100 no’s, 5 days, and life grounds

Summer                                                                       Woolly Mammoth Moon

rejectionAfter the Durango trip, during which I read three articles I’d saved for down time, I made two decisions.

First, I would shoot for 100 rejections in 2018. I just submitted Missing to Parvus Press and School Spirit to The Metz Review. Since I’m starting with the year almost half done, 100 may be ambitious, but I’m going to work toward that end.

Second, I reaffirmed a decision I’d made when I started caretaking for Kate after her shoulder surgery. When she had recovered enough to clean up after I cook and feed the dogs their lunch, I’d go back to five days a week exercise. Three days resistance work and two days HIIT. This last week I got back there.

becoming nativeIn that reading I also learned, in an article focused on Gauguin and the moral philosopher Bernard Williams,  about the idea of ground projects. “If you are going to live a life that is true to yourself, then you had better know yourself, and remember that ‘know thyself’ was one of the Delphic maxims that set Socrates on the road to philosophy…A wiser, older Williams gave more emphatic expression to the fact that the pursuit of authenticity can lead to ‘ethical and social disaster’. He also moved away from the stark individualism of ‘Moral Luck’ and stressed the role that one’s community plays in preventing or enabling one to become whom one wants to become.”

Without tumbling around in the conceptual concrete mixer that stirs together individualism and authenticity vs social responsibility I’ll say I like the idea of ground projects, projects that give us a reason to live. This conforms well to my existentialist self who believes we are responsible for the meaning in our life and with my Taoist self who seeks the Way regardless of social convention.

labyrinthMy ground project for many years was economic justice, transmuted later on into the Great Work of Thomas Berry, creating a sustainable presence for humans on this earth. My ground project of the moment is reconstructing faith with the assistance and stimulation of the Reconstructionist Jewish movement. I have a side project, perhaps a little hillock on my ground project, which is creative writing. All of these have and do give me a reason for being alive, for being enriched and enlivened. Good enough ground for me to stand on.


A Family of Introverts

Summer                                                                              Woolly Mammoth Moon

20170423_091304 (2)Took Gabe to see Avengers: The Infinity War. We both liked it a lot. At various times I have the aesthetics of a 10 year old, a 12 year old and a long time museum docent. Not sure why, but I’m enthralled by comic book storylines and computer graphics. Vermeer, too. Caravaggio. Tolstoy. Wolverine. Harry Potter. Wabi-sabi. Sci-fi in books and on television. Guess parts of me just never grew up.

Ruth said to me yesterday, “You’re random, too.” One of the better compliments I’ve received.

Black Mountain is putting on another show this morning. A fluffy cumulus cloud has wrapped itself over the peak with its ski run scars. I can tell from my weather station that it must be about 39 degrees up there since that’s the dewpoint where I am. It’s 45 here. The world of clouds is no longer thousands of feet above us, as it was in Minnesota almost all of the time. Here we live among the clouds.

20180624_063250Trump. So, George Will wrote a column in the Washington Post urging members of his former party, the GOP, to vote against it in the upcoming election. Somebody has to check the “Vesuvius of mendacities.” Great metaphor. Even better idea. Of course, he believes that a Democratic congress will be as pusillanimous as the current GOP one, but it will not buckle toward the president, but away from him. He’s not become a liberal, hardly, just a pragmatic conservative who finds Trump abhorrent from a different place on the political prism.

introverts-unite-226x300Gabe and Ruth have been here since Thursday night while Jon worked on his house. Somehow we’ve finally sorted out a way of being together that seems ok for everybody. Hallelujah and hosanna. Kate has calmed, I’m not sure how, but she has. Wonderful to see. Gabe’s more attentive, more fluid in his speech, if not more fluent. Ruth cooks, sews, goes to the planetarium, talks about matters both important and funny. We interact, but on our terms, all of us. A family of introverts (though Ruth sees herself as an extreme extrovert) takes a while to find an equilibrium. Especially post-divorce.

Gonna cut down another tree today, oh boy.