins. The experience is the win.

The three laws of Thermodynamics according to Richard Murphy:
1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't get out of the game.

But maybe we don't want to. The missing piece is what sets things moving, what makes the yin yang swirl, sets fish dancing, galaxies whirling, merging, stars bursting forth from darkness. The holes are why we link up, match, need each other. Entropy isn't just disorder--it's chaos, which is order on a level we cannot understand, the frothing magma in the cauldron of creation, where higher orders bloom and merge. I love Ilya Prigogine's book Order Out of Chaos, and anything by Stuart Kauffman, because they capture the order in chaos and set it straight, for a moment, give me a glimpse of where it's all coming from, where it's all going. Energy wants to be everywhere, the marbles want to go everywhere they can possibly go--and that's life, that's us. The randomness isn't random. The accident *is* the meaning.

"Time, nature, necessity, accident,
Elements, energy, intelligence--
None of these can be the First Cause.
They are effects, whose only purpose is
To help the self rise above pleasure and pain."
- from the Shetashvata Upanishad

"Random chance was not a sufficient explanation of the Universe — in fact, random chance was not sufficient to explain random chance..." Jubal Harshaw (thinking) in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land

"Have you ever experienced the Ultimate?" a friend asked me the other day.

Hmm. No. Or maybe. Or...?

I know I've experienced the Penultimate--leaning against the Reason for everything, that primary yearning almost realized. The joy of being There, up against the Big World of Everywhere, Everythought, Everything, Every Passion. Whatever that is. I don't know what it is. But there it is. Joy at the manifold, the unfolding, the beauty of everything that shall be and was and is, and where I'm going with it. Like light. It's burning inside of me, and yet no matter how hard I try--I never can catch up with it. It always exceeds me. Yet it's in me, I know it is. Like an atom bomb. I can't release it because it would tear the universe apart, but I know it's in there.

And sometimes, no matter the risk, I have to try to break open the geode.

"In this body, in this town of spirit, there is a little house shaped like a lotus. And in this house there is a little space. There is as much within this space inside the heart as exists in the whole universe outside. Both heaven and earth are contaned in this inner space, both fire and air, sun and moon,lightning and stars. Whether we know it in this world or know it not--everything is contained in this inner space." --The Chandogya Upanishad.

Yet--"a swan can tell you more." (Also the Chandogya Upanishad. I picked up a copy at a B&N in Seattle, can you tell? :p )

Perhaps that's why I'm a Seeker, never claiming to be a Finder. The butterfly lands on your shoulder for a moment, but reach, catch it, grasp and it's dead. Life is free, and you have to dance with it. 

We catch glimpses of the Real Deal. Of course, the Real Deal is unhackable. God knows if we could see it fully, we'd try to eclipse it, try to own it. Undoubtedly ruin it. Somehow. Though we can't quite touch it, cannot ravish it. It's always in here.

The gods hid it in there because they knew we'd never quite get that, never quite understand. There is a reason Mystery is Mystery, and each time you pull a leaf from the lotus another grows, mysteriously, fractal-like and colorful and brilliant, calling to you like another mountain from your view on the peak. There's a reason you get lonely, there's a reason you must reach out to another. There's a reason for hugging and loving and seeking and finding, and losing, and finding again. The separation is what makes for the togertheness; all-one, long enough, and you're alone. So we dance and part and care and come together and find again.

Damned if I understand it.

I don't. But I feel it.

And I wish I felt like this, really, more often. I wish I always heard the Rhythm. I wish I always felt the dance.

I wish I knew how to keep in the flow, to find it with ease, to stretch and feel it tingling in my muscles, soaring in my veins, the blood that is made of stardust coarsing through me, the air in my lungs that blew in from a jet stream above the earth, that has flowed before in wombats and dinosaurs and lungs of rainforest trees--gifts of self and earth from sky and sea.

But I'm in the flow right now. So I know it now. And it's all okay. Everything is okay. It's all right. I won't pretend I'm not going to slip and fall again this time. I know I will. I'm creation, after all. I'm imperfect. I'm entropic. I'm human.

Being human, sometimes more than anything, is about scabbing your knee--and sometimes your entire earth-beaten body--and standing, starting over again, even when the salty ocean stinging your abrasian is nature's only goading , prodding kiss.
 
But at least I know if I stand up again on this quaking earth, if I wait long enough and listen, if I drag these molten wings from the mire, and wait, I'll catch the rhythm and again, given time, be re-enabled to go running with the fireflies and leaping after stars. 

