I’ve been meaning to post something here for a month and a half now, but homework and everything else have left me no mental space for blogging. Nor are things apt to improve anytime soon. I leave for Europe later this week, and I’m not even taking my computer with me! How’s that for rotten blogging practice? So I’m waving the white flag and surrendering all blog aspirations for the rest of the year. Check back in January, and in the meantime I hope to post things on Facebook once in awhile. Maybe I’ll see you over there.
From How Philosophers Saved Myths: Allegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology, by Luc Brisson, trans. by Catherine Tihanyi:
Love, as any philosopher knew, is the principle that enables the cohesion of the elements with each other so as to form the universe.
That’s my favorite sentence in the whole book. Maybe my favorite sentence ever.
Today I called my school in Santa Barbara to pay tuition–yay!–and had a lovely chat with David in the Student Accounts office:
David: I see you’re in Rochester.
JoJo: That’s right.
David: How’s the weather there?
JoJo: Oh, it’s gorgeous. This whole month has been beautiful.
David: Really? I thought you had that stuff, what do you call it… snow?
Wow. I think I’m about to cross some kind of inter-dimensional threshold. I think I’m about to like it.
From Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization, by Heinrich Zimmer:
When the divine life substance is about to put forth the universe, the cosmic waters grow a thousand-petaled lotus of pure gold, radiant as the sun. This is the door or gate, the opening or mouth, of the womb of the universe.
Now there’s a creation image with a sense of aesthetics! And vitality! And friendliness toward the feminine! Ahhh. I feel refreshed.
From The Upanishads: The Wisdom of the Hindu Mystics, trans. Prabhavananda & Manchester:
This moon is honey for all beings, and all beings are honey for this moon. The intelligent, immortal being, the soul of this moon, and the intelligent, immortal being, the soul in the individual being–each is honey to the other.
Swoon! Do you think my teachers will mind if all my papers are about how much I love every single thing we read? By the way, that honey moon will be full on Tuesday, August 20. You can get details at this handy-dandy US Naval Observatory page.
Things have been quiet around here. I’ve been puttering in the garden, organizing my office, that kind of thing. I wish I could say I chilled out and really enjoyed the downtime, but I did do some pacing around and staring at the clock, eager for things to get underway again. No more of that nonsense, though. Things are officially underway.
Yesterday the syllabi for the fall’s classes arrived: Greek & Roman Mythology, Hindu Traditions, Approaches to the Study of Myth. Seriously! And the reading lists are even more fabulous than I’d hoped. So that’s all great. However, I thought school began in September, but the first assignments are due in September. Homework starts pronto! Also I’m about to get the manuscript of my novel back from a trusted reviewer, so the next round of revisions is imminent. I’ll be working double-time in August.
School, by the way, is a low-residency graduate program based in Santa Barbara. That means I’ll fly out for three days of classes once a month, then come home and dig into fiendish amounts of homework. Also, due to an enormous stroke of good fortune, I am traveling to Europe this fall, from mid-October through November, when the fiendish homework will happen in assorted cafes in Paris and Rome. Seriously!
I’m on the precipice of being swamped with work I love and travel I love. So what’s going to happen with this blog? I’m not sure yet. I’ll be busy, yes, but how could I help posting an occasional morsel about mythology? Or photos from California and Europe? It reminds me of the lyric from that Bob Dylan song “Mississippi”: Stick with me, baby, stick with me anyhow, Things should start to get interesting right about now.
I’ve been an absentee internet citizen for the last month, neglecting this blog and Facebook and all the rest of it. I’ve been busy revising my novel all the way through, and now it finally feels like a real thing. For two and a half years, I sensed it floating out there in the ether, and wondered just how delusional I was to sense something that did not exist. Well, I’m not delusional anymore. It wafted down and landed on a stack of paper, right here on this very tabletop, in the realm of consensual reality.
It happens all the time. You think, I’ll make a cup of tea, and then there’s a mug full of the good stuff where there wasn’t one five minutes earlier. Or you say, How about a garden?, and before you know it the plants are throwing tomatoes and cucumbers at you faster than you can chop them into gazpacho. I’ve heard it called manifesting. I’ve heard it called creativity. It’s the same procedure on large and small scales: 1) idea, 2) execution. Bigger scales just require proportionately more faith, a greater willingness to say, I have no clue how this might come about, but I’m doing it anyway. And then you feel proportionately more grateful and relieved when it actually happens.
Not that I’m done with the novel. I need to revise again, and again after that, and probably a few more times too. But none of that will happen right now. My brain feels like spaghetti noodles, overcooked and left to congeal in the colander. Today’s procedure goes more like this: 1) iced mocha, 2) long walk. After that, who knows? Whatever wants to manifest next will float down out of the ether precisely when it’s time.