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14 January 2018

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Hi! I’m entering just as the space is closing… but another one will open up!

I think I was waiting for some slow moments to savour being in the Mirror… and then a few weeks slid out into more than slow-enough moments for me to capture time to be present here. Time-space continuum? I’m not making much sense on any plane of normal elements.

But I did want to share my slow moment piece from weeks ago:

“A slow moment for me is when I don’t have to be anywhere, or see anyone, or do anything. It’s time to relax, usually sitting on the sofa or my bed, with some light classical baroque music in the background and open time to read. For as long as I like. The latest book, magazine or the weekend newspaper with feature articles showcasing some random and meaningful moments of life. A snack or two, with an easily reached drink, and what more do I need?

These slow moments can be taken elsewhere, outside of the home, like in a cafe or at the beach. It’s a different kind of slow moment outside, pausing while the rest of the world is still turning, but the focus is on inside. Inside my mind, with my own thoughts, spurred on by what I’m reading… ”

And I also wanted to contribute line 20 to the poem:

10 To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?
11 Reminds us that we are so tiny, in this life too
12 Seeing and feeling, mighty and discursive, as though
13 I could see and know it all at once
14 But despite knowing it all, perhaps acceptance would be just out of reach
Knowledge can sometimes be an overwhelming thing
15 Feeling the feeling, senescence. Mathematically it’s been shown that all time is now,
16 Yet we humans build understanding from moment to moment, in order,
17 That we sleep soundly, unimploding, unperplexed
18 And in our waking, seeking lives, begin to ponder, even comprehend, bit by tiny bit
19 Until
20 Another moment blows our consciousness out of the sea of understanding

Also! I added a new comment at ‘Welcome to the Mirror’.

The first email I sent you, led to that space, if you were involved in past projects. Sara. Mae. Cameron.

Wenlin, if you want to read that, hit me up. I don’t want to snowball you with emails right now, so just LMK and I will share the password.Also more links. If you want. Too many or too few? Be my guest as you like.

Dear Mae,

It was cool to read your note, and the good conversations we have had in the past make it really interesting to keep the thread alive. I’m so glad you choose to be part of ‘Home & Away,’ one of the experimental forms of the Forum, which led to this. And of course that you are here. I’ll send more to you off-thread, as there is more!, but I’d love to just post here publicly so everyone here is aware of how much you’ve been a big supporter of DK and our conceptual weirdnesses like ‘N’ and other things. It means a lot to me and you have a special place in S P A C E. I can tell you more about what that means, exactly, in a week! 🙂

Dear Sara,
I wonder where you are now, in the world, in the woods, in the mirror. It is great, too, to know that you were part of our 2014 experiments there that were, at that time, the cojournal. Cameron was there, too, though in a different circle! I got a chance to add stories to our anthology but only from those of us who were really talking, over the course of a year, and then more!, as there were small requests that were humbling, and curious!, to continue. Cojournaling evolved into S P A C E (which was way not that popular, or well-received) which now is a zinemaking thing, at times, but continues to insist itself as it is. I wanted to elaborate more on this insisting itself as it is part, for you… I will tell you more off-thread… But here, you should know, that I know, that we are part of some kind of ecosystem that invites the curious, the walking into the unknown. You were in Africa. When we met you were just happening to be where I was. That happening meant something. It changed things. The being there will do this, will shift the shape of space. I will refrain from adding footnotes about how R. Feynman says mass is interaction and D. Bohm says movement is what is, because that sounds woo-woo, but you know what, N. Bohr wrote a paper, ‘Believe in the Existence of Atoms.’ I was thinking to write a paper that would be kind of a tribute to that, or a love note to it, or something. I have to read it firstly, I guess. or do I?

