I had an amazing weekend. Started it by talking a day of vacation to sort and throw away and re-arrange the bedroom and walk-in closet. I now have a bedroom with enough open space to do all my trul-kor cycles without hitting a piece of furniture AND my own practice space in the now nearly empty closet! Thank you to the Captain for help making this happen! Now I can set up a formal altar that doesn't need to be taken down after each session and one where I can set up appropriate offerings et al. It can also double as a snug little dharma study space. I am sooo happy and excited for this. Kates space, I has it. As a friend said this weekend "you did something for yourself!" There's more to do but already the energy in whole room is much better and I have a little area to decorate- such fun! I would like to learn how to do a very formal practice altar and now the first piece of that is ready!

Needless to say that took ALL DAY FRIDAY. I was up by 7:30am and got to bed after 1am. Yesterday I did many errands and recovered (read: took a huge nap). Today was program and more errands and a plan to do some stuff this afternoon was nixed by the T-storm and the accompaning pressure headache that put me to bed for two hours until the barometer changed again. So maybe some puttering this evening...

Also the captain changed the oil in my car this afternoon after coming home from work- so nice of him!



I've haven't posted in weeks- too much to say and too little time to say it in or just nothing worth saying.

The birthday was last thursday. 38th. For some reason it was my 40th two years early. Just devastating and horrifying in so many ways. For a girl who grew up believing that she wouldn't live past 18 realizing that I was going to be 38 was a shock. Also realizing that if I inherited the genetics of my grandfather then I have about 20 yrs left before the Alzheimers starts gave me pause. If I inherited the other genes then I have 30-35 before senility. So regardless of how long I live, I'm probably just over half through the cognitive functioning part. Which leads me to the question of what am I going to do with that 20 years? Because assuming I have 30-35 is just a stupid excuse to waste time.

The answer was in front of me, of course, and I took the plunge 'cause really what do I have to loose? It's shaken my life up a bit and it's why some of you have seen even less of me than before (if that is possible). It's been hard on the Captain too, but he's been supportive and only occasionally grumbly (tho in this case grumbly is good and helpful) and we'll just have to see how this continues to shake out.

And no I'm not discussing what it is so don't ask. You'd be bored by it anyway but I like it.


Once again life coalesces into a thought.

A number of different on- and off- line conversations recently have hit upon the same topic- "those people". In recent cases the "those people" referred to have been the under-educuated, white, angry right-wing who so often make it on the news because they are open about publically stating how much they hate "those people" (the liberals of the left). For those of you friended to both of us, I have in mind fdmts recent thread- as well some other interactions.

A number of things have sprung to mind. First, there's a lot of anger among non-conservatives who have grown up in mostly white conversative communities. There's enough bitterness that I've heard things like "waiting for them all to die off" and "fallen below a certain basic threshold". The feeling seems to run the gamut from seeing them as stupid overgrown honyacks to having a sub-human amount of intelligence and perception. "They" are outdated, outmoded, narrow minded and keep interfering with all the great things we could do as a nation. There is nothing to be done except wait for them to die off which they are supposed to be doing rapidly and, really, they deserve to be poor because they made bad, stupid choices about not going to college, working in factories, etc.

If the "they" in question were say...rural, un-educated, religious conservatives in another country I suspect that same people would argue that the best way forward would be to "engage" them, run education programs, increase access to health care, encourage sensitivity to other's beliefs, give them more economic opportunities, etc. In fact the one difference I can think of is that when we talk of similar groups in other countries we would add "bring them into the political process" while in this country we would like to reduce their access to political power.

So the poor and angry and religiously conservative of other countries get compassion and those in our country get scorn (or worse)?

It occurs to me that from our examples of similar situations in other countries the result of being poor, shunned and shut-out of economic opportunity is not that "they die off eventally" but that eventually they get fed up and start blowing up things.

Yes, to a certain extent issues like gay marriage *will be* resolved easier when older voters have died off but the underlying issues- poverty, lack of access to education, health care and jobs- will not and the kids and grandkids of those older voters will have other opinions about other things that we don't like or agree with.

Does no one else get the connection between despising them, being hard-hearted to them and their anger to us? Does no one else see the connection between despising them, vilifying them, "waiting for them to die", and what other people have said about Tutsis, Hutus, Serbs, Georgians, Armenians, etc, etc? Once you've decided that a group of other people are not worthy people then you've taken that first step to killing them- to being a person who kills people who don't agree with them or are different from them. Sure, it's a long road from random talk and LJ posts to mass murder but it is there.

