Saturday, May 27, 2006

Design, Part II

In the morning: watching my black kitty "play" with a white moth...she's killing it, of course, killing it slowly as its tiny moth ganglia jam up with survival/flight responses, the ancestors of fear. I used to rescue bugs, slugs, and spiders from the cats, and still usually try to save the latter two (slugs are nasty when squished, and I like spiders), but the law of the jungle prevails more and more in the shadow'd halls of the Temple of Doom, as I admit to myself that even bugs make choices and even kitties create karma that they and only they can deal with...even kitties have True Wills, and a cat can't be a cat without killing (pace the Dalai Lama).

[Don't fear, Dear Reader; were I to chance upon you beset by ruffians, I would do all in my power to effect your safe escape...which makes me speciesist, I guess...]

Later that morning: I'm at my alma mater for a professional development workshop, I'm there early, eating in the cafeteria whose glass walls look out onto a garden patio. Thinking about my killer kitty, I can see birds swooping down on bugs, and groundskeepers and custodians preyed upon by the American economy... who/what am I preying upon w/ my blueberry bagel, chocolate pudding, coffee? Juan Valdez, no doubt, still searching for his desaparecida daughter...milk from a cow imprisoned in some hellish factory farm...

...fondly remembering (even as I drink it) this bitter coffee that propelled me so many mornings to academic glory, my radio show, assignations with the Goddess in library stacks or Wiccan circles or greening boughs scattering light and shadow across the bricks of my future...the coffee's awkward bite like a solecism on the lips of one beloved: wrong but in completely the right way.

Going out the door I find an emerald-winged and ermine-throated, very dead bird on the sidewalk, sped towards his future by who knows what predation, finding its fulfillment in false trees and sky of the building's glass facade.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Design, Part I

Years ago, when such jokes were still mainly distributed by photocopy, someone gave me a one-page summary of the spiritual wisdom of the ages, phrased as variations on the adage "Shit Happens." You had stuff like

Zen: What is the sound of shit happening?
Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?
Hinduism: This shit has happened before.

As someone who has practiced, studied, deconstructed, obsessed over, rebelled against, recovered from, been transformed by several religions, I found this list hilarious and I treasured it. Even though I organize my belongings by a scheme that could at best be called sedimentary, I'll bet you I could put my finger on this fading photocopy within a couple of minutes.

[Sound of clock ticking.]

It only took about five minutes--it was in an unmarked folder in the file cabinet that houses such items as 20-year-old French fashion magazines; the complete DVD set of Monty Python's Flying Circus; dozens of CDs (Soliloquy for Lilith, Tembang Sunda, Clinkers by Steve Lacy, other obscure stuff); a .45 automatic; a stamped tin box containing a bracelet made from the hair of a long-ago lover; and...actual files--many folders even having titles: Kali; OTO Kundalini Ritual; Taxes; Paris Catacombs; Starrett, Barbara (from back when I was semi-organized--this one contains a photocopy of the classic radical feminist text I Dream In Female)....


here it is, in the unmarked file folder that, oddly, also contains my father's obituary and a copy of Nerval's "El Desdichado" (the one thing here you really should Google, as it applies to what will follow). I'd forgotten these gems:

Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else.
Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserve it.
Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.

And best of all--

Taoism: Shit happens.

Yes, I'm easily entertained. But I love these because they get to the root of what the Buddha identified as the basic spiritual question: why do we suffer?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Test Pattern

I'm working on a good post--honest.


The past several months at my job have turned me into one of the Undead...except without all the chi-chi parties someone like Lestat gets invited to.

So, with the vacation time that has so blessedly fallen into my lap, I've been taking it easy, sitting on my screen porch and listening to birds, spacing out, and not using my higher brain functions too terribly much. (My higher brain is sprained.)

I swear to you the post will appear next week, c. the 25th or 26th. Unless I'm dead, of course, rather than merely undead. By then I will have returned to East Podunk from my family visit to West Podunk, and will be perhaps even somewhat rested (though it is a family visit). I pledge to you, as a purveyor of only the highest quality bloggin', that I am doing all I can to rehabilitate my cerebrum: playing lots of Taipei, exercising, eating chocolate, reading spiritual autobiographies...I am about to start Expecting Adam by Martha Beck.

Bet you never thought you'd see product placements on WiHW...I'm also working on a capsule spiritual autobiography of my own that will be the sequel to the above-mentioned "good post." The good post that will appear next week.