It just works like that for me.
 
___________________________________________
Music Vid of the Day:

(I just discovered the Aussie singer Missy Higgins and now I have something of a girl crush on her :P )
___________________________________________

*<3 Phoenix Herbs

http://www.phoenixherbcompany.com
 

startiger: (Default)
Yay!  

Just back from the AAS (American Astronomical Society) conference in Seattle. I had a good time. Lots of astrophysics and sushi. :)

And I figured out how to archive my LJ blog -- without purchasing premium access :P (Take that, system!)

I used "LJ-Sec" http://www.mp3vcr.com/ljsec/ . It's a program you can download that interacts with LJ and lets you perform mass changes on specific entry types (like "public") to friend's only, private, etc. If you want to use it, they recommend backing up your entries in case something goes hooey. To do that, I recommend using LJBook: http://www.ljbook.com/ which will spit out a PDF of your blog. However my transformation seems to have run entirely smoothly. It's a little tricky figuring out how to work it at first (I kept clicking "repost" when I was supposed to click "process changes") but it all worked great once I clicked the right buttons.

In case anyone is interested, this is the relic which is Jennyn.Livejournal.com. :)

I'm happy however about starting over fresh in blogworld and I will post more in the upcoming days. I wish peace, love and soltura to everyone until then :)

~Jenny (StarTiger)

 

startiger: (Default)
 Happy New Year Dreamwidth!

I am wondering what I am going to do next with this blog. ...I'm thinking about writing a bit about writing. :) 

Writing is a good new year's resolution, methinks, because writing is a purification. Writing is allowing an outlet for the pores of your soul. Writing is absorption and release. Writing is a process, very much, of being. As my poet soulfriend Rumi of the 12th century wrote: "Story is like water you heat for your bath."

Over the past year, I have been seriously tackling writing a novel. It's a novel that I have been at least toying with in one way or another since I was in high school. Recently, I have started showing people I know what I write.

...Egads, but this is painful!

Why? Well...writing is personal. It's one thing to imagine your work published and on a shelf somewhere: those people picking up that book don't know you. But people who know you, once they have read what you write, will see you a bit differently...or at least I think they *should*. This is because--for those of us who must by writers--serious writing--and even half serious, or even goofy, absurd writing, exposes a part of us that we generally don't show around. Our writing is all that stuff we have to work out on our own. And writing fiction, in particular, gives us free license to be ourselves, or to be all those parts of ourselves that aren't acceptable, or just don't have a chance to get out for air much, in real life.

This is why, I think, writers--those who must be writers--are -- oftentimes -- those people who are "too much". Hence the stereotypical, Byronic poet or fiction writer as manic depressive, charged with passion or pain or blockages. We don't write because we want to. We write because we have to. There's no other socially acceptable place for all this stuff to go.

We live in a culture where, if you're "too much," people want to know the reason behind it. ("You must have a weird family. You must have been lonely as a child. You must have had something wonderful and/or terrible happen.") Maybe you were, and maybe you weren't. Maybe you did and maybe you didn't. Here's the scary thing, the thing no one wants to face up to: Maybe we just *ARE* what we are. A lot of us actually grew up pretty normal. But we have these overwhelming emotions anyway. Like it or not, we are plugged into the electricity of the cosmos. And writing gives us a place to work out our issues. To give ourselves a weird family, if we didn't have one. To experience befitting tragedies and comedies. To work out our too muchness. To process. To steep.

And maybe that general much-ness, that deeper sense of being, is good fodder for empathy, good fodder for understanding situations encompassing our natural feelings, which are just there, whether we have experienced the situations that normally bring up these deepset feelings or not.

We don't need an excuse. We are our own excuse. And our writing is our proof of that, our signature, our pièce de résistance.

Ah, this is crazy! But it's good to be crazy; it's good mulch for the mix. All our experiences, all our emotions, are compost for our next piece, our next exploration of what humanity is, what nature is, what life is, the substance of things that are. It's better to create a real drama than paint our lives with drama based on apparently incoherent feelings that overwhelm;  given an outlet, the feelings even out, homeostatize, balance...and lead us in directions we might not otherwise have chosen to go, that free us. That connect us, rather than tear us away.

Maybe in truth we're "hollow bones," shamans, like Sioux healer Frank Fool's Crow spoke of. Hollow bones, in shaman Frank Fool's Crow cosmology, are those people who are more hollow, more absorbing of experience. These hollow bones are conduits of the divine--but they need to be kept clean as much or even more so than most people.

