Swan Dives and Strange Attractors

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Swan Dives, Tethers and Strange Attractors

You got me thinking...

The other night, you said you knew of several women who were all preparing to make swan dives in their lives right now. The context of our conversation touched upon the Life you couldn't walk away from, and so I started to look at that, and asked myself if I was truly walking away, or just shifting the burden from shoulder to shoulder.

At this point, it seems like a fantasy to think that I'm swan diving just yet. I feel more like I'm still scaling the mountain face, up that peak above the clear aqua pool that I want to take me in someday. I do like the image of a swan dive. I like the idea of arms spread wide, heart first, grounded feet trailing behind like the rudder behind wings, rather than an anchor that firmly meets ground.

But there is truly an element of "leap" here in my life right now - you've sensed that correctly - as well as that visionary strange attractor that I toss up ahead to pull me onward, and the leap is in my day to day, and it's in the choice I'm repeatedly making to be happy and strong, as a product of choice rather than happenstance or plotted outcome.

I haven't been this emotionally self-reliant in years. I know that I have a long way to go, for I especially miss the comfort of a man in my life - probably as much as the grass misses dew. But some years are dry years - and some years bring rain. I'm trying to both learn from the drought, and to drink from my own deep well spring in the meantime.

You can't, of course, know what it's been like to be me. You talk of feeling conscripted to a legacy of sadness and pain, via women and death, and I know that it must make the joys in your life even sweeter to hold. Gratitude is one of the best compensations for deep pain.

I think I feel a kinship to you in this now and then - less now than then. I felt for a very long time that I wouldn't ever be a party to happiness, and that for some odd reason I was broken inside by virtue of my misaligned upbringing, somehow condemned to an outcast's solitary looking-in on the world.

In this last couple of years, I think I've finally penetrated to the point of choosing, wherein I realize in what ways I've opted for this particular (sometimes morose and loss-centered) description of reality, perhaps because it has a tinge of knowingness about it that masquerades as prescience, and implies I have a grasp of how things will unfold, creating an illusion of knowledge where there's little else of substance - or at least familiar substance.

This feeling of inevitable sadness flies in the face of the unbridled optimism I also experience constantly throughout my days, and it has been in the reconciliation of these two things - the optimism and the sadness - that I've found a lot of growth and understanding. And, as I grow nearer to a transition point that feels more of my choosing, the optimism seems to stand a bit taller, and become more apparent as the option to select, and I'm glad for that.

I'm not quite ready for the great swan dive into the unknown, however.

I'm trying to hold the future loosely enough to have the co-creative facilities of the Other - spirit, god, weighted chance, imagination, the Beloved, will - engaged so that the dance up ahead is option-filled with experiences that transcend some of my own self-limitation.

But I did lay a groundwork that will probably stay connected to me and I expect that, once I get through the bulk of the next 5 months' work to put the store in a place that runs without me, giving these young men the best chance of succeeding that I can, and then have a little recovery time, the ties that really bind will become more apparent.

I suspect that my Conservancy's plants - the city's garden and the mother collection upriver - will come to re-occupy a position of some prominence. I'll probably start fund-raising for it by summer/fall and, once the grant-cycles get underway, working on its development over the next few years could be interesting. The plants always lead me to wonderful people. They led me to Joel and Dennis, and I think they have more rendezvous in mind.

And so yes, you're right. I am closer to walking on from here - swan diving - than I have been for years, and it feels right to seek out the wave of the time and see what beach I surf in upon.

In fact, that's what I like so very much about this time right now. It has that edge of inevitability that makes faith's gamble so much of a sure thing that I'd be a fool not to bet on the perfect unfolding of it all, and just spread my wings and dive.


The moon's in Taurus, and almost full. Mercury's gone retrograde for the month, and things started now will have to be re-aligned. It's a good time to review and reframe.

I think I've discovered a part of me that doesn't flow too well in the virtual. At least, not in the narrow way it's proscribed for me at present, with little of substance to touch and hold. I've found it by feeling an ache that's been growing again, and watching that ache, a dissonance that I feel near my heart, and only turn off - no, down - with my head. I've become very aware of aches that are turned off with my head. I try to feel them instead.

