Person Who Lives Outside All of the Boxes

Written on May 15, I’m just typing it up and think WOW.  How did I miss this?  Another message from the one who knows to the part of me who doesn’t know yet.

“What name is big enough for me?” comes from the Margaret Wheatley piece:  

To Hold Your Work Free from both Hope and Fear

Wondering what name is big enough for me.  “Healer of the world”?  Keeper of the Calendar?  Stonehenge — cross quarter days — megalithic instrument in the far north to measure the wiggle of the moon — Professor Thom and Callanish — circles whose ratio C/D is 3 exactly — “Pi” is some weird kind of number…  at which point I can’t remember exactly what it is about “Pi.”  That’s how long it’s been since I’ve thought about that stuff.  Mr. Gropen and catching a lion in the desert.  The larger class of infinity.  The Good Woman of Setzuan.  

Healer of the World

“Pi” is a non-repeating decimal

Something about the program won’t let me publish the Greek letter “Pi” so I express it this way.

Mr. Gropen taught math at Wellesley.  He was fond of telling us odd features of mathematics.  He was actually in the college production of Good Woman of Setzuan, and commented that he was surprised that more students weren’t interested in the play.

After I typed this up I added, in brackets, which indicates something added later: [person who lives outside all the boxes]  Mr. Gropen taught outside the box, Professor Thom discovered amazing feats of mathematics by the neolithic people who built the megaliths.

Callanish is my favorite stone circle.

A sense of who I might have been without trauma.  Well, no, that is who I am — can’t find words for it — I am still that person, not warped or limited by PTSD, instead applying my intelligence — curious, open, ready to move outside the box — to PTSD.  Here’s something big enough to really get my teeth into.  Not the universe out there, but the universe in here.

I say “not warped or limited by PTSD” — PTSD certainly limited my life on the surface: I was never a suburban mom, or a professor of Astronomy.  But my exploration of the inner realm of PTSD is not that different, in challenges and hard work, from explorations  of a mountain range, or Antarctica.

I think this is a result of what Erica said yesterday.  I am able to be with myself in present time.  I am able to be “natural,” to be who I am without the constriction of judgment.  She is amazed and impressed by my willingness to be with the process of aging, to be with real data in real time.  My goodness.

“To be with real data in real time” is the practice of being in the present, which I have learned by staying with intolerable emotional pain.

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