I’m going to start by touching on some of the folks I’ve been reading lately — because it’s solstice, and you should give gifts to people you care about. And one of the gifts that one can give this time of year is connections to new friends and new folks worth reading.
Ivy over at CircleThrice has a great post this month about anti-fragility, in which she recommends doing magic and divination to find the future you want, rather than doing divination to find out what the future will be. This is great advice. And it’s advice about being what Nassim Taleb calls anti-fragile, which is Ivy’s whole point in all of her columns: how can you enchant and organize and manage your life so that it is less fragile today than it was yesterday, and more robust tomorrow than it is today.
Bad job? Bad marriage or relationship? Bad living situation? Maybe rather than baby it along and fuss with it and care for it with increasing amounts of love and attention, you should smash it. Wabi-Sabi says repair the broken bits with gold — and you’ll have something beautiful that nonetheless shines with its mistakes and errors. There’s something elegant in that.
And Deb Castellano of Charmed Finishing School (and Mermaid and Crow) is re-launching her New Year, New You Manifesto. This blog’s singular dedication to the practice of tai chi (and as near as I can tell, its near-unique take on the development of a daily practice and the challenges that go into it — you can read your way by ten-day segments through the whole four years here) got its start when I worked through her New Year New You Project (Her book, the Arte of Glamour, is also pretty darn fine! Highly recommended).
And Aidan Watcher responds to Gordon and Sarah Anne Lawless on issues of animism and the dead (and Gordon had a pretty nifty follow-on to this, which ties back to Ivy and her column/blog about anti-fragility).
Which is one of the points about today’s column, really. I keep trying to find ways to do more with my practice, to extend and enrich it. And that’s lovely. But today I had the chance to sleep in and not think too much about anything. Like yesterday, too. And today I woke around 10, did a leisurely tai chi set with no additional bells and whistles, for the first time on a Monday (due to the tai chi teaching gig) in a while. And I found that what I was doing was A-OK.
I’ve had a remarkable year. I’ve kept up my tai chi practice, had an art show, run a successful year’s worth of amazing after-school programs, kept my teaching job together, produced some beautiful knitting, taught some magic, learned some magic, amazed a few folks, learned book-binding, lost some weight, gained some weight, and launched a whole series of MakerSpaces in other schools through people copying and building on my work — just as I copied and built upon the work of others.
Start small. Do some work, see results, do a little more. Try out the great grimoires, then go big, then scale back and see what survives. What’s anti-fragile? What’s fragile? What breaks easily? What can be fixed, and what’s not worth fixing? Build anew, make anew, remember to save what works.