Sustain-ability: The Dishes of Life

When I was a young woman, I had this theory that I called "the dishes of life." It was a modern take on the Zen "before enlightenment chop wood, carry water...." The idea being that no matter what weirdness or enchantment or, yes, enlightenment was going on in your life, the dishes still had to get done.

It just resonated more with me than chopping wood. And it was also closer to how to be an adult in our modern world. Yes, the dishes "have to" get done, but not because you'll freeze to death or go thirsty without them. It's because being in the world requires a certain amount of ongoing order creation to be manageable. You don't really have to wash the dishes, right? You can use paper plates or get takeout or just scrub the one pot or plate you need when you need it. Doing the dishes is about maintaining order in your life.
After a recent post that talked about my various personal maxims, a dear friend of mine jokingly suggested that I make …

Gentle gentle gentle

Sometimes Mercury retrograde is an annoyance that I barely notice. Sometimes it comes with challenges, but only of a certain flavor (like miscommunication or technological glitches or travel annoyances). Rarely they are very, very hard on a number of different levels. I'm sure that a competent astrologer -- which I am not -- would be able to explain why a particular retro impacts someone a certain way.

I don't know my own planets well enough to give a reason, but this past week has just beat the hell out of me.

Monday the whole household woke up out of sorts: particularly the budding psychonaut who's "why should I care about school when we're going to get nuked soon" attitude is both relatable and annoying. All things electronic were completely unreliable, including the ice maker to our still newish fridge (how a broken ice maker can defrost the entire freezer, I don't know).

The festival of fun continued through the week. I suffered a series of daily mig…

Mind War: Part Eleven -- Making Sense

You didn't think the mind war had ended, did you? (Note: to see parts 1 through 10, go check the Index.)

Reading an article recently I was struck by the English language idiom "make sense." This phrase has three definitions:

make sensea) to have a clear meaning and be easy to understand
Read this and tell me if it makes sense.

b) to be a sensible thing to do / it makes sense (for somebody) to do something
It makes sense to save money while you can.
Would it make sense for the city authorities to further restrict parking?

c) if something makes sense, there seems to be a good reason or explanation for it
Why did she do a thing like that? It doesn’t seem to make sense.

So if something makes sense, it is clear or logical or reasonable, right? "Does that make sense?" is a common followup to an explanation or plan (I will stop by the grocery store on the way home for pasta sauce and you get the pasta started -- does that…

The Big Empty

Those of you who've followed CircleThrice long-term know that I make an annual trip home to the desert in order to see my family. And as challenging as these visits can be, there's usually some useful lesson or perspective that I get from going that end up here. For example:

2015: In the Wilderness
2016: Stars in the Desert
2017: On Age and Time

This year the visit was a little different. Usually, the budding psychonaut and I fly in and out for a week and take some time to have a day-trip adventure. This year we flew in, rented a car, and after our visit drove 2500 miles through AZ, UT, ID, and home again.

I grew up in the desert, but have lived on the West Coast for 11 years now. It's easy to forget just how empty the landscape in the Southwest really is. This is Trump country (for the most part) sparsely populated and with low economic mobility and high independence. Tourism is the primary industry and in this way the area does better than the true fly over states, but n…

Robin Hood 2018: Keep Your Certification Up

As a career PM, I have a certification from the Project Management Institute as a "Professional Project Manager" (PMP).

This is a SERIOUS CERTIFICATION. By that I mean:

I had to have new and old bosses sign off on my work experience to applyI needed 40 hours of trainingIt required passing a brutal 250-question exam with an estimated first time failure rate of 40-50%The certification lapses unless you prove that you are keeping up with your career education over time
It was quite a bit of trouble to get, but it's worth it. Why? Because it has value. Having a PMP attached to my name increases my employability, opens new job opportunities, and improves my salary.

Considering the benefit and what I went through to get the darned thing, there is no way I will ever let it lapse. That means attending conferences, logging mentoring and reading hours, signing up for webinars, and so on.

Turns out that this is true of a whole lot of worthwhile things in this world. Are you unoffici…

The Liminal Landscape

Growing up, I lived in the same small town from the age of three to 18. Since leaving I've never lived in any one place for that long. While there were certainly negatives to growing up in such a small town (though our primary youth hobbies of cow tipping and road sign shooting have been replaced with, well, meth I think) there were also benefits.

One of those was the peace and quiet required to see the liminal landscape. In fact, I still dream of the land beneath the land of that place. From the river that doesn't exist, to the cliff dwellings where there is no cliff, to the non-existent pass where the observatory really isn't. The most potent one for me is the boring suburban backyard that contains a doorway to fairy. It's potent because at one point, as an adult, I revisited the old neighborhood and peeked into that yard. Sure enough, there it was, not visible to the naked eye, but not only accessible in dreams.

Unfortunately, my ability to access the liminal landsc…

Every Little Thing She Does is Magic

I hunted down this old post today because it said something I needed to hear. Interesting how we can need reminders of even the things we already believe?

There have been some significant changes in the way magicians view magic in recent decades. Chaos magic in particular has moved away from a spirit-driven model, or a will-driven one, to a probability-driven view of magic. That is, magic's effects are on the probability field around various results. This view accounts for a lot of the actual limitations we see with magic (the core example is why your spell didn't win you the lottery).

The chief complaint about this model seems to be that labeling all magic as 'probability shift' makes the results of magic very small. That is limits magicians to only those changes that already have good odds. If you can't affect major changes, then what's the point?

I think there are two answers to this objection:

First, who gets to say what the odds really are? The lottery, fo…