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It's the coolest grayest Beltaine-tide in a while, but I'm not complaining [while bracketing whatever chaos factors of anthropogenic effect probably shift our weather systems this way alongside more harmful changes]--- it seems peaceful, and dreamy, and a suitable cauldron for all the big gentle changes and creative work in my life right now.

For those who don't know: I've been working on my own Tarot deck, a deeply magical, elemental, Jewitchy deck with a zinester aesthetic. It's called the Hidden Light, and if you want to preorder a deck and make a pledge to help get it into the world you can do that here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thehiddenlight/the-hidden-light-tarot-an-earthy-cosmic-magical-de

Today is my last day teaching at Stony Brook (and also the last day of my retiring feminist philosophy prof/diss. committee member with the lemon meringue hair who's seated next to me on the bus, typing away after our conversation about the imagined Retired Itinerant Philosphers' E-ssociation), last day schlepping out there 'til diss defense (if I can't do that in the city) and graduation. My final paper for my last bit o' wags (women&gender) coursework is a zine that I'll finish pasting and photocopy at school. A good time to end.

Then, this month I'll finish my last diss. chapter and send it out, start revising, write an intro & conclusion, defend in the fall. The end of an era (called what, institutional student? I'm always learning but this is something else, a shift to the other side).

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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"The religion that one discovered on one's own was a story of the earth, the cosmos, creation itself; and whatever 'Good' one wanted could be found not down the long road of eternity, but right in one's own town, one's home, one's country. This world. After all, since this world is a planet spinning about in the sky, we are all of us in heaven already! The G-d discovered on one's own speaks nothing of turning the other cheek. Of rendering unto Caesar. But only of the beauty and greatness of the earth, the universe, the cosmos. Of creation. Of the possibilities for joy."

(--alice walker, the temple of my familiar, p145)
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how to walk between the worlds. how to keep each foot each center solidly in each realm, simultaneously, while living in and enlivening the loamy starry space between.
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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): If you're not grooving on any of the pre-designated choices being offered, Gemini, by all means create a better option. Your current astrology too swimmingly favors your embrace of bold door-opening approaches for you to lazily settle for the same predictable slate of possibilities. If you are unable to tap into the wider-lens view necessary for seeing what else is possible, your top priority should be stepping back from the day-to-day grind (which your close-up immersion in is obviously blocking your creative process)… and taking part in whatever sorts of vision-questy, self-explorationy, life-question-askingy activities might crack open your fruitlessly closed-mind perspective on this matter. This could include working through workbook-type exercises, speaking to a spiritual counselor (or your preferred version), taking a quick day-trip retreat, journaling, meditating, or any similar such involvement specially intended to broaden your thinking. What you don't need to do: indulge that voice who wants to play back what's already happened, trying to convince you that's all there will ever be.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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I did it-- I got into Stony Brook! Found out yesterday via an early (and thankfully pre-Shabbos!) email where they courted me with offers of full funding and maybe even more funding if I get the fellowship they nominated me for. I felt like I was gonna pass out reading the email. Of course Babou found out before I could even call her; she said "I'm kvelling!" and I told her I was still plotzing.

I'm still plotzing, it hasn't totally sunk in. I got into my dream philosophy program! Wanted, and the work begins. If you had any idea how hard I've been praying and spellcasting for this... It is a real hardwon blessing and I am so freaking happy.

first duty

Oct. 24th, 2010 10:07 pm
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Discipline is the highest of all virtues. Only so may strength and desire be counterbalanced and the endeavors of man bear fruit.
(--Kazantzakis, The Saviors of God)
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"Philosophy stands to gain in finding some absolute [time as flow of unforeseeable novelty] in the moving world of phenomena. But we shall gain also in our feeling of greater joy and strength. Greater joy because the reality invented before our eyes will give each one of us, unceasingly, certain of the satisfactions which art at rare intervals procures for the privileged; it will reveal to us, beyond the fixity and monotony which our senses, hypnotized by our constant needs, at first perceived in it, ever-recurring novelty, the moving originality of things. But above all we shall have greater strength, for we shall feel we are participating, creators of ourselves, in the great work of creation which is the origin of all things and which goes on before our eyes."
(---henri bergson, the creative mind)
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I am reading the Likutei Amarim (I have no idea what that translates to in English, anybody?) online; after having a second person point me towards it I figured it was time to finally get cracking. I slow-roasted a chicken today with the last of last year's preserved lemons and garlic and the whole house smells amazing. Tomorrow is my first day of school, and T. is leaving for 4 days to take his senior kids to the Poconos (yes, PEEC, incidentally, for those of you who have any idea what I'm talking about) so I will come home and rattle around the house avoiding roommates, soaking in the experience.

