everything reminds me of everything else

Actually, the title of this post ought to be: "everything reminds me of everything else, and then I forget what I came in here for." Or, "everything reminds me of everything else, and that's why I haven't been able to finish a blog post for such a long time."

It's like when you clean off one shelf or counter and then all of a sudden everything else looks so much worse and you end up cleaning everything, and not actually finishing the thing you were doing (writing) before.

This morning I had a middle-eastern/mediterranean kind of breakfast, with salad and olives and feta and oregano. I thought a ripe pear with some yogurt and honey would go nicely with the rest of my meal, except that we're out of both yogurt and honey. Which made me think of A Taste of Honey by Lizz Wright so I went to put that in the CD player, but I don't have it on CD, so I put a disc in my computer to burn and then (after I checked my email and tidied up my messy desk) went back in the kitchen to slice my pear. The juiciness of the pear reminded me of my lack of honey, which in turn reminded me of a post I read just recently (because I am also very behind on reading) by the chocolate lady that mentions "dark, winey, bamboo honey", which made me think of of agave syrup, because it's dark, and which I do have, so I put some in my tea (after putting the new CD in the CD player, and sweeping the floor), and it (the combination of "dark" and "honey") also reminded me of seeing a friend put honey in his coffee, which I haven't ever done. Thinking of him reminded me that we were joking the other day about a competition to see who could waste time most efficiently, and I suddenly noticed that my train of thought kept circling and looping me backwards, because going forwards feels a little bit like being perched on the the foggy brink of what might be a meandering slope but it might be a steep cliff and I am just on the verge of finding out which.

The train image reminded me of a book I want to read, called Night Train to Lisbon: A Novel, by Pascal Mercier, so I went on-line and put it in my shopping cart for later.

Ah! But what about that foggy brink? Just in the past few
weeks (after months of tilling-the-ground work), the six months between January and June '08 have lit up with great potential, and probable intense challenge.

Two weeks ago, Dr. Church, the president of the university where I teach part-time, invited me to take on a role there as a "catalyst," to shine a light on the gap between "our walk" and "our talk" and to help bring together the people in the community who care about invoking and embodying the university's highest purpose (well, that's how I'm describing the role today -- I imagine the description will change as I begin to actually live in to it). Lucky for me I am going to be able to participate in an Art of Hosting and Convening Conversations that Matter training at the Whidbey Institute at the end of January. (I am so looking forward to asking Chris Corrigan the many questions that I've already started accumulating like little shiny suitcases ;-)) The training is great timing for me and so well-related to the theme of "radical hospitality" that Dr. Church shared with the university community when he first joined us two years ago. My initial agreement with the university is to do this work for six months and then in June we'll decide whether it's been good or not.

On the same day two weeks ago, the executive committee of Bet Alef's board of directors resigned in frustration and anger. Later in the week, I was invited, along with half a dozen other members, to join the remaining directors on an interim board (again, January through June). There is a great opportunity to become very clear about the essence and purpose of the organization, as well as a great challenge to understand honestly what has gone awry.

I have also been extending invitations, myself. For one, I've asked my young colleague Joshua Leahy (who is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, like I am) to join my clinic, with the idea in the back of my mind (OK, maybe it's not exactly in the back) of cultivating him as a practitioner to take on some or a lot of my practice (by June, of course) should I end up working more for the university. We went to a day on "Mentoring: Tending the Interdependence Between Generations," another rich offering at the Whidbey Institute, and I'll post some of my notes from that one of these days -- depending on where my train of thought and I end up going in the next few months. Do wish me luck!

Well, I thought maybe this would be my last post of 2007 but I didn't actually finish it till tonight, and so it's my first post of 2008 instead. May this year bring us all joy and health, inspiring challenges, and deep blessing.

Which reminds me! I meant to post this video that was shared on KarmaTube some time ago, but the beginning of a new year is a perfect time to watch and hear it again.