More appropriate, I should think, is the view that God created the universe out of an interest in spontaneous creativity - that he wanted nature to produce surprises, phenomena that he himself could not have foreseen. . . . [I]n a creative universe God would betray no trace of his presence, since to do so would be to rob the creative forces of their independence, to turn them from the active pursuit of answers to mere supplication of God. . . . Whether he left or was ever here I do not know, and don't believe we ever shall know. But one can learn to live with ambiguity - that much is requisite to the seeking spirit - and with the silence of the stars. All who genuinely seek to learn, whether atheist or believer, scientist or mystic, are united in having not a faith but faith itself. For God's hand may be a human hand, if you reach out in loving kindness, and God's voice your voice, if you but speak the truth.
-- Timothy Ferris, The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report
|May 2012. Evening and the sun going down over a small interior lake.|
Another month has rolled around, and the year itself is fast approaching the halfway mark. Our garden is all in (finally), seeds are sprouting, and young plants are sending out roots and shoots and new leaves. Important changes are happening in my own life as well. A friendship that had been very important (perhaps, I admit now, even too important) in my life for the last year and a half is ending, and I feel that I am beginning to get back my own life and voice again. I am reminded that letting go of one thing makes room for others to grow.
About a month ago at a book sale, I bought a used copy of Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way. After letting it sit in my to-read pile for a few weeks, I picked it up and started first to read it and then to work my way through the twelve-week course that the book outlines. I am a firm believer in my own theory of "the right book at the right time" and this was definitely the right book for me at this time. Although I'm only in my third week of working through the course, simply reading through the book has already forced me to look more closely at my life and the way I was relating to my creativity. I am more certain now than ever that being a writer and developing my writing is indeed the right path for me to be on. I am becoming more positive, I am listening to my body and my spirit more closely, and I am more focused on finding what contentment I can in the present rather than on worrying about things in the future that I can't control. I also feel strengthened in my belief in the essential creative nature of the universe, a believe that I was delighted to find echoed in the "contrarian theological afterword" to Timothy Ferris's book on physics and cosmology, The Whole Shebang. (And if you want to read more about astronomy, cosmology, and physics, Timothy Ferris's books would be an excellent place to start, by the way. I can also heartily recommend his Coming of Age in the Milky Way, which I practically grew up with.)
As a way of freeing up more time in my life, I've been cutting down on the number of blogs that I actively follow. It's a surprisingly difficult process, since some of the blogs were ones that I had followed for a number of years. But I realized that I was following some of them only out of habit, they no longer held any particular interest for me, and they were not really bringing anything to my life. That said, here are a number of posts from this month that did bring something to my life:
- Nao and Mark Sims at Honey Grove Farm are in love with spring. And I love watching them create their own lives and business through following their passions: beekeeping, gardening, and homesteading.
- Carl McColman provides a guide to getting started in contemplative practice. His guide is targeted towards Christians, but with his emphasis on being gentle with yourself, making time for silence and stillness, and contemplative reading is one that could be adapted to any spiritual path. I like the thought of myself being a contemplative Druid or contemplative animist.
- Catherine Kerr shares one of my favourite poems ever: "Why We Tell Stories" by Lisel Mueller. This poem is so very true and the lines "each of us tells / the same story / but tells it differently / and none of us tells it / the same way twice" express an idea that I agree with myself a thousand times over.
- Lupa discusses one of my favourite books on nature, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and the spirit of place in her post "Je Ne Sais Quoi".
- Finally, Bo Mackison is reading poetry and learning to be astonished. I'm in awe of Bo's gorgeous macro photographs of flowers, and I think that learning to be astonished is something that I could do well with learning as well.
I hope your month of May was a joyous one! I have some great new posts coming up in June, including a book review of another one of Julia Cameron's books, so stay tuned!