There is Life After the Thesis

After chronicling my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences throughout the thesis process on this blog (formerly entitled Rites of a Thesis), it seemed odd to me to simply let the blog go just because I had turned in my thesis and graduated. I don't want to merely "shelve" my thesis nor do I want all that I got from my time at Naropa to lie dormant. I want my thesis to continue to live and breathe and become, and I would like all the teachings and experiences I had during my time at Naropa to do the same. So I am keeping the blog (changing the title), and am commiting to myself to (w)rite on as I journey forward.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Book on a Shelf is Like a Pearl in an Oyster... just needs someone to crack it open, or someone to take it off its shelf (or someone who points the way to the right book on the shelf...or a quote from a book that you've had on your shelf that you actually put in your bibliography already but didn't realize it had another woppin' big pearl of wisdom in it that you would definitely want)! - Whew!


What I really mean to say (in a much more straight-forward way) is: One of my classmates sent me a wonderful - a perfectly wonderful - quote that is in a book that I have had (and am already using something from in my thesis) and had no idea that that quote was there...hadn't even read the chapter from which the quote was taken, in years!

Here's the quote:

One of the things we know about rituals is that they carve a pathway into a particular state of mind and body. If they are meaningful to those who do them, ritual actions can create a sacred container, a space that is set apart from the everyday chores and logistical concerns that sometimes threaten to consume us.

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul

I re-read the whole chapter from which that quote is extracted: Chapter Six, Developing a Creative Practice. It was exactly what I needed to read today! And the quote is absolutely perfect!

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how ritual is different from habit, from routine, and from practice. But that there are days/times when the actual "feeling" - the connection - is sometimes missing. Does the ritual then become simply a practice? I don't think so. It may not be embued with the emotion or the feeling or the spiritual connect that we would like it to be every time we engage in it, yet it is still a structure - a way of doing and being - that serves as an important part of the continuum, the discipline, and the overall connectedness of what the ritual means. "We can't make it happen," says Dreamer, "but we can increase the odds considerably by doing our part and showing up" (Dreamer, 2005, p. 99).

So thanks for connecting up with me, Monica. And thanks for connecting me to that quote, and helping me find my way back to What We Ache For. I believe I just caught me a little pearl of wisdom today. ; )

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