There was the time in my twenties, reading in a bookstore about Buddhism, when for an instant I actually got it. But an instant was all it was: I didn't have the tools (or perhaps I mean the desperation) to take that insight and make it part of my life. So I'll settle on February 1, 1997, when I was forty-five.
Here's a piece I wrote about that day a year or so later, sparked by something Ivo said at the Ethereal Anatomy workshop yezida and Gwydion taught at Ivo's place. (Ivo had a sort of guest-lecturer slot near the end of the event.) I have no recollection of the words he used, but whatever he said worked like the grain of sand in an oyster to produce that piece. Something about intent, I think, given that the word worked itself into the title. I remember feeling anxious (as I so often was those days). The heroic, tightly focused Raising of Intent is not my strong point; I'm better at waiting for something like grace. Though waiting isn't the right word; it's more like active willingness. I had done a lot of work (and I knew that there was much more to do), but it seemed to be in a different mode. Something like the seeking in Bayazid Bastami's This thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, but only seekers find it.
2. Do you ever plan on retiring from the daily salary grind? If so, how do you see yourself spending your retirement time?
This is a tough one. The next big change for me seems likely to be Marsha dying, and it's very hard indeed to plan for life after Marsha. I'm concentrating on making a life, as skillfully passionate as I can manage, for this year and this month, this day and this hour.
3. If you had to move to another country, which one would it be and why?
If I had to move, the why would probably be because some dystopia or other starts taking hold in the U.S. and the country gets too hot for even such small-potatoes rebels as myself. So probably Canada (easiest to escape to, and hopefully willing to take refugees).
4. You get a pair of magical dancing shoes, which gives you supreme
dancing talent in one style only. Which style,
Hmmm... I'm so out of it about dance! Let's see: I've heard of modern dance (my mother did that), and tap dancing (my friend Dannie did that), and Scottish country dancing (Turtle does that), and contra dancing (Herschel does calling for that). [Glances at Wikipedia]. How about fire spinning?
Because it looks like fun!
5. What is your favorite non-sexual sensual pleasure?
Does snuggling count as non-sexual? If not:
Bicycling is fun. (Outdoors cycling -- indoors is fine for exercise, if I've got something to distract me, but riding outdoors is something I actually like.)
Then again, food is pretty nifty too.
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