26 April, 2017

Hailing frequencies open

30 Nisan 5777 : Parashat Tazria-Metzora (in diaspora), Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, 15th of the Omer (Passover ...Sefirat Ha'omer... Shavuot )

Translation: Our praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of all: for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this season.

{ familial-social public sphere mindshare }

A poetic fragment for today, the chanted chorus from the hip-hop song "I Wake Up"

Every fragment craves connection
Every exile brings a lesson
Every death is resurrection
Each breath is

~ Daniel Silverstein a.k.a. Danny Raphael


Today's mediation timer: "Hymn of the Cherubim" by Pjotr Tšaikovski
(If you're a new reader, start the timer, get into a calm space with mindful breathing, and then when you've reached my Song for the day at the post's end, please scroll back up to note the timestamp in this video. If you want, engage in restive reflection until the music ends, and then listen to my Song for the day while you read the epilogue.) 

 Tšaikovski's name is often mistranslated, or more accurately mis-transliterated into Christian English. His life is an intriguing, painful story in the Q continuum, but his works are celebrated in Christendom.


I tend to think of myself as a skilled writer, though it might be more accurate to say i'm a fluent writer of English. I speak American English fluently, and appreciate UK English and other regional dialects, whether or not i have a complete informal vocabulary - in other words, a working knowledge of slang - in all of them. Where cultural gaps are present - and that doesn't have to be across languages or nations; culture gaps are present wherever individuals operate from different paradigms, even within the nuclear family - communication pitfalls abound.

It is helpful to understand how languages relate to cultural spheres, and how "language" as a term includes not only spoken and written languages but music, maths, and literary-textual forms like poetry, novella, graphic novel, and kinema (nope, contrary to dogmatic belief, it's not "sin-ema," but see Bazin, particularly vis-a-vis Linklater). I have a very broad musical sphere, which includes and transcends my siblings' spheres, but it doesn't preclude me from excerpting lyrics from musical forms they would find distasteful as poetry in order to communicate. Maybe some day they'll lighten up and broaden their palates, but that's G-d's work, not mine. 

When it comes to conventional linguistic awareness, am i multilingual? Well, i'm a lazy gringo. English is so widely spoken thanks to both British and American imperial colonialism that i can at least quasi-communicate in a lot of geographies without learning anything else. Living in a border city, i am surrounded by fully bilingual individuals, and i'm learning Espanol slowly just by paying attention to bilingual signage; going to the local birriera and attempting to order politely en Espanol is good practice. 

yo: Mas agua por favor?
*Otro pours glass of cold water*
yo: Gracias! 
Otro: De nada. 

In the noosphere, there are texts i'd enjoy reading in their original language. The poetry of Rumi certainly tops that list, but i'd need to learn فارسی to do that. Because i relate to what of Rumi's emotional-spiritual experience can be translated into English, i understand a good bit of what he was writing about. Rumi began an intense, spiritual intimacy with one Shams-i-Tabrīzī that shaped the course of his life.

Thankfully, being able to read Nazim Hikmet's poetry in Türkçe is within the realm of easily achievable for me. Traveling in Turkiye and Iraqi Kurdistan with basic conversational fluency in 
Türkçe was an amazing experience, but encountering ქართული in Gurcistan was a major mind-$#%!; if you've been paying attention to this blog since its inception, you know that already. I want to share more of the Gurcistan story, and the travels immediately preceding and following it, but those stories are very painful and personal and while i'm ready to write them for the world, i don't have permission from my siblings yet. First i must gain my audience's trust. 

I've had many spiritual teachers along this pilgrimage. My mother Geraldine was certainly a formative influence, and my ( Beloved / Anam Cara / Imzadi ) Gary is definitely a big one. But i must honor the others, chief among them one דניאל with whom i walked and talked, with whom i corresponded for a year, and toward whom i felt an attraction so strong i began to learn עִברִית in order to speak with him in his native tongue.

