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Iíve been using this practice as a kind of ďwhineĒ bar. Itís gotta stop. Aprilís words yielded some really good writing. Much better than the stuff I produced in May and Iím a little disappointed. Yes, I was focused more on the craft of writing during April, but that doesnít excuse what Iíve done so far. I want June to be different.
This practice has produced the beginning of self-discipline. Now, I want to take that discipline and shape it to a purpose. Itís occurred to me that I might choose something specific to focus my one hundred words on.
I walked in the world-as-dream garden. I know more about leaves than I do about flowers, yet it was the flowers that I paid attention to going and returning. Each time my attention was snatched by the color, the form, the withering of the flowers I passed. Is this a lesson of impermanence or just a nod in that direction, a way of the world I've made letting me know that it is listening to everything?
Iíd decided that my hundred words for this month would focus on something specific. I think Iíve decided on ďdreamingĒ as this monthís topic.
I was sitting in my car staring at the day lilies in the drive-through. The closer I got the more I stared at the flowers. Life is a dream, and I want to know what the dream says.
Some of the heads of the flowers had come off their stems. The rest looked like open mouths, tongues out, as though they are calling out. Calling out for what? I asked myself later when I got home. Calling out for understanding, came the answer. Their heads turned in all directions but down to the ground. The call was silent, but plaintive.
I brought the flowersí sound to a trader in Halawa. From there I found myself on the beach, with another person, next to the fire. We looked into each otherís eyes and I understood that we were there to dream together.
We didnít speak until we came to the black soundless place and I told him about my dream of the trunk of my back. He asked me questions and I followed by entering the dream to change it.
I left Halawa passing the trader. He waved me over and gave me a plant that sounded like a hummingbird. Joy.
This is the first time Iím using the new version of Word for my one hundred. What does this dream element mean? I am upgrading the technical presentation of language. I am moving forward into another level of communication. I am willing to risk confusion so thatÖ So that what? Why do I have this program when the older one suits me so well?
I am moving forward technically, all around. I am risking comfort for change. I am using the other tools also. Mostly to present and catalog electronics.
Iíve dreamed an invitation to take the next steps.
Iíve been having trouble lately being sure Iíve read things right. Iím not looking at details the way I need to in order to understand. This is the consequence of too much reading of ordinary texts. Not enough recognizing that different texts need to be read differently. For example, math texts need to be read line by line, or phrase by phrase. They need to be edited that way also, but I wonít go thereÖ yet.
If not math texts then I should have been commenting on narrative texts, doing analyses on them. What a wasted education. Too late now.
I'm waking up to the nature of the relationship I have with my body. Wish I could go back to sleep because it's not very pretty. Doesn't feel good either.
Little things are coming up, like oil on a wet road, and reminding me to act with care. I hear voices echoing in my head that, when I listen more carefully, sound like my parents arguing. I hear myself ignoring myself, or telling me to wait, or be quiet, or we'll get to it. Where have I heard that before?
Noise is what hurts. The noises inside, the noises outside..
If everything is working out perfectly, then the dream is the plan. It is the final structure. Yes, I can just see that. The spark of an idea that had formed itself so many years ago is beginning to take hold after keeping it smoldering for so long. How can I tell? By what I am willing to let go of.
I can feel the weight of the elements that no longer serve. I can identify the parts that just take up space without contribution.
I just need to keep still a little longer so that I can see everything.
In this context forgiveness is not an issue. If I were indulging in blame, I might find myself in that position. But I would be blaming others for being too bright, too attentive, too generous. No. I've been that route before and while, at the time I made the best choice I could, it is not a place I want to return to.
And yet, I know that I do blame others for my being annoyed or worn out at the end of my day. Attending to the world-as-dream has restored feeling, and Iím less likely to lay blame anywhere.
I'm finding it interesting how relaxed I've become. Seems to come from life-as-dream living. Somehow, knowing that I am responsible for all that's around me, all that I perceive, knowing it's mine is comforting.
I've been living the last few years feeling increasingly fearful. Started with leaving Aikido and knowing that I had to live fully in the world. Take the opportunity to integrate and transform.
On a more mundane level, Iím also integrating the shift from being ruled by hormones to accepting their absence. The image of not being at sea anymore, of finally being in harbor, echoes that.
