tuesday, 2012 november 6.
i call it ‘flexibility of mind‘. to drmcmaster that means the ability to mentally juggle tasks–task-switching–but i mean the ability to change your perspective quickly and deeply to accommodate new information without losing the old you. dr mcmaster says the best way to do that is to recall a powerful memory. for me, that would be the births of my children.
so i guess i got some time on my hands right now. what can i do for you? i can cruise the internet looking for bits and pieces, a sort of web utne reader. time you may not have for cruising. maybe you’ll find a link to something interesting. or maybe this’ll serve as a primary source or biography journal. but first it has to serve me.
music offers universal flexibility of mind. i’m reading about–and listening to!–african guitar gods–most of whom i haven’t heard of before. gotta correct that.
laughter, too. going on from the last post, recognizing that paradox, humor, and change must be found everywhere. laughter truly is the best medicine. this image comes with words by madison kate: ‘laughter. there’s no denying the fact that we all love it. a few minutes of from-the-stomach giggles can brighten the whole day. as i write this, the laughing song from mary poppins is playing away in my head. we love to laugh, loud and long and clear. we love to laugh, so everybody can hear. laughter truly is the best medicine.’
leap of faith. my experience tells me that people, not systems, not rules, not machines, not isms, but people, matter. i asked someone why ‘4’ was so special to her. she had four kids. the first died of hydrocephalus. they said she’d live 3 months only, but she lived 3 years. why fails me. why is so far beyond me. beyond the blue event horizon. she smiled all the while she told me the story. the birth, life, and death of her first daughter brought her gifts and delight. it brought her understanding of herself. it brought her her purpose. it answered why with cosmic laughter. that took a leap of faith. another friend of mine’s son was homeless for a while. i had a brother who died at two, a friend who killed himself as a young man, another who dropped dead. why? why not? you gotta laugh. not against anything. just the mystery of it all. trust me.
here’s my experience. first of all, the world doesn’t make a lot of sense. second, my initial response is usually emotional, then i reconsider, i rationalize. at first i thought this was a bad thing, something to escape, i tried to skip the reptilian, emotional, initial response. but now it seems inescapable and maybe i gotta go through the emotional response, weather it, to get deeper, to get closer to truth, to get to the rationalization. the third follows the second, that i’m impetuous, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. it can be good in that i race ahead. it can be bad in that i am rash. fourth, my antidote is to keep my options open, my irons in the fire; what’s the rush, for time is on no one’s side; i try to cultivate an awareness of mortality.
jazz bassist steve wallace writes, ‘If a musician as great as Ed Bickert [sometimes] can’t stand the way he sounds, then what do my worries amount to, what’s to become of my woeful self? … I took from it is that sometimes you just have to suck up the bad times and hang in there.’
first you laugh. then you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all. we watched the rick mercer report and this hour has 22 minutes on the cbc, then over to tvo for the amazing first of a three-parter on plants with the return of one of our favourite scots, professor iain stewart, in how to grow a planet. did you know our planet used to be purple? do you you know why it’s blue-green now? why there’s oxygen in the air? how we’re on land? where our energy comes from? you can watch the whole show here and find out.