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Arachne, Emends, and Tea

Like you do...

Phix's Curiosity: what sparks my interest

Watch this space to see what's sparked my interest this week.  A random grab bag of delights!

I learned a new word today!  Emend.  Basically it means the same thing as amend, and has the same early French & Latin roots.  It was actually a typo in a coworker's presentation but when I looked it up, it was basically what they were trying to covey.  So.

New words! YAY!  We also ended up making up a lot of words.  Today was largely a day of meetings with a lot of words and by that point we were getting a little slaphappy with the word salad.  But it's always a good day if I learn a new word.  :)

Medusa's Garden

When you need every one and everything around you to just stop.

The first time I heard this story, I was talking with a professional coach about a fellow who was so busy telling me stories that we never got around to the meeting content itself because I couldn't get a word in edgewise.  In retrospect, that was his way of controlling the conversation by being the only one in control of the narrative. 

There are a couple ways one can let this play out. You can wait until the person has spilled all their tea and has an empty teacup and then have a conversation.  Or you can walk away and wait for them to come back (or not). 

Waiting and listening while they spill their tea works very well with my kiddos who are just doing brain dumps of everything on their minds to get to the point where they can hear advice again.  For people who are trying to control the narrative (among other things), it's just... those are minutes & hours of my life I don't get back.  And just No. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A business man trying to get to the next level in his business tried everything he knew of and was not making progress. He asked everyone he knew and no one could help. Finally he met someone who told him of a faraway master who could solve anyone's problem, be it love, health, business, or anything else. The man thought to himself, "I will go see this master, perhaps he can help me.

So he travelled across the sea, he travelled through the desert, he travelled through the mountains until finally he came to the master.

The master asked, "What have you come to me for?" The man explained why he had travelled so far. The master said, "You are not yet ready. Come back again when you are ready." Mystified, the man left.

He travelled back home, back through the mountains, back through the desert, back across the sea.

He went back to work, wondering what he was missing that would make him ready. He worked very hard for many months. After these months, he thought surely he was ready now.

So he gathered his travel plans, he travelled across the sea, he travelled across the desert, he travelled through the mountains, until he again came to the master.

"Master, I have returned, I believe I am ready now." The master looked into his eyes, paused, and said, "Go away. You are not yet ready." Perplexed and a little upset, the man left again.

He travelled back home, back through the mountains, back through the desert, back across the sea.

He went back to work, wondering what was missing that would make him ready. He worked very hard for many more months. After these many more months, he thought surely I am ready now.

So again, perhaps with more trepidation this time, he gathered his travel plans, he travelled across the sea, he travelled across the desert, he travelled through the mountains until he came to the master.

He said, "Master, I have returned. I believe I am ready now." The master looked into his eyes, paused, and again said, "Go away, you are not yet ready." The man said, "Master, with all due respect -- what do I need to do to be ready to even receive an understanding of the steps I must take? It is expensive and frustrating to come this far only to be told I am not ready!" The master said, "You are not ready, but let us take some tea together." The man thought, "Finally! We are getting somewhere!"

They sat down to tea. The master, as the host, bid the man, as his guest, pour himself a cup first. Then the master poured his own cup, and then reached over to pour more tea into the man's cup. The man's cup was already full though, and the tea started spilling on the table. Still the master kept pouring. The man said, "You are spilling the tea, what are you doing!?"

Still the master poured. The man jumped up and away from the table to keep the tea from spilling on his clothes, saying, "Why do you continue pouring, the teacup is full and the tea is spilling off the table!?"

The master finished emptying the teapot, sat it back on the table, leaned back and looked at the man. He looked deep into his eyes and said, "When you come to me, you cannot hear what I have to say because you come with a full mind. Until you empty your mind, you cannot hear what I have to say anymore than the teacup could accept any more tea. Anything I said would have been lost on you, like the tea on the table."

Ariadne's Yarn: playing with threads

What I'm up to with fiber and possibly how mythology and stories all tie together.

I'm still working on the red and black Romney.  It's coarser that what I've been spinning for a while (which... merino/silk, silk/baby camel, alpaca/merino blends... what *isn't* more coarse?), but is really lovely to spin in a different way than the really soft yarns. 

And then there's this little beauty that lives in the lamp at our door. She's a beautiful garden orb weaver. Often around the time I get home, she's weaving a new web.

Some spiders eat and reweave their webs every day.  I have never seen her eating her web, but she does keep a very tidy house, well maintained, and in order.  

Which brings me to another story that I've been thinking about as I contemplate her.  Arachne.  There's always layers upon layers in mythology.  You scratch the surface and find a whole 'nother layer beneath.  

On the surface of the Arachne myth, we have a brash weaver claiming she can weave better than the weaving goddess Athena.  Athena takes offense, they have a weave off, and one or the other of them wins and one way or another Arachne ends up a spider due to her pride.  

The variation I'm really interested in right now is the one where Arachne actually wins the competition.  What lands her in a spider's body is that on her better than the best woven work is what she puts on the weaving.  She portrays all the terrible things the gods do, while Athena shows the good things they do.  When Athena inspects Arachne's weaving, she agrees that Arachne's weaving is better, but she's so infuriated by what she portrays that she strikes Arachne with a weaving shuttle and kills her. Then out of pity brings her back with an herbal concoction from Hekate as a spider.

The thing that strikes me about this telling is that yes, Arachne is kinda brash in daring to tell truth to power, but Arachne's downfall is actually the pride of Athena - Athena gets so infuriated at the challenge to her & the rest of the pantheon's pride that she kills Arachne. This is a bit of a flip on hubris - usually it's the human.

Anyway. We named the spider by the front door Eleanor. 

Mythic Librarian: the art of arranging a life 

Thoughts on ontology and ways to organize a life.

Organizing things. Ontology is the branch of philosophy that defines relationships between entities.  Right now the relationship between all the things on my coffee table is... claustrophobic.  I tend to be a horizontal, proximity filer and it's sort of been piling up for a bit.

Right now the relationship between the things in my brain is... actually pretty clear. Unlike the state of my coffee table. :) 

With love, and structure, and organization, and curiosity - may Ariadne's ball of yarn guide you through the labyrinth safely until next time!


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