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May/June 2001

 

Damn Everything But The Circus

e.e. cummings


 

Who's In Charge Here?

"Since we are gods, we might as well get good at it." said the slogan on Stewart Brand's original Whole Earth Catalog.  Some people, including God's own son, have been crucified for daring to equate themselves with God.  It remains, nevertheless, one of the most theologically logical explanations of who we are, as well as who God is.

Christian fundamentalists claim that God will not let us destroy the world, ("only God can do that"), believing that everything is completely in God's hands, so why worry!  How does such an idea square with the clear historical fact that God has allowed us to acquire and apply the most horrifying methods of mutual self-destruction, resulting in the increasingly precarious condition of our entire earthly environmental system?

Will God - or maybe the aliens - jump in at the last minute and say, "Wait just a minute!" You can't do that to yourselves! I won't let it happen!"  Don't count on it.  did God intervene during the holocaust to save his own chosen people?  No, and that's just the point.  We have been gifted with remarkable intelligence and responsibility.  "To whom much is given, much will be required."  We must learn to intervene on our own and each other's behalf, that's why we have this tremendous freedom and opportunity to save the world.  We're it!  The Eternal Powers That Be have trusted us that much!  We are literally able to create the future, and inescapably we are doing just that, for better or worse, at every moment! So, yes, "since we are gods, we might as well get good at it." And the sooner the better!

-- Bill Joyner

 

a place where questions are scattered like seeds---
an atmosphere where answers for a season grow and blossom---
then another year of seasons---
it is the school the garden our life is

Today is the day of your life

--Corita 


The real circus with acrobats, jugglers and bareback riders- Also an empty field transformed, and in the tent artists and freaks, children and pilgrims and animals are gathered in communion -- us.

-- Corita Kent


Each incarnation has a total lesson.  You can't get the lesson when you say, "I'm safe, I'm only watching."   You have to participate you have to wring the sponge of each moment completely dry.

--Ram Dass


...damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won't get into the circle, that won't enjoy, that won't throw its heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence...

--S. Helen Kelley

 

Who's In Charge Here? (Part II)

"Deus abscondis," the hidden God, who is unavailable to us in a tactile, immediate way, this is the one who says to us, "It is expedient for you that I go away." God becomes more absent so that we might become more present.  This transition of responsible participation is vital to our maturation.

Sometimes I go with my 3-year-old friend, Nicholas, to his gymnastics class, where he walks on a somewhat tall balancing beam.  If I hold his hand, as he prefers, it only prevents him from being able to do this on his own.

Confidence develops from within as we are supported, encouraged and set free to try our own wings.  Who would not prefer, in some fear-filled corner of his or her mind, to be forever protected from the risk of creative personal & social development?  But common sense, natural imperatives and divine revelation direct us toward the far more rewarding goal of actually creating the future for ourselves & for the world.  So, then, let the fun continue and re-begin, world without end.  Amen!

-- Bill Joyner

 


Phone (323) 466-2157 / Fax (323) 466-2150 / email ihmla@pacbell.net 
5515 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
 


 

Love is a rose, but you better not pick it;
it only grows when its on the vine.
Hand full of thorns and you know
you've missed it.  You lose your love
when you say the word "mine."

--Neil Young


Some wonders will remain when comets & planets & suns & worlds move on through regions unknown.  Love leads on and never is in doubt.  Secure within and without.


when two souls meet their lights come together, and a single light emerges from them to feel the universal generations as a sea, and oneself as a wave in it.  This is the mystery...

--Buber


"What does this little symbol mean?" some have wondered.  I'd like to claim, in true Taoist form, that it means nothing at all. But, in fact, I did first draw it as symbolic of a bird in flight encircled somewhat by a circle of necessity.  Over the years, it has opened up in a way that expresses how I'd like the world to be, safe & experimental, open & free.

--BJ


 

 

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The Cinema Circus Movie-Go-Round
March - April 2001
Celluloid Friends Worth Revisiting

Bill Joyner

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 141 min) - After all these years, it's so gorgeous, so lyrical, a truly magical, everlasting fantasy of flight!  It is paced with great elegance & leisure, almost deliberately boring at times, but ever-ascending through familiarity into utter strangeness!  Thus are we transported beyond the sleek banality of our futuristic machinery into a realm of mystery and dreams, encountering, at last, our own incomprehensible selves.

