Yesterday, July 5, marks the fourth anniversary of the Ptero Card. If there is anything to celebrate, it is the continual building of friendships and the gift of affirmation received, as well as the challenge of keeping the writing fresh, clear and responsive to the readers and to myself. I am grateful for so much inspiration and conversation with all of you!
Anyone can keep a diary, and though they serve another purpose, a public blog has the added burden of writing for others, continually calling into question, who am I speaking to? That question continues to serve as a reminder to me of how much is received through the slow, steady process of getting to know some of my readers, and how important it has become for me, when writing, to consider all I have learned from engaging here with you. I am grateful.
Happy Fourth!On the Fifth!
The writing is rewarding in and of itself, yes, but, what I value most are the ongoing conversations in the comments where further explorations and clarification continually move the material, broadening a sense of who I am, and who you are, through the variety of perspectives each of you share with me, and with each other. Thank you dear ones!
Well, it was two years ago today, October 27th, 2011, that James passed on. It was only in his passing that I am continually reminded of the gifts I received from him. Not from knowing him personally, although I was fortunate to have met him once, and will never forget that moment, the face-to-face, the silent stare – and being struck by deep love and kinship for his feisty way of seeing through ideas, the fearless invitation to rebel against conventional ways of understanding life and especially for his attention to language.
I have received many gifts from the years spent absorbing his ideas – lifesaving for me. From his deep love and appreciation of language, I have come to know that there are words for at least some of what is hidden in the world, and life brings us time, beauty and other gifts to share our expressions with each other.
I owe so much to this man…thank you James.
Here’s to James and his work, and to all who continue to be touched by his life and work.
An excerpt from an interview with Scott London on calling:
” I think the first step is the realization that each of us has such a thing. And then we must look back over our lives and look at some of the accidents and curiosities and oddities and troubles and sicknesses and begin to see more in those things than we saw before. It raises questions, so that when peculiar little accidents happen, you ask whether there is something else at work in your life. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve an out-of-body experience during surgery, or the sort of high-level magic that the new age hopes to press on us. It’s more a sensitivity, such as a person living in a tribal culture would have: the concept that there are other forces at work. A more reverential way of living.”
On New Age vs. Science:
“Well, some reviewers have a scientistic ax to grind. To them, my book had to be either science or new age mush. It’s very hard in our adversarial society to find a third view. Take journalism, where everything is always presented as one person against another: “Now we’re going to hear the opposing view.” There is never a third view.
My book is about a third view. It says, yes, there’s genetics. Yes, there are chromosomes. Yes, there’s biology. Yes, there are environment, sociology, parenting, economics, class, and all of that. But there is something else, as well. So if you come at my book from the side of science, you see it as “new age.” If you come at the book from the side of the new age, you say it doesn’t go far enough — it’s too rational.”
And the best for last:
“I think it’s the pursuit that screws up happiness.”
…and if that is still not enough AND especially if you’re old enough to begin to wonder about aging:
Because we live on opposite coasts, the time I spend with my family is precious.
Perhaps as we get older and realize how quickly time is moving and how mistakes we’ve made stole some of that time away, it’s even more desirable to be around those who share our past, helping to bring into focus the people, places and events that tell the story of our lives.
When I was young, there was no part I could play that seemed to fit, so I tried to stay on the sidelines, but that didn’t fit either. When I first read WIlliam Stafford’s poem, First Grade, I laughed knowing that I had been Amy for a long time, and yet, my family never gave up on me. I owe them a lot for that.
They never remind me now of how difficult I could be and even now would probably say I was just being “Deb.” But the changes which slowly came, allowing me to embrace life, bring with it an increased desire for closeness and a feeling of gratitude for their love and their presence. I look forward to spending the next week or so with my sister and my niece and am very thankful that my husband enjoys these family visits too.
Here’s to my family and the play, the one that I now gratefully take part in.
I’ll be offline for the next week or so…
In the play Amy didn’t want to be
anybody; so she managed the curtain.
Sharon wanted to be Amy. But Sam
wouldn’t let anybody be anybody else
he said it was wrong. “All right,” Steve said,
“I’ll be me but I don’t like it.”
So Amy was Amy, and we didn’t have the play.
And Sharon cried.