Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grinning, Shivering, At The Intertwingling

A goal you once thought was unreasonable is now seeming quite within your reach. You may have to break one of your bad habits in order to get there, but this is not as hard as it would have been last week.

Scorpio for May 28

Horoscopes by Holiday Mathis

Before I moved out of my house a few weeks back, I’d start almost every morning by going for a walk and buying a local paper, the Chicago Sun-Times.

On my morning walk I’d see a woman named Susan and I’d usually spend a few minutes every day talking to Susan. Susan is a Pisces and every day I’d read her what the Sun-Times astrologer Holiday Mathis had to say about her sign.

We’d talk about whether the horoscopes seemed just random or just generically meaningful or strangely connected to the particular things going on in our lives.

Some mornings Susan’s daughter, Kimberly, a Libra, would play along. That was always fun because Susan is just about my age and Kimberly is twenty so our morning talks would have not just a male and female perspective but also a young person’s take on the whole business of astrology.

More often than not the three of us agreed that although many of the daily horoscopes did seem just random or just generically meaningful, sometimes the horoscopes offered by Holiday Mathis appeared to be strangely particular and strangely—weirdly—right in tune with events unfolding in our lives.

We had lots of conversations about the interconnectedness of all things.

It was a fun way to start the day. And even if—in the cosmic scheme of things—there is no nuts-and-bolts basis underpinning astrology, the three of us got to spend a few moments every day thinking about our lives, weighing various issues, imagining possible outcomes. Any thinking is better than no thinking.

Since the start of the month, since I moved out of my house, I haven’t seen Susan or Kimberly every day. I see them once or twice a week, but we no longer share any time together talking about our horoscopes, talking about our lives.

And at the start of this week, the local paper, the Chicago Sun-Times, fired Holiday Mathis and replaced her with some new astrologer.

The interconnectedness of all things.

Holiday Mathis is still syndicated in many other papers and I can get her horoscopes off the internet.

But right after Susan and Kimberly and I stopped beginning our days by reviewing her forecasts in the Sun-Times, the Sun-Times dropped her forecasts.

I talked to Susan about it yesterday. We both agreed: That was pretty weird.

It was pretty weird the way Holiday Mathis would often get details and specific elements of our lives incorporated into her daily forecasts and it was pretty weird that as soon as we were no longer checking out the paper for her daily forecasts the paper stopped printing her forecasts.

The interconnectedness of all things.

It’s the weird, little things that can make you suspect there is a plan, an order, a design at work in the universe around us.

It’s the weird, little things that give us glimpses into the Goblin Universe.

It makes you smile, grin even.

But sometimes, too, it makes you shiver . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ted Nelson created
a very cool portmanteau word
about something like this
decades ago when he wrote:

In an important sense there are no "subjects"
at all; there is only all knowledge,
since the cross-connections
among the myriad topics of this world
simply cannot be divided up neatly.
... Hierarchical and sequential structures,
especially popular since Gutenberg,
are usually forced and artificial.
is not generally acknowledged—
people keep pretending
they can make things hierarchical,
categorizable and sequential
when they can't.”

Now Intertwingularity
has its own Wikipedia page!

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