"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Monday, August 13, 2007

Objects in Motion Stay at Motion; or, Would You Like a Chainsaw with That?

Dear reader, as you might have guessed, I've been somewhat scattered here of late, what with the finishing of summer coursework, the insomnia, and several other issues that have lately arisen. With the scattering came many questions; and I believe that from time to time we often begin to question the capacities, our abilities to maintain the rhythm of all the objects in the air when we begin to juggle, so to speak.
That's when we have to remind ourselves to stop thinking about it so much, and enjoy the show for what it is: and most especially since it's our show to put on.
We can juggle what we wish, and throw back and forth to whoever is willing.
We can swap plates for bowling pins; bowling pins for flaming torches, for chainsaws or pineapples: we just need to keep it in motion.
We can keep it to ourselves. We can let it all sit as we rest for awhile. We can pass it back and forth to someone waiting to jump in, or pass off to someone completely unawares: see what happens.
What's the worst that can happen?
Pick it up and begin again.
Find out that you prefer chainsaws to pineapples.
Or be touched by delight at the back-and-forth; happy for the synchronicity of motion.

And so it is, dear reader.
On Sunday morning, I saw the father of one of our students, Vermillion (a pseudonym, of course). He said that when called by name at home, Vermillion often responds, I'm not Vermillion, I'm _______!; and that Vermillion will often choose one favorite character from stories to "fill in the blank" on that day for the "I'm not Vermillion." So on Saturday, it was I'm not Vermillion, I'm neroli!
Such an unexpected happiness, dear reader: as if Vermillion had passed a pineapple to me: me, completely unaware, and all the happier for it.

On Sunday night, I was unable to see the meteor shower, for the cloud cover was drawn completely over the sky. Yet the night was still gorgeous, and I remained outside to hear the sibilance of insects with the knowledge of the motion above me, hidden from sight.
I began to do the metta meditation:
may you be safe and protected
may you be peaceful and happy
may you be healthy and strong
may you have ease of well being, and accept all conditions of the world
and then went inside and had the best night's sleep I've had for some time.
A lovely, delicate surprise.

Yesterday I was running on behind, and feeling that I've been juggling too many things, as has been my usual of late. When I got to the university, I logged on to do some blog reading before the beginning of class. I was surprised and touched to learn that Bee and Jai had chosen to gift me with this:

I've long admired their work: they are master jugglers who craft an amazing juggle, and are most generous in the tossing-back-and-forth to others---you know what I mean?
I arrived at home late last night, stiff and tired, and decided to go for a walk, for the night this night was clear and glowing, most conducive to the coaxing of stiff joints and muscles. As I walked in the bend of the road, the one place without streetlights, and thought of all these things---of Vermillion, the metta meditation and the lovely sleep that followed it, of Bee and Jai and the community of friends here in the blogosphere---I looked up; and there, just so, dear reader, there it was: a meteor, long-lived and colorful, falling down through Scorpio, and fading just as quickly, as if it had been sugar melting into the warmth and skipping of my heartbeat.

Sometimes it seems life loves to toss to you the pineapple, the chainsaws, the flaming torches not because it wants to cause you to feel overloaded, but because life has a way of knowing just how fun it is to juggle and to take joy in the moving; of knowing when you just need to walk into a surprise party.

When it came to decide where to bestow this gift next, I looked to the point in time before I myself arrived here, to those whose words I've followed for a long time.
I thank you, dear writers, for your words, and sharing your show with us.
I'm passing this lovely juggle to:

Carolyn at Field to Feast
ArtistFKAPW at The House of the Purple Worms
Estee at Joy of Autism
Kristina at Autism Vox
Adam at Genkaku

Keep those plates and chainsaws spinning.
I'll see you all soon.



The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

I am honored to be chosen by you for this award. Thank you. Singing ... "Ahh ah ah ah ah ahh I can hear Hawaiian breezes blow. Ahh ah ah ah ah ahh, It's from Pennsylvania , even so... It coul;dn't pleas I mean a thinking blogger award!

bee said...

you haven't seen the pandemonioum that precedes and follows our juggling. lol. that's a great list of blogs you have chosen to pass on the award to.

neroli said...

Artist, you are most welcome---I've been informed by your intellect, artistic sensibilities, and kindness for years, and for that, I owe you *my* thanks!

Bee, that is hilarious! You're right, I haven't seen the pandemonium, but it's fun to imagine it.
It is a great list---it was very difficult to choose, so that's why I decided to choose those writers that I read before I set up this little shop---and then began to meet so many other great ones :)!

Camiseta Personalizada said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
captain corky said...

Congrats on your award Neroli. You totally deserve it! After reading your post I feel like going for a walk. Of course I wont because it's too hot outside and I'm way too lazy to get up out of this chair. But the important thing is that I do feel like going for a walk thanks to you. ;)

neroli said...

Captain, thanks for your inspiration---and for your kind words.
Hey--about that walk? Just do what you can, and then do lots of it. :-)

Diane O'Connor said...

Thanks for your comment! I love your blog and I can certainly relate on the insomnia issue. I was just thinking this morning that my next entry will probably be about that!

It was lovely to see your reference to "Metta". I love doing "Metta" but I don't remember to practice it as much as I could. Thanks for the reminder.

neroli said...

Diane, welcome, and thank you for your comment. It's good to see you! I'll definitely stop by later to ready about your adventures in insomnia!

Metta practice is something that is for me, I often need to remind myself as well. I've given up feeling guilty for not being more mindful of doing it: I just tell myself, that's why it's called "practice."
And practice is something at which you can't fail---you can either be doing well, or not-so-well, or even abysmally----but fail at it?

Carolyn said...

Neroli, You have been so kind to me, passing on the thinking blogger award and leaving such encouraging comments on my blog. And me? I've barely had the chance to sratch the surface of your site. What a poor blogger friend I am! This I plan to change. Thanks so much, and keep well.

neroli said...

Dear Carolyn, you are most welcome! I'm glad to pass the award to you, for you so very much deserve it.
Your work is beautiful and inspiring, and I learn so much from it---what a wonderful thing for one blogging friend to do for another! I should have commented as such much sooner, rather than reading only...so what sort of blogging friend was I?
I am so glad to have found your site, and I do so thank you.
Take good care as well!