"Articulate" is a fascinating word in that it captures a very fundamental idea related to connectedness, harmony and flow. A person can speak articulately, and they can successfully (or not) articulate an idea. A mechanism can be articulated, such as the human hand or the links on a chain. Likewise, ideas can be articulate in how they are connected to each other. This also allows us to say that a painting or a philosophical position is articulate.
Among the 250 to 750 thousand words estimated to be in the English language, only a small and hallowed few contain the essence of such a fundamental idea that it pops up so profoundly in so many contexts.
I have a fondness for the word, if that wasn't already apparent by this point, and it has a lot of personal meaning for me. I relate to the word in terms of speech and writing, two things I enjoy doing and which I have practiced for most of my life. I also associate the word with how my life has been put together, its articulation.
I keep expecting after that passing of each year that it will be the one in which unique surprises and new plateaus start to thin out and become the exception rather than the norm. Over thirty five years in to this existence of mine and it hasn't happened yet. The punctuation marks in my life have come in an unusual stream with fewer comas, semicolons and periods than one probably should expect. Rather there's been a fairly steady series of short loud phrases mixed with questions of unusual severity that have combined to create something like a Jackson Pollock canvas. Not that I would change anything. The path we each walk is the one that leads to where we are, with no other path leading to that point. It is a process that is sacred in a way that requires no deity to say it is sacred for it to be so.
It's been a pretty amazing ride at times: I've had the privilege to live in what can best be described as "magical" places. I recently heard one such former home described as being "idyllic" during the period that I happened to be there. (To be clear: it obviously wasn't idyllic because I was there, but I had the opportunity to experience that.) I was blessed to have met two particularly amazing people who played roles in my life that my parents probably should have, and I had a sister who watched over me with her heart and her being. I have had the opportunity to love great loves, though none greater than the love that found me in the form of my son. These are among the experiences that I cherish.
The universe likes balance, however, and there are stretches in my story that I would not have chosen for myself. Every mountain leaves a valley, or as Eddy Vedder wrote, "I have faced it, a life wasted. I'm never going back again." I've lived in places and experienced moments far less than idyllic. Yet while life has been unpredictable and untamable, it has also been alluring and rewarding. It has held me like the ocean does a ship.
Today is the usual. I'm in the midst of a confluence of events that in combination have been taking all the attention, energy and resources I can provide. I am embroiled in a custody battle for my son so that he may accompany me to Zurich, something that would be amazing for him and which would provide a continuity to the last three years of he and I sharing an abode together. Regardless of the outcome, I am moving to a new the place that will become my home from which I can do that which I do, and a place where I will be doing something quite specific that I had honestly not foreseen for myself even a couple years ago: getting married to a rather wonderful person. That she is half-way around the world from me seems to make it all the more fitting. As all this swirls in the now, I am looking forward to this future that begins at the end of winter, even if the right now is proving challenging to walk through.
Those who may have been wondering at my relative absence from some of my usual haunts (irc, for example; personal business projects for another) may understand a bit more of the why. I feel rather poorly about things like "Project Elegance" not getting lift-off (especially after the work some of us put into the foundations for it), but such is life and I know that there will be space later for all of this.
Last night I poured myself a hot bath, added some gently scented oils, lit candles and turned off the lights; I cracked open a new (for me) book that is turning out to be brilliant (he says, only 85 pages in) while listening to music sung by people with perfectly imperfect voices, voices they used to present our collective souls through. Most simply, and profoundly: I breathed. It's easy to forget how fundamentally useful it is to do that task well. It was cleansing, literally and otherwise, and the thinking has been denser and clearer since.
Thoughts have been turning around and around during and after, pondering the articulation of my life. I thought about those I've spent time with in the past and those who are part of my life now. I thought about how I am using my existence.
Among other things, I started drafting some thoughts about articulation within the context of KDE. That is for another blog entry, however. We have much to do.