How Jung and Tolkien Tapped into the Collective Unconscious

One of my finds from my Friday drive was a Stanley no. 80 cabinet scraper. $15, which I thought was a pretty good price for one in such good condition. There was minor rusting on the hardware that came right off after a few hours in vinegar. Replacement blade coming from Lee Valley Tools.

Wonderful, ten minute documentary about the Zuni Map Project—an art project to “depict the topography of myth, memory, and prayer embedded in the land, returning a tool of power to a space of connection.”

I made a frame for a scanned copy of the Civil War letter from an ancestor.

I’m on the road today—driving from Salem to Paoli to French Lick to Loogootee, looking for old tools in junk shops and flea markets. Listening to the Why We Drive audiobook, appropriately enough.

Beautiful lavender. Also, the grapes are doing something new! Turns out they’re flowering. What I noticed before were not actually grapes but flower blooms. (Which I would have know had I thought about it a bit more carefully. What can I say? I was excited.)

OFA on how to garden vertically. Because of our limited space, we’re trying to do more of this. For example, this year we put up a PVC arch on which we’ll grow some cucumbers and melons. We already have a pergola for the grapes and honeysuckle. The malabar spinach will be growing up a fan shaped trellis. And we’re going to try a three sisters planting again this year, where pole beans climb corn stalks. (It didn’t do well last year, we theorize, because 1. we planted it too late and 2. corn doesn’t like raised beds.) As Adam Savage says, “there’s always room on the z-axis.”

Phil Ford:

Pleasure and pain, love and death, exist in an unresolved and irresolvable tension with one another. For the Preacher, only God is whole, and so we should seek God, not the broken and partial satisfactions of this life. The nihilist is a disappointed moralist, one who has given up on any principle of unity by which the broken fragments of existence can be brought together, save their negation. Thus at the heart of the nihilist’s cosmos is an endless blank void where God used to be. For Wotan, though, a principle of unity is never sought and so is never missed. To everything there is a season (a biblical line that Wotan could probably get behind), a season for each broken and unreconciled aspect of existence, and those seasons cycle endlessly. To a certain sort of mind this is a dismal prospect, an unmeaning cycle that grinds on forever. Such a mind needs a “higher purpose,” a telos, a meaning to it all, an ending to “redeem” or “transcend” the cycle. Such a mind wants a cure for the human condition. Wotan accepts the human condition as it is. He is the human condition. He is the human condition in the form of a god. There is no “cure” for him: he is enough.

Rhyd Wildermuth:

The longer the litanies of crises grow, the more favorable the winds become to return us to home. Not the idealized homes of the urban condo dwellers thumbscrolling digital catalogues of trade spoils from distant lands, nor the cramped apartments of workers crowded with cheap plastic and screens displaying simulacra of lives lived elsewhere. The home towards which these winds blow is not the “normal” we delude ourselves into believing will return after each crisis passes, nor the utopian fantasies that we can have everything we want without any of the effects our rapacious desire causes.

The home towards which these winds come is a home we may not yet recognise, since it has been so long since we’ve been there. Much has changed since we left it: fewer forests, fewer insects, fewer animals, fewer wilds. A thick dust of forgetting has fallen over every room, obscuring what we once cherished as dear and celebrated as beautiful. Too long at sea seeking wealth and wonder, we may not even remember how to live the kinds of lives one lives at home.

Fortunately, it is mostly only a matter of remembering, and it’s most often all joy. What is it like to grow a bit of one’s food at home, rather than shop for it in garishly-lit warehouses? What does one do without a screen to tell you what to think? How does one meet other humans without algorithmic filters telling you who “likes” you? How do we provide for ourselves without capitalist networks of distribution, employment, and management?

It is mostly only a matter of remembering, but it will also be a matter of learning anew, and this will not always be joy. We will need to learn anew how to survive without being told how to survive, without anyone managing our desires, telling us what we need, and re-assuring us that it’s all under control. We’ll need to wean ourselves off the opiates of lies, false visions of a future where the earth does what we want it to, rather than what it does. We’ll need to learn what addicts in recovery learn, that our sense of control was always only an illusion of control.

Columbine flowers,
red and yellow atop long,
thin stems: spring lanterns.