Monday, August 30, 2010

Catching up, again

I always said to myself I would not be one of those bloggers that wasted time and blogspace with apologies over not posting, but after such a long absence I guess it would be weird not to acknowledge it.  Where did the time go?  Little things kept me from sitting at the desktop...back trouble, then a foot injury, then just the absence of habit and the new habit of Facebook.  I need to steer my habits back to this spot.  I need to push the reset button in part anyway.  I'd like to get back to the original intent, to explore the multiplicities in my life.  For a while toward the end I was heavy into the book blogging.  While I enjoy doing the slow reads and the reviews, they take up a lot of time, and I don't want those to be all this blog is about.

Interestingly, in the seven years since I began writing here, my Whitman quote seems to have spread as a meme.  Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.  More people I encounter online use it as their tagline.  The idea of multiplicity has spread, and is a natural descriptive word for the online world.  There is nothing but multiplicity here.

During this lucky seven years, books have regained a larger piece of my identity.  When I was a kid, that was the majority of my entertainment.  Now, book groups have changed my reading from mere imbibing to reflection, review, and inquiry.  Those qualities certainly have been part of my reading experience considering my college experience, but recent years have brought a resurgence of the joy along with a consciousness of what I have to offer others from my experience of books.  While I have been a decent facilitator of my library's book group, this past year I have noticed more responses from participants that show my skills have bumped up a notch or three. I'm sure revisiting my college experience and participating in the Read the Classics series has helped my ability to get to the heart of a book, and steer the conversation in that direction.  Half a dozen of us Classics readers were just not ready to take a break for the summer, so we read three books: Absalom, Absalom, Heart of Darkness, and The Sun Also Rises.  We rocked, figuring out these books.

This summer I had a booth for the Portland Chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship at the Division/Clinton Street Fair for the first time.  I don't know why I haven't done this I guess.  I really appreciated that their theme was about community, while the Hawthorne and the Belmont Street Fairs seem to be about Spend Money at Our Businesses.  I liked it so much I thought I'd do those as well, but it didn't work out with my schedule.

I created on-the-spot enso pictures for people.  Kids were the best.  They gave me new ideas for animals in which to incorporate an enso. The kids totally got it when I explained an enso represented that clear, open mind we get from sitting in quiet meditation. I came up with the idea of a comic strip called ensoland.  Every creature would have an enso as part of their being, and they would go about solving conundrums of the spirit.

horse enso            goldfish enso

My homi read her poetry at the library this summer.  Two loves in one spot.

my homi reading poetry

One of my pumpkin plants has taken over the front yard landscaping.  I believe it is the jack-o-lantern plant.  It overwhelmed the Howden pumpkin plant.  The Howden originally had the first small pumpkins, but they fell off.  My yard guy said that was because they weren't pollinated.  The big plant kept wrapping its tendrils around my blueberry bushes, tomato plants, and herb plants.  Naughty pumpkin...I scolded it as I rescued my other plants.  Next year I plan to supplant it with a rhubarb plant. Maybe somebody I know will be ready to divide their root mass this fall.  All my tomatoes are still green.

pumpkin taking over

first pumpkin

See more photos here, including this wacky guerrilla sign.  Can you tell me what it says?