Friday, July 20, 2012

Fate

The beaver pond mysteriously drained itself two days ago in the middle of the night.  Turns out there were trout in it.

I wrote about fate recently, this quote, about moira. I've been thinking, among other things, that may be the best name for a boat, ever.

The Sun ran an interview with the late James Hillman in its July issue, a meaty conversation with an iconoclast, and points he made continue to nourish me. Hillman:
...believed each individual has a purpose or calling in life that reveals itself in childhood and reappears, often as a set of so-called symptoms, until it is heeded. Harnessing this potential is what he considered the great mortal, and moral, challenge. He once said our duty is not to rise above life but to “grow down into it.”
He spoke about something called “acorn theory,” saying:
...it's more of a myth than a theory. It's Plato's myth: that you come into the world with a destiny, although he uses the word paradigm instead of destiny. The acorn theory says that there is an individual image that belongs to your soul.

The same myth can be found in the kabala. The Mormons have it. The West Africans have it. The Hindus and the Buddhists have it in different ways. They tie it more to reincarnatioan and karma, but you come into the world with a particular destiny. Native Americans have it very strongly. So all these cultures all over the world have this basic understanding of human existence. Only American psychology doesn't have it.... Calling can refer not only to ways of doing—meaning work—but also to ways of being. Take being a friend. Goethe said that his friend Eckermann was born for friendship.
And one last quote:
To show one's face is part of having the courage to show who one is. And coming to terms with your own face takes a lifetime. Just think how, when you were twelve or sixteen, you wished you looked different. And that's true for everyone; even the most perfect, beautiful boy or girl is dissatisfied. So why is that? It can't just be that you don't look like the model on the magazine cover. It's something else. You haven't yet accepted your fate, who you are.
Everything uncovering itself to me lately has been about destiny. Like this Ted lecture:


I love that idea, that there's a germ inside of each of us, waiting to sprout if we but feed it correctly.

This year, for the first time, I was able to start seeds. I can really tell you how to do it, in one of these how-to posts I never do. Use six-packs. Fill them with a blend of garden soil, peat moss, and potting mix (any soil from the dollar or hardware store will do). Plant two seeds in each section of the six-pack and barely cover them with dirt. Place them in old cookie trays filled with water (or old plastic trays of any kind). Stretch clear plastic on top so the soil is kept moist (you'll know it's moist because the water will condense on the underside of the plastic). As soon as you see green sprouts, pull the clear plastic off and keep the plants watered as if they're house plants.

It was almost painfully easy this year, so much so that everything was over-planted, and we have two gardens full of plants, plus two ploughed and unenriched sections planted with cucumbers and squash, and the glass room is still full of plants

So what if my destiny is the same? If all it needs is the right kind of moisture and light, and if I figure it out, I'll burst chlorophyll-fueled growth?

2 comments:

Annie Wald said...

I love this: "To show one's face is part of having the courage to show who one is."
Makes me think of God sending Jesus to show His face to us.

Melissa said...

I've been thinking about this a lot, especially the cult of youth and beauty in our culture. Why do we want products "to make us look younger"? Why do we want to look younger? What is it about our own aging faces that we're so afraid of?

I also remember that Jesus "had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him." He had to accept his face as it was, too.