0. A Fool’s Journey: The Seed
“I have made up thousands of stories; I have filled innumerable notebooks with phrases to be used when I have found the true story, the one story to which all these phrases refer. But I have never yet found the story.”
~Virginia Woolf (1931), The Waves
Crafting a monthly newsletter has been a neglected item on my ‘not-urgent-to-do-list’ for quite some time. I cannot think of a sweeter day to take the leap than Virginia Woolf’s solar return. On this day, the box was finally checked, initiating a voyage of shared knowledge. Thank you for coming along.
In my cyclical observations, the final days of January enliven these ambitious proclivities of foolish and imaginative potential. After new years, once a few weeks of readjustment have passed, the frigid hours of sunlight gradually lengthen. It is a noticeable and rhythmic time for me; this very calendar week has historically gifted me the opportunities for deep social bonds, fresh inspiration, and pillars of hope for the coming months. Indeed, over the years I have started creative projects, met some of my closest friends, and met my current partner in the first decan of Aquarius season.
Such is the melody of the January solar song: from structured reflection to vibrational intimations of possibility. Capricorn season is inward and paternal in nature, encouraging boundaries in life (hence New Years resolutions)— the subsequent solar transit is an adjacent juxtaposition of ideological airiness and ease of implementation. The themes of Aquarius season are those of connection and openness to others, planting a lush mental garden. From matter to mind, the story unfolds with lively twists due to the fixed freedom of this somewhat unpredictable energy.
Reflecting on this month makes clear the schism between matter and mind in my own experience. During my winter break from grad school, I painted, sang, walked with my dog, and went off ADHD meds effortlessly. Then, as soon as the daunting task-list of six classes plus practicum searching were on the horizon, my return from wiggly to straight lines followed suit.
With the dawn of these winter responsibilities came the official plunge into a note-taking app I am hardcore in love with — and the reminder that my website is being neglected in turn. Ideally I will be using Roam as the toolkit to build my platform more intentionally (intentional will pop up again later)— a sort of hidden backdrop for the polished final products. For now, both Outofthetrap.com and my note-taking graph contain bits and pieces of the eventual mandala, scattered about in empty space, awaiting my concerted time and focused drive to arrange the information in a way that makes sense.
Thus, I find myself here. I am unsure if this is the ideal landing zone for my monthly email archive, but it is a clean slate. I appreciate the simplicity for now. It should come as no surprise to those close to me that I created another distinct internet account to showcase yet another personality fragment of mine. I am predictable and self aware. It’s all part of the brand.
A fresh calendar year is enough to channel latent energy toward ambitious visions and active receptivity. The archetypal fool comes to mind, taking steps into the unknown with no expectations or fears. The night before 2021 began, I pulled card zero in the major arcana: The Fool. Zero is infinite and timeless, encompassing the qualities of a quiet and unfound confidence. The number 0 kind of looks like a seed. Seeds, like the fool, imply potential.
Having gumption is my preferred name for this archetypal stance. This was my attitude going into my first official practicum interview today, for an eating disorder clinic in Massachusetts. It was my attitude as I sent out three paintings to friends and family at UPS today: my first art shipment! The fool’s stance is my approach to the Monday night DnD group I am now part of, as I learn to navigate dice rolls and unlikely goblin friends. I even tried to bring this mindset to the day’s disgusting chore of helping my mom deep clean an elder family member’s unkempt home, and to this newsletter. Gumption keeps me typing in the wee hours of the night, my only time of spaciousness and uninterrupted thought trains while the baby sleeps.
I wrote a song about gumption a couple of years ago, and am just now realizing that the central metaphor aligns with symbolic representations of Aquarius.The spilling gumption cup of my 2019 musical proclivities is actually reemerging with significance and relevance in multiple forms this month. I recently re-recorded a chopped up demo of the song after discussing the symbolism of a spilling cup in my Process of Psychotherapy class just a couple of weeks ago. Here the image of the cup’s spilling appears again, politely suggesting a deeper meditation. It’s funny how the lyrics I wrote are so topical even now:
The melody sticks and plays back now and then
From where I stand on down the timeline
Each unfolding when
Hear the lyrics later with the meanings that transform
Understanding more each time the song plays back again
The goal of this endeavor is to weave a consistent narrative throughout my rapidly shifting realms of interest. Certain themes underly the chaotic mess, and monthly incremental check-ins will encourage my acknowledgment of the emergent patterns. More often is unrealistic; less often is not conducive to accurate recollection. I intend to take the moon’s lead, cycling back every 28 days for reflection and renewal. A personal archive of intentional content is the ultimate gift to myself; if others consider it a gift as well, all the better.
Henceforth, I will be challenging myself to craft intentional content, defined as any attempt to mindfully synthesize my piles of information. Thus far, my world is that of information collection without much intentionality at all. The goal has been to build a personal library, which is continuously growing as I read each day. The missing piece is my own attempt to bring the disparate knowledge bits together for myself (and maybe others). Perhaps this will be a journey of immediate execution, or one I take some time to fully show up for. For now, the idea is in the soil of at least one digital garden.
Here I have planted one intentional seed. Will it grow? Check back to find out.