May has been an eventful month: the end of the semester, an in-between time both seasonally and professionally. It involved a lease renewal (yes, like everyone else, my rent went up — and my security deposit, ugh, which is … not not legal?). I had to get a dental filling and go back get the bite fixed, and my tooth is still recovering from being bruised. Did you know that teeth can bruise? You’re welcome.
I also checked in with my to-read list and figured out what I want to read now. I gorged on Joy Harjo’s Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings in the span of only a few hours. I finished Eleanor Rand Wilner’s The Girl With Bees in Her Hair and Jack Kornfield’s After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. Throughout the month, I have deeply enjoyed the daily digest poems from the Academy of American Poets, which have primarily been Hawaiian and Samoan poets this month. I continued sipping on the Finamore and Dillon commentary on Iamblichus’ De Anima. I ordered the books I haven’t read about Platonism and cosmology just to see what has already been said, one of the follow-ups from my post about the descent of the soul and a cosmic-web update to our conception of it.
Right now, I’m co-reading Proclus’ Platonic Theology (and I’m reading both the English and French versions). At Goodwill one weekend, someone had cast out notecards that are designed for going in books without damaging the pages. They were nice. I bought them, and when my girlfriend and I got back to my apartment, we listened to ambient music and sat across from each other the table, me reading and her doing art training. It was chill and relaxing.
To mix things up and give myself a mindfulness reminder, I added two of the chants I use to a Google Keep notification that pops up on my phone every evening at 8 PM. It’s such a nice moment now that I’ve been able to reflect on the notification over the past few weeks.
On May 15, there was an eclipse. We went out after dark to watch it. There were two other people at the far end of the block, but it was otherwise just us alone with the black, inky sky.
Before the eclipse-watching, though, I lit incense for the full moon and its Gods. On the weekends when my girlfriend is here, it’s a much shorter ritual than it is when I’m alone. I think it’s good to have an idea of what our essentials are versus our excess — it empowers us to act and to do something.
Finally, I’ve had my eyes on a black jewel orchid for a while. They bloom during the winter, and I wanted to give Dionysos a new plant that might bloom during the Anthesteria and that is pet-safe to replace my satisficing solution from this past year, which was not pet-safe (and is apparently also toxic to humans? why is this a supermarket gift plant then?). It came in, a cluster of leaves and a lopsided big arm. I’ve (mostly) memorized my new prayer routine (although when I’m really tired I do read from my ritual plan anyway because I know better than to rely on recall), so I put it where my Kobo had been on its stand. I formally offered it to Dionysos and had a good feeling about the process.
Personal development-wise, I’ve started the self-discipline module of the Fabulous App, which has been great so far. It wanted me to start a gratitude journal for this module and spend some time identifying a good one. I chose Vicki Enns’ Gratitude and Grit: A Journal for Growing Resilience, and I am enjoying it so far (only four days in). The emphasis on balancing gratitude with tenacity feels more real, especially now that research is showing that gratitude practices tend to work better if we think of them in terms of having things that could have been otherwise. I’m also working through a three-month plan to tackle some procrastination issues I’ve been having — there are times when I feel physically heavy and struggle to get things done, and many stressors from 2020 onward have aggravated that.
The two programs are complementary, and it’s going well. I think I’d be less afraid of getting COVID-19 if I felt like I was in a solid place with being on top of things, as a lot of my fear is actually losing two weeks like I did when I had that awful flu (B) in February 2020 and could barely breathe or stand. The unease is highly relevant now because my girlfriend and her mom have COVID-19 — it feels like the virus has been slowly, slowly, slowly closing in on all of us. I am now the only one in my family and hers who hasn’t been on record having it. (My mom even got it twice in April/May.) My GF and I were going to do something fun for her birthday, but that’s on hold, and I’ve been thinking through how to cheer her up from afar.
Beyond giving my habits a do-over, I’ve started Duolingo Greek 🇬🇷 and am having fun with it. Το ροζ μίνι μάρκετ, το ροζ αβοκάντο, το ροζ νερό, το ροζ σκελετόσ. Το σκελετόσ ειναι ροζ. Δραμα στο μίνι μάρκετ. I think the last thing is something that could actually be useful, and I do hope the pink water is Vitamin Water. I’ve reached bronze a few times in my Duolingo heat, but someone else always ends up displacing me before the heat closes! We’ll see where this ends.
I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend, and best wishes to our armed forces members/veterans and their families who have lost people, either during military service itself or due to the PTSD and depression battles that many face after coming home.