upon a stone altar

Mr Roboto has a secret

This year (it’s been a year since our last book club, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.–a year!) Meredith and i are reading Ani.mystic by Gordon White from Rune Soup (both of us got the nice hardback edition, because, book nerds). i have read none of Gordon’s books, and i am excited to dive in. this week is a meditation on Chapter 1.

much of chapter 1 winds in and around Pohnpei, an island which is “known for being the second wettest place on earth” according to Visit Pohnpei. i admit i find the living history of the island awesome and terrifying. thousands of basalt columns, tombs, multitudes of spirits, dead soldiers, a sacred eel, bones, giant sharks–my mind cannot grasp it. cannot grasp it. must slip into comfort with unknowing. why am i both awed and afraid of not-knowing? is it my upbringing and education, ever reminding me that there is “a” Truth towards which we must strive? there are some things, or most things, if i am telling the truth (ha), that i can only attempt to appreciate, not know.

Famously, there is a belief on the island that if you tell all your secrets then you will die.”

p 47

well, that resonates! describing your imaginary friend to your mother falls flat. “talking about it” doesn’t always cure an emotional hurt. a secret is something kept hidden, concealed. but a secretion is something that leaks out, is expressed. both secret and secretion have a common root: secernere “to set apart, part, divide; exclude”. discernment has become an important word in my vocabulary these last few years of mid-life passage (i hesitate to write “crisis” because it’s been fascinating and enjoyable, on the whole). i have worked to discern what feels good to me, and what doesn’t. separation may not be a healthy path forward (cf Charles Eisenstein on the “story of separation”, which Meredith also reflects on), but discernment is a special, sacred tool. it requires tuning in, being with what is presenting itself.

i hope, as we continue this adventure, Meredith, that we can share a secret or two now and then, as we peel back the layers of our minds in pace with the turning of pages.