How I Work

76  bar falls 30.01  0mph SW dew-point 58  sunrise 6:06 sunset 8:30  Lughnasa

First Quarter of the Corn Moon  moonrise 1326  moonset 2226

“More Americans are likely to suffer kidney stones in the coming years as a result of global warming, according to researchers at the University of Texas.”  Agence France-Presse, July 2008

N.B. All these quotes about global warming come from this website:  The Warmlist.  Here’s the webmasters explanation:

“This site is devoted to the monitoring of the misleading numbers that rain down on us via the media. Whether they are generated by Single Issue Fanatics (SIFs), politicians, bureaucrats, quasi-scientists (junk, pseudo- or just bad), such numbers swamp the media, generating unnecessary alarm and panic. They are seized upon by media, hungry for eye-catching stories. There is a growing band of people whose livelihoods depend on creating and maintaining panic. There are also some who are trying to keep numbers away from your notice and others who hope that you will not  make comparisons. Their stock in trade is the gratuitous lie. The aim here is to nail just a few of them.”

So, don’t say I didn’t fess up.  The Star-Tribune turned me onto this site.

Shifted focus. Gonna work on that firepit.  I decided Kate can help me transplant day lilies when she gets home and I’ll still have time to transplant the iris.  I get on a task and sometimes don’t lift my headup to check whether it makes sense.  Heresy Moves West is an example.

The research alone would take a good bit of time, I knew that.  That meant I could not hope to research and write it in the week prior to September 14th.  Knowing that I began to develop this knot in my to do lobe.  It began to insist, get it done.  Get it done now.  Right now.  This even though the date was 8 weeks away at the time.  Anyhow, I finally opened up and let the lobe have its way.

Once begun, research and writing, at least for me, need to be one fluid motion, the research followed by the writing.  In my case this is because as I research various ways of slicing and dicing the information comes to me throughout. At night before I go to sleep the data often floats up and demands consideration.   Sometimes I make note of these patterns, sometimes not.  Often I don’t because I want the order and interpretation fungible to the last possible moment.

Why?  In between the research and the writing there is a creative time in which the data and the various arrangements of it begin to pull other information, other paradigms out of my memory.  This process can change the data’s relevance.  Let me give you an example.

At first I imagined a straight chronological presentation.  The Unitarians began at such and such a place at such and such a time.  The westward expansion of the US began in this time period.  It rolled out according to these stages, in this place at this time and another place at another time until the whole shebang ended up encountering Minnesota. This came to me first because historical movement often seems cleanest presented in chronological order.

Soon though, as the pieces began to swirl, it became clear to me that the historical progression would have to start earlier, then even earlier.  I wrote about this a while back, my need for context.  When I realized there were big ideas at play here, the order of things changed again.  Then it was a history of ideas approach that made more sense, capturing the development of the peculiar notion of religious freedom in the US.  As that became clear, a second important dynamic rose to the top, the rolling dialectic between orthodoxy and heterodoxy.

To highlight the ancient character of this dynamic I decided to find its beginnings in the Abrahamic tradition with Abram’s call away from polytheism to allegiance to YHWH.

Both of these decisions meant that the data in the presentation would have to show how the westward movement of heresy (the rolling dialectic of orthodoxy and heterodoxy in Unitarian history) advanced thanks to the first amendment and how it continued the long arc of dogma challenged by new thought.  This lead to the realization that the westward expansion of heresy intensified in the  atmosphere of freedom and pioneer energy found on the frontier.  So, when we end up in Minnesota, the presentations show how religious freedom and the rolling dialectic not only manifest themselves here, but in fact gain strength and intensity.

Finally, that lead to a desire to push the dialectic one step further, beyond the bland everything’s in bounds soup of current day Unitarian-Universalism to the articulation of a new heterodoxy, one opposed to the dogma of one size fits all faith-lite.  This piece is the unwritten one at this point.

This entry was posted in Faith and Spirituality, Great Wheel, Great Work, Holidays, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.