What About Criticism? In Fellini's movie, 8 1/2, Marcello Mastroianni's character, Guido, says in a moment of moral crisis, "I wish I could tell the truth and not hurt anyone." It seems unlikely, given our great sensitivity to the criticism of others, whether truthful.

As for handling the impact of perhaps the most perniciously destructive criticisms of all, that which we direct toward ourselves, I find some of the ideas in the following article to be most helpful!

--Bill Joyner

THE NEW YORK TIMES, MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2001

Writers on Writing
You can learn to relax and love your inner critic
http://www.nytimes.com/arts
by Allegra Goodman

So why bother?  Why even begin? It is, after all, abundantly clear that you are not Henry James.  Your themes are hackneyed, your style imitative. As for your emotions, memories, insights and invented characters, what makes you think anyone will care?  These are the perfectly logical questions of the famous, petty and implacable inner critic.

Love your material. Nothing frightens the inner critic more than the writer who loves her work.  The writer who is enamored of her material forgets all about censoring herself.  She doesn't stop to wonder if her book is any good, or who will publish it, or what people will think.  She writes in a trance, losing track of time, hearing only her characters in her head.

This is a state of grace possible only when you are truly desperate to tell a story.  Suddenly you are so full of voices, ideas and events that it is as if you were rushing from the scene of the crime.  How you arrange your sentences or whether a similar tale has been told before: these could not be farther from your mind.

Treat writing as a sacred act. Just as the inner critic loves to dwell on the past, she delights in worrying about the future. "Who would want to read this?" she demands.  "Nobody is going to publish a book like that!"  Such nagging can incapacitate unpublished writers, on the other hand, know that terrible books come out all the time.  They anguish: "The reviewers are going to crucify me, and nobody will want to publish me after that."

But take a step back.  What are you really afraid of here? When you come down to it, this is just a case of the inner critic masquerading as public opinion, and playing on your vanity.

I know only one way out of this trap, which is to concentrate on your writing itself, for itself.  Figuring out what the public wants, or even what the public is: that's the job of pollsters and publicists and advertisers.  All those people study the marketplace.  But the creative artist can change the world.  A true writer opens people's ears and eyes, not merely playing to the public, but changing minds and lives. This is sacred work.

Now you may ask, what if my characters won't talk to me? What if they won't even visit? The only answer is to think and think some more, and then go out and read and look and listen some more.  do not sit and mope. Do not sigh. do not throw up your hands and give up on the whole project.  do not go back to the drawing board. There is nothing more depressing than an empty drawing board. No, go back to the world, which is where all characters originally come from.

 

"PEACE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF WAR, IT IS A VIRTUE, A STATE OF MIND, A DISPOSITION FOR BENEVOLENCE, CONFIDENCE, JUSTICE."

-- Baruch Spinoza

Faith & architectural principles erected our great temples and cathedrals; faith & the human sciences are needed to erect a social order in which the children of our enemies will be protected as surely as our own children, so that all will be safe.

--Margaret Mead

However weak or non-existent our response, God prays on for our salvation and health.  No matter how dull-witted we are in the face of daily wonders, we are continually embraced by everlasting grace, supported, defended and adored.

--Bill Joyner

 

Imagine This!

A continuous mobius strip of verba-licious images, a multi-ringed, rainbow-circus of refracted colors, a plethora of epiphanies!  Graphic reminders of buried treasures, brought to life again before our very eyes!  Seeds of affirmation and awareness to enrich the imagination.  A whirlwind of fecundity in seminal patterns of undifferentiated continuity! WOW! It must be THE 2001 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR!

THE 2001 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR

2001 Seed Catalog Calendar Cover

William T. Joyner
Editor

Printed and spiral bound 11" x 14" calendar available for a donation of $4.00 per copy including mailing cost -  for more information contact Bill Joyner 
via U.S. Mail:  P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230 
or email Bill at
joynerbill28@gmail.com  

 

The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

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