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[3/12/2014: first posted as a ‘journal entry,” but really an excerpt from a letter to mijn imkertje] [thus you see what he had to put up with]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

and also this:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity

I’m just now starting to learn that there are words for these ideas I’ve been grunting my way toward by myself, and often with you, for the past several years.

I’m always the caveman in these scenarios, you know:

chiseling away toward the creation of a primitive wheel. Honing it, correcting it, smoothing it toward ultimate symmetry. Showing it off to a genially diffident tribe who don’t quite get the point, really (the point is that it has no “point,” damn it! it’s a torus!!!) and who, in fact, have begun to distribute the daily mammoth so that I always seem relegated to what I can only guess is “lower intestine.” So, all right then, I get a yearning–ah, hubris, mon amour–a yearning to prove myself, re-invent myself, to show off my fabulous invention to some new tribe who might be smart enough to appreciate its genius. I decide to travel to a land farther away than any of my tribe have ever been to–no, nor even heard of. So I lean my shoulder into my “wheel” (a word that means the same thing as the word my caveman self invented, thank you very much) and I “roll” it (btw, I also invented, or anyway streamlined, the entire concept of “rolling”). I roll it far past the memory of my village, far out into and across the tundra, then up, up, to the top of, say, Mount Stumbly, all alone [or, in the Pixar version, in the company of my sassy pet wolf-dog, Wodo, sassily voiced by Eddie Izzard. A related aside: as dictated by Pixar, I myself am voiced by a feisty Cameron Diaz–which is of course ridiculous, because if the world back then had been such that a woman could, with impunity, stare for long hours at an enigma so subtle it blended in with–nay, became–the scenery— To run her fingers blindly along the fabrics of nature’s pervious facade so as to develop a feel, a taste, for the texture and opacity of each dark veil. To peer–patient, dogged–behind veil upon curtain upon sheet upon veil upon sheet upon–finally!–door. To have the freedom and time to plumb the depths (and widths and heights) of, say, this, this thing right beside us all, this seemingly solid, roundish boulder—well, that would be a world where a girl could relax a bit, I’d say, and I recommentd that Cameron Diaz can keep her shirt on, already, and for once forgo the tedium of acting “feisty” all the time.]  And as I finally approach the top of Mount Stumbly, oh, how proud I feel, how eager to roll my wheel downhill again, roll it like a tide of cavalry toward an astonished, applauding new populace… Yes, yes. But of course–oh my love, I’ll bet you know this story as well as I do–when at last I reach the mountain’s ragged crest and gasp, dumbstruck at the unveil of my longed-for new vista, what is it that I see?

I have my own answer, which I like quite well for my own purposes, but it might not be as interesting or relevant as yours, and, anyway, I don’t want to have any influence over what your caveman sees when you look over the mountain.  This story can have any ending at all–why not?–but the best would probably be the one that helps re-teach you whatever lesson it is you’ve been wanting to re-learn lately.

Meanwhile, my own point of my fable is really just this: that we never–not any of us, ever in time–never really invent the wheel. No, we only discover it, and re-discover it, buried beneath the stone. Or no, no, no—we don’t even have to work that hard. To discover the wheel we have only to imagine the moon.

And my other point–the one I came in here with–is that I need to do a lot more reading/learning. Carl Jung–amazing what I still don’t know about him, even after seeing the movie. 🙂 Arthur Koestler too, I guess: “The Roots of Coincidence.” Many many others, old and new. “The Believing Brain” by Michael Shermer– it’s in my official “wish list” at audible.com. (I’m listening to lectures by Alan Watts right now—fabulous stuff! btnhnt.) [but that’s neither here nor there]

I find, more and more, that this is where my path tends to go–the part of me that is mostly “mind” is heading there, I mean. As for the rest of me–the one who carries wood and chops water, builds fires and tames small animals–she’s feeling very strong these days.

I want to apply these concepts (the links above: apophenia, etc.) towards various ways of managing randomness, making the most (whether through experience, logic, cultivated habit, instinct or whatever else might work) of what we tend to call “luck”. In practical life, of course–for luck is easy to find in practical life. [Case in point: just believing you’re “lucky” makes you lucky. Really, it’s true. Try it, it works: I myself have been lucky all my life. (But then, so has everybody else.)] But most fully I want to explore and  learn to exploit randomness in the context of, say, daily zennish practices, such as the art of kindness, or–the area that seems least “manageable” to me these days–the art of making art:

{from wikipedia:  In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters, writing “if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms.”}

In my case, I want to see the roles randomness and planning can play in my writing…..and this time to conduct my experiments in public, for (and, for reasons I don’t fully understand, I can agree to this only with both feet dragging along the ground behind me) an “audience” of some kind. (Who is my audience, anyway, besides just you, love? Perhaps that may be one of those questions that’s a lot less important than I think it is.)

This seems a good place to say good morning to your night, good night to your morning.

Namaste, mijn schatje. lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove

P.S. Another word I noticed today and want to learn more about: “randomania”. btnhnt. [But that’s neither here nor there.]

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