The part of this blog called Architeuthis is a story – in some ways my central story – but it is a story with no clear beginning, middle and end. These writings stem from recovered fragments that were scattered and buried beneath the rubble of a series of psychic disasters, blended with the theory that supported the detective process, and the sense made of each clue.
I am using the name Architeuthis, because on the day I acknowledged that the most significant yet unthinkable event in my life had in fact occurred, I had a very important dream about a giant squid, the details which I will tell in a later post. The name Architeuthis is the name for a giant squid. But the name Architeuthis also has a different meaning. It is a composite of two words: arche, a Greek word which means “origin” or “element” and Teuthis, which means squid, but is also the name of a mythological general who quarrelled with Agamemnon and in revenge stabbed Athena in the thigh. She, in turn, punished him by appearing to him in a dream after which he developed a wasting disease and the people of his town suffered from famine. And therefore Architeuthis is also the primary wound.
However, this is not a story of revenge. It is a story of consequences, both intended and untended. And I will tell it in a series of fragments, as it unfolded.
Windpump repair. Amidst the huge silence of the vlaktes, and the simplicity of meeting basic needs for water, and warmth, and keeping food cool, I walked around my internal landscape unfettered. There are some dark shadows and unopened doors. One specific door that needs to open. My mind still cannot enter that room, although my body has not escaped it.
Every now and then someone passes a nugget on to me that supports the theories that I have spent my whole life working on. Recently, a friend suggested that I would like this TED talk. It talks about something which intuitively makes sense, but which I have not scientifically studied myself. It talk about how adverse childhood experiences (abbreviated to the word ACE) affect our health in the long term.
I have not blogged for a year – for technical, emotional and practical reasons. New technological help has kick started my writing urge again. As I begin this new year – my fiftieth year of life – and I am moved by personal and world events, I find myself musing about the following:
The whole scale of human joy and suffering, and how we move along it in slow increments in some cases, or leaps and bounds in others. And how we keep looking for a grand plan, or at least some order, in that emerging dance…
How firmly we defend against evidence that sometimes it is all terribly random, and therefore, apparently unjust…
How hard we work to find justice and meaning in the experiences that we encounter in ourselves and others, and how we elevate our explanations to the status of sacred rules and injunctions….
How outraged we are when those injunctions fail, or are dismissed or challenged or even ridiculed by others….
And notwithstanding my belief that things like good boundaries, resilience, self awareness and conflict resolution skills matter a great deal in managing the vicissitudes of life, how I, increasingly, return to the one idea that, in the final analysis, only the giving and receiving of love (or compassion, if you prefer) makes it all bearable.