Imbolc and the waning crescent of the 3/4 Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Jon, struggling, trying. Making prints and entering them. Ruth, happier, easier. Gabe, a sweetheart. Rigel. Kep, using the doggie bed he’s ignored for months! Ciabatta rolls from Bread Lounge. Sourdough from same. Reading. And, more reading.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Remembering the old dream

Tarot: Nine of Stones, Tradition


An interesting Tarot pull this morning considering my first topic this morning. Theory. By the end of college I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Theoretical Anthropology. That fit together well with my double major Philosophy and Anthropology. Theory folks look at a discipline from a meta level, considering how assumptions and conceptions in the field match up with the field actually does. They can also propose next steps for field work, or suggest whole new fields of inquiry. Say, bio-linguistics, or one that was just emerging as I graduated, Cognitive Anthropology.

I would have been the first Ph.D. in Anthro from Ball State and the Department was behind me. The religious affairs advisor sponsored me for a Danforth fellowship for graduate study.

Three problems. I never finished the Danforth fellowship application. Both Brandeis and Rice accepted me but could offer no fellowships. Fellowships for theoretical anthropology didn’t exist, at least at the time, in those programs. The third was the real stopper though: I decided that university education was a tool of the establishment (it is) and inculcated capitalist/militarist values in its often unwitting students. It does.

I decided to take a principled stand and not try anymore to get into graduate school. In hindsight? Dumb. Of course education was a tool of the establishment, but I didn’t have to be. Especially with the tenure system. Of course, it inculcated capitalist/militarist values. Those are establishment values. But I didn’t have to inculcate them. I could have worked against them.

Also, something I can admit now, but could not then. I was afraid I would fail. Ashamed of that as I look back. But, the combination of all these factors ensured I would end up in the winter of 1969, cutting rags in the Fox River Paper Mill, owning a house in Appleton, Wisconsin, and trying to live up to the promised I’d made to be in an open marriage.

Again in hindsight I wonder I didn’t go into treatment for alcoholism even earlier than I did. I was a living embodiment of the adage: If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Those were painful years. Each morning excruciating as I tried to combine living as if I was Christian with anxiety about my future, my marriage, my drinking. Those years and that anxiety continued through seminary, ameliorated a bit by the heady intellectual work in seminary. Which I had not expected, but loved.

Judy and I divorced




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