Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Empty Path

The gentle reader may have noticed that Walhydra has been on a vacation of sorts since her last post.

That's because her amanuensis has been busy trying to figure out how to create another blog...and how to boil down all the things he wanted to say into an initial post.

For several months he's been reading the blogs of other Quakers and Pagans...and Pagan Quakers...and Quaker Pagans...and Nontheists...and so on, all part of an interesting cyber-conversation about religious group identity compared and contrasted with religious group membership.

There were so many good posts and comments, triggering so many deep responses on his part, that he was bogged down in the outlines-of-outlines-of-outlines stage of composing, well on his way to a dissertation—or at least an honors thesis.

After a week or so of watching him stumble through this increasingly intellectual exercise, Walhydra reminded him of what a dear friend of hers said recently:

God wants witnesses, not lawyers, so testify, don't argue.

"Just tell them what you know at the moment, not what you think would be clever to say...if you could figure out how to."

Walhydra can be a ruthless English teacher when she has to.

In any event, that gave the gay, fifty-something, etc., the impetus to finish a first post and go public with The Empty Path.

Walhydra is not at all pleased with the comment on the Profile page: "Walhydra came into being as a storytelling device."

"The nerve!" she snorts. "And after all I've done for him!"

But she understands that mere humans—especially writers, who are the merest—have to have their fantasies about being the real center of the universe. Walhydra knows who actually is, so she deigns to ignore the slight.

In any event, she sort of agrees with the About page, which explains—or pretends to—the blog's subtitle, "Nonaligned faith and practice in the present."

She just thinks this boy is way too serious.

For now, she's content to close with the Stephen Jay Gould epigram from the blog sidebar:
Our mind works largely by metaphor and comparison, not always (or even often) by relentless logic. When we are caught in conceptual traps, the best exit is often a change in metaphor—not because the new guideline will be truer to nature...but because we need a shift to more fruitful perspectives, and metaphor is often the best agent for conceptual transition.
Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History
New York, NY:W.W. Norton & Co., 1991, p.264
And so it is.

Bless├Ęd Be.

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