Tag Archive | seasons

The Artist’s Way Reflections – Synchronicity

astronomySynchronicity takes up a big section of Week Three: Recovering a Sense of Power (you can read about the rest of the chapter here). Enough that I thought it deserved its own post.

I can see why Julia Cameron put it in this chapter on Power, along with Anger and Shame and Growth. Synchronicity is the power of manifestation, of making things happen, of initiative and setting things in motion.

It’s also an aspect of this book that I struggle with. It goes back to my basic struggle with belief. With one side of me being the most hyper-rational skeptic and the other side believing (or at least wanting to) in magic and miracles.

There’s a task in one of the later chapters to record yourself (she was probably thinking tape recorders at the time) reading one of the essays in the book, and I chose this one because I struggle with it so much. (Next time, I’m picking a shorter section to record!)

Synchronicity, and My History Playing With It

When I was doing AW when I was younger, I believed in this synchronicity stuff more, and generally believed in things that could be believed in more. I was maybe a little skeptical but eager to try it out. And the results were…mixed at best.

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Seasonal Living – Autumnal Equinox – Goodbye, Summer 2020

purpleflowerOne thing I’m really trying to incorporate into my life more, and have been for, like, at least a decade, is living in tune with the seasons.

For whatever reason, seasons have always been so important to me, from when I was a kid onward. Maybe it’s the nature as spirituality part of me. Maybe it’s part of my ancestral DNA or epigenetics (I haven’t done my genealogy, but my parents have and both are very, very Irish). Maybe it’s just something that got ingrained in me at a young age and inscribed deeply. It feels pre-verbal, this love of seasons. Primal.

But it’s hard to live in tune with the seasons even if you live in them (and I don’t think I could live somewhere without them) when you’re a med student. Or a premed student juggling school and a job and research and volunteering and extracurricular activities all the time.

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The Twenty-First Anniversary of Euphoria Morning

EMTwenty-one years ago today, the twenty-first of September, Chris Cornell’s first solo album Euphoria Morning came out.

Somehow, I sorta knew it even then, in the early days of getting to know the songs, that this album would change my life. It felt epic in a way that you think, at eighteen, albums might not feel epic anymore.

In many posts, especially in recent goals posts, I’ve talked about a book project I’m working on called Moonchild. It takes its name from a song of the same title, track 8, and takes place the year Euphoria Morning came out.

Euphoria Morning has had far-reaching impacts far beyond just that year, though that’s when everything was set in motion. So many things, and people, in my life wouldn’t be the same without EM.

I always thought I’d dedicate Moonchild, if and when I ever get it published, to Chris Cornell. I thought that for years, and since I started working on this book project in 2003, for most of those years I never imagined that he wouldn’t be alive anymore and that the dedication would be to a dead man.

I still think of Euphoria Morning as the album that had the most profound, and the most tangible, impact on my life. Today, on it’s anniversary, I will listen. It’s been different listening to Chris Cornell after his death. Sometimes that’s all I can think about and sometimes it’s like it never happened.

The original title was Euphoria Mourning, and I think that fits too.

And here’s “Moonchild” the song:

The whole album is worth a listen, in full, because as cliche as it is to say this about Chris, no one sings like him anymore.

If you had to only pick a couple to listen to, I’d personally pick, along with “Moonchild” of course, “Sweet Euphoria,” “When I’m Down,” “Follow My Way,” “Disappearing One,” “Steel Rain,” and you know what, just listen to the whole damn thing.

Oh, and you must, and I mean must, listen to “Sunshower” which isn’t on the album but did come out around the same time on the Great Expectations Soundtrack. And Seasons, which was much earlier, on the Singles Soundtrack.

Happy Euphoria Morning release anniversary day!

-April

Notes:

The Artist’s Way Reflections – Week Two: Recovering a Sense of Identity

brightcitrussunflowerThis chapter, like the name says, focuses on identity. It seems so simple, but I think a blurring of identity underlies a lot of creative blockage. It gets blurry because we get inundated with messages–family, friends, teachers, social media, TV at large–that tell us what we should want, who we should be. And there are parts of ourselves we give up for various reasons. It’s all too easy to get to a place where you’re going through life unsure of who you even are.

I definitely felt that in medical school; I saw myself going through the motions of doing all the things I was supposed to do, and all the things I had to do on top of that, and it all took so much time and energy that I felt like there was so little me left. I’ve also felt something similar in destructive relationships.

For whatever reason, it’s just so easy to lose yourself. At least, it is for me. So, I like this chapter and its tasks and how the focus on self-definition and sorting out the signal from the noise all around us.

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For the Love of Seasons – Geomagnetic Imprints and Natal Honing

I have always had a thing for seasons, and it would be dishonest to say that the Pacific Northwest doesn’t have them, but it would only be slightly less untrue to say that it does. Portland, Oregon has seasons the way a Sound (as in Puget or Long Island) has waves: technically it does, but they are small and gentle ripples, and have nothing at all of the power and fury of the wild sea. The seasons of New England obliterate the landscape with a cyclical frequency and a constant intensity that I somehow find very romantic.

My ache for the extreme seasons I grew up with hasn’t faded, as I thought it might, with more time and conditioning in this more temperate climate; instead, the wanting accumulates. Even though I live on a big hill known for its power outages, impassability in heavy snows and general storm susceptibility, the most winter I’ve seen out my window–invariably on mornings when I have exams in like organic chemistry–only lasts long enough to take some cell phone pictures of the fleeting moment. Every successive winter that passes without significant snow, I feel a little betrayed by Mother Nature, or by myself for having chosen to live somewhere without real winters. I yearn for a good blizzard, the sky before a good snow, so dark it makes the lights inside houses and hallways look warmer, howling wind so gusty it makes the lights go out, months of snow angels and snowmen and forts and snowball fights and hot chocolate and sledding and real bundling up and layers and fires in the fireplace, a coldness and a darkness that seems to permeate everything, grab hold of the Earth and never let go until spring, when the ground would get soggy with all its melting snow. I miss that.

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