Dear Wenlin,

Over the course of a short time, due to your diligent sharing and journey of self-discovery ( I hope I’m calling it right!) I feel lucky and humbled to know you and your thoughts so intimately. More is coming! You know that. I was hoping to do more in Singapore than I got to do, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be time another time to do real life stuff. The people I met and connected with, like you, are still in touch. And I think at times it takes a slow-cook style of working on something novel, experimental, and fresh. That said, I do believe as you had pointed out, that there are people in Singapore who are ‘on’ for this kind of a thing. Let’s talk more about what we can make happen for whenever there is a time that works with your schedule. I’ll talk to Mae about it, too… She is sometimes in Bangkok… It would be neat to put our heads together and dream up ways to make things that involve reflection, learning, events, randomness, Thailand… etc… It starts here, though… At the chancing upon one another, the event that was unexpected, much like the time I met Sara at a bar in Durham… That was fun… And both of us are not really, I don’t think, bar people… We were just avoiding the groups that we had come with… Ha! Life is fun, sometimes, too. I’m trying to dwell on the positive, hey!…

Oi!

Dear Cameron,

There is always more to talk about all let he time when we start talking and the words flow. It takes time to work up to that point, of course, doesn’t it? I think in a lot of cases the whole thing about trust and relationship-building and easing the friction in collaborations starts with really just being there. Remember when you wrote about being heard-ness? That kind of thing is important…. But it also has to develop, progress… I feel… yesterday I met a girl of about 25, she’s about to turn, and she and I talked about how in the course of one sitting, about 2 hours, over lunch…. We were at neighboring tables outside… we got to develop our whole conversation and it ended up with us hugging and wishing each other well on our journeys and all that sappy girl stuff that I so miss and love. But yeah. The keeping in touch thing that people talk about is hard for me… I like to move things into boxes in this blog, and then, to build conversations from there. Sometimes they go places, sometimes they just were, for a time. And that’s cool.

OK!

More to follow in ‘Reflections,’ ‘Journeys,’ and ‘Notes’ this week to close the box of our 8-week session. This space is open until 5 March!…

Thanks Cameron for adding and organizing!… I’ll add…

10 To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?
11 Reminds us that we are so tiny, in this life too
12 Seeing and feeling, mighty and discursive, as though
13 I could see and know it all at once
14 But despite knowing it all, perhaps acceptance would be just out of reach
Knowledge can sometimes be an overwhelming thing
15 Feeling the feeling, senescence. Mathematically it’s been shown that all time is now,
16 Yet we humans build understanding from moment to moment, in order,
17 That we sleep soundly, unimploding, unperplexed
18 And in our waking, seeking lives, begin to ponder, even comprehend, bit by tiny bit
19 Until

How did you choose to write a poem for a college application? I wondered about that! I went to something in NC called Governors School East, in Laurinburg. It was the first time we didn’t have grades and the first introduction to philosophy classes, for me. I wrote about it for my scholarship app to NCSU, all about GSE, about the search, query, and something about souls thirsting for the infinite expanse of sky. A bunch of time later, I’m still obsessed about infinity and the cosmos and all that stuff… I have been reading about Minkowski and this idea that time and space are one thing…. One thing!…. Not two things!….

Hi Dipika!

Interesting!

The university of Chicago is known for bazaar college admissions essay prompts. One of the ones when I applied was simply: “I mind that does not stick.” I believe it was a quote from an early Chinese Zen master. Perhaps I feel that poems themselves are very Zen and thus a poem was the best answer to this prompt. Plus, get the University of Chicago they want you to be quirky, and I figured that answering in poem form would help my application to stand out 🙂 apparently did!?

Sorry for the misspellings. I need to proofread next time after I dictate from Siri 🙂

I keep mistyping thanks to iPad autocorrect. Being under the weather doesn’t make it easier, hm. I had better typing and focus when I used a laptop, but I found myself spending far too much time with the computer when it was so breezy to use. Hours and hours and I typed and typed. I don’t know, I’m thinking typos are part of it, now. Essays for printe that’s different, but here, forgiving cojournalers I hope, are with us! It’s so informal now. I heard someone say they spgot a new contract signed, over WhatsApp.

Hi!

