ariel, New Yonk City

5/6/21 At this time last year I would have taken an hour-long walk around the park. Now, a year into COVID city life, I stay indoors so much more. I have site visits today out in the world, but it's gorgeous out and I feel no urge to leave my sunny kitchen. Kiwi is asleep on the couch. I will take her to the dog park this afternoon. 5/4/21 I love listening to lectures about subjects I have no understanding of. This one really blew my mind. Just a tiny crack in the door to an entire universe. 5/2/21 An hour-long ride into L3: I have a new appreciation for Eye's throne butt. Today was a great Saturday. Brunch with friends, music club on zoom, rest, reading, cooking, and TV in the evening. 4/30/21 "Not only do I fail to access hyperobjects at a distance, but it also becomes clearer with every passing day that "distance" is only a psychic and ideological construct designed to protect me from the nearness of things." 4/29/21 Today I will take the day off to recover from my second vaccine. One year ago I was 'furloughed' from my job (the start of a 4-month non-adventure), playing Animal Crossing, attempting to loop Nuclear Throne, taking daily, careful walks through the park, and nursing my dying pup after his stroke. So much has changed over one year. A hyperobject for sure (found a pdf: April's Dharma Encounter is superb as always. Wildly alive, even over the air: I feel achy all over. I am grateful that I can move my meetings without a second thought. 4/28/21 I am told to read "Hyperobjects" by my friend mentioned in the post from yesterday. After listening to a lecture by Shoan, it feels more clear- it is possible to just give. She told the story, an old story, of 2 monks sitting by a blooming fruit tree. The tree is beautiful, with fruit and flowers, showing its full glory. One monk turns to the other and says, "you know... we call this a 'tree'..." and they both burst out laughing. As if to say, what a small name for such an endlessly blooming, interconnected phenomena. A small name like a prison for something that cannot be imprisoned. Watched all of "How To with John Wilson" over the course of 2 days. 4/27/21 I share the text from yesterday with a friend. I wrote it in response to a conversation we had last week. She responds with many excellent points. To paraphrase: Many paths, some big and some small, all difficult, all thrown together. Some inspiring. Some more inspiring than others. All difficult. Sitting in front of a candle yesterday I wander through the weeds. On two occasions the exquisite colors of night approaching came through clearly: peaceful and expansive, like an open field in the night without moon. 4/26/21 It is possible that there are only so many troubles to go through in life. The loss of housing, the death of loved ones, hunger, loss of work, loss. We recycle these troubles over and over. Our stories revolve around these troubles. By going through trouble we become live resources and can help others to navigate their waters successfully, or at least more hopefully. However, at any given time there is the new trouble- trouble which is ever-emerging based on the technology of the time. This trouble has not happened enough or fully enough to be understood in a way that we are confident about. This trouble is the unscratchable itch. We treat it like the old troubles but it is not like the old troubles. I see the itch in every conversation that I have. The theme of the itch is: how uncomfortable we are with our labor in relation to the big picture we have of our world. <me and my little life> in relation to <all that I think that I know about the world.> This itch is not new. 100 years ago Freud named his book "civilization and its discontents" on this very subject. But in 100 years we think that we have become experts on the new trouble, and we are simply not. To think that we have a hold on the itch when we don't is a part of the itch. We grow up learning that we ought to be confident about what we know about our age. And yet... we are disturbed by the very nature of our daily lives. In denial that we might not yet know what is emerging, nameless and new. Is every utopian dream from the last 100 years an attempt to make a smaller supply/demand cycle by creating a micro-economy? Because the larger supply/demand cycle is so monstrous, aggressive, and we don't know how to engage with it in a way that feels safe? It is impossible to disconnect from the greater cycle. If you have ever bought a tube of toothpaste at CVS, you have entered into the net of global supply chains. Even if you live off the grid, your brother and sister do not, and you are connected to your brother and sister. Critics of utopian communities will say, scornfully, "it can't be done!". They will cite sexual misconduct and unachievable ethical strictness as sources of failure. But this criticism might be, for them, another excuse to spread Christian ethics. Maybe it is simpler. Maybe it is impossible to escape the net of the largest supply/demand cycle we, as a human community, have thrown together. It is certainly difficult to both look the monstrous beast in the eye while participating in its games. It clearly requires a lifetime of work to do this gracefully.

Always Returning To Media

  • Depths of Field- Tim Kinsella:
  • Drumming- Steve Reich-
  • American Don- Don Caballero-
  • 12oz Mouse:
  • Milo's entire discography:
  • The Decline of Western Civilization - Part 2: The Metal Years:

Free Zen Resources

  • Zen Mind Beginners Mind-
  • Cultivating the Empty Field-
  • Lectures from ZMM-