I'm standing at this precipice-- it's been so long since September was significant like this! I started a fresh batch of preserved lemons yesterday, a late-August small spell of intention, and made e a list of kavanot in my notebook to keep me centered for the time to come. This morning in Morningside with Critter I could feel the earth rejoicing in itself, the full full fullness of the green + sunlight before the detumescence.
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So, after reading Krafft-Ebing's brilliant account of sadomasochism and writing a ridiculously not-so-veiled response on Blackboard, I decided a good way to explore my masochistic tendencies would be to lie back on my bed with the lovely Sheila Jeffreys and let her mindfuck me for the half hour I had left before philosophy class. Bad, bad idea. The very first page is now scrawled with my sarcastic, pissed-off comments. I need to get past my emotional response but it's so hard cos most of what she's doing is so motherfucking polemical. I swear to g-d, she opens the book with a discussion of packing, a topic near and dear to my, erm, heart. She totally ignores any history to do with this fine practice and instead locates it solely as an attempt on the part of 90s dykes to valorize maleness and take on male privilege, like those outdated butches used to do back in the day. So I made the mistake of looking up "butch" in the index and was subsequently treated to some very careful, finetoothed scholarship as to how butchness in general and stone butchness more particularly ought to be surmounted in favor of letting your lover touch yr breasts, which you should not disavow because as a butch you are, after all, a woman. Whereas in the 70s, thanks to the saving grace of a surprisingly paternalistic feminism, butches were saved from their masculinity by loving their female bodies in rather conventional ways, the recent queer approach has been for butches to cut up our bodies. I paraphrase, but not much.

In short, this woman makes me want to curl up in a ball and die.

But then I had philosophy class and I got to talk about Heidegger and I think I actually understood some of it, because Borradori assigned me and another jovial lad to present on what we covered in class tomorrow. So, I get to talk about the distinctions between the ontic and the ontological at 10:30 in the a.m. Still, I love philosophy. Philo-sophia, word.

I have a great sense of work now, of purpose. Like, I am now writing and living in opposition to certain 'feminist' understandings of my fucking being, and I am now writing and working and living in the service of certain other feminist understandings of possible ways of being.

I hope that wasn't too obnoxious of a statement. I really feel it. It's great, this purpose.
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Well I guess I'm not going to Shabbos services tonight.

I mean, I guess I could. But that would make it a fuck of a lot more difficult to get work done. I wish I had candles so I could at least light candles in my room and sing Yedid Nefesh quietly.

Harrumph.

Also, I hate it when the library says it has books (like, say, the two Elizabeth Grosz books I need that are in my room) and then they are not there, and they are not in the stocking room either. I do love the library though. I could spend forever in the HQ section, and considering my women's studies and philosophy fields of study, I just might. I also love walking through the sections of Joyce books and magical studies books and mystical texts like the Zohar (almost typed Sahar, teehee, just like I originally typed "the shabbos pride instead of shabbos bride). Oh well, back to work.

Hmmmmmphhh.

Breathing in...ahh. I heart philosophy, and it will love me back and I will get my paper done.
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Arrghh oh my god arguing with Cristina about Derrida and Spivak, in like really, really antagonistic ways. Oh my. It'd be a lot easier for me to engage in a critique of Derrida as eurocentric if C. didn't position Spivak as the panacea to that, having not ever read her. Sigh. As she put it, "I think what it is is that I just don't like philosophy." Ah, so that's why out 'talks' always end with such exasperation! (here let me just re-iterate, in derridean fashion, how grateful I am to have a girlfriend with whom I can argue poststructuralism.)

Oh wait: "I honestly don't find it a useful endeavor at all." Oh, wow.

Well, at least Grosz concedes that philosophy has no use-value in the usual sense of the word. Still, I think it's a useful endeavor. Hmmph.
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I am such a happy lad! Philosophy was talk of faith + doubt today and at the end of class I asked Giovanna to be my correlate advisor and she said yes. We went to her office to chat briefly and she asked if I had read the materials before because she got the impression I was engaged with and understood thet texts. Umm, no, but maybe this is a sign I'm on the right path (the path being philosophy). Ms. Borradori has an amazing accent and has worn the same hooded gray sweater to class these past three sessions. Sigh.

Also. I have no more classes for the day, which means: room cleaning, exercising, submissive essay readin' and hopefully writing, a trip with Matt for cigarettes, and general restfulness and delight.

Despite having lots of work to do, I'm not feeling overwhelmed at the moment-- which, you know, is sometimes all you can ask for.

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