Continuing my reflections on Zenkai, I remember the Arabic word "Sumud" and the prickly-pear cactus (whose Arabic name is also a word for patience). As I write, I return to the blog's beginning and title, "Reverse Exiled", to reflect on the long road which ultimately led to the strength and peace needed to move forward. In between, a brief and precious "apricot season" came into my life and was lost.
An octopus's spatial reasoning abilities are believed to be spread throughout their arms, so that each arm is contributing to its understanding of the environment. 'Mind' is never only in the head, for anyone, but when an octopus uses its tentacles to sense, manipulate, and solve problems it makes embodied cognition exquisitely visible! The octopus helped me realize that separate parts can coexist if they are integrated. I imagine that some people are more like sea-snakes: singular, teeth-forward and fluke behind. I am not so streamlined but my self is still unified without being as unitary. All of the many "voices" are the arms I use to orient in life, yet I am not eight+ different things... I am one with many branches. As Whitman wrote, "I contain multitudes".
...in the second part of my dream, I am working as a lawn-technician. It's already Autumn in Michigan (not Maryland) when I arrive to do a work-order on a property near a state park. The forest is dominated by deep greens but rogue tree-limbs have changed colors. I sense a lake beyond the woodlands abutting the property. A well-worn trail is visible, dammed by fallen-branches full of brick-red leaves. I want to clear the dead-fall along the trail and follow it to the shore...
If recovering from discombobulation is like swimming from the depths of the sea to a beach, then daring to become "more" might be like climbing a dune! I discovered that my mother is a rip-current and my father is a beach-umbrella -- and neither is what matters most. After playing with insect metaphors TOO MUCH I decided that dragonflies are a better example of transformation than butterflies. Moreover, I can sense that I'm reaching another inflection point in my development and I want to share my insights with everyone.
This post is an update about my perspective on life and my 'Self' but first I want to talk about owls, their eyes, and facial quills. Vision is not solely a function of sight. *** This post is quickly becoming an opus for ‘nonlinearity’. A falcon is a raptor but so is an owl... differently. My brain is sneaky-soft-nonlinear rather than wind-whipping-target-sticking linear.
It was brittle with heat and had preexisting cracks. Several shards had darkened edges from the seep of long-forgotten meals. My mind sprinted between memories of better times in my DC apartment, times when I felt capable and loved; I supported myself in a space of my own. I had specific career and romantic prospects, the outlines of a definite trajectory for what “should” happen. All was smashed.
On Halloween Day I departed from the IHOP in Olney, MD in a daze. To lessen the likelihood of mowing-down trick-or-treaters with our fleet of half-blind utility trucks, our assigned work orders were lighter that day. I had spent the morning disguised as a lawn technician, and employed as one this past Autumn, but never shed… Continue reading Halloween Day: The Costumed Clerk and a Plastic Trumpet