‘Orientikate’ is like ‘authenticate’ but is concerned with truths encountered along the way. The WordPress handle I chose because I am fascinated by the mystery and miracle of emergence, and have a particular fondness for the O Oriens antiphon sung on the winter solstice celebrating the coming of the Light. Where I was born, Advent was celebrated in when the light was strongest; I, however, hatched at the winter solstice. Where I live now, it is celebrated during Advent, when the light is coming back from its uttermost least.
Once upon a time I became one of the far flung & I fetched up on a distant archipelago in the North Pacific, a place beyond my wildest southern African dreams. It was only going to be for a year. Anyone with passing familiarity with the God of Surprises, or the Yiddish proverb concerning plans and divine laughter, may well smile. By now over half of my life has been lived Elsewhere, mostly in the land of the Rising Sun.
I worked in the capital for a few years before withdrawing to the relatively bucolic pace of the provinces. A beautiful inland sea lies to the south, and a blue ring of hills semi-surrounds the town. For the time being, my home is riverside among a row of sakura tree tops. Across a tottery wooden bridge there floats an idyllic island garden and a small, black castle called Crow.
By some twist of fate, or irony, or grace, I am a teacher. I’m still figuring out what that means. All I know for now is that happiness in the classroom is a clue I am privileged to pursue. I ply my craft at a University, a place the locals call a mission school. I’m still figuring out what that means, too.
I love those stories of scientists looking and looking and looking at a little piece of sky and with patience and imagination and with a bit of sensory and technological tweaking, gradually being able to see more and more of what has been there all along. That’s another flavor I associate with ‘orientikate’, coming to see more, and more clearly.
Here, I’d like to share things that light my way, deepen my awareness & leave tracks along my spiraling journey on the planet. I am jazzed, more than is probably good for my career, by the many enthusiasms of the amateur and generalist . . . as if I were headed for Ithaka (stopping at Phoenician trading stations for ‘mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind’ and also in at ‘Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.’) The poet, Cavafy, advises: ‘Keep Ithaka always in your mind. . . But do not hurry the journey at all.’ Yes and yes!
You are welcome! I hope you find something good within.
p.s. If you’d like to contact me personally, I can be reached at towittowoo [at] outlook [dot] com.