Second thought: what needs to come out of my head on this morning is Systems Thinking. Every one of my current systems is arranged in my brain this morning. They look like the various choirs from the olden days of "Musicale," when all the area's little Christian high schools would gather near one of them each year, and the adjudicators would come, and we'd take our turns impressing them, and then there'd be the night of the big performance, when all the choirs would sing a few pieces together. We'd have each been practicing them back at home for the whole school year. At Musicale, we'd sing them together. Hundreds of teenagers, each concentrating on their individual participation in the art. One year we'd learned a piece that had eight parts - two bass lines, two tenor lines, two alto lines, and two soprano lines. The choirs were split for the performance, so that four parts were one one side of that gymnasium and four on the other side, and we sang that piece back and forth across the space. It was incredible. Glorious. It was, perhaps, the most unified compound complex systems I've ever participated in, and almost forty years later I do not remember the title of the piece, but I remember that moment of glory.
This morning, I wonder if I remember it not only for its glorious art, or its focusing of all of that young energy into one laser sharp edge (was it that sharp? would a recording back up my memory of that?) ... not only for the choir-ness of it, but also for the system of it. This morning I realize how much the system matters to me. The systems. Plural. Lots of them.
There's the generally useful CAPER system I've been experimenting with.
- Collect everything you need for the coming task
- Arrange it in a useful, logical, and/or experimental way
- Perform the task
- Evaluate what happened
- Foundation Training to underlie a bit of Pilates and a lot of walking (which I don't Perform nearly as often or as consistently as I need to be). Foundation Training unifies what I've learned about "core" and aging and physicality and embodiment.
- Real Food Fermentation, and The Art of Fermentation - the beginnings of a library of reference material about getting the right systems of interactions restored in the gut. Plus, fermented foods taste good and if I can figure this out, I think I'll be able to get a healthful and delicious genuine honest to goodness local to my very house and home sourdough starter going and make some bread.
- Practical Paleo, Mark Sisson's work and books, and the other "paleo," "primal," and whole foods resources which minimize carbs in the diet. This is not because the current craze is a bandwagon and I just loooooove me a bandwagon ride (she said sarcastically, being a habitual bandwagon avoider), but because ever since I first got solid health help, back when I saw my first natural medicine sort of doctor in the seventh grade (I was in the seventh grade - the doctor was a grown up), I've been told and I've known from experience that too many carbs cause illness for me. And too little protein is always my first preference and major obstacle. Pregnancies, arthritis style illnesses, mono, stress . . . all of the health problems or challenges I've ever had say the same thing to me: fewer carbs, more whole foods, more protein. This is the way I need to eat, and these recent comers to the party are being very helpful at the moment.
- And the newest addition to this choir, Michael Mosley and company. Fasting (restricting calories to 500 in women and 600 in men) two days a week (we're only doing one here so far) has a lot of current scientific backing, and it also has my favorite systems analysis already done on it. There have been millennia of people who fast, for a variety of reasons. The data's in. Longevity and health are enhanced by a body's not being too heavy and overloaded, and fasting is a way to give the body a break and a change to repair, and it's also good for the soul.
This bit of writing brought to you by Jazzed by the Kids: the state of mind that follows a good fire. Last night's Teens Write Here session for the Imagined Ink contest at the library was ... WOW. If there's one thing I love, it's a good blaze that fills the fireplace, and last night, on the second session of TWH, there were four girls, aged 12-14. Three had been at the first session, one was new to the group. We've got a poet, a sci-fi writer, a creative nonfiction writer, and a graphic novelist! By the end of our 90 minutes, all four of those kids were completely wrapped up in enthusiasm for each other's projects, and I was barely able to keep from doing a happy dance all over the library. That's why I forgot to bring home my notebook. It took about a session and a half for the thing to catch, but when it did ... what a blaze! Go, teen writers, go!