Thursday, April 26, 2012

Set This House in Order

Mannequin photo from my upcoming show "Mannequins and Miniatures" at EVP East in Madison, WI, May 1-May 26
I've got Shingles.

Because I am a linguistics nerd, my favorite part of the Wikipedia entry is about the etymology of the terms for this virus:
The family name of all the herpesviridae is derived from the Greek word herpein ("to creep"),[77] referring to the latent, recurring infections typical of this group of viruses. Zoster comes from Greek zōstēr, meaning "belt" or "girdle", after the characteristic belt-like dermatomal rash.[78] The common name for the disease, shingles, derives from the Latin cingulus, a variant of Latin cingulum meaning "girdle".[79]

But the fact is that when I google "shingles," which, of course, I've been doing a lot lately, the most common thing to come up, along with the actual virus, is references to house shingles. You know, the things that make up the roof. And so it seems, again, I am setting this house in order.

Monday, April 23, 2012



“I once was lost, but now am found/ was blind but now I see”
-Amazing Grace, American spiritual song

Lately I’ve had a rash of losing things. A couple of earrings – never a pair, always one of two – a hat a friend knitted for me, and, until two days ago when I found it again, a mala given to me by my teacher. All of these objects have great meaning for me, so losing them evoked sadness. However, the more disturbing, or curious, aspect to me is how exactly did I lose these things? In order to misplace something, I figure, there must be a moment when my mind itself was misplaced. In other words, I, as is said often in popular culture, “lost my mind” for a moment.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Busy V Full

Dallas, TX
"I know you are busier than busy," the student/friend/comadre wrote to me in an email. She was seeking some feedback on an idea she had - an offshoot inspired by my Contemplative Writing courses. A combination of a request/approval/looking for insight/feedback/brainstorming session. I was excited to read it, but then it fell into the "mid-range priority" pile - things I am interested in but that don't have a deadline. If it's not a fire, I am likely to not try and put it out.

But I'm not busy, actually. I am full.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Absolute v. Relative

Japanese Gardens, Portland, OR
"Sure, I understand that on an Absolute level, all is space. We are empty of concept and things only exist as a part of a larger whole. But what about on the Relative level?"*

This is a question from a student at a Miksang Contemplative Photography weekend. It's not an uncommon question - in fact, since we talk about perception pretty much constantly during Miksang talks, in comes up a lot. But this time, we are pretty far along in the program - in a cumulative program called Absolute Eye - and he wants to know how we can experience the Absolute, if we can, on a Relative level.

If this seems to high faultin' to you, hang on and keep reading.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Truth v. Fact

Chalkboard from Marquette class
When I go as long as I have - almost a month - without blogging, it isn't because I have had nothing to say. It's most often because I have had TOO much to say, and also, perhaps, too much time on my hands in which to not say it.

But the thing that arises this morning, that I keep coming back to, is a conversation I had with my Marquette writing students about the difference between Truth and Fact.