Spent part of my working hours listening to cello music. One piece, written by Zoltan Kodaly, is not only technically challenging, but written as though it is played impromptu. A tour de force for any skilled cellist.
What would a story written like that read like? What would the plot be? The technical virtuosity? Would I be able to understand how it was done? Would I be able even to read it?
Asking questions like this, in the moment of the experience especially, challenge me to dream differently, to construct a different world-as-dream. Should I just say WAD? Iíll see.
I hate it when I get behind, even for one day. I lose touch with time, donít know what day it is in real life or on the site and generally get unbrained.
Not a big problem in the one hundred words world but can be a little difficult in the real one. One reason for the lack of good timekeeping is that Iím not in school. I donít have to keep track of which class follows which work site. And Iíve taken on another assignment, and the regular assignments arenít what we decided they wereÖ
You get the picture.
Paying attention to this aspect, this idea of the world being what I have dreamed it to be, is beginning to make a difference when Iím not paying specific attention to it. I do feel generally more relaxed, a little less anxious about everything. Itís a different way of taking responsibility for my choices.
I was looking at all the cars around me and saying to myself, Iím already asleep and dreaming this. That allowed me to relax and drive although I was really tired. Then I saw all the cars as all the choices Iíve considered.
Look at me!
Reframing my life around amateur (ham) radio, I would have to shape it from my grandmotherís house. It had the space and the mystery. I lived there several times from three to sixteen, but there was no one to ďelmerĒ me into the mysteries of radio.
I have the opportunity to get my call sign this weekend, Iím not excited. There is something else in me. A feeling of ďthis is how it should beĒ, only. As though the minute dreaming I did then gathered motes about it and bore its weight as an intention that manifested here and now.
I spent part of last night rearranging the front room so that it reflects its as my electronics station. Iím still working on getting the timer test circuit to work for me. I realize that the process is my own version of electronics training.
This is my way of fully taking in the material Iíve learned and making it my own. There are no prefabricated lab sheets to follow. I have to struggle through and find the best way for me to organize myself and work through the material. The notion of having to write a narrative works for me.
Passed my Technician Class amateur radio license exam today. Was going to write and post about it when I got home for my dayís one hundred words. But, I forgot and here I am another day short. Oh well.
For the price of one exam you can take more than one. I decided to just go for it and take the next highest class exam. I took it cold. No glancing at any kind of text. The exams are so specific that just knowing electronics wonít work. Got close though! Just needed six more right to pass.
Next? Call sign!
After all the excitement of finally achieving the first step of a long held desire, I slept through the day.
Iím fascinated by the consequence of actually engaging electronics and not just studying it in school. Iíve found it so much easier to sort through the content of my environment and toss stuff out. I have whole bins that can be thrown out without examination because I know Iím no longer interested in what they contain. Even after going through stuff, I want to toss more out. Peculiar.
I trusted I would know when to let go and I do.
This is one of those ďI donít want to writeĒ days.
Spent all day out, away from home. Worked an extra hour and a half and wasnít alone so I feel a bit overdone. Got a book read. That makes two finishes this week. Never mind that it was a young adult title. It was a book, and fantasy and lovely to read.
I like that I am getting new titles and new authors. I might even put in a request for another ďCat Who Ėď mystery. I actually like the one I listened to. I might even learn something.
I bought a huge amount of KFC.
I have learned from the ayurvedic system what that eating pattern serves, which gives me more confidence and assurance that letting myself just eat whatever it is I want, I will discover what I need for changing the underlying eating pattern.
I needed father love. That's what parenting means. Just a strong person's hug. Something structural and kind without interjecting content. I have the skills to add content. Or the content is what is overflowing such that I need the structure.
I have gone past the limit of collecting, the bag is overfull.
Around the podcast posting date, Iíve noticed elements related to the next topic--or sometimes both the current and the next--gathering.
Iím surprised by their arrival. Not surprise at a change from the usual. More the surprise that occurs when passing the garden and a particular arrangement of flowers has uncloaked itself. One expects the flowers. It is just in the course of noticing them casually in their green-cloaked state, admiring and celebrating that particular beauty, there is a surprise in the sudden appearance of color. And a delight in the ordinariness of miracles
And the pride of noticing.
Iím watching the Dance Theater of Harlem at the White House. I just finished watching So You Think You can Dance. Iím also working on a piece about Individuality. What do these three things have in common?
