Saturday, March 16, 2002

Life is like a Rorchach, isn't it?

David Rogers brought up a valid observation in his comments on my Number 8 Tao Te Ching post. He says,

Someone, I've forgotten who since I didn't buy the book, translated Epictetus to bring it into contemporary language. In fact, there was some question as to whether it was even a translation anymore, or more a commentary. I guess it would be impossible to translate a given text without inserting some of one's own views and biases into the translation. I'm not sure how much one can do, reading various translations, to try to discern the meaning of the original, but it's probably worthwhile.

I had read several books of translations of the Tao Te Ching, and I quoted one from the book that I like best -- maybe because each segment is accompanied by relevant and dramatic photos. No doubt, however, Rogers is right: it is always worthwhile to try to figure out "what did he (or she) REALLY mean?"

However, I also am reminded of the saying that "we see things not as THEY are but as WE are." So, that makes life, including effots to translate the works of others, into a sort of minute by minute Rorchach inkblot test. Well, any discussion of that will get us into "objective" versus "subjective" realities, and I leave heavy stuff like that to Steve Himmer, Mike Sanders, AKMA, and David Rogers. Although, if they get into it, I'm sure I'll have something tangential to say.

What I find interesting is that sometimes dreams are where the real reality lies, if we have the wherewithall to sort out the wheat from the chaff. A good friend of mine has an excellent book out on The Practice of Dream Healing.

This is the dream I had just before I woke up this morning:

I am living in an apartment on the second floor of a multi-unit building that has a roof extending from outside the windows on my floor. One of my neighbors is a woman who actually lived across the real-world street from me when I had my house back in the 80s.

I notice all kinds of commotion outside and realize that a filming company is setting up to do a shoot on the roof. Assuming their place in the center of the commotion is a set of young prepubescent female twins, who I recognize as the twins who used to have a TV sitcom. In my dream I call them the Osborne twins (but I know that’s not the name of the real twins from the real tv show, although I think it starts with an “O”.)

I can’t see what’s going on from my window, so I go over to my neighbor’s, where a crowd is already gathering to watch the production. The crew places a quilt covered with a Native American print down on the roof. It looks just like the quilt I have in my closet (the quilt and the closet in the dream, not in real life). I get really upset that someone went into my apartment and took my quilt, so I run back and look – only to realize that my own quilt is still in there. So I go back and watch the production set up for a while.

I get tired of watching and go back to my own apartment, where my roommate has just come home. The roommate in the dream is the guy I went to college with who was married to Jeneane Sessum’s former employer. He decides that he wants chicken for dinner, so I give him a package that’s in the refrigerator so that he can cook it himself, and I tell him that I’m having the leftovers that I brought back from the restaurant. (In my real world refrigerator is sitting leftover chicken with rasberry walnut sauce. YUM). It seems that he’s planning to move (we are just roommates, after all), and I start thinking about where I’d like to go next….

No wonder I don’t want to get up in the morning. My dream world has more going on in it than than my real world.

(I was hoping that with this post Gary Turner would consider me a challenger to Mike Golby's ranking as Head of Zero Gravity. But now that I read it over, it's not nearly long enough. Oh well, I'll keep trying.)
Oh no! Not them, too!
Headline in today's local paper: Plagiarism of sermons is an issue for clergy. (I couldn't find the link on the Times Union web site.

Certainly the web should be a resource for clergy just as it is for everyone else, but "The problem for preachers lies in failing to give credit -- or in not making a sermon original," the article states. I'd rather hear an original, passionate, personal presentation than a canned speech any day. I guess I feel pretty much the same about weblogs (except for the news-based ones, of course.) And so, btw, I really don't agree with Dave Winer's assertion about
How people read on the web. They want to get to the beef asap. Most people will only skim, and record the fact that the article is there, and then use Google to find it when and if they need it. So the most important thing is to quickly say what you're going to do in the piece and who should care. Quickness is a very important thing. Most people just dash in and out. At least this is my assumption. That's one of the reasons I give quick soundbites, and the sources.

I guess that's why I don't read his blog very often.
The Numbers Games
While I didn't blog that stuff about my birthday to get more well-wishes, I accept -- with thanks and gratitude -- all of your belated ones (Gary, Tish, Mike, and Shelley). I think I've already thanked my fellow Pisceans Richard and Anita, and I'm herewith throwing in a plug for Denise's birthday on March 20.

Tish echoes my determination to disempower the numbers game. As we've all proven over and over here in Blogdom, it's the shared heart that counts. (Although it's hard not to check out the numbers in DayPop every once in a while, I'll admit.)