It's a "Root Day", according to Rudolf Steiner's astrobiological influences, a good day for getting to the roots of things. Taurean vibes support my capacity to be truthful with myself because it's practical, even if it hurts. So, I've a small amount of time to root around in this ache, and I need to.

There's a useful Buddhist practice that involves looking at those internal things that I put the word "my" in front of - "my pain", "my feelings", "my thoughts", "my heart" - not to analyze them, of course, but just to look at them. I think you know this one.

The objects of pain, feeling, thought, and heart become just that - objects - when I create the "my" chamber in "my" experience of them. Removing my sense of self, I can be left with the experiences that those words name - pain, feeling, thought, heart - yet there's no solace there this morning, and that may be a good thing, in that it's a truthful thing, and a real thing, but I'm looking for solace, and there's no solace there.

Do you ever feel arms around you, in the darkness - especially your heart's darkness - and retreat into the holding and the comfort of those arms, while at the same time knowing that those arms aren't and, in that knowing, feel the pain of the loss and void of those arms, concurrent with their nurture and care?

And do you hang onto that feeling of being held, even when its material absence is so visibly paramount, because you'd rather have an aetheric holding - a subtle connection to ineffable love - even while knowing that your temporal self is without a true companion, because you're devoted to what's true and you'd rather have the bittersweet of an intermittent connection with the Manifest Divine than no connection at all?

I do.


I just got in from rehearsal a little while ago. I hadn't sung with John since the summer and his playing has really opened up with me. We used to play quite a bit together, and so it was a lot of fun for him to pull out my book and just move through the tunes, just like a warm knife through butter.

John and I are sharing our fascination as we watch our brains change (former computer geek and business person that we are) and morph into music. We're both finding certain things we used to do with numbers and ideas fade in importance and facility, while patterns relevant to music - intervalic, rhythmic, nextness - become increasingly obvious.

That's translating into a lot of rapport, and that's nice. We're playing a small gig this Saturday and we've decided to get fully ripped prior. I'm not normally one for this sort of thing, but I really like John's playing and we trust each other that there are no wrong notes, so combining those elements with a performance's juice should make for interesting music.

I look around my apartment - this little space so different from the country life with its woodstove and canning jars and the warm oven with baking smells. This space is filled with cables and equipment and the stumbles of a work in progress. The bed is something that catches my exhausted body like an afterthought. The kitchen is for just passing through. I like the reminders about life's transient goals, and I'm grateful for the emotional agility to pass from phase to phase without holding too much residual regret or sense of failure.

This cleared slate has made it possible to go quickly down the music road without too much hindrance from the "ought tos" that have hounded me in the past. Work flows into rehearsal; that flows into writing, which moves into music - something I'll do for a few minutes longer after I close this note to you - and then that will slipstream me some feet further across the room into bed.

It's a rather odd cloister I inhabit right now - a temple to the temporal - and I seem to be finally able to worship the now more fully than I ever have.


And so it's o1:30 a.m. Time to close. I miss hearing from you, and hope that your silence is not indicative of another bout in the hospital. Your silence does confuse me in my less secure moments, and I'm left to interpret it as a combination of indifference, preoccupation, and muteness in the face of energies you don't quite understand nor feel in control of.

I do hope that I'm not making a fool of myself by continuing to write to you as if you cared what I think. I still and stubbornly assume you do, even though you don't respond, and so forgive me if I'm bullheadedly ignoring some implicit message of disinterest from you that would be self-evident to a more aware and sensitive person. I don't want to think any differently, and I suppose I don't really have to yet - not until you tell me otherwise, at any rate - and thinking good thoughts of you is one of the bright spots in my day.

I hate the thought of troubling you, and know I have no right to, beyond the permission you've given me by encouraging me to connect - and so most of the time I assume that you're receiving these messages just as they come - honestly, and from my heart - and forgiving any transgressions against your time or attention that aren't warranted.

But I have to admit that no word from you has slowed me down a bit. That's curious and I'm surprised at how wired into you my written flow seems to be. Ah well, it just goes to show that we rarely know ourselves as well as we like to think we do - all the more reason to assume we're just fine, even when we're not feeling so up to the mark of it all.

Good night, and good love,

in dream,


PLUR. Remember PLUR


-- Anonymous, January 26, 2002

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