Sunday, November 18, 2012

What's Missing

She asked me, "Did you know that Malta is it's own independent country?"

I did know that.

That simple question though prompted me to think about HOW it was that I knew that. Where that little bit of knowledge came from and why it remains with me to this day.

It is there because  many years ago, on those Friday nights when my grandfather and I would watch Studio Wrestling as I drifted off to sleep, there was a regular wrestler named Baron Mikel Scicluna who, as it turns out, hailed from the "Isle of Malta".

I am sure it was one day when I was 11 or so that I took to leafing through our home encyclopedia and read about this Isle of Malta for the first time.  That led to a visit to our neighborhood library for more reading.  This was right around the time of Malta's claim to independence so there was much to read at the library.

It was planted in my brain and remained a part of my consciousness all these years.

But why it remains up there is, I believe, mostly because of all the circumstances surrounding the actual knowledge I acquired.

Today, when I think of something or hear about something that peaks my curiosity, I look it up instantaneously on the internet and, to be honest, it is usually gone from my memory capabilities within a day or two.  I believe this is because a large part of the circumstances that make things memorable are not there with such instant, high-speed gratification.

As a child, there was the need to research any topic you wanted to learn about and an effort required to do so. Even if it was only to get up and go into a different room and pull out a thick volume of an encyclopedia and leaf through it. Better yet to walk the long blocks to the library and pour over books and magazines. The trip there and all the surrounding experiences etching themselves in as a form of inducing the tactile memory.

I love the world wide web. . . it is how I make a living and I count on it for recipes, information, news etc etc but, I know deep inside that something is missing when I take that route. As someone who experienced life before and after the explosion of the on-line world, I can tell you that the convenience is not always the best thing for our storing and retaining of knowledge. 

Something is missing when you can just sit at the same desk and whip through one subject after another. . . there is no separation. No lead up to the discovery of the knowledge. No sense memory to help write it into our consciousness.

It's not a better way.
It lacks soul, as do so many other internet based discoveries. . .

I recently got a library card in the new county I live in. Just walking around the aisles of books and magazines remains a thrill.  And I am determined to venture there on occasion to learn things the "old fashioned way".

So they'll stick like Malta.
For years to come

Monday, November 5, 2012


I ran from the ocean all those years ago. ..  like I ran from so many things because, the more time you spend with anything or anyone, the more it becomes a part of you and gets inside of you. Time spent in repetition, contented spaces and familiarity is what creates the natural space of opening.

And, so often, we shut down, self destruct or flee. . .

I found myself feeling too open in the presence of that vastness
The endless cycle, the constant.
The repetition.
I found myself feeling too vulnerable, too exposed. . . like so many of us.
So much of the time.

When I moved away from the ocean I said I would go back often to visit and instead I went a half dozen or so times in 11 years. Each time the ocean moved so much thru and out of me.

It cleansed me.
Prepared me to open
And I left

I am back now and, today, after my umpteenth visit to the ocean in the last 9 months, I felt the opening again. I felt the deeper places inside me rising.

I'm being given yet another chance.
Which, thankfully, is also another of life's repetitions
This time I am not running away