Warmly welcoming Mae to this space. Mae, sorry it took me some time to get your welcome note here. I had thought I posted it before I sent you the password. We would love to hear your ‘slow moment’ piece, or anything else that pops up this week… An open space…

I have been in transit. Wifi is so spotty these days where I am wandering. I am well, though. In BKK which is where, of course, we met. So we circle back to this place in so many ways in this group… Neilson Hays… BKK… SELF, and The Mirror. Mmm.

Where are you now? On a train, perhaps? 🙂

A ::wave:: to Sara, Wenlin, & Mae. And “hi” to you as well, Dipika, although I just emailed you not long ago 🙂

I’d like to add a #18 to our poem, and so we can keep track, I’ll paste the whole progressing work here:
10 To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?
11 Reminds us that we are so tiny, in this life too
12 Seeing and feeling, mighty and discursive, as though
13 I could see and know it all at once
14 But despite knowing it all, perhaps acceptance would be just out of reach
Knowledge can sometimes be an overwhelming thing
15 Feeling the feeling, senescence. Mathematically it’s been shown that all time is now,
16 Yet we humans build understanding from moment to moment, in order,
17 That we sleep soundly, unimploding, unperplexed
18 And in our waking, seeking lives, begin to ponder, even comprehend, bit by tiny bit

Welcome, Sara!

Brilliant timing. I’ve just met Wenlin in real life. That was great, Wenlin. Thanks for all the brightness. I remember meeting Sara and also Cameron, in these sparkling ways. So intentional, with all of us, not just a random chance encounter, but you showing up to see what the thing was that I was inviting you to was about. Noticing this is a group that was ready to try stuff, whatever I might be suggesting. Rather than put the invite aside, you had it on the table to fully consider and say ‘yes’ to. That’s humbling, really. Seeing you interacting here together is so neat!… And… One more person may be joining here whom I had also met in this exact way. More soon. Long journeys… Bangkok is familiar and yet updated. Hm. Slow moment? For me, now. I’m going to take a nap.

Dipika it was such a beautiful morning we met! Thanks for all the ideas, for the questions, for the answers, for the coffee, for the chess…
Cameron, Sara: How’s your week going?

Some words i’ve put together on the topic of ‘Slow moment’, written last week, actually..

Being slow is extremely unnatural to me. I attribute this to my Singaporean upbringing, a society with one of the fastest walking pedestrians in the world, with preference for doing, over ‘non-doing’. I don’t usually find my slow moment, it finds me, after an extended period of busyness, right before I lay down out of fatigue.

My slow moment this week was a happy accident – the accommodation I booked cancelled me last minute. I was distraught, but remembered E’s words and kind smile as parted after dinner the first time we met (‘you are always welcome to Couchsurf on the spare bed!’), I dropped him a text and found a home for two nights.

E is a busy person – a digital nomad and coffee addict who’s always hustling, thinking of ways to keep his business afloat. We connected over the discussion on different topics, ranging from life’s big questions (What is the meaning of life?) to more mundane things (Is coffee bad for you?).

E has a beautiful practice of ‘getting lost’ somewhere, Saturday, his ‘spiritual day’. This resulted in a spontaneous trip we took to Huay Tung Tao Lake, a short ride out of Chiang Mai city. We spent had multiple coffees, a leisurely stroll along the circumference of the lake, relishing many slow moments of comfortable silence, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Slow moments balance out the fast, the furious, and it’s that balance that makes living such a great pleasure.

Hi Wenlin!

I’m surprised to hear that being slow is unnatural to you! I got the feeling when I read everything you have shared these last 8 weeks, so far, that you are good at taking the time to find the focus, and get into the flow.

How are you doing?

Hi Wenlin!

Had a wonderful week, thanks! It’s been a ‘fast’ one with traveling across mid-western NC & SC, but punctuated by plenty of moments of deeply enjoyable ‘slow’. Like now! Waiting for my sister to shower before we head out to breakfast, and then the Met museum here in NYC.

