“Julian would tell us that we must go into the “ground” of our being in order to “live contemplatively.” Like her, we must develop a daily practice in which we learn to rest and breathe in silence and stillness, becoming aware of the turbulence in our minds, releasing thoughts and letting go of our emotional attachment to those thoughts. We need to become ever more aware of being aware, in order to experience the deep interconnectedness of our own awareness with divine awareness. And then we must rely on divine awareness working in us and through us if we are to make a difference. We cannot do it alone. And we cannot do what others must do for themselves. We can only evaluate, advise, encourage, and empower.”
–from “Julian Norwich and the Process of Transformation,” Veronica Mary Rolf, http://www.dailygood.org/story/2274/julian-norwich-and-the-process-of-transformation-veronica-mary-rolf/
Yesterday I heard part of a the TED Radio Hour and was intrigued by the ideas discussed, “How Things Spread.” While I was tickled by the recordings of laughter in “Why is Laughter Contagious?” presented by Sophie Scott, I was intrigued by a word in Seth Godin’s “What Makes an Idea Go Viral?”—-“remarkable.”
In the show, Seth explained that in addition to meaning “Neat!” “remarkable means ‘worth making a remark about’ and that is the essence of where idea diffusion is going.” The host summarizes “that ideas spread faster when the people that you like talk about them.” Seth says ideas spread when it’s “giving people a tool that they can share and benefit from.”
“Marketing used to make average products for average people. That’s what mass marketing is. They would ignore the geeks and, God-forbid, the laggards. It was all about going for the center. I don’t think we go for that strategy anymore. Instead you have to find a group that really desperately cares about what it is you have to say; talk to them. They have what I call ‘otaku‘” [an obsession]. He goes on to explain that to spread an idea/product/etc without a constituency with an otaku is essentially impossible. People only tell their friends about things they care or are obsessed about.
(I was concerned of course that he says that the people who get others to spread their ideas “win,” but in fairness he is interested in this topic because he is a marketeer and that sounds like creating-desire-in-people-to-buy-things-they-don’t-really-want-or-need. So that’s me. Still, I too am interested in understanding why some ideas spread and others do not. And, again in fairness, he does talk about ideas and concepts as well as products.)
He goes on to compare the spread of ideas with the spread of disease. Patterns in epidemiology are similar for ideas. And even with all of this, having something go viral is not easy: “We are better in the rearview mirror than we are predicting.”
I am interested in these ideas especially around introducing the Salon Postisme Suite of Fictions to readers, not as commodity books but as fictions with strands of ideas worthy of reflection/consideration. More on that soon…
by Mary Oliver
Original Language English
How necessary it is to have opinions! I think the spotted trout
lilies are satisfied, standing a few inches above the earth. I
think serenity is not something you just find in the world,
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.
The violets, along the river, are opening their blue faces, like
small dark lanterns.
The green mosses, being so many, are as good as brawny.
How important it is to walk along, not in haste but slowly,
looking at everything and calling out
Yes! No! The
swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and petals, wants
only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond. The catbrier
is without fault. The water thrushes, down among the sloppy
rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination is better
than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless
and proper work. (emphasis added by Attention to Life)
|— from White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems, by Mary Oliver|
WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
“Nature is the home of miracles. Complex growth, stories of resilience, ephemeral beauty emerging and evaporating. When we take time to stop and look, each one of these gifts reminds us to pay attention to the fleeting beauty of our own lives.”
–from Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life, Beth Kempton, 2018
Movie suggestions from the past few days…
Never Look Away
Best of Enemies
Toilet: A Love Story
Period: End of Sentence
Pizza pie on pi day!
“I think one of the best things we can do, I think, in developing our own life of prayer is practicing simply paying attention. Actually look and consider and spend time looking at something in creation, looking at it and marveling at it, wondering at it, and allowing its deep mystery to come to you and change you and reveal something of a mystery of God the Creator. I think this is a wonderful way of deepening our relationship with God.”
– Br. Geoffrey Tristram, “Pick something in God’s creation to consider today…”, Growing a Rule of Life, March 10, 2019 Society of Saint John the Evangelist