photo by Maren YumiMindful Wandering: The coined term (by Barbara Ganley) is “slow blogging“, but I much prefer the term my friend Chris Lott uses: “mindful wandering“. The idea is to see blogging, which is really just a new way of recording your thoughts in a diary, as a meditative practice, taking the time to ponder the meaning of what you’re reading, thinking and writing, letting your mind meander in thoughtful and creative ways to “make sense” of it. I find that some of my best blog posts are those I’ve stopped and restarted several times, allowing time for thoughts to percolate and new ideas to emerge. Letting your readers follow your thought process, putting yourself in context, can greatly enrich the value of what you write, at least for those readers with the patience to allow themselves to be immersed in “where you are” as you are writing, to enter, as much as is possible in a diary, into intimate, tacit conversation with you. Some of the bloggers in my gravitational community (listed at right) are very proficient at diarizing their mindful wandering: Colleen has been doing this delightfully, day by day, chronicling her month-long retreat in Seattle. Beth’s blog is another great example.
An Audience Without A Reason to Care Is Just a Bunch of People That You Have to Clean Up After: Justin Kownacki explains the need to engage your audience with something more than spectacle if you hope to build a relationship that endures, and goes on to tell you how to do it. If you haven’t been watching his hilarious online series Something to Be Desired, check it out.
The Effort is Worth It: Justin also directs us to Seth’s blog post on our growing propensity (in light of the billions made and lost by lazy, greedy, incompetent financial brokers) to believe luck has more to do with what comes of our life than effort. Seth prescribes a diet of less mindless activity, more effort on important things, more exercise, more volunteerism, more time meaningfully spent with those you love, and more financial frugality. I’m there.
Community Effort That Pays Off: Tree pointed me to this amazing list of initiatives and proposals by the work groups of the Corvallis (Oregon) Sustainability Coalition. It’s an ambitious and inspiring list in 12 sectors of public life: community inclusion, economic vitality, education, energy, food, health, housing, land use, natural areas, transport, waste reduction, and water use — let’s hope the town council will listen and implement them. If you have (or should have) a program like this in your community, this would be a great list to get you started. Geoff Brown came up with a similar list for St Kilda Australia, as part of the Sustainable Living At Home community activism project.
Story-Telling Resources: From the same vector as the above links, Barbara provides a veritable host of useful links on storytelling, and CogDog Alan Levine provides (with a caveat on not getting preoccupied with tools), 50+ tools that enable storytelling. Thanks to Tree for the links. BTW, a great everyday site for story-telling guidance and ideas is my friend Shawn Callahan’s Anecdote site.
Why We Fall for Greenwashing: Cataclysmia explains the dangerous appeal of corporate greenwashing — that it reassures us that we don’t have to change. It is human nature to be resistant to change, to only change when we must, and we are under siege these days to change in so many ways that when a corporation, cynically, dishonestly, tells us that they’re good corporate citizens we are inclined to want to believe it.
Explaining the Financial System Collapse: Six of the best articles on the current mess:
The Attempts to Steal the Election Continue: If you can’t defeat the opponent by heavily-financed character assassination, outright lies, gerrymandering, or rigging voting machines, well, then, just don’t let supporters of your opponents vote. In politics, it seems, the end always justifies the means.
More on Soldiers in the US Streets: Patrick Leahy weighs in on the decision to deploy a US army unit to the ‘homeland’. This has stirred up no small hysteria, but I’m still not sure what it really means.
And the Fuse of the Population Bomb Still Burns On: The Bush Administration’s anti-family-planning ideology has greatly worsened the lives of as many as a billion women deliberately deprived of inexpensive family planning information and tools.
The Problem with Monogamy: Daisy gets it: “It’s absolutely clear that no one is meant to love and be loved by just one person, and that we slowly kill ourselves when try to make this happen. No one can meet all of another person’s needs, and there is no reason to expect anyone to do so…The natural outcropping of this, when we do itdaily ó when we form many diverse loving relationships, as many as will grow, and treat their maintenance as important work ó is community.” Sigh. Someday, perhaps, the whole world will understand.
Just for Fun: It didn’t really happen, but this ‘sign feud’ between two churches over dogs’ souls is delightful nevertheless. Thanks to my new colleague Miranda for the link.
Thought for the Week: Thanks to Sarah Burridge for putting me on to the poetry of Robert Pinsky (by quoting the sixth line of this poem):
Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs, no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, headed north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters crouched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
“They’ll molder away and be like other loam.”
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers’ land.
And then, that evening
In the first moment we had never a thought
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Archive by Category
My Bio, Contact Info, Signature PostsAbout the Author (2016)
--- My Best 100 Posts --
Preparing for Civilization's End:
What Would Net-Zero Emissions Look Like?
Why Economic Collapse Will Precede Climate Collapse
Being Adaptable: A Reminder List
A Culture of Fear
What Will It Take?
A Future Without Us
Dean Walker Interview (video)
The Mushroom at the End of the World
What Would It Take To Live Sustainably?
The New Political Map (Poster)
Complexity and Collapse
Save the World Reading List
What a Desolated Earth Looks Like
Giving Up on Environmentalism
The Dark & Gathering Sameness of the World
The End of Philosophy
The Boiling Frog
What to Believe Now?
Conversation & Silence
The Language of Our Eyes
Cultural Acedia: When We Can No Longer Care
Several Short Sentences About Learning
Why I Don't Want to Hear Your Story
A Harvest of Myths
The Qualities of a Great Story
The Trouble With Stories
A Model of Identity & Community
Not Ready to Do What's Needed
A Culture of Dependence
So What's Next
Ten Things to Do When You're Feeling Hopeless
No Use to the World Broken
Living in Another World
Does Language Restrict What We Can Think?
The Value of Conversation Manifesto Nobody Knows Anything
If I Only Had 37 Days
The Only Life We Know
A Long Way Down
No Noble Savages
Figments of Reality
Too Far Ahead
The Rogue Animal
How the World Really Works:
If You Wanted to Sabotage the Elections
Collective Intelligence & Complexity
Ten Things I Wish I'd Learned Earlier
The Problem With Systems
Against Hope (Video)
The Admission of Necessary Ignorance
Several Short Sentences About Jellyfish
A Synopsis of 'Finding the Sweet Spot'
Learning from Indigenous Cultures
The Gift Economy
The Job of the Media
The Wal-Mart Dilemma
The Illusion of the Separate Self:
Did Early Humans Have Selves?
Nothing On Offer Here
Even Simpler and More Hopeless Than That
What Happens in Vagus
We Have No Choice
Never Comfortable in the Skin of Self
Letting Go of the Story of Me
All There Is, Is This
A Theory of No Mind
The Ever-Stranger (Poem)
The Fortune Teller (Short Story)
Non-Duality Dude (Play)
Your Self: An Owner's Manual (Satire)
All the Things I Thought I Knew (Short Story)
On the Shoulders of Giants (Short Story)
Calling the Cage Freedom (Short Story)
Only This (Poem)
The Other Extinction (Short Story)
Disruption (Short Story)
A Thought-Less Experiment (Poem)
Speaking Grosbeak (Short Story)
The Only Way There (Short Story)
The Wild Man (Short Story)
Flywheel (Short Story)
The Opposite of Presence (Satire)
How to Make Love Last (Poem)
The Horses' Bodies (Poem)
Distracted (Short Story)
Worse, Still (Poem)
A Conversation (Short Story)
Farewell to Albion (Poem)
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