Living

Each moment is different. Here are some of mine.

Am “I” The Only One?

2011.07.24
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IN THIS ELECTRONIC ME-FIRST age, it is both rare and a point of honor never to begin a blog post with “I.” (Nitpickery note: I mean the word and concept, not the letter. Yeesh.) Not that I’m not tempted — but it’s too easy, too prevalent (for my tastes) and symptomatic of what I find least attractive about Lower North American pop culture.

There is a blogger who epitomizes what I’m talking about, and whose (apparently non-ironic) advice for Internet success is “Tap into narcissism.” She makes an interesting point, but I think that only produces a pile of people shouting “Lookit me! Lookit! Lookit!” instead of offering something interesting.

I don’t want my art to be narcissistic; I’d rather have it said about me “Who is this guy?” than “Who does this guy think he is?” Better still would be, “What a great story! Who wrote it? And are there more?”

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Pithyism #55

2011.07.21
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IF ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS, then all wars are civil wars.

(Based on last night’s post DS9-discussion whether an intra-Bajoran conflict was inherently worse than, say, the Cardassian occupation.) (By Ann.)

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“Judaism As Art”

2011.07.14
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or, There and Back Again Without Leaving

(BECAUSE OF WORDPRESS, I’M REPUBLISHING this 2002 piece — it works better as a “post” than as a “page” — and although my kippa-wearing has become a bit less pronounced of late it still reflects my approach to finding a place in Judaism. If you’re not hot for apologetics or manifesti, you have my permission to read something else.)

Despite that I’ve worn a yarmulke most of the time since 2000, I don’t define myself as Orthodox. Or Reform. Or, for that matter, as Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal or otherwise adjectivally Jewish.

Read more »

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The Two Hardest Words To Say

2011.07.06
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“HELP ME.”

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“The Guest House”

2011.07.03
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SOMEONE WHO LOVES ME SENT me this poem. I offer it to you in the same spirit.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

(By the 13th-century Persian Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Rumi. Coleman Barks is the translator, but the original was written in Truth.)

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Pithyism #1,914

2011.06.30
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ANY POLITICAL IDEOLOGY WHICH BEGINS “If only people would…” isn’t worth the breath needed to finish the sentence.

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Pithyism #5b

2011.06.26
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SEEING IS BELIEVING — BUT FEELING is experiencing.

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Game of Life: Rules

2011.06.13
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THE UNIVERSE IS FULL OF “Learn Here” stickers, each with a different adhesive strength. Collect enough and you win.

PS to my friend, Lillian, who says, “Define ‘enough’” — if you’re still collecting, you haven’t won yet.

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Ol’ Thinkypants Fesses Up

2011.06.13
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“HELL, BOY, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE between us is that I know I’m asleep. Now if you want to see a real miracle, hand me that wrench.”

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I Am a Religious Man Unthreatened By Science, Secularity And Reason

2011.06.09
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(IN FACT, THE WHOLE “REASON” I “am” “religious” in the first place is only due to a direct perception [some might say delusion] that the Universe is, in some essential and indescribable sense, alive and conscious. I can’t help seeing that, feeling a part of it, and celebrating.)

(Also, as much as I love science, I’m more fascinated by rituals and customs, folkways, manners, stories, legends, myths, folklore. I see religion as structured spirituality, and its practice one of many attentive arts of living. And I like the perspective of participating in something bigger, older and more continuous than I am. I guess that’s one reason why some people play music or build stuff or deeply study anything.)
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Toward A Topography Of Dreams

2011.05.30
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THIS IS LESS A POST than an invitation to share hidden landscapes.

Within the past year or so, and due partly to an almost chronic drowsiness, I began noticing that a significant number of my dreams are set in a handful of recurring locations. The dreams themselves are not repetitious; that is, the circumstances within each setting is different, but the settings themselves are the same — lending to the experience a curious sense of permanence or visitation:

- At (a) Renaissance Pleasure Faire, in the large tree-bordered parking lot; the Faire often recedes as I approach, or is over by the time I make it inside
- A bustling airport, to which I arrived via BART, and whose airplanes have couch seating
- Beach resort alongside a straight highway
- “The towns south:” a forested drive through a number of small California towns, eventually leading to a series of Southern California beach resorts
- High rise hotel with a series of terraced balconies; restaurant at the top
- The Endless Cemetery (ornate crypts & sarcophagi)
- An unknown suburb of Sonoma, sometimes on fire
- Back corridors of the world’s biggest shopping mall

Am I the only one with assigned seating? What are your recurring dreamscapes?

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Your Orders

2011.05.30
By

RESIST ENTROPY.

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