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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in Parabola's LiveJournal:

Friday, December 1st, 2006
9:19 am
I'm deep into the first issue of my new subscription. Very happy to be getting it in the mail on a regular basis. I haven't gotten very far - I've been savoring it every morning on my bus ride to work, trying not to plow through it immediately and leave me wanting more.

This issue is about "home" both literally and figuratively, but I've noticed an emphasis on "awareness" as well - our awareness of the here and now, and how we connect and interact with the world. Also an awareness of the home inside ourselves, and whether it is healthy or ailing, and the importance of making a good home in the Self above all else.

I'm not even halfway through the book, but I was particularly touched by the interview with Thich Nhat Hanh and what he said about the parents' responsibility of teaching by example - showing children what it means to love and to listen to each other is the main influence of their upbringing. I truly believe this to be so, and I am really looking forward to sharing this experience with my own children someday, because my husband and I find so much fulfillment in caring for each other. His words have given me a new incentive to visiting our local Buddhist monastery to increase my mindfulness in these regards.

Parabola seems to know what's going on in my life and seemingly tailors their issues to match. I first read the Marriage issue right after I got engaged. And this issue arrived the same week that we moved into a new house. I'm still struggling with making it a home, and at the same time, I feel more at home there than I have in any other place so far. I look forward to finishing the issue and exploring my new thoughts about home here.
Thursday, June 15th, 2006
4:21 pm
I just came from eBay, where I was looking up old issues of Parabola. Not bad pricing for some of them, and there are plenty available. You can basically get them for the price of a new magazine, but with shipping included.

My first back-issue is going to be the 2004 Marriage issue, since that was the first one I read. I gave it to someone who was going through a divorce because it included a wonderful essay on it. I thought it was important to include that in a volume on marriage - it must be contemplated when you are making decisions like that. And I hope it somehow brought my friend a sense of peace about her own separation, since its main point was that sometimes we have to sever a relationship when it is not serving anyone in a good way. It wasn't an excuse for not trying, but rather an exploration of relationships that are more hurtful than helpful.

Did anyone read this issue, and what did you think?

Or for new posts - what is your favorite back issue, or one that you'd recommend? The magazine has been around for 30 years, and I'm just starting to discover what it holds. I wish I had the entire catalog. Which one should I get first? :)
Saturday, June 3rd, 2006
3:16 pm
Absence and Longing
I'm not yet through with the latest issue, "Absence and Longing" (I usually take my time reading an issue throughout the season), and it's already a recent favorite. I'm picking up a theme throughout: that longing is an inherent human quality that is paradoxically evidence of love, presence and unity. We tend to think of longing as something negative, but really we are duped because it is an inescapable and necessary aspect of our nature, and there are many forces out there and inside ourselves, that misplace the longing, toward ungratifying goals.

The basic notion that you find God by searching for God, is at play here. You are at one with your Beloved by yearning for his/her presence. It's the fear of absence and longing that kills us, not absence and longing themselves. As alluded to in the piece, "In Time," we begin life with arms outstretched to nothing, and if lucky enough to die of old age, often we do so raising our arms up again as if reaching for something intangible again. The key is to embrace the need, listen to the calling, and accept and celebrate it for what it is: a communication with the heart.

Speaking of "In Time," the end of that article struck me especially. As an archivist I know the feeling of going through old documents, especially correspondence, and feeling like I am invading them, but also reawakening them. On a good day at work I will experience that curiosity, mystery, longing that letters or other manuscripts hold of the past. It's a great job for someone whose mind likes to use the present to explore the past and arrange it for the future.
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