Self-Making

Sometimes it seems as though this is sum total of my efforts: an endless parade of books' spines and the ephemeral glow of a computer screen. Nothing concrete, nothing produced, but the incessant production of digital text. Now it looks like things are changing.

Walking out with the dogs and the boys this evening, I saw the new moon as it was sinking toward the horizon.  We were just in what is known in some parts of Scotland as ‘the hour of luck,’ and with Venus and Jupiter still so close that I honestly knew not which I saw shinning as a beacon in the gloaming the sense that a new cycle was beginning was almost physically palpable. Indeed it is a new month and the first of the Equinox.

With the sense of newness and despite the airishness of the last few days which foiled the otherwise glorious sunwarmth, I look at the few paltry accomplishments of the last couple days with a deep feeling of incipient satisfaction. I have always accepted that it was easiest to accomplish one’s goals at the full moon, but I also believe that what you manage to do or how you feel at the new moon — on the very cusp of the turning from one cycle to the next — sets the pattern for the coming cycle. Calamities and malaise at Beltaine are bad but at Samhain they are catastrophic.

It is thus with a sense of quiet pleasure that I managed to finish two wooden practice swords (herein called wasters) and posted my first proper podcast for Seanchas san Fhíseain.

Simple, rough, almost crude but at least useable, these began as an idea that I had in the middle of last December.

My feelings of having been unable to finish anything that I set out to do came to a head over the last fortnight, so I wanted to break the trend and finish something properly, something more than just my grading (which I largely finished as well). Since D. and I have been simultaneously though increasingly yearning for a completely self-made existence, this kind of block was as frightening as it was frustrating. With these practical tasks accomplished and more planned for the future, I feel greatly emboldened to turn back to my regular, more cerebral work of teaching and publishing.

I had thought to write a full account of all that I would like to get into, but I think in the interest of sleep I will stick to simple bullet points:

  • Casting and working metal
  • Herbalism
  • Designing clothing to be useful, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing
  • Writing poetry
  • Meditating and living with a stronger spiritual focus
  • Playing music every day

There is a whole … thing … that brings all this together, but I’ll need to think about it more and write it up later.

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