kiya: (akhet)
( Jul. 27th, 2012 12:30 pm)
"Little Gidding", first part of part V, by T. S. Eliot:

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
kiya: (ma'at)
( Jun. 2nd, 2012 09:16 pm)
"Dude. Dude. Dude dude dude."

I was thinking about temples and foundations, as I often do.

"What?" [ profile] teinedreugan asked me.

"There's a thing," I explained, "where you sit and stare at it and you don't get anywhere and then suddenly you know what to do and you can do research and...." I kissed him.

"Bye!" said [ profile] whispercricket, as I packed up my computer and prepared to scurry up to the office.

"[ profile] whispercricket understands!"

"I wasn't even really paying attention," she comments.

I am pulling books off the shelves, flipping through the indexes, muttering 'stretching the cord', which I looked up on a few websites, but I want things in books, for citations. I toss Seth: God of Confusion onto the bed in its notebook, and add Ancient Egyptian Construction and Architecture, and go through several books and put them back.

Then I pause, and take one of those books down off the shelf again. "86, 86...."

I was actually looking for page 87, but close enough.

I read. "At Edfu, inscriptions in the temple tell us that it was oriented from Orion in the south to the Great Bear in the north."

I put the book down.

My mind is exploding.

kiya: (cult of ecstasy)
( Jan. 12th, 2012 10:56 pm)
Trying to comb the tangles out of my life is a fiddly, fiddly thing. It's a two steps forward, one step back thing at all times, and this has been a rough while - hell, it's been a rough year - which means it feels like a lot more back steps than forward steps even if I look at it closely and recognise that's not right, really.

Possibly it's that I have too much pirouetting and not enough promenade.

KJ likes to run in circles around things. "Baby run circle!" she proclaims. "Run circle mama!" when she's orbiting me. Like that, only I don't enjoy it as much as she does?

It's always a third way. )
The basic problem with the axioms of reconstructionism in paganism is that, as a descendant of Puritans, the religion of my ancestors turns out to be Unitarian Universalism.

Some gaps no amount of lore can fill.
This is a first draft, I'm trying to get my thoughts in order. Suggestions for useful revisions are extremely welcome.

'God' is a service role. )

The Unitarian Universalist church I attend opens each ceremony with a short prayer, an affirmation, which begins "Love is the spirit of this church and service is its law." (Or 'goal'. Some do it differently, and I can't recall which one is in the order of service right now.) It and I are both descended from the Puritans, who would probably not approve of aspiring to godhood or teachings about finding the divine, holy spark in each other, but nonetheless here we all are.
So now that I have a few people looking at the draft of the Traveller's Guide so I can do a last few tweaks before submitting the manuscript to publisher(s), I'm working on the project that has been referred to on the Cauldron for a while as the onion-hoeing book.

It is amazing how different this project is.

Okay, here's the thing: the Traveller's Guide was a romp. It is a thoroughly academically researched, information-dense romp, but not only is the premise pretty much a gigantic joke it has stuff in it like a limerick about the importance of raising the djed pillar, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. It has a lot of stuff in it from a Kemetic perspective, and I think it has a lot of stuff that might be of use to a magician-type who wants to deal with a reasonably authentically Egyptian flavoring to stuff they're doing, but mostly what that book is is a lot of fun that also happens to be chock full of data.

The onion-hoeing book isn't like that at all.
It's like this instead. )

A month ago I was sure I knew how to organise this thing, and now that I'm trying to do so it's coming apart in my hands in weird ways. And it's hard stuff, and I need to do at least a half-decent job on it.
"I'm better at stylised than representational."

"Most people are. That's why humans didn't develop representational art for ages. You do a human, you don't try to make it look like Bob. You put stuff that Bob likes around it, everyone who knows Bob knows it's him."

"And you put his name on it."


"And if you're Egyptian, you put in a fishing float!"

"... why?"

"Bob... bob... bob..."


"Also fishing is symbolic of sex and regeneration, so you really want it in there."
Last night I spent an excessive chunk of time rattling around reading blogs, in a weird compilation of some rereading of the things I wrote for last year's Pagan Values Month blogswarm thing, coming across someone sneering that of course Christianity didn't invent original sin, that's just a normal religion thing, and some discussions that are apparently related to Wiscon, and it got me thinking about structural stuff around religion again.

Trying to articulate some stuff. )

Shorter version: hug your children so they have souls. Thank you, goodnight.
A couple of quotes pulled out of context:

"My backbrain just said 'It is bad spiritual engineering for your landwight agreements to have single fail points on loadbearing royalty.'  This is why I'm not allowed to talk to normal people."

"... Tain Bo Kachina...."

I think 'Loadbearing Royalty' is probably my favorite phrase for this week, by the way. It's hard to work it into a conversation, though.

In other news, I just wrote a serious theology essay about American Idol. (Well, using bits of this past season of American Idol as prime illustrative example, to be fair.)
Egyptian Mythology: the Warcraft Raid )
I am becoming increasingly convinced that one of the critical things I think people need is some serious work on dealing with their transgressive elements.

I return to the quote from this weekend, which I didn't get attributed, and google around and still don't get an attribution but a nice phrasing nonetheless: "The perfect law--is the law of liberty--liberty is the freedom to do what is right/righteous--not to be confused with license which is lawlessness."