I am not romanticing them. Being all sweetness and love doesn't mean that they will magically agree with us, change their minds about gay people, health care etc. The people I of speak of would almost certainly find me a devil worshipper and a traitor to my race. But offering the cold shoulder of my heart does not a bit of good and harms me and them. No one wakes up one morning and says "I know! I'll be narrow minded and hate gay people and beat my dog and work in a factory and shoot my wife! That sounds like a great life!" Meeting hard-hearted people with your own hard heart will just make both of you angrier and more hard-hearted.

Angry people are rarely reasonable. Happy people almost always are.

(no subject)

Thank you everyone who has been kind enough to post on the previous posts of this experiment. I really appreciate it.

I have no topic that has come to hand for this week. It has been a good week but what is perculating in my mind right now is not for public consumption. Sorry.

My lack of having anything to say may have something to do with the 4 hours of sleep last night. Yup.

Talkin' about Je-sus

Yesterday I posted a question on FB asking Christian friends their reaction to question "If Jesus had died in bed at ripe old age, would he still have died for your sins?" Unfortunately, I was not able to phrase the question quite so pithly at the time so there was a lot of confusion about what I was asking. Here's where that came from:

Someone else's FB posting a few days previously had included a reminder that the only people who ever offered to die for you were Jesus and the American Soldier. In considering this post it occurred to me that in my own religion no one had to die for anybody. The Buddha died but the thrust of the religion is about his *life*. I am not bound by guilt that anyone died for me (course, there is the whole debt I owe because he *lived* but that is another post). This made me very happy. Then it occured to me "What if Jesus had not died, either"? I had not unpacked the cultural idea that "Jesus died for you" in quite that way before- it is such an ingrained notion in American culture that it never occured to me to think about it another way. Jesus could have lived to have been an old man. What would be Christianity be like if he hadn't been crucified? What is the reaction of a Christian if you suggest that it could have been different?

Judging from the responses on FB, it's not a very interesting or profound question to anyone else. But I did enjoy the feeling of disjointment when seeing the packet of culture from another direction.


News flash- toast does not make itself! You have to turn on the toaster!

Ok- this is an end to the long holiday hiatus. A short post today with possibly another tomorrow as today is chock full of awesome but has little hanging around on LJ time.

My discussions on passion the last couple of weeks have been fruitful and interesting. Most hilarious was when I mentioned my view tbhat I am not a passionate person to an old friend and he calmly, quickly and decisively denied that view. I had already revised that position to a large extent ( I am passionate but *not* dramatic) but it was oddly insightful to have someone who knows me well and for a long time flat out deny it.

Said friend then helped me elucidate my own definitions of spirituality vs regliousity. Upon reflection on a bright sunny Winter morning I have to soften my definition of spirituality a bit but still argue that I am religious and not "spiritual". The definitions of last night were: in common liberal parlence "I'm spiritual, not religious" tends to mean that someone has squishy feeligs about the divine/reality/insert-term-here but does not intensively question their own actions and worldview in light of those feelings nor do they actively investigate the nature or implications of those feelings. Basically, "I'm spiritual" means that I generally act how I want in the moment without regards to any larger framework in my life but get all high-handed when I think that I can impart some sage-sounding advice to someone else. Not that this is what any particular person I know does this but it seems to be the cultural use of the phrase. Religious people however volunteer to have the implications of their espoused views affect their actions and words (often with annoying and disasterous results for people who do not agree with them) but that in theory such practice should make them take a sweet and humble stance when met with the annoying habits of others.

So people who are spiritual but not religious take me to task for this!

Considerations of a Mad Woman

Dear Friends,

I have discovered a problem in composing this blog. My life is not very interesting. I do not have a fascinating job. Working in Interlibrary Loan is neither glamorous nor hard. It does afford a certain perspective and insight into human nature and habits but so does any public service job. Work one long enough and you discover that "the public" is often unreasonable, lazy and remarkably narrow minded- not in the political/social sense but in the "why don't you drop everything to serve me and only me?" sense. That being said most of the people I come into contact with are generally nice people in a state of extreme exhaustion and/or panic. Such is academic life.

My life, of course, does have its own highs and lows but they are either too personal to share so publicly or too narrow in their own scope to be more than a show of how dull many of my pre-occupations are. An obit for Warren Sherwood, oooOOOOoooh! or denied by NARA, baawwwhhh!

You could argue that such "modesty" is only another form of hiding but I am unwilling to display my emotional "boobage" to an unmoderated list. Just. no.

Instead I will treat you to considerations and musings. Not nearly as exciting as boobage but it's more likely that you'll still respect me in the morning.