I went to the University of Chicago with a bunch of Singaporeans in my class, and I left with a distinctive impression that indeed, the cultural influence is highly structured and focused on accomplishing concrete tasks, trying always to beat the clock. I am that way sometimes, and there is a lot of influence towards that direction in the U.S. too (especially among people in the software industry), but my basic nature is very unlike that.

Here’s what I wrote on Feb. 11, when I was back in Raleigh, in response to the ‘Slow’ prompt:
I enjoy the slow moment that comes as I am sipping earl grey with
lavender tea.

There is nothing more delicious, at the right place, at the right
time,

The place with quiet,

Even with cars zooming by in the background,

There is quiet inside,

And space that I’ve deliciously made myself,

In my apartment,

In my mind,

The pauses in between the sips,

Reading or pondering, or just sipping,

Exquisitely enjoying the tastes and the warmth,

The sensory experiences

Of the early morning

Are blissful,

Awakening.

Hey all, I’m a bit scattered, which I’m disappointed to say is my usual state these days. Cameron, when are you in Seattle? Come take a ferry and see me on my little piece of wooded land 🙂

I’ve read through all of your lovely words and the way it’s all organized with threads and replies, disjointed, reminds me of Nabokov or Picasso, confusing, almost familiar, and beautiful.

I spent 8 hours today filing my taxes. I love the film Samsara, and Baraka before it – my father raves about them. That would have been a nice thing to do today – watch one of those. My kids were meant to go to spend the weekend with their mom today (I mentioned they’re my stepkids, right?), and she cancelled 5 minutes before I took them to meet her. My silent, quiet, peaceful weekend vanished in the blink of an eye. I am so sad for them, the abandonment they must feel – no matter what she does, how often she lies, how long she waits before reaching out, they forgive her. They give her the benefit of the doubt. They cannot be angry with her. Someone once told me that I need to send her grace and compassion, and send the same inward, to myself, but it is very difficult (both things).

I am glad you are all here. I am glad I am here. I am trying to hold myself gently. I hope you’re all having a beautiful weekend 🙂

Hey Sara! I’d love to see your wooded piece of land! I don’t know when I’ll be going back to Seattle or if I’ll still be at Microsoft when I would be, but if I am, I’ll definitely ask Dipika if I can contact you! Would be a bit different (a lot more nature) than urban Bellevue where I spent the whole week last time.

Sara, I think you inspired me to prepare my taxes last weekend, haha! Didn’t realize it till now, but must have gotten the bug in my ear from you. The power of suggestion! Had a beautiful weekend indeed and was lovely to see your message.

Hard situation with the kids. I’m visiting my sister’s right now in NYC. All of my 3 siblings are half siblings. Divorce and the strife involved definitely made things more tense in complicated in a lot of situations. My brother got divorced a few years ago, and hearing how his new wife deals not very respectfully with the existing family including 3 kids–not great. “someone once told me that I need to send her grace and compassion, and send the same inward, to myself”–definitely a good practice, and as you point out (and like most worthwhile practices, a worthwhile challenge).

I was always curious to ask you a bunch of questions about stepparenting, Sara. I didn’t want to kind of overdo it, but I am SO curious. May I barrage you?

dipika – you can ask me anything, i am an open book 🙂

hi everyone – i’ve been in a tornado of late. wenlin, i too was waiting for a slow moment, and these past few weeks have afforded me very few of those (and when they appear, i prefer napping hahaha). cameron, i’m glad i could inspire you to do the dreaded taxes – i got my refund already in fact! which was oddly fast.

usually when i choose to walk in the woods, i choose to go alone (with the dog, lucy). today we all went, the kids brought their bikes, my friend came with her two kids (one walking and one in a stroller). i can’t say it was slow, but it was nice to be away from screens.

another slow moment from this week – my husband drew me a bath. he has never done that before – and he put candles in there, and bubble bath, and took the kids for a drive so i had complete silence. it was magic.

