Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Perpetuum Mobile

I can't seem to hold still.

Some of that is the force of business and busywork overtaking me, the constant momentum of tasks. At its worst, it feels like a hamsterwheel. A series of Things To Do that swarms down the list and refuses to ever grow shorter, let alone clear away.

But more of that is a desire to move. Not always physically; mental motion, activity, the buzzing of my monkey-mind (no wonder meditation was such a struggle!) and its constant exploration.

Some time ago I swore myself to the half-moon. No, I don't know what that means; I didn't then, I don't really know now, either its theoretical or practical implications. I used to think that the half-moon meant the calm of a balance: six of one, half a dozen of the other. That it was the stasis and simplicity of the scales of Justice, or the soothing artistry of a yin-yang design. It seemed like a safe harbor and a position of stability, which my unstable emotional and rational highs and lows desperately craved.

As I'm getting a little older (if not wiser), I see things differently. The only way that the half-moon can be perceived as balance is if you freeze time, if you take a snapshot at that fragile moment of fifty-fifty divide. The only time we reach that stasis is when we stop moving, and maybe not even then. But a kind of stability can be achieved through oscillating--through being prepared for the oscillation, ready to adapt and shift as necessary. Like a structure built with some give in the beams. Not so much that it collapses, but enough so that it moves with the shifting earth and doesn't tumble when the tremor hits.

The half moon is no longer a sign to me of balance and calm, but a reminder that the urge to cobble a Middle Way between two paths is sometimes best achieved by moving back and forth between the two, a zigzag path that takes longer but sees more. I swing back and forth between certainty and doubt, neither one being a safe harbor; back and forth between eagerness and calm, neither one being a good attitude to take on permanently. Back and forth between self-doubt and pride, counting on one to balance the other; between hope and fear.

In these oscillations I have found a kind of meta-calm; made a jagged pattern of highs and lows into a sine wave, knowing that even when I'm despairing, I'll feel happy again, and vice versa.


At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Rachel said...

I really like what you're saying here about oscillations, and the calm that can be found (or forged) within them.

I wish I had more time to comment more fully. For now, I'll just say yes: right on!

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Sia Vogel said...

Hello, this is Sia. Rowan Fairgrove (COG) suggested that I check out your blog. I have to say that I'm enjoying it immensely. Such lovely, thoughtful writing - Please keep going :-)

I've sent links to your blog over to Anne Niven at Sagewoman (New Witch, et al) and to Anne Hill over at Blog O' Gnosis (you might want to check that one out), and to our former Senior Newsletter Editor, Snakemoon (check out her essays at The Witches' Voice). Networking is what we do here at FCE, and it's always fun to put good writers in touch with one another.

Keep writing and I'll keep reading :-)

By the way, if you haven't found Terry Pratchett yet, I'd like to recommend his books to you. Start with Wyrd Sisters and go from there to Lords & Ladies and Witches Abroad. Terry gets us. You might also like Good Omens, the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman. I also recommend his books for younger readers. Start with Hat Full of Sky, which is about a Witch in training.

All good things,

Sia Vogel
Nobody Important, just an Ordinary Pagan with a few projects:
Full Circle News
Full Circle
Spiral Steps
Yahoo Group:
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The newsletter is resting.

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