Huh? Well first let me make one or two things perfectly clear. I am not an archaeologist nor am I a Pagan. But I am a woman, so I pay attention to cycles and circles.
My iCal app popped up today, reminding me it is Litha, the Summer Solstice. I set the calendar reminder to nudge myself into having some good Midsummer Night’s dreams, to think of the wonder that is Stone Henge, to marvel at all that has come before, and mostly to annoy some of my friends with more traditionally structured thinking than me by mentioning a, GASP, Pagan Holiday! And I am a rather nontraditional thinker. I was just discussing “thinking outside the box” with my therapist. I came to the realization that I have never had a thought that was inside the box. Or if I did have one it has long since slithered away.
In fact, one of the first dreams I ever remember having was about boxes. This is my story; if you steal it, I will hurt you. The subject was Jack-in-the-Boxes to be specific. In the dream I was a little boy, sort of cartoonish looking, so I presume I saw a cartoon from which I extrapolated. I had black hair, a round face, was wearing a sombrero, a red shirt and blue pants. I was sitting, legs straight out in front of me, at the top of the steep bank of the hill to the North of my house. To my left was a Jack-in-the-box. The dream wasn’t about the surprise of the “pop” or the scary jester face. The Jack had already popped up, and I was looking inside the box where I saw a miniature version of the scene I was in, a little boy dressed as I was, sitting on a hill, and he was looking into a Jack-in-the-box. I remember the “Ut Oh” experience I felt in the dream as I was looking in on the tiny, recursive world and realized that I had to look up into the sky. It was both sort of dreadful and sort of exhilarating as I tilted my head back and saw the outline of fracture in the sky where a lid was opening and I could see the eyes of a little boy who looked just like me as he opened a lid into my world.
This memory means so many things to me. It is an icon in and of itself, to me, but it also signifies many aspects of my self, and is a symbol for each of those aspects. (That was your semiotics lesson for the day. LOL.) And as I said, when I think about “thinking outside of the box” I realize my thoughts have never been inside the box. This dream was profound and made a lasting impression on me, obviously, but until extremely recently, I had not conceptualized at a conscious, verbal level of how it illustrates how differently I think literally outside the box, and with recursion. I don’t think most pre-schoolers have dreams like this, or if they do, they don’t remember them, or share them. I remember things back to an extremely early point in my life. I have strong, vivid imagery that accompany most of my thoughts.
So what does this all have to do with Litha and Lithics? Keep reading. Because my mind seems to employ some sort of fractal pattern in storing and recalling memories, I see patterns throughout the world around me. The books of Gregory Bateson and Douglas Hoefstaedler come to mind as good ways to tap into the pattern that connects seemingly disparate parts of our lives, such as mathematics, art and music.
This is all sort of difficult to convey. So watch this.
The evidence of thought does not fossilize, nor does it preserve itself in stone. We have the internet connecting us, now, but it does not fossilize either. The ancients with their lithic reflections of their thoughts and beliefs better capture their understanding of the universe for the ages than we do with our World Trade Towers that we have seen fit to turn to rubble. This day, this now, this Midsummer day and night of wonder, is a day we choose to conceptualize as recurring every 365 days or so. I choose to have this day be a point of reflection for what has been and what will be. Yesterday, the days were getting longer. Today, the days are getting shorter.
Enjoy the day, no matter what you do or how you think. Namaste, my friends.