Thursday, November 10, 2005

On waxing philosophic

On loving wisdom...I so love wisdom in the abstract and am so unable to achieve/apply wisdom in my own life. My love of poetry and a certain kind of philosophy is a Gestalt process; my reading vocabulary is large, but my ability to access the precise word(s) is negligible and my ability to express myself is minimal -- thus, my admiration for those who say what I think in a lucid manner has that "AHA!" sensation. Or even better, discovering/rediscovering those whose words make me question what I think and broaden my understanding...

Another thing I love is synchronicity, and today has been one of those days. I've been reading Omega at Threading Thoughts lately, and she has led me back to my many books on Myth -- and today a conversation with my daughter as well as Julie Zaccone Stiller's post for Tues., Nov. 8, combine for that synchronicitous effect.

As I said, Omega has been pondering the importance of Myth, our tendency toward voyeurism, and "celebrities", which encouraged me to return to Campbell's The Power of Myth where Bill Moyers says in the introduction, "One of the many distinctions between the celebrity and the hero, [Joseph Campbell] said, is that one lives only for self while the other acts to redeem society." Stiller's post of Nov. 8 (under Poetry Tuesday) has a wonderful poem by William Stafford and her response to it. Stafford's poem contains the line, "and following the wrong god home we may miss our star" which appealed to both Karoda
and myself, and Stiller's lines, "Please Don't Go Back To Sleep./ You Must Stay Awake./ Be a witness. /Be an educator. /Be an instigator. " And back to Moyer's on Campbell: "The unpardonable sin, in Campbell's book, was the sin of inadvertence, of not being alert, not quite awake." (emphasis mine)

Erin and I had talked about the attraction to voyeuristic/reality television this morning (I'd already responded to Omega's post which was what brought our conversation around to this topic, but had not yet read Stiller's or hauled out my books). There is much to be said for reality television that encourages people to improve, to aspire to better things, to feel the possibility of improvement, but the kind that encourages negative traits and behavior is offensive to me. Blogs are perhaps another form of voyeurism that can perform either a positive or a negative influence.

I know these separate items are not completely cohesive, but I love the connections that do exist and the digressions they lead to.


  1. Hey Jen, Thanks for these links. I followed them all, plus a few more. Lots to think about.

    Myth/monster/reality TV connection, sounds like a great thesis topic to me. Can you tell I work in a university library? HA! Ok, I am really making fun of myself, these are rich topics for thought. BTW, I have admired Diane Arbus'work for years but really had not put it in this context. Thanks for getting the creaky ol' brain wheels turning this AM...Jen

  2. Hi Jen, This post I love (gonna check the links too :)). My biggest thrill in life (besides stashes of fabric, thread and beads) is the energy that passes between people and the syncronicity points where that reality comes into focus loud and clear. First recognising it with tingling oo's and ah's and now trusting in it as my life guide has opened up so many things in my life. It's lead me on a bizarre journey too but an unforgetable one :)and it's good to find you along the way

  3. sorry that was me above... roll on broadband on the islands. These pages often don't fully load so it didn't show all the options.

  4. I think the wisdom we receive from noticing synchronicities is some of the most valuable. Another good reason to pay attention!


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