For those not aware, Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies was one of the books I had as a child. If there's any wonder why my perspective is just a little tweaked, picture a pre-school child reading an alphabet where every letter corresponded to a child meeting an untimely demise.
I thought sure that I'd score Yorrick or Neville, but:
I’ve been thinking a lot about spirituality lately. It may be that this new bout of introspection has awakened some sort of deeper yearning, or it may be that I really am becoming a kook and going off the deep end. Ah, opportunity to share my high school yearbook quote: “If, several years from now, you find me in an airport selling petunias and acting like I’ve been lobotomized, I’d appreciate your strangling me.” (From Bloom County, spoken by Opus as he went undercover to rescue Bill the Cat from an insidious cult.)
Seriously though, I have had a sense of a path, though I’m fairly well sure I lost sight of it at some point. What’s difficult is that I think I lost sight of it sometime during my “freaky pagan in the woods” period, precisely when I thought I was attempting to follow it. That whole exercise was not of self-discovery, but of putting form before substance. The most important realization there was that being weird for weirdness’ sake is not a path to enlightenment, regardless of what the Discordians may suggest.
I think that I came closest when I studying things like early Christian mysticism or Hindu scripture with the Jesuits at BC, or on those rare occasions that I got glimpses of an understanding of the spiritual aspects of martial practice. So I guess that would be intellectual pursuits and a focused devotion to an intensive mind/body discipline. Sounds a little monkish, no?
So I’ve said things like “I’d like to make my home a cross between a Napoleonic officers’ billet and a Shaolin monastery,” or, “You know, two weeks in a monastery would make a really interesting vacation.” People look at me like I have two heads. Still , these things make sense to me and I have a sense that that level of “mindfulness” is important somehow.
More on this later... I must get out of the office.