Writing is the water we heat for our bath. It cleans us. It renews us.

And it takes us where we are to go next in our new year.

Soltura

Dec. 19th, 2010 09:39 am
startiger: (Default)
Soltura, Spanish feminine noun

Meaning:

1: looseness, slackness
2: fluency (of language)
3: agility, ease of movement

Hey g'day! My name's Jenny Lorraine. I've been on LJ for some time, and upon some input from a cool friend I decided to poke my feet into the new frontier world which is DreamWidth. :)

A Bit About Me:

I'm 25 and am in the process of balancing my life.  Soltura seems to be a good word for the qualities I'm wanting to enhance.

I'm taking time off before grad school to pursue creative projects,  get off of energy drinks (my family and friends were all convinced I needed rehab), rediscover what I love about learning, and participate in research with the Galaxy Evolution Group at a mid-sized urban university with a kangaroo mascot. (More info on this: I'm a research assistant to a bald, tattoo-armed astrophysicist, I sort galaxies and study galaxy composition, and am the lowest animal on the totem pole at the major Hubble legacy project,
CANDELS.)

I have always loved writing, so blogging comes naturally.

I'm creative and enthusiastic, I love almost everything in nature, I'm playful, and I do both "left brain" and "right brain" things with equal enthusiasm. I'm supposedly an ENFJ. (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging).

Family is hugely important to me. I generally take good care of myself, however, I am definitely more than a little 
cyclothymic . I have long brown hair which I have just managed to grow out again to the point I could censor the top half of myself if I was posing for an Eve in the garden scene. The goal is to get it so long I wouldn't need to stand behind a bush, but I think genetics has prolly ruled that out. :)

Some facts:

1. I am drinking "sassy water." (Ginger, lemon, cucumber water.)
2. I was homeschooled. Like many homeschoolers, I am eccentric and happy with it.
3. I am extraordinarily skeptical but I love paranormal stuff in addition to my obsession with science.
4. I have a little brother who just started college. He's very funny.
5. I secretly believe in fairies.
6. I  am very loud or very quiet.
7. I like hard rock.
8. A few things about me seem to be rare. Among these are that I am a physicist who believes in fairies and the fact I am great at calculus and bad at arithmetic.
9. I do not own a car yet.
10. I love Casey's pizza.
11. I am cheerful and religiously upbeat.
12. Under all that I have a deep melancholic streak. My melancholic side has a strong sense of beauty and drama, though, so unless I veer into emo-land, it's all good.
13. I drink a lot of tea and Vitamin Water.
14. The other night I derived part of string theory.
15. I was mad because I was trying to come up with something new.
16. My favorite female singers are Alison Sudol and Katie Perry. Go figure.
17. I am a converted Catholic.
18. I almost always carry a rosary.
19. I also have a pentagram necklace and a pendant with the goddess Durga. Take what you want from that. 
20. Black holes and quantum physics mesmerize me.
21. I am obsessed with nature and big cats -- particularly Bengal tigers.
22. My biggest crushes to date were both on male authority figures 20 years older than me. Send for Freud.
23. I can count my closest friends on one hand.
24. I'm looking for something.
25. I think everything in the universe is the imprint of God/Soul.
26. I think you can explain how everything works without talking about God, but that this has more to do with language and logic and what it covers than whether or not there is a God. (God is not about how. God's about why.)
27. I have a lot of love. I have some very good friends.
28. I'm still looking for Mr. Right. I imagine he is an anthropologist/psychologist/explorer type maybe about 15 years older than me. He has expressive eyes and broad shoulders and has a dynamic low voice. He is very dedicated to a cause or a dream and is a bit cyclothymic himself. (These are qualities I like...)
29. I love Ursula Vernon's art and the webcomic "
Digger." I need to catch up on it.
30. Shigeru Miyamato is one of my heros. I <3 Yoshi.
31. I want to learn more about yoga, energy healing, and embodied spirituality. I have no idea why any of it should work, but I think it does. Unlike some scientists, I'm pragmatic: if something works, I don't care if I can't satisfactorily explain it. I'll still do it.
32. Like life, for instance.
33. Of course I'll always be trying. :D

If you friend me and are very good, I'll give you my facebook on here and you can get to know me a bit better.

I decided to close with some music I like. I could torture you with Pink Floyd or Nine Inch Nails, but I've decided to set the tone of Soltura with A Fine Frenzy and Ingrid Michaelson. :)

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