Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shaman's Greeting

[Play while reading]

The sky was bruised this morning in the direction of sunrise. This can only mean that the sun has become caught in Ilmarinen's forge.* The sun has been headed in that direction for some months now, despite our warnings and supplications. The struggle spread across the southern sky. Ilmarinen released the sun, but made it promise to return tonight. I guess it was inevitable when the water refused to freeze in the birdbath, now for two nights. Three ravens flying overhead have told me what is needed, though.

The sun can be untangled only if the Senate passes the New START treaty. The great sage Eisenhower told us many turnings ago that we were on a path that could lead to the sun's capture, and now we are facing that terrible prospect. The next few days will be critical. I will continue to report.

Now I return to my hut. We all must pass the next few days in penance, in streets and stores crowded with demon-possessed people.

*Or Wotan's, Vulcan's, Hephaestus's. I'm an inclusive shaman.


Charles Cameron (hipbone) said...


Stephen O'Leary said...

Wonderful post, Cheryl--thanks. May I inquire as to the title of your blog? I'm familiar with "phronesis"--Greek for prudence or practical wisdom, the master virtue in Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics--but what is meant by "phronesisaical"?

helmut said...

That would be my job since I'm the culprit. I'm a philosopher by training who's a professor of public policy, where I arrived largely by intellectual temperament and how I think about the present and future role of philosophy. Phronesis is a central concept for me.

The blog was created five years ago through no particular design while I was browsing someone else's blog as a 3am break from reading, that particular night, parts of Aristotle's Politics and his two works on ethics.

I clicked the "create your own blog" link at the top of the blog I was browsing just out of curiosity, to see what was involved. Ten minutes or so later I had my own blog set up, which I hadn't planned, and needed only to give it a name. I had no idea, looked around, eyes falling back to Aristotle and "phronesis" came to mind. That would be the blog title. But "practical wisdom" seemed pretty pompous as a blog title. Given the unplanned route by which I had gotten to that point, combined with the fleeting thought that maybe self-awareness of practical wisdom risks its chaos (as virtuous habit made present to one's consciousness of self may undermine its habit-ness), I thought of "maniacal" and wanted to append the term's suffix to "phronesis." But, being 3am and all, I didn't notice I had misspelled the suffix until I had already clicked "done."

Thus was born the ugly (so as to be "safe from kidnappers") and near ungoogleable term, "Phronesisaical."