Haven’t been writing much, so just wanted to get some thoughts down today. I’ve felt a bit uptight and anxious ever since being on jury duty, which threw me out of my routines and also required some heavy thinking. I overheard a conversation between the witness and the defendant’s family out of court, and so had myself excused from the case. I spent a lot of time deciding that was the right thing to do, but still felt a bit bad about it, as if I had somehow shirked my duty. In the end I’m sure it was the right thing, since it so strongly affected how I felt about the case, and there was a possible life sentence involved, so I would have had to feel pretty sure about things to be on that jury.

Anyway, it was quite difficult to be my usual calm and inspirational self when I was going through all of that. I shy away from discussing my personal problems and foibles here much anymore, since I did so much of that the first couple of years I wrote here, and then spent much of the Bush years bitching about politics. These days my thoughts turn more to the philosophical, the uplifting, and always the return to the Tao. But turmoil and upheaval are a part of life and the Tao as well, and the darker side of our lives and thoughts cannot be simply ignored, even if they are harder to face at times and require more effort.

As my family returns to school and work, and my time frees up once again for myself, I expect I will get back to my meditation and writing and have a bit more to say. There is a new stack of books here next to me which look like interesting reading and blog material. Older books are being sent on their way through Paperbackswap, which is a great service if you aren’t already using it. I am a great fan of reuse and this is one of the best services available online for trading books.

I am also posting on Facebook, although the format there limits one to little more than trivialities, quick thoughts and photos. I’m enjoying following friends’ travels and adventures, and occasionally there are moments of real connection. Haven’t succumbed to Twitter yet, but who knows. I still don’t feel these social networking tools provide the depth of what one can do with a blog post, but they seem to do a nice job of providing the feeling of connection, if not the depth. For me, that is never quite enough, but the intensity of my feelings and connections runs pretty deep, and tends to be what gets me into trouble. So perhaps a lighter means of communication is good for me anyway.

But I find this shallowness interferes with the depths of my thoughts, and I miss that. So I do intend to write more here again, perhaps moving more into an exploration of the darker side of my thoughts again.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and Earth.
The named is the mother of the ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one sees the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source
but differ in name; this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

— Tao Te Ching One