Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reading list et al...

I have been taking it easy back in Brooklyn spending half my time working on flowers and half my time staring out the window with Nea contemplating my next moves. Turning over all the rocks to see what's crawling around underneath. God I love that metaphor. 

I've started making headway on the book and have a practice of reading/writing from 3-5pm which feels like the most regular, steady way I've ever worked -- it feels new and really good. 

In a coffee shop today I was reading about peptides (the biochemical manifestations of emotions!) when I was distracted by a conversation unfolding behind the counter: a real christmas miracle was needed for the barista to find someone to watch her cat - who is HIV positive AND has herpes -- neither of which could be transmitted to humans she explained -- so she could board a bus and travel to Toledo for the holidays. So many lives in motion at the same time, worlds spinning at slightly different speeds, struggles; all real and all justly pertinent. To eavesdrop in on someone's cat plight reminds me that connection is all we have. Really.  Johnny Broadturn explained this to me years ago after dinner one March at Worlds End when I asked him how we should go about saving the world when we knew it couldn't be saved. He told me to focus on human connection. Then he sent me an old copy of the I Ching. 

Change, the one thing we can know with absolute certainty. 

I smile at strangers now. I've been dabbling at this for a few years, but now it's pretty close to full on. This morning a Mr. Rogers meets Miami Beach stepped up on the sidewalk in front of me and smiled at me first which really took me by surprise (I usually initiate!) but it felt like a real gift. I was carried for a while by this gentle delight.

A few of you have written to me asking for a reading list. Below is a list with a few notes. 

The Web of Life, Fritjof Capra
An excellent primer on systems theory with good refresher of basic chemistry/physics/biology to boot

The Courage to Create, Rollo May
A classic. A short easy read every creative needs to reread time and again. Page 86 has a tittilating sexual metaphor that stopped me in my tracks.

The Embodied Mind; Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson and Elanor Rosch
Helped me understand the concept of emergent qualities and interelatedness. New ways of thinking non-linearly about science and consciousness

Fear and Trembling, Soren Kierkegaard
I've struggled with this text and will continue to. It's on faith. "No person who has learned that to exist as the individual is the most terrifying thing of all will be afraid of saying it is the greatest."

Matter and Desire, An Erotic Ecology, Andreas Weber
You'll want to run outside and roll down hills of leaves with children, rub your bare face in the dirt except it's winter and you live in the city so..

The Pregnant Virgin; A Process of Psychological Transformation, Marion Woodman
As my friend Mindy remarked, an odd book to read on the subway. But worth it. 

Women Who Run with Wolves; Myths and Stories the Wild Woman Archetype, Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Helped me immensely reconsider what intuition is and how we get it back when we've lost it.

The Dancing Wu Li Masters; An Overview of the New Physics, Gary Zukav
Entropy, the Arrow of Time (it's an illusion) and all things quantum. 

Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein
Made me think hard on the commerce conundrum (how do we sell what we think everyone has a right to; i.e. beauty, health, wellbeing) and introduced me to the concept of the 'gift economy'

Sphinx, Anne Garreta
A love story written in the 80s but only recently translated from the french - you never know the gender of the beloved. So good. So impossibly sad. 


Sally said...

Very into this list! Will be bookmarking these...

Wendy said...

Good morning! I think that you should live in Nova Scotia, Canada for a bit, a place where not only everyone smiles at you, but they usually say things like good morning, hi, hello!! when you are just walking down the street. Come for a visit sometime.
Connection, whether human, animal, plant, etc is what this world is all about, we see it in nature everywhere. That is what it all boils down to, that is what we are losing in our modern world.
Can't wait for your book.

Wendy said...

Killer list, you are a smart cookie!!