Monday, December 20, 2010

studying overmuch

Some hallmarks of the wise one are books--and yet, if not literate, the gift of speech with strangers and animals. One can readily imagine an old man, long of beard and grey, with a lifetime's knowledge in that grizzled head, hunched over a book by candlelight, worn fingers slowly turning the fragile pages as he sips at a mug of hot tea, wisdom and words from days long past ready to be deciphered and renewed in thought.

Knowing. A combination of experience and intuition and slow, deliberate reasoning which can shed light on even a strange problem or idea, where it may have come from and how it came to be and what to do for any desired outcome.
Yet wisdom is not only for the old, for books on dusty shelves. There is the knowing that comes with doing, when your muscle memory takes over and your body uses its own wisdom to act when thought itself is too slow. There is that subtle communication that arises from seeing one's head turn just so (for were this not so, dance would have very little meaning indeed), or a creature move slowly or quickly, that little hitch in liquid birdsong that means danger approaches, flee! woods-wisdom, wild-knowing, that knowing without knowing. This too is wisdom.

Just as hours of deliberate thought and debate mark a man as learned, so an animal or man that can feel the change in weather knows what is to come, and survives.

Instinct is its own subtle voice.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm just glad I was able to put my car in the garage at my boyfriend's place before the big storm hit. We stayed inside all through the day, and took turns digging out the long driveway and some sidewalk.

What really touched me is the roving band armed with shovels who wandered up and down the street, helping their neighbors dig out cars and enough room in blocked driveways to get said cars off the street. People may joke about Minnesota Nice, but you don't survive long up here as a grouch. It's far nicer and easier to be polite and friendly when others need a hand and it's obvious you can help.
The next day, boy and I were walking to the bus stop and a couple with a baby in back were trying to get their little VW car out of a driveway. With the back wheels spinning in the snow, I called over to S., "Hey, we can help. Come back here!" Didn't take long to get them out and going. One, two, three, and push! I counted with my fingers as the lady looked out the back to see what we were up to--a push, car rocked back with enough momentum, and another push and gone! waving happily and on their way.

Snow aside, there are things more predictable than winter weather to worry for; a student in her last days of undergraduate education will soon be living in the library. Oh yes, ladies and germs--finals are here.

The good news is, I have one short paper to hand in for my career planning class tomorrow and that will be done. The rest is far less simple: a make-up exam *and* the final for Hydrology this week and then all my Biometeorology (dreaded stuff) is due next week. Cram cram cram.
(Say what you will, but there's nothing like a few days' frenzied studying to prepare for a big test. I will soon be spending all my remaining cash on coffee.)

Added to this is, of course, the job search. My time at the bee lab turned out to be shorter than I'd anticipated and now what little plans I had are all fumbly and trying to stay upright on an icy sidewalk. Hopefully I won't have to move back into my parent's house. They mean well, but I have too much up here to want to leave for an untold amount of time. All my job prospects so far are up here anyway...

I've learned that two feet of snow falling in one day can even take out the Metrodome.
I've learned that I cannot work well with someone who is so very, very type A and controlling that I feel like I can't so much as sneeze without reporting back about it.
I've learned that going down South for two holiday vacations in a row has messed with my expectations... next year we go again.
I've learned that maybe I can look forward to spring; mud and melting and messy changes aren't just a hassle, but signs of better times to come.
I've learned that for some reason, I really don't like writing cover letters.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cleaning up

Well, I've revisited the blog template, and I hope this is easier on the eyes. Much as I liked the dark transparent background, it was a little hard to see things sometimes. Also, new banner! ^^ I just hopped over to WikiCommons and found a nice photo to tweak a bit and share with you all. Let me know what you think of the new look.

Speaking of new things, there's nothing quite like sleeping on fresh bedsheets in a nicely made bed. I may be very casual about where things go around here, but I do like the blankets to be straight and the pillows fluffed and nice clean everything when I sleep.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New mythology

Well, I'm not making much progress at the moment on the book I originally thought would be good material for a book review. For one, it's not particularly well-written, which makes reading a bit of a chore, and for another, it's the end of the semester. My biometeorology class is especially taxing; if I hadn't skipped so many hydrology classes to work on the labs for biomet., I'd be doing much better. As it is, I'm stuck playing catch-up for all my courses, which although doable is *not* my idea of a good time.


Despite all this, I'm still reading and looking to expand my knowledge about everything Pagan. Somehow I got introduced (very briefly, in passing almost) to Finnish Paganism--now I am reading the Kalevala. Huzzah for Wikisources having the first translation to English available to the public! If I'm really ambitious, I hope to read some more English translations after I read through the whole thing so I can get a better sense of what the Finnish really means, seeing as I don't know Finnish and any translation is bound to miss some aspect of meaning, no matter how slight.

Another path that I've read but little about is the Dianic approach to Wicca. There is an inner voice that says, "yeah, but... focusing on a matriarchy isn't going to fix whatever problems arose from this 'patriarchy' you vilify so much. We have to work *together* on this." On the other hand, I can see how it's perfectly right to point out the many hypocrisies that exist in out society and do everything you can to fight for equality. And if your personal path calls for some girl-only (or even, gasp, guy-only!) spirit-work, then by all means do it. But I digress--a discourse on modern feminism can be saved for another post.

So far the book is definitely written with an agenda in mind, and it's funny how it made it through so many printings with the same spell repeated three times...

well, writing a critique should definitely be interesting. If I can manage to write one for each book, that should cover some requirements for the DP, which I really want to get working on once I'm done with college. Finally, free time to write papers on things I'm actually interested in! :D