Cameron! Hey, thanks a lot for the notes. I was a bit nervous after sending that email but wow, I am glad I did. Good to share and read. Maybe the email thing is hard because we don’t have a way of feeling closure? At the same time, email is bringing me into contact with Wenlin, and we will meet really soon. And reconnecting with Sara through email and ig, that’s nice, too. I just sent an email to people who had been on the fence about this project, maybe it will be the Right Time, as you say, :)… Email for connection-making seems like an oxymoron. But maybe it’s how you do it?… Usually, ’email is spam.’ Right?

And also, I found a book tonight, The Poetics of Space

And here is our emerging poem, too…

10 To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?
11 Reminds us that we are so tiny, in this life too
12 Seeing and feeling, mighty and discursive, as though
13 I could see and know it all at once
14 but despite knowing it all, perhaps acceptance would be just out of reach
Knowledge can sometimes be an overwhelming thing
15?

Cameron and Wenlin,

Hey. i’ve just gotten to Penang, so that means I finally left Cameron Highlands. It was so great to be there and to have a chance to experience the dry season, the not quite so touristy time that ironically is seasonally better (Jan/Feb). I’m happy here writing on someone’s laptop that works more or less relaly well, the only thing is sometimes the spacebar doesn’t work so it gets likethis. Oh, oh. Can’t have it all, right? 🙂

Cameron, you had askedme about Seattle… andI’ve beenthinking about that question… It’s been some time since I was based there, but we started DK in Capitol Hillwhere we lived for about six years. For part of that time we did a happy hour at StumblingMonk, which I highly recommend if you like Belgianbeer. I’mnot a big drinker or anythingbut I relaly liked this little spot andmiss it. Also JoeBar. But you hadasked about my work. Check out theNorthwest AsianWeekly… we did the redesign with themfortheir 25th anniversary, they’re still using the flag, as I understand, and page templaets. That’s nice to know it lasted. Andthe Baltic Room branding was something we did remotely, from NC. Weird, huh? And then Row House Cafe, lake Union, and Capitol Hill Chamber has a little sign out I think, still… that was our first big break project… Those are the ones you can see, anyway! 🙂

Wenlin, I will have news for you about the meetpoing for the 12th when I get to BKK on the 11th. I’m plannig for it to be at this cafe in the Chong Nonsi area, and I just have to go by it and make sure tehy’ll be open. Either way that night I’ll send you an address. 🙂 Can’t wait to meet you in real life!!!

Hey there! Just dropping through and thought I’d give you some context,Cameron. Wenlin’s Line 10 was a reply to a note about adding to a poetry piece, one line at a time. Have you heard of the game Exquisite Corpses? So here’s the idea…

10 To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?
11 Reminds us that we are so tiny, in this life too

So then, I’ll add a 12.

12 Seeing and feeling, mighty and discursive, as though

Who’s next? 🙂 You can jump in any time. It’s nonlinear, in that way.

Just the three of us here so far, in this side group. I thought a game of EC would be a fun way to get acquainted.

Oh. Discursive was an iPad autocorrect. Weird, I dunno if I’ve ever seen it in a poem. Usually I see it in the context of academic mumbo jumbo stuff. A friend’s thesis was on this kind of discursive psych, or something. I never quite got it. Heh.

My idea for line 10 was…

To return as a droplet in the ocean, in my next life. To rise and fall with the ebb of collective consciousness…
Do you believe in Samara?

Hi Wenlin!
I knew what you meant (SamSara) 🙂 No, I haven’t seen the film and had not heard of it at all. Sounds like I would love. It’s on my next-to-see list! Only tangentially related, reminds me of a really cool film, The Eagle Huntress, which I saw recently.

This is your small group space. Use it as you like… A journal. A place to check in. A spot for meeting new people. A notebook. A sidebar to the other boxes. Let’s see what happens. I’ll invite the others when I hear they are ready, two of you so far are invited in, and you’re free to begin as you like.

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