Iím discovering what the thing I call me is composed of. I kinda knew that I had all this history that had shaped me, all these experiences. In this context of individuality exploration, Iím beginning to take those influences apart to find their individual parts.
And the dancing? My fatherís voice deciding that unless I was guaranteed to fit the image, why try?
Arrgh! Iím four days behind. I did it on purpose sort of. Itís been a darkish week and I needed to let myself go completely downhill. You know that phrase ďIím going downhillĒ? Well, I asked myself, ďWhatís the worst that can happen?Ē ďOh, yeah. I can come to a stop.Ē Thatís when I think I realized that I was ok and that I was holding myself back from completing whatever it is that needed to be completed.
We talk about going downhill like itís something bad. If it was so bad, why do we have water parks with slides?
For me, going downhill has different overtones. The first time I went to a water park with one of those slides, I did everything I could not to go too fast, not to go downhill. Why? I didnít have that reaction to sliding boards when I was playing at my dadís playground.
Iíd hurt my back pretty badly once. I had crawled into one of those four-wheeler (now) old-fashioned baby carriages. It was left over from my little brother. I was in back of the house, in the wide driveway that was our play space. I was seven or eight.
It was where, in Philadelphia, in Germantown, all the houses had their garages. It was a long, sloped drive, two lanes wide I think. I had pulled the carriage out of the garage and climbed in. And pointed it down the driveway.
It was fun in a scary way, until I realized that I wasnít going to stop before I ended up in the street at the end of the drive. The street, and its traffic. I remember the cars going by that woke me up from my thrilling dream. It was scrambling to get out that I fell. Backwards.
I donít know what exactly happens when someone falls backward like that and hits the back where I did. I remember that I couldnít move or breathe for a moment or two. I wasnít in traffic. I hadnít been decimated by late fifties Detroit steel. But for a second or two I couldnít do anything. Obviously that paralysis was temporary. Probably just a shock to the system.
I had a hard time later though, after the second time I fell. It was a shorter slopeóthe front lawn in winter, ice under grass. I slipped and smacked my back again.
So what does all that have to do with my feelings? Itís sometimes useful to stop and really listen to my self-talk. By really listening, by paying attention to the words Iím using and what they are hiding, I might be able to change what Iím feeling.
A lot is hidden behind the words we use even in ordinary conversation. This is the effect of trying to put physical experience into words. We arenít conscious of why we think of down as bad and good as up, but these are the words we use all the time.
This is metaphor.
Iím getting ready for November, already. The weight of the next novel installment of the story is showing up as the beginning of anxiety. Iím afraid, as usual, that I will be taking on too much, that I will allow the details to become overwhelming.
There are so many little things that I havenít finished yet, and other not so little things that I still need to do. It seems as though the novel matches each one of them with a task or element of its own.
This one wants music. OK. So, I want music also. But right now?
There is a consequence of dreaming the world into being. Unless you want to damage yourself, youíd better hold still while youíre sleeping. Otherwise, youíre sleepwalking and who knows what might happen.
Itís hard to remember the dream even when the body is still as dead. Remembering the dream after waking is what itís all about, right? Otherwise the sleep is wasted and having held oneself so still for so long, so much like being dead, the body becomes corpselike. Swollen. Cold. Untouchable.
Waking up to the dreaming not only makes the stillness purposeful, it also shapes the world purposeful.
Iíve decided what aspect of music I want to focus on when I return to practicing piano. I was watching
, the documentary about Isaac Mizrahi.
He plays piano in it and I found the arpeggios he was playing interesting. I recognized that they are not only a practice technique but are also useful constructions in themselves.
Iíd decided that of all the elements of music I might use for the novel, modes and chord progressions would be the most useful. Add to that the complex rhythms of world music and I have something to work with. Cool, huh!
I think of ďneverĒ and ďalwaysĒ as "baby phrases", things we say in childhood that might, from that place, be true. "You made me do it" might be true both on a physical and psychic level because when we are children we are more psychically spongy. This is, in part, how our spiritual and physical bodies learn, and at this stage our will is still developing..
When we don't learn to question these automatic statements, we hold on to that childishness. Spiritual maturity comes when we learn how to hear and correct our child selves while being guided by them
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