Sunday, June 12, 2016

American frontier: ongoing vision of realizing the Oregon trail, Reed College

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hi M,

As I woke up at 3 with the sounds of the radio (BBC) until 4, and then it coming on and off again until now, I wondered what raising my hypothetical kids will be like when they're very little and wake up in the middle of the night for long spells, and as an individual (re G.A. M.D.'s Lacanian psychoanalytic psychodynamic view within modernity re families - and re using language, where for Lacan the mind is structured like a language, so use language well to communicate). I'm someone who really values and benefits from, in recent years, 9 hours of sleep at night.

Re the ongoing vision of realizing the Oregon trail ...

From the porch of Wisdom Creek Ranch
near Union, Oregon

... this morning was a media expression of it within the B. family, (which I hope to develop further in a virtual earth with time slider and as I apply for a MIT Media Lab junior faculty position) as I finish indexing my first Harbin book. Having come out to Reed in 1979, partly possibly as I think about it now, as a further family expression of realizing the Oregon trail, and wanting to have a family myself, I wonder how best to navigate these waters of family-generation (having kids) with good nights of sleep, and in the context of a healthy subculture (in the information age). Here in terms of culture, I'm thinking of the Bs and Ms, where I live, Cuttyhunk, India, Friends/Quakers, musical subcultures / Harbin, California, the U.S. eastern seaboard, and the culture my wife-to-come/mom-to-be bears (and her profession) with her/elicits/creates around her, and what we can create in these regards too, with writing such as here too, for example.

Need to get more sleep, but may see C and her kids today, drive to Portland, go to a dance performance at Portland State that Carla (former housemate and Reed professor of dance) and fellowship with choreographers are producing.

Challenging family dynamics are interesting to strategize from, through and to learn from (longer term ones too - glad we have a post-Lacanian, post John Moneyian language for this), but it was nice to talk with D.R. yesterday from the front porch of the B's at the ranch and I'm looking forward to seeing them next Wednesday around 9:30 pm. I hope too John Paul is heading over in the afternoon, so I can visit with the Rs.

It was also nice to visit with B friends here, but the dynamic of the ranch is different with Mary gone (whose passing I mourn). And while I was so glad to see T.B. (and bring him to the ranch and back), I miss his not being here. I'm glad, never the less, the vision for the Oregon trail carries on with A living here now.

What great family dynamics (and with great careers I'd like to try to contribute to the conversation with my kids successfully about) is it possible to co-contribute too in my upcoming family? Both myself and my wife may benefit from talking/thinking practice about such questions - re online psychoanalysis (? at least methods and techniques for such talking/learning exist which have more or less a hundred year history) with great theoretical underpinnings (this is more of a challenge re many languages and cultures) given life's realities and family dynamics.

Nice to get your email yesterday which I shared with my cousin A. They're looking forward to your visiting.

I think I liked G's philosophical bent (he was a thinker and smart), and that this can possibly have been lacking along the Oregon trail along with a related thinking culture (India is old and different as are Quakers to some degree), albeit opportunity and beauty too were realized in this Oregon trail adventure and journey.

How are you?


Hi M,

As I was approaching the ranch other night, I realized how affectionate I feel toward my uncle, and as neurophysiology, which has emerged over my decades of visiting them in eastern Oregon mostly since the 1970s and then attending Reed College and visiting T and M in the 1980s. 

Eliot Hall, Reed College, 

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, Oregon

A and I were talking the other night about cemetery headstones re Dad’s on Cuttyhunk and Ted and M’s planned one in the Pioneers' Cemetery near Wisdom Creek Ranch in eastern Oregon. We were talking about what might go on their head stones for after they pass and I mentioned that Dad’s reads “Non sine lumine” – Latin for “not without light”. … I observed that T and M realized a vision, and A observed something like they lived a dream (with so much hard work) … so I wondered with Annie about something like “Realized the dream of the Oregon trail in Wisdom Creek Ranch” ... for their headstone (which isn't quite right but is a relevant idea).

I'm glad to have been able to bring T to the ranch yesterday from GRR. And T's old friend, C J and his fairly new wife, Emily, just road their tandem bicycle from Union to the ranch. Very nice to visit with them over lunch.

A's out doing hay, I'll attend a meeting online in 30 minutes re my "big project," and then probably bring T back into La Grande. Tomorrow A and I will head to Pendleton, where I think I'll get to see D. and F., I'm glad to say, then head on to a Reed reunion. Looking to meet a friend/partner/wife and mom to be ... (and someone like Emily who's 25 years younger could be a good fit - maybe at Reed).

Ted said you're coming out here on June 20th, I was really glad to hear. He seems pretty well all told.

Hi M,

Greetings from Lincoln Hall in Portland.

I've already visited Reed, checked in, and got my room.

So nice to see S.B. this morning, and help him get some tools from the ranch to plant some vineyards, and fix a fence, on his next door property. He's an alcoholic says A, but seems pretty well otherwise. I got to be arbitrator in a communication between them (am I caught in the cross-fire I later wondered about), a little scary at first because it happened suddenly. :)

Ted seems quite well all told, to repeat, and I'm so glad I saw him.

Glad too you're coming out to visit soon.

The dance is about to begin :)

L, Scott

Good morning, M!

Liking the friendliness of Portland, Oregon!