{ sidebar } Beloved is a term that relates to the past, the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, the Song of Songs, et cetera. It relates to the longing, the divine Desire for Union with the Other. In Judaism, the prayer "Lekha Dodi" (Come, Beloved) is sung to usher in Sabbath rest. In Christianity, the Church is the Bride of Christ: We are family, i got all my sisters with me (TY: Sister Sledge). Anam Cara is a Celtic Christian term meaning "soul friend" and i suppose we could render this in modern American English as soulmate. Imzadi is a Betazoid word from the realm of science fiction in the noosphere. As far as i can tell based on the Troi-Riker relationship model, it means the exact same thing as the other two words in that trinity, but it relates culturally to perceptions of and/or hopes for future. The Troi-Riker relationship is best observed through the ST:TNG cinematic canon from VII: GENERATIONS through VIII: FIRST CONTACT and IX: INSURRECTION to X: NEMESIS in which Jean-Luc faces his most powerful foe, a Romulan clone of himself. But more on that later.
{ /sidebar }

Anyway, after meeting and falling in love with דניאל, my world was radically changed. Geraldine, may she rest in peace, was "guilty" of over-mothering and controlling behavior, codependent behavior, and other socially unhealthy behaviors that had profound ramifications for her children's development, particularly mine, as after having her moral authorship challenged around my brother's life ("Don't let Mrs. Merrill get on the bus!") she vowed never to have her authority challenged again. Of all the reasons we left the Church of the Closed Mind, the only reason she'd cop to for real was that i agreed with Pastor John instead of her. (More on that later, too.)

So i was never encouraged to leave the nest, never allowed to really develop socially by engaging in unsupervised play behaviors, and deprived of both peer socializing and non-parental mentors and role models at a key developmental fulcrum: puberty.

But when "sex" and "other person" finally collided in a single thought for the first time (age 22, oy vey, late bloomer!) i began to awaken to the fact that there was a world outside my parent's house and the woods and bogs and hills around it. For years, i had been content to wander in solitude and contemplation, to study nature through observation, and to reflect on the Law of the Lord as i had received it in childhood religious experience that ended with massive social-familial trauma.

I had finally been baptized into the communion of adults in society. How?  דניאל was the first person with whom i committed adultery in my heart. He affirmed my nascent interest in non-dual awareness and holistic paradigms; he introduced me to St. Exuperey and Coelho. He gave me his childhood copy of הנסיך הקטן in Hebrew. He was also the person who taught me how to perform mikvah; he confessed his sins to me, and together we dipped seven times in Thurlow Brook.

After Danik, i knew i had to leave the nest. But how? I had not been encouraged to work towards a career; i had been raised to be a scion of Israel, a healer, a person who puts G-d before Caesar.

I had been interested in agrarian cultural paradigms, which led to some wonderful places. Wendell Berry responded to a letter i wrote him, encouraging me to get a college education. And so i went off to study sustainable agriculture (and narrative, media, communications, and environmental, behavioral, and organizational psychology) and study abroad in Turkey and....

....but what about my family?


This morning i noticed that a melodic cue from SWAN LAKE may be quoted in the Diana Ross song "Do You Know," a song my mother loved, so that's today's mom song. Last night's brother song was "Don't Have to Be So Sad" by Yo La Tengo, and i realized that because OLD JOY is a film that sums up my feelings around that relationship and YLT improvised the score, YLT is the band that allows me to connect with my feelings towards my brother. Connecting that lyric with Doug helped me find the safe island of calm, mindful awareness and drift off to a truly restful night's sleep.

Today's Imzadi song is "Woman in Love" by Barbra, and i can't really think of anything more gay than associating a Streisand song with my imzadi LOL. But i think my sister can connect with Streisand too, so here's a song for her: "The Way We Were.


Today's Christian sutta / mantra is : Mark 9, specifically verse 42 (KJV) 

(Yoshua, the Christ, speaking to John, the disciple whom He loved):
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.


My song for today: "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"
written by Andrew Lloyd-Weber, performed here by Karen Carpenter

{ Dad's awake. Time to break fast. / mindshare }

Your feedback is appreciated!
Please use the Wong-Baker Faces scale, which describes 
continuum of affective experience from 0 to 10, where 0 represents a happy face, or "no hurt" and 10 represents a crying face, or "hurts worst."
1. What was your overall affective experience in terms of the Wong-Baker scale?
2. Was there excess time on the mediation timer? If so, how much?
    (Your answer to this helps me calibrate post length in terms of both multimedia content and word         count; getting multiple answers allows me to customize communique length for individual                   mindshare constraints and also to gauge average read speeds for my primary audience.)
3. Did you engage in mindful breathing and/or restive reflection?
4. Red flags? White flag?

ILY & TY for sharing,