The Lichtenbergian Society had its Annual Meeting on Saturday night, and much raucous was had by all. As expected, I was excoriated for the successful publication of Lichtenbergianism: procrastination as a creative strategy — a resolution was introduced to strip me of my chairmanship — and the others were of course proud of their more lackadaisical results from the past year.
Here's a lovely little RITUAL within our Annual Meeting: the coals. At that very first meeting in 2007, we all took coals from the fire home with us. We each made a chalice to hold them, and the point was to place them somewhere in our workspace as a reminder of the work we were AVOIDING.
Then, the following year, we brought our coals back to toss in the fire after we'd copped to the year's Proposed Efforts.
We'd get new coals from the fire for the coming year. For eleven Annual Meetings now I've been scooping up coals and setting them aside to cool, and it's as much a part of the meeting as the rest of the agenda.
I made my chalice from a small ceramic cup I made one summer 30 years ago with copper sheeting and aluminum wire added. It sits on my desk and can be seen in most of the photos of my workspace. (Cecil, the new Assistant Assistive Feline™, has show interest in eating the coals, but then he will gnaw on anything.)
It's a gentle reminder to pay attention to what I'm not paying attention to, and also that I have a scenius that is paying attention as well. I like to think it has made a difference.
(We did come up with a very good t-shirt idea: LICHTENBERGIANS — PREPPING FOR THE EVENTUALARITY SINCE 2007. Available soon at a CafePress store near you.)