I've moved. Do come visit.

Posted by Siona |



I miss writing here more than I care to admit. I get hungry sometimes for an existence outside of my treasured community, and get hungry to explore so many other topics, from hospice to breath work to poetry to breathing to presence to transformation to currency to love, and love, and love. I want anonymity. I want attention. I want to know what I want again.

How is it that the whole internet can feel too small, and too intimate, and too close?

Posted by Siona |



I'm still here.

My 27th birthday was on the 27th of October.

A month prior, I moved to Colorado.

A month prior, I bought a house near downtown Boulder.

I work, now, in a beautiful office with a view of the mountains, surrounded by both blue skies and amazing people and I'm a little wide-eyed about all that's unfolded over the past few months.

I am still very much in love.

Posted by Siona |



I went to a salon yesterday on the topic of Dying Well. The dialogue was wonderful, and I could fill a small book with the ins-and-outs of the discussion, but I just wanted to share one fragment.

(I wish you could have been there for all of it, but this, at least, is something.)

Midway through the conversation, someone at the table brought up the notion of the “imposter syndrome”: that feeling that, despite your position or accomplishments, you're still just “faking things,” and that you've fooled others into thinking you're smarter or more capable than you really are.

He mentioned that it took a great deal of pain and struggle for him to come to the understanding that he wasn't “faking it” any more. He went through a difficult period in his life, and surviving that test meant that he was no longer afraid of being unmasked. He looked around the table, and wondered out loud whether that pain and suffering were necessary. “Are there any of you who feel as though you're no longer “faking it” and who haven't experienced some great or painful challenge?”

A beautiful question, I thought.

Various voices spoke up. A few mentioned how it was the gradual accumulation of successes in their lives that made them feel more self-assured. They mentioned how launching a few companies and seeing these businesses thrive made them feel as though their was something to that sense of competency that others saw in them, and they began feeling as though they were actually accomplished and capable—that they weren't acting “as if” or, again, “faking it.”

I appreciated this, but I couldn't help but share my story. I'm not one of those who was spared the crucible.

I no longer feel at all as though I'll be “found out” or that my accomplishments and abilities are somehow the result of me fooling others, but I came to this understanding only after hitting rock bottom.

I was destitute and jobless and scrambling, a little ball of self-hatred whose entire identity was more a puppet to addiction than anything recognizable as a personality. I hated what I'd done to myself, and, even more, the damage this self-sabotage had wrought upon my family and friends and those people I purported to care about. It was more than a life wasted—it was a life that was inflicting pain in the mere being.

And it was from there that I came to realize despite all this, it was a life worthy of being loved. Despite all this, I was still a human being who deserved to be cared for. It was from that position, of having literally nothing else to lose, that I realized I already had everything.

I don't know. I'm sure that there's nothing wrong with a self of self-confidence founded on the evidence of success. I just find a certain peace in knowing that even were I to lose, again, everything, I'd still be fundamentally okay. My concern with the other route would be that, if I started suddenly to fail and if all my projects were to collapse, that I'd wonder again at my abilities. Maybe I was once worth something, I might fret, and perhaps I'll be worth something again in the future… but right now I'm a failure. I feel an odd comfort that I'll never have to worry about this again.

I'm not sure why I feel so compelled to share this here. I'm not sure how it will come across. But I do wish I could instill this in others: there is nothing you can do that will make you unworthy. You're loved. You're worth it. There is no other way.

Posted by Siona |


two truths.

What is the difference between seeing connections and making them? I feel as though I've fallen into some strange universe where coincidences no longer exist.

But here are two poems.

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.

Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

- M. Strand


There are times when I can't move.

I feel roots of mine everywhere,
as though all things were born of me,
or as though I were born of all things.

All I can do then is to stay still
with eyes open like two faces
at the moment of birth,
with a small amount of love in one hand
and something cold in the other.

And all I can give someone passing by me
is that motionless absence
that has roots in him too.

- R. Juarroz

Posted by Siona |


momento mori.

I've been thinking about death recently, perhaps too much.

I suppose this makes sense; 2007 has already been a record year for me as far as suicides alone are concerned. I feel close to my mortality; the edges feel raw.

I was at a talk yesterday morning that included a long digression on the problems facing our world; about Iraq, about global warming, about the struggles in our administration; about natural resources; about Africa, about change, and about what we have to look forward to in the future.

The speaker (the former director of Amnesty International) ended his impassioned speech with a paraphrase from a theologian. “In this time, we have one choice: dialogue, or death.”

There was a space, where others emptied themselves of their questions, and I sat silent until I could no longer be still. I asked, from the circle, ”Or death? Death is not optional. Death is always an 'and.' These stories we've been listening to, about the shift that's occurring in consciousness and about how we're waking up to what needs to be done, are beautiful, but are we not all just avoiding that we each much die? Individually, each of us, and, eventually, as a civilization and species?”

I felt immediately chagrined; dumping the skull on the banquet table is a bit of a faux pas these days. Still, most people seemed not just to forgive me, but to want to engage more with the question. The conversation that followed was rich.

Those conversations mean so much to me.

Because I don't think at all this means I'd want to abandon any effort at gentling the world, or that I'd want to give up hope about healing; I do think that there are likely many generations to come and I feel a heartfelt obligation to make sure that I limit my contributions to the pain and suffering they'll experience, and to do what I can to increase the joy (assuming these two are separable). But I can't help but look at the popular apocalyptic cries of Peak Oil and the assertions that our culture is on the brink of collapse with a wry smile. Somehow I can't help but imagine that every preceding generation believed the same. Living in a time of perceived crises means that our lives become meaningful; we have a project; the world depends upon us. Far better to imagine catastrophe than to admit the more likely scenario: that our generation too will die, to be subsumed in the oncoming waves of future humans, and that we too will be mostly forgotten.

I don't know. I find, I suppose, some peace in this latter fact. It makes life, now, for me, and the meetings I have within it, all the more important.

Posted by Siona |



Today is the 126th anniversary of Thomas Carlyle's death.

Carlyle was a Scottish historian and sociologist whose thought and writing influenced American Transcendentalism; the letters he exchanged with Emerson comprise hundreds of pages. To my mind, though, he's an incredible thinker in his own right.

Carlyle wrestled deeply with, and eventually lost faith in, his own Christian tradition; which is part of why I love him so . . . there's a certain tragic Kierkegaardian existentialism to his struggle.

He wrote about the concept of "The Everlasting Yea," a sort of divine affirmation of the world - and of faith - "wherein all contradiction is solved: wherein whoso walks and works, it is well with him." This, for Carlyle, is in contrast to "The Everlasting No," the denial of the divine in the world, and "The Centre of Indifference" a detached agnosticism.

I find all this beautiful.

But this I love more: Carlyle had an unblinkered awareness of the suffering inherent to the world. He believed the point of life is to make man blessed, not happy, and that the pursuit of happiness is one of the things that prevents people from achieving blessedness.

Ai. Perhaps I like this so because I feel so blessed, and for me, this has little to do with feeling happy, and more to do with gratitude, and acceptance, and - yes - affirmation.

Anyway. My grandfather (Farland's father) was the first I ever heard speak of Carlyle, and though he's no longer alive, some feathered whisper prompted me to write.


Posted by Siona |


 © (autobiology) 2005