Carla's dance piece (in Summer Splendor - was really great! too yesterday evening - (and with many women attending this performance ... will I find my MD wife at something similar dance-wise in the SF Bay Area?) There's something however about the ethos of Portland last night that could be special about meeting a friend/partner/wife/mom-to-be.

Here's some lovely flute music from native American traditions (Navajo - Ute) -

Good luck preparing for your travels to visit the Bs - so glad you're heading there.

How are you and what are you up to this weekend?


Early last week 

Conestoga wagon near Prairie City, Oregon


Monday, June 13, 2016

Hi M,

Sending this from here as well, M!

Thanks for your call as I got into California, Ma! I just talked with T and would like to get into a rhythm of calling him daily - possibly around noon. He can hear alright, but navigating his Parkinson's can take awhile.

Arrived home around 2 (resting occasionally for safety), and 200 miles shy of the 5000 mile oil change/service, with the 'maintenance required' light coming on. Stopped at and thought about camping outside my Toyota repair place to get it serviced now this morning, since it was on the way home but decided against it. My car ran well all told getting 50 + miles per gallon! on the highway.
Check out this Conestoga wagon picture I took near Prairie City, Oregon in my blog entry - What a life (not easy!) it must have been to be a pioneer coming across the prairie! And the Bs seem to follow in these footsteps, but from the 1950s forward in Oregon.

There was one woman at Reed this reunion who was attractive, graduated in history a few years ago (so a good age to have kids), lives in Bellingham, WA, is now studying accounting there, but was neither "warm" nor "radiant" in my experience nor a MD, but it does suggest to me that I could meet someone, a friend/partner/wife and mom to be, at such a Reed reunion (due to milieu and shared code/culture partly, I'd say). Chemistry and attraction will probably over ride my "warm," "radiant" and "MD" criteria, when I meet her.
I may also explore offering to play my small pipes at a Reed reunion next year/in future years (and even as a fund raiser) in their new beautiful Performing Arts' center (which C.M. helped design and where she teaches).

Had a good trip (thanks much to A). And it was really great to see T. I hope your trip coming up there is great.

Applying now for the MIT Media Lab junior faculty position among much else in preparing to depart for Cuttyhunk on Wednesday. Moving on from the "L"s in indexing my Harbin book, and getting the minutes out from my big project and World University and School's monthly business meeting on Saturday.




Thank you to you and T for your kind hospitality, and the great opportunity to see T.

On a different note, here are some ...

insights emerging for me re our visit ...

Re your raising hand observation about talking in turn (after S.B. came in) - this seems like sensible group/family counseling (communication) practice ...

What's other sensible family counseling practice? (There are probably many many books on this, but insights with a great M.D. psychoanalyst could be very liberating). Yet acknowledgement of someone saying something probably is another good practice. 

M called as I was driving into California yesterday afternoon ...

She observed that she didn't want to talk long, that she had "Issues with my driving" (and talking on the phone) - but it was great that she called, because I don't feel we talk enough. But from this conversation I made the new further association/insight that she might have issues with my driving metaphorically, that is, both becoming a father (which could be partly why I don't yet have a partner or kids) and with heading and developing World University and School.

I think my mother called to partly acknowledge my visiting T (which is only a hunch or insight), and also my calling her earlier yesterday (which she doesn't usually acknowledge when I call her and leave a message - I worry about why she doesn't seem to pick up the phone when I call - and don't want her to get too isolated from her kids or out of touch with them, or at least me, as she ages). This is actually a big worry of mine (so I'm using language and emailing every day). And sometimes I have felt over decades occasionally a dearth of acknowledgment from both of my parents in terms of my career guidance/support.

So these are potentially interesting insights for me, and furthermore, that engaging in language (per Lacan and G.A.) can be a way for me to cope (a John Money word) with this dearth ... and perhaps nevertheless find a wife/mom to be and develop WUaS financially successfully as a career ... re my own agency regardless of my mother's "having issues with my driving."

And word-wise, my mother might "have issues with my driving" were I to have kids (e.g. that I might have kids). (Mother's roles in family communication are interesting!).

Just extending good family counseling practices beyond a) hand raising to facilitate communication to  b) acknowledgement and c) using language here, Annie .. and seeking to learn from these insights toward a good life toward kids.

Besides to say thank you, this email is all about an ecology of family communication, A, which "ecology of communication/attention" (and within the context of the US, say in comparison with Holland or any other culture) probably isn't in books on group counseling ... {The ecology of human primate communications in the information age is a new field). 

It was so nice to see you and thanks again for your wonderful hospitality.

L, S

Texted this, among other items, to Reed College friends of mine from the early 1980s now living in many places, during the reunion:

Still a poor Reedie, think I'm gonna purchase "The Gary Snyder Reader" (1999) from the Reed bookstore. Its intro by Jim Dodge begins "As the Secretary of Foolishness in the Gary Snyder Appreciation Society, and as a Reverend in the Reborn Again Taoist Dirt-Pagan Church of the Ravishingly Real, I'm loath to preach to the choir ..."  Were we here together at Reed when Gary Snyder gave the keynote at the 100th Anniversary? :)

Connecting with Reedie Gary Snyder's poetry as well as the library and a Reed Calligraphic tradition has been inspiring this reunion.


Reed College is a model for World University and School in a variety of ways that this blog makes clear too:


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