Are you sitting down?
Things happened in October. I had a birthday. I got older. I took a vacation. I learned things for which there aren’t words. And I let my blog sit.
What does it mean to sit? One facet of sitting is to be left alone, in the state of not receiving regular tending or care; the way that something sitting gathers dust from the swirling air around it, or moss from the creeping ground life, or plugin updates from the code faeries. To sit is to let the world happen. As the dust gathers, as messiness ensues, we call it disorder, entropy, chaos. The word disorder comes with a philosophical sense of wrongness, provoking impulses to tidy, to organize, to heal. We fear the consequences of sitting. Sitting is just letting be. Also, to sit with is to be present with. It can mean being present with something uncomfortable or something we fear. Accepting, bearing witness, supporting. Sitting can be a form of care.
What does it mean to stir? To break stasis and start to move. To feel a swirling of emotion, to let that feeling move you. To disturb. To stir a pot, rather than let it sit. A vision of witches and cauldrons, stirring is a kind of magic. Stirring a soup is an act to sustain you and your kin. An act of tending and an act of care. Stirring speeds the generation of entropy, as it disperses heat from high-temperature areas to low-temperature ones1https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/entropy. Stirring is, in the thermodynamic sense, doing work in the service of chaos. How many devices does capitalism offer us to avoid stirring? Instant Pot, Crockpot, Kitchenaid, Oster, Betty Crocker, Anova, Cuisinart. Praxis suggestion of the day? Go stir something.
I have been stirring over the last month, and this blog (and author) will not be the same.
One thought on “~~Stirrings~~”
A Buddhist phones the monastery and asks the monk, “Can you come to do a blessing for my new house?”
The monk replies “Sorry, I’m busy.”
“What are you doing? Can I help?”
“I’m doing nothing.” replied the monk. “Doing nothing is a monk’s core business and you can’t help me with that.”
So the next day the Buddhist phones again, “Can you please come to my house for a blessing?”
“Sorry,” said the monk, “I’m busy.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m doing nothing,” replied the monk.
“But that was what you were doing yesterday!” said the Buddhist.
“Correct”, replied the monk, “I’m not finished yet!”