Sitting on my stoop yesterday morn, with my cylinder of sin, I realized that finding a cave to hole up in at this time of year is a rational enterprise that stretches back into the human consciousness for thousands and thousands of years. Keeping in ones cave is not a bad thing as we creep towards the depths of December. I’m lucky enough to have a canine as companion, and one that ADORES this time of year, and therefore is the ONLY reason now to want to go out.
Irish, the golden mutt she is, is also going through her winter transformation. As the long bits grow back around her eyes to protect them from the snow, her golden mane fills in around her neck and chest. She is well constructed for snow, from her webbed furry paws up to the beard at her chin, Irish blossoms in these next winter months I loath. In December, one becomes entranced by the transformed world of swirling flakes and faith, and fellow-man. Yet by January, through February, the festivities have waned and the flakes have become drifts of gravelled white.
Here I am last night and I decided I needed a distraction from my historical seeking – which I found via TedTalks. I recommend Brene Broan on Vulnerability, or Susan Cain on Introverts. I felt the Broan one was especially balancing, given my proclivity for self-denial.
Hunkering down right about now sounds rather wonderful, actually. Getting what I need, go out for bits and pieces of this or that, but spend time hibernating, drinking coffee and tea, and writing, reading, and researching till my little hearts content. Just not sitting here “thinking”.
Tonight, Susan Cain mentioned how “for some people, solitude is the air that they breath“. She closed with this wonderful story concerning her Rabbi Grandfather, a quiet, humble, introverted man. Yet, a man who spoke in front of large groups, and was well known and respected. Yet, she speaks of her memories of visiting him, and seeing all his books strewn here and helter-skelter, tittering on pillows. I can just imagine that, that room filled to the brink with ideas, knowledge, wisdom, humour, and all the spontaneous creativity they can sometimes bestow.
As I sit here writing this, out my windows I can hear some kids and there loud stereo, playing music I’ve never heard before. Breaking my train of thought in two pieces, with the funky beat. Than silence, after they’ve retrieved their cash from the ATM, they vanish into the cold night air. Off to where? But, see, I don’t really, actually care.
Which is of course, exactly the reason I love living here. I do often miss the quiet solitude of the lake, how could I not? Yet, the hum of a city (the quieter side, mind you), has its perks. Such as siren sounds are distant, or not at all, but going somewhere else. The houses are lined with wreaths, and care. The downtown core is in walking distance, but it depends on how far you like to walk, and how cold it is outside. Of course the other advantage to a city THIS size, is BUSES.
However, snuggled within my orange abode, I find myself pondering the lessons learnt this day. Of how to embrace vulnerability and about how we should “let ourselves be seen“, and “practice gratitude and joy” – these being two of the four pillars towards becoming Wholehearted. Which Cain defined as having a strong sense of belonging, and plenty of courage, compassion, connection and vulnerability.
I find of late vulnerability seems to be one of my pet demons, therefore I’m once again learning to embrace “what makes you feel vulnerable, makes you beautiful“. Those horrid flaws again, rearing their dusty tails.
As you may, or perhaps not, realize is that this post is not particularly about anything, as much as about …
And on that note – I give you the word ANTHROPOGENY – the study and exploration of the origins of the human experience…or something along those lines. I find it to be a very delicious word, and explores the areas I find most interesting.
Did you know that Prehistoric Europeans first discovered art 40,000 years ago? What would you imagine those old souls were up to? Painting what they hunted? Nope. Painted their visions.
These people would spend long sojourns hunkered down in some cave for days, weeks even I would imagine perhaps months, and during this time of deprivation, they would paint their visions out on the walls of the cave. Once able to paint visions on the wall in 2 dimensions, they could display these woolly scraps of knowledge from the spiritworld. Tis such a human trait to seek connection, I guess.
That seeking would suggest connection from a physical stance, but I see it more as seeking creativity in solitude. Introverts need to feel there is some place we know we can go off to. Studies indicate, again and again, that many of our greatest minds, spiritual leaders, and artists of all shapes and sizes, all have spoken of introverted tendencies, and how these times spark the very creation itself. For many, introspection is an essential aspect of unleashing their creativity.
The night before last, I wrote and wrote, and wrote some more. Notes and quick diagrams now litter my Archeo-Mysterium Journal. Arrows pointing here and there at details related to the main bit I’d jotted down, on topics ranging from Flint Knapping techniques, and who the earliest artists were, and why these ingrained neurobiological receptors were having their way with us.
All this “stuff” is providing an amazing distraction, I must say. Within the core of this seeking, I find harmony, and it suits my idealist tendencies. Quantifying ideas, discovering new theories, and hunting knowledge in as many diverse forms as possible. This is where I am right now, and who I am, I suppose as well.