Cut for rambling explorations of ethics and theology. )
    Well, I see the ones who crawl like moles
    Who for a front would trade their souls,
    A broken mirror's the only hole for them;
    And for you who'd exchange yourselves,
    Just to be somebody else,
    Pretending things you never felt or meant;
    Hey, you don't live what you defend,
    You can't give so you just bend.

(This entry may contain sex, pride, self, power, passion, love, law, knowledge, liberty, and/or wisdom. It may also make no damn sense. Caveat lector. Purchase not refundable without receipt. Offer not valid in some states of mind.)
Pondering the Black Heart of Innocence just a little )

Yeah, so that's a chunk of what's on my mind these days.
One of the things that I quote often is a translation of a bit of an Egyptian creation myth, referring to pre-creation: "before there were two things".

I draw many things from this phrase and will now ramble at some length about them. )
[ Editorial note: Songdragon wants an icon of her own (since most everyone in here who wants one has one that they're happy with); I spent a lot of time today banging on the GIMP (trying to get it to install on my machine, giving up, installing it on the desktop machine, prodding at the way the thing works, and so on) and I have at least a draft of one, and now I'm not using it. Heh. It'll replace the buddha icon whenif we get around to it. ]

I made a comment elsewhere today trying to translate bits of Kemetic stuff into something more generally accessible, and SD and Weaver eventually came up with translating 'ma'at' into 'in tune with the divine harmony' or something roughly equivalent to that.

I want to play with this metaphor. This metaphor is shiny.

Can't have harmony without difference, after all. We're not going for one of those tedious later-period non-jammin' OMs here. And so right out there we've got the whole needfulness of dialogue to maintain and uphold existence. And the possibility of different things, different notes, sounding into a meaningful whole. Ma'at is the principle what organises people into communities.

There's a joke about accidentals in here somewhere.

Harmonies are one of the things that I glom onto in music I hear, that I'm singing. Harmonies and bassline. That's what makes things feel right to me, resonant with my own internal perception of meaningfulness. (I wonder what the bassline is in this metaphor.)
Today I had reason to tell one of the myths as an explanation of something. I don't tell them the same way twice when I tell them; the rhythm of the language when I'm storytelling is something that has its own demands, its own life, its own soul, and constraining it to pinned-down language seems wrong to me.

I can tell stories in different registers, in different levels of detail; storytelling is one component of my calling as a writer.

As I was talking to [ profile] teinedreugan while we were out doing some errands (getting fabric for the thing my hands want to do, kibble for the cats, and a feeesheeee for the lily tank), I realised that this is something that matters to me: that the stories, the storytelling, the rhythm of the language and the tales, this is one of the things that gives me a resonance of having a living faith, a living religious system.

There are only a couple of myths I can do this with easily, just drop into storytelling mode and tell the story as it flows out of me, making the rhythm of the language sing. I need to learn more stories, more stories so that I can tell them, make my breath the breath of the living Kemetic faith.


Addendum: And since I told the world, I also told the Real Live Preacher. ([ profile] preachermanfeed, I believe.)
Because this whole getting work done thing isn't actually functioning.

Some of the seeds of this were set in an earlier, locked entry, and I'm not sure how I feel about the etiquette of posting a link to it that some people might not be able to follow, so I won't. :P

Seeds, having grown into thoughts. )

I think I'll use Darkhawk's rune for the icon on this, because it's far more geekery than spirituality at the moment, all analysis. And then back to the staring uselessly at the work.
Hm. Now that my blood pressure is somewhat more stable, at least for the moment.

This is inspired in response to something that [ profile] fyrekat posted about, but wasn't directly useful. It's . . . somewhere in the intersection of paradigm, philosophy, and theology.

Essential duality and congregation. )

And now I've done all this writing about this stuff rather than getting work done.

What was that about displacement activity? :P
Decided I wanted to save it.

Society/gay marriage )
A lot of theology today.

[ profile] oneironaut showed me a link to something around here that provoked me into a [ profile] dot_cattiness snark.

Then I commented in a discussion where a bunch of people were responding to an awfully earnest but not especially ept evangeliser: I often find myself feeling like proselytisers are berating me about how I need to work with their terrific European history tutor, and aren't willing to listen when I point out to them that my major is physics, I don't need European history to graduate, and would rather work with someone who can explain differential equations to me.

(I've long been of the opinion that a religion that makes a practical benefit to me in being a better person with a better life and making a positive impact on people around me and a better world is a better religion for me than other options; I do rather suspect that the proselytiser in question wouldn't accept pragmatic evaluations over But My Book Says, though, more's the pity.)

Then I came across someone arguing that suggesting that a belief that there's no intrinsic purpose to existence is both less than ideally moral and equivalent to a belief that existence is purposeless. To which I replied "Purpose is a creation of the mind; existence is a property of reality." And it occurs to me that it strikes me that a belief that meaningfulness is derived from outside is shirking a responsibility to create meaning.

Plant you seeds.

I now have six lilypads. There were five when I planted it, but I took one off; it had gone yellow. So that's two new ones. And I can see two shoots down near the growth point.

Plant you seeds.


kiya: (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags