Hail, La Nina

Imbolc                                New (Bloodroot) Moon

A while back I asked John Harstad, then the naturalist at Cedar Creek Nature Center, a wonderful place run by the University of Minnesota and only about 15 miles from home, about first signs of spring.  His answer coincided with a local master gardener, “Bloodroot blooms.”  Since that should happen within the waxing and waning of this moon,  I’m choosing Bloodroot Moon for its name.

The snow began to come down this morning and has some legs.  The sky has turned sheet metal gray and the wind blows in from the northeast.  If I recall correctly, such wind direction can foretell deep snow.  Not predicted though.

This is the half-way point in my stay here at Blue Cloud.  I’m feeling it, too.  I’ve been working almost twice as long each day as I usually do when I write at home.  Though I love it, I’m getting tired.  Might be another 10 am nap coming on, too.

Conspirata, a novel about Cicero’s life, has been my casual reading.  I’ve finished 60% of it; I know this because the Kindle gives you a percent read number for each page since you don’t have the sense of the book’s length but its heft.

The other reading I’ve been doing is Livia Kohn’s introductory text on Taoism.  As with most things that interest me, I find as I get deeper into it that my opinion begins to change, split along certain lines where my own sensibilities face challenges.  In the instance of Taoism I find myself drawn more and more into the mystical, physical aspects:  the Dao, the exercises, meditation practices and pushed further away from the political implications, or wuwei (inaction) applied to political affairs.

This doesn’t bother me as I’ve learned, quite a while ago, that I don’t have to swallow the whole message to be enlightened by a school of thought.  Part of the creation of dogma comes as an institutional base emerges around any school of thought.  The dogma supports the creation of certain organizational structures, then the structures become a conservative force clinging to the original dogma, thoughts most often far removed from what Max Weber called the original “charisma.”

Thus, by the time most of us enter into a body of religious or philosophical thought the original genius behind it is hidden by layers of defensive structure and dogma hardened over time, often hardened against the danger of the original charism.

And so forth. Time to pick up the tablet and get to work.  Bye for snowy now.