Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Arianrhod's Dance and the seed of autumn

Tonight I read the autumn equinox section in Arianrhod's Dance by Julie White and Graeme Talboys. Some excerpts:
As with spring, the symbol of the autumn equinox is the seed. However there is a subtle difference between the seed planted and the seed harvested. That we planted seeds that we may plant them again may seem like an endless task without point, but it is only part of a much greater cycle. No seed is exactly the same as the seed from which it has grown. Each has within it the nourishment and the memory of the previous cycle....As individuals, we carry that forward in our own developing lives. However, we also carry it forward from generation to generation so that it lives beyond us....Genetically modified foodstuffs...break the cycle of development. If that should happen -- with food or in a wider sense -- wisdom is lost, our strength is gone, and we will wither....we must choose our path and work within it....Tomaotes are no better than fish. However, fish genes have no place in tomatoes.
At my job, I feel sometimes like a tomato trying to fill the role of a fish. At home on my balcony, looking at the trees and listening to the crickets, I feel like myself. I feel how I have grown from my parents, carrying forward their wisdom, while also being my own unique self.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The gift of charm

Where I work, we receive telephone inquiries. Several months ago, someone called with some of the usual questions. Two people he spoke to commented to me, "He's very charming." Usually, it's normal to get inquiries, and usually it pretty much goes routinely, and so usually there's no comment made about it. But this person was so outstandingly different that he inspired two separate people to remark about him.

Over the past few weeks, I have had occasion to interact with this person face-to-face a number of times, including one lengthy conversation. The effect continues to be the same. This person is charming. When I talk to him, I feel I want the conversation to continue.

I recently read Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton. In that world, elves have the power to create a "glamorie." With glamories, elves can cause themselves to look different, cause someone to fall in love with them, or cause someone to want to do something.

It occurs to me that this charm that this person has is much the same. He seems to have some magic power to cause people to be positively inclined toward him.

I expect that it is most effective in superficial relationships. It's a surface behavior, and when you get to know someone really well, sometimes the surface behaviors become less relevant. But, it is a very useful ability to have.

Several of my relatives seem to have something similar. They travel, and they can arrive in a town with very little, and the next thing you know, people are offering them jobs and housing.

Charm is a very powerful gift, which can make it much easier to get many of the things we want. But just as in the fantasy novels, each gift also has its costs, and each person has different gifts. I admire the gift of charm and wish I had it, but I know that I have my own gifts, and I know that people blessed with the gift of charm may be unhappy or may wish for different gifts. There are people I love who are completely bereft of charm, and so I know that my lack of charm does not make me un-loveable.