Sunday, June 25, 2006

A 1000 Words a Day

(I feel some trepidation about doing this--anyone else game?)

So if one had to write one thousand words a day for a period of time what kinds of thoughts would be released? Writing—free thought—no revision (ok, maybe later if someone should read what you have said you might revise in the sense of responding to the comments and revisiting your position—of course we are always revising and rewriting—it is the nature of thought and writing?)

Would the petty annoyances of daily life dominate the exercise? Would the subconscious, or that deep down funky, stinky shit, in the basementt of one’s soul come to the top—like a seven year sea change—when the whole water bound area turns upside down and the muck comes to the top?

Pain… that is all I have been thinking about lately. My body has hurt. A rib broken has a way of signifying so much more though… physicality is one thing… but the body will heal. What will happen once that is done—will I recover? Will I remember being helpless?

Fuck… what I’m trying to say is that this is a pain that I can deal with… the others that plague me:

Wanting to know the meaning of my pitiful life—but never finding much of use.

Seeking deep, meaningful, connections with other people—but finding so few that I can do this with in a way that seems fulfilling (and seeming like a misanthropic because so may others don’t have this problem, or perhaps my standards are to high, or perhaps I am just an asshole)

Being scared about the direction my country is going—knowing full well the history of empires and their eventual destination—feeling anguish about who we hurt in the process of domination.

Domination—can we live without it? Can we “be”… can we “become”… without control and domination. I like to think so, but so may people view me a being naïve because of this perspective.

Being—can I just “be”? The life of a being is a process of “becoming”—I can never be happy just being, I must think about what I am becoming (no matter where I am what I am)… a continual process—when it stops I am dead.

How do I understand others? Really—how do I understand others!?

Asking questions—the important part of understanding and then, even more importantly, listening… that’s right… clearing a spot and allowing what you are trying to understand to speak to you.

Does this just involve humans—NO! Problem, disregard for non-human consciousness—the world constantly speaks to us in many ways—we need to listen instead of always trying to dominate and control our environment.

Can I love someone and be happy when they choose someone else. I say yes, the person I love thinks I am delusional and masochistic. Perhaps we are both correct—but I still wish her the best and hope she finds what she is looking for…

How come sometimes I lay in bed thinking about the mistakes of my youth? Are these not the steps that led to where I am now? What would I have been if I had made different choices (of course the question then lays with the decision of whether I approve of the person I am now?)

A 1000 words is a lot…

I am often a lot more friendly with animals than I am with humans—why is that?

My ceiling fan makes a very soothing sound and can often lull me into a very sound sleep.


Walking downstairs—will be right back. A cigarette and a Heineken—lets see if that helps? (hey my word checker capitalizes Heineken—lets me know where the programmers minds were at.)

OK, academic mindset…

I've been designing courses centered around identity/place/community, etymology/keywords, global/local/interrelatedness and community service/activism/learning. The Greek idea of Oikos (eco), along with inquiry and orientation are key grounding concepts... also recognition of student experience and reconnection to place through an awareness of interrelatedness on multiple levels (including research into origins of words/beliefs/places/objects/etc...)

I’m teaching writing-courses centered around the concepts of Place, Identity, and Community. I hope that through discussion and writing about our sense of self, place, and community, we can develop a new awareness of the possibilities of writing/thinking as a form of civic engagement and hopefully, in the process, provide a helping hand to at-risk students.

This is doubly distressing for me because, at the same time, I am developing a coursesw designed to facilitate student engagement with the larger social issues. How can I expect my students to make meaning out of the swirl of data when I am devoting large parts of my life to informing myself about current events without clear results? I lack certainty! I am often confused! I know my reflective doubt is supposed to be a good sign in that I am avoiding the dogmatic certainty that often leads to abuses, but can radical doubt be the foundation for critical engagement?

Perhaps in this time of secrecy and lies it is time to think about a reconstructive ethics?

Still stumped, I have to return to the basics. What is it I see as a problem in our society? What plagues my own thoughts? What would I like my students to learn? What ideas can frame the beginning questions that might allow the imagining of new possibilities? This nausea that pervades my being initiates a radical need to return to the etymological roots (rad-) of the words that might jumpstart my stalled intellect.

A framing concern for me — personally and professionally — is ecology as the study of the interconnectedness of beings in environmental systems of all types. The root “eco-” originates from the Greek word oikos, which referred to an understanding of home, household, or more fully, our habitus. Ecology, then, is the study or understanding (take that apart — the foundations of the ground below us that support our current position) of the world which we inhabit and the attempt to derive new meanings from the interconnectedness and interrelationships of life. The need for ecological awareness seem obvious to me, but the word has unfortunately been paired in an oppositional relationship to another dominating term — “economics.” While ecology derives its conjunctive meaning from logos (knowledge), economics draws its conjunctive power from nomos (law). We have then in contemporary society a dualistic division of the concerns of these two important and powerful words. The study, knowledge, and understanding of our environments vs. the control, regulation, and management of those environments.

Might a reconstructive ethics start here in a rapprochement of these two essential concepts for understanding the increasingly interrelated and interconnected global system? Would the breaking down of these artificial barriers between these two major concerns of life allow for a fuller understanding of how we might restore a sense of justice, rights, and responsibilites? No longer would it simply be an issue of ecology against economics, or the market before our environment, or a separation of the human from nature.

Why can I ramble on about these kind of things in such a logical order, yet when it comes to emotions and feelings I am often stumped?

A 1000 words a day--DAY 1


Susannity! (Susanne) said...

How funny to come across this today because the concept of forcing myself to write - I hadn't specified length - everday is something I have been mulling over seriously this last week. Not blogging, but I have been wanting to write a perspective book for awhile now. Hubbie and friends think it is a good idea, but I haven't started to work on it yet. Anyway was going to try a similar exercise to get the ball rolling. I like the free-form too, but I tend to do that with my husband hehe. I greatly enjoyed reading your 1000 words. =) I'm ready for Day 2!
I'm guest blogging over at and my last post was on meaningful connections between people and a recent study if want to read it.

Thivai Abhor said...

Thanks Susanne,

Yeah the idea is to get me to unearth my thoughts and to begin developing again as a writer--practice, practice, practice.... I'm going to go read your post now...

Ricia said...

questions.. are soooo important. radical doubt, equally so... where does it go? where does it end?

my viewpoint; next it needs creativity, imaginings, unbound visual/audio/physical/cognitive exploration. that's where things become tangeable and thick and.. therein, there is no end. no end to which and what questions evolve - but they become more and / or less tangeable along the way.

this is a great teaching tool too. all these serious matters wrapped up in questions combined with the opportunity and liberty to be silly, and to imagine something else, concuct (sp this word?), create even the most basic representations and / or even solutions. random acts of the imagination can turn a question into an exlamation mark...

i love it. your 1,000 words. i just dig how human u are. :)

Ricia said...

oh! which reminds me.. every now and then i try this excercise where i attempt to succinctly word my own "faith" (what i believe). last time i did so, it resulted in a rather esoteric (but not at all spiritual in the conventional sense of the word) description of 'the better principals' of human ecology. like the 'ten' (or more) commandments of healthy human dynamics.

only, in it, was a reductive set of principals that supported the health of human ecology and the broader ecology both - in direct relationship to one another.

hmmm.. having trouble explaining myself.. triggered by the word 'eco'.. sorry, might have to take another stab at that, another time! any of it make sense?

rambling... rambling...