My considerations of late...
Upon being requested to consider what the obstacles are in my life and in myself that prevent me from being or doing quite as much or as well as I would want to do or be, I have been considering passivity, fear, aggression and passion, their definitions and relationships to each other. Let's take passivity to begin. Almost immediately upon being asked this question the answer "passivity" came to mind. I'm a very passive person. I cloak my passivity in "reasonableness", "prudence" and " moderation" when often it is not any of these things but is a fear of engagement, of being present, of being wrong or of risk-taking and the result is that I have no experience with totally devoting or abandoning myself to anything. I always have a little bit left out, left over, left behind- just in case. And now I don't have any idea how *not* to do that and THAT JUST WILL NOT DO!

Because of this tendency I have long assumed that I am not a passionate person, that I lacked that particular gear. But what is my definition of passion? Do I actually lack strong emotions? I think of passion as being an emotion that overwhelms and drowns you. That results in problems. Is loud. Causes a single-minded insatiable urge. Harms or alarms others with its aggressive nature. So there's a relationship there in my mind between passion and aggression. But is aggression inherent in passion? Can the two be distilled apart? I've already admitted a certain problem with too much passivity so is the way to passion to be found via activity? Activity doesn't seem right because random, frenetic activity can be as non-engaged as passivity. So, maybe via engagement is a better term? Engagement definitely does not have aggression inherent in it.


That 5 question meme thing

Ok- here are the questions and the answers. I'm not posting the meme instructions as I doubt that I will follow through on asking anybody any questions. Thanks to <lj user=fairmer> for the questions.

1) You were a book reader growing up. What was the best book then, and why? What's the best book now, that you read back then (and why)?

Hmm. My memory is so bad that this is going to be hard. No, wait, I do growing up I'm going to assume you mean those books between youth books like Nancy Drew and books read as a teen.

The books I really liked then were books from which I could pilfer things for my own internal made-up dramatic epic- oh boy! did it put 15 volume novels to shame. I never wrote it out- too much work- just kept it going from day to day in my mind and also danced out most nights in the living room listening to Vangelis. The books didn't need to be particularly good- just mythic/epic enough in scope and about topics I liked or people I liked. Then I could pull out aspect/characters/ideas and add them to my own universe. Books I pilfered freely from were: "Sword of Shannara" and the second book in that series, never made it through book 3, McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern stuff, "Riders of the Sidhe" by Kenneth C Flint and second one *that* series (also never made it through book 3 of that one, either), "Tea with A Black Dragon" by R.A. MacAvoy, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", "The Grey King" by Cooper, small bits of "Dune" 'cause in general I didn't like it, "A Wrinkle in Time", "A Wind in the Door" I totally had a crush on Proginoskes!, "A Ring of Endless Light", "On a Pale Horse"....hmm there must have been other but only those has survived memory. Anything with death and the nature of reality would pretty much get me in the door. Epic battles of good and evil were good too.

The best book now...hmmm pretty much anything with death and/or the nature of reality and characters that I don't mind spending lots of time with and an internal philosophical system that doesn't make me too mad and books that Make Me Laugh. If I don't laugh, I won't read it. Terry Pratchett's recent stuff, Susanna Clark!, oh and interesting reference books, too. I love those.
2) Let's say the apocalypse comes and you get a unicorn side-kick because magic is real now. What do you do first?

First of all, I cannot believe you asked me a unicorn-apocalypse question! Second, I note that the requirements for having a unicorn have apparently changed with the advent of said Apocalypse. Thirdly, get on the damn unicorn and ride it around. Fourthly, raid the library and grocery store. Fifthly, wait for the NEXT apocalyse 'cause, really, if magic were easy....oh boy we would be screwed.
3) What vacation do you most want to take that you've not yet been able to?

Dave and I and two weeks in the very high mountains out west.

4) ILL the Card Game has become real. What is the card based on you called? What special powers does it have, and what weaknesses?
Mine is called "The Nose". It finds things. Weaknesses 1) you always forget you have it, 2) it finds what you tell it to find- which may not be want you actually need or want.

5) What's the best dream you ever had--the one you wouldn't mind having as a recurring dream, and/or the one you wouldn't mind achieving the lucid dreaming state for?
First off, I am terrible at remembering any dreams other than nightmares. THOSE I can remember. I want the ability to be lucid in any dream- then I might actually remember the good ones.


Betsy Marilla (Wickwire) Noble did NOT die in 1912!

She died in December 1896 in King Co WA.

Look. it. up.

And please stop posting that 1912 date everywhere.  No one has ever known where it came from.  Dates like that are the genealogical equivalent of candy on the sidewalk.

Thank you.