This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by the pains of becoming, bizarre consumerism, a different kind of communication, a cruel grandmother, life and gratitude, navigating to the strangeness of safer places, the need to balance our sunny talk of success with the realities of failure, and Frederik Pohl:
photo credit: Gwydion M. Williams
You look at the world around you, and you take it apart into all its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens.
— Frederik Pohl
"When did you get the call to service?" she asked.
For some, it was when they were five years old and a friend killed a beetle right in front of their eyes while they looked on in horror. For others, it was when they saw someone suffer in their lives, or discovered an injustice.
For me, it was this moment in the 5th grade.
If I had never left America, I thought last night, individually-wrapped prunes might make perfect sense to me. But tonight they seem like a sign of a culture that has degraded to the point that an aversion to the possibility of detaching one prune from another prune was a reason not to eat a prune, that someone had created a solution to that problem.
In the evening I go home, and my son greets me with "beard!", and I lower my face so he can feel the texture of my whiskers. It's the most fulfilling conversation I have all day.
When you see your grandmother reject your achievements and reward your sister's failures and illnesses, you learn that not everything is as it seems. No, sometimes love is hate and hate is love.
The empty spot inside ensō isn't the white-knuckle part. It is the space where the circle doesn't meet. That opening is where the love streams in. It is where the current of calm pulls us out of the frantic. It is the place where the abundance fills us. And it is also the pause where the life we know is interrupted. The slow tick between the radiance and the sunset. The time when we do not know.
My favorite word in the English language is the word "safe."
I think it is a beautiful word. It stands its ground. It takes up just as much space as it needs, but no more.
I did not grow up in a safe place.
…until we can talk just as freely about failure, the story of indie culture remains a Disneyfied fairy tale — based on reality, but without the occasionally ugly ending.
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