A list

Health and Fitness

Trees reflected in a flooded meadow on the Columbia Gorge

I’ve been thinking about blogging about my barefoot running adventures. I’m not sure if anyone will think it’s interesting or if anyone will even read it. But it might be fun for me to read later on. Actually, I’m not running completely barefoot. I’m running in Vibrams, which do give some support. I’m liking it but it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. It’s kind of a challenge and my muscles really hurt. Way more than when I ran with shoes on. But it does feel like I’m getting more of a leg workout than running shod. So. Perhaps I’ll document this experience for posterity’s sake.

I’m reading a really good book right now called “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: a 28 day program.” It talks about meditation, the different kinds of meditation, and gets you started on a practice. I started the exercises last week and am really loving them and learning lots. I’m thinking about blogging about this too. I’ll write up a post about week one in the next day or so.

I found out about this website a few minutes ago and think its really cool. I’m thinking I’ll participate.

I’m kind of (kind of) thinking about playing with my Spartus Vest Pocket Camera. I bought some 127 film for it a couple of years ago and have been terrified to use it. But I’m thinking about throwing caution to the wind and having fun with it. There is a place in Portland that develops 127 film, which is very cool. I’d like to go pay them a visit sometime soon to see what kinds of toy cameras they have on inventory. I’m going to admit, some of my fear of taking photos with this camera is the idea of getting my film developed by someone else. Someone who will see what I’ve taken and will, possibly, judge my work. When I used to shoot film there would be times when I shot a roll (or two) of terrible photos and it would be so embarrassing to pick up my prints and know that the developer saw my bad photos. The thought that they might be judging me really bugged me. But I so need to get over this. It’s silly and dumb and preventing me from having fun.

A couple of Facebook friends reminded me that 25 years ago today the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster happened. My friend, Dianne, posted the video, which I hadn’t seen in 25 years. It was really weird to see it again. What a sad day.

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Review: Tinkers by Paul Harding

Books, Music, Art, Movies

TinkersTinkers by Paul Harding

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

wow. I am blown away by this book. At some point I will read it again. It’s that kind of book.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. The first few sentences brought tears to my eyes as they perfectly described the scene in my Mom’s house a year ago when Doug died:

George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died. From the rented hospital bed, placed in the middle of his own living room, he saw insects running in and out of imaginary cracks in the ceiling plaster. Once Snugly pointed and glazed, stood loose in their sashes. The next stiff breeze would topple them all and they would flop onto the heads of his family, who sat on the couch and the love seat and the kitchen chairs his wife had brought in to accommodate everyone.

That passage hit all to close to home. I often wonder what was going through Doug’s mind when he laid on the hospital bed in the middle of my Mom’s living room.

Honestly, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to read it before now. I’ve, thankfully, reached a place where I can think about Doug’s death without breaking out into sobs. Also, without the experience of watching him die, I’m not sure I’d be able to take as much away from this book as I am able to at this moment.

I’m really glad I read it.  The book was very profound. I need to read it again. In fact, I’ve downloaded the Kindle version and will actually read it rather than listen to it.

There were a few points that confused me. But I’m not sure this is the kind of book one can understand on an intellectual level. It doesn’t have a plot, and that bothers some reviewers on Goodreads. It is the hallucination of a dying man. Do hallucinations ever have plots? Do dreams have plots? No they don’t. They are a series of metaphors and images that might seem like they are strung together with a plot, but when you try to figure out what that plot is in the morning it seems to fade away; and you are left with vivid imagery.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book all morning since I finished it. It is making me think about the veil between this life and what lies beyond this life. Whether it be what one might call “heaven” or whether it be past lives, or other lives that we might be living simultaneously (since time and space are an illusion). It makes me think about how, sometimes, that veil is very thin.

I’ll end this post with this beautiful passage from Tinkers (the one that got me thinking about this stuff):

He saw no reason to doubt that this shadow dreamed just as he did for the reason that he could imagine himself to be a shadow of something-someone-else and that perhaps even his sleep, his dreams, constituted his duty as a shadow of someone else and that perhaps while that someone else dreamed, he was free to live his waking life, so that this alternating interdependent series of lives formed a sort of intaglio; the waking day of each shadow was the opposite side of its possessor’s sleep.

Photography Friday: a day in Portland

Photography

On Monday I met my friend Preita in Portland at a coffee shop called Coava. It is located, I guess, in South East Portland? I’m not super familiar with all of the neighborhoods yet. Preita has a list of places she wants to check out and I’m pretty open for anything so we met there. it was kind of an interesting place. Not your typical cafe. There were only 4 choices as far as coffee drinks go. I chose some sort of Costa Rican coffee drink and it was pretty good. Preita has a funny little write up about the place on her blog. You should go read it. It made me giggle.

We sat and knitted and chatted and had a great time! After awhile we got hungry and wandered down the street to a sandwich shop that was connected to a really interesting shop that sold salvaged stuff. Both of us also being photographers, we wandered through there with our cameras and had a fantastic time taking pictures of all of the old crap that they had. It was all very cool old crap though! eventually the shop turned very modern and hip (and kind of spendy). But still very cool. I bought some overpriced glasses. They are old pop bottles re-molded into juice glasses. Super adorable. Another thing that they had that was awesome (that I didn’t take a picture of) were old door lock casings turned into bracelets. The shop is called Rejuvenation and totally worth the look if you are in the area.

Here are some more pictures from the day:

the answer

Random

After a few days of staying away from the news and getting some distance from the horrible news story on Saturday, I’ve realized the answer to my question. It came as a result of watching this video:

Keith Olberman pretty much sums up everything I’ve been thinking about the situation very eloquently and succinctly. He says it much better than I ever could. Granted, it’s a little over the top, but still. The point is made.

There is a ubiquitous quote by Gandhi has almost become cliche, it’s quoted so often.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

It is a very profound statement.

I can only control what I do. I can’t control others. I can’t expect anything from others. All I can do is be the change. So I will.

However, am not a media personality. So my behavior isn’t going to have much of an impact on the media, really. But I am so happy to hear people like Keith Olberman, who is a media personality, come out and say that he isn’t going to participate in this violent rhetoric. That is a good step in the right direction.

On the assassination attempt of Congresswoman Giffords

Random
Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t written anything political on this blog for a very long time but today I’m very upset. Yesterday the Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head at close range, along with several other people, six of them killed. One of them being a 9 year old child.

Am I jumping the gun by saying this was an assassination attempt? Maybe I am. I’m sure people could accuse me of that since “the facts aren’t in yet.” But there are facts that are in. And some of those facts are that the person who committed this terrible act posted anti-government ramblings on a website (according to the New York Times).

Just a little observation here: I do wonder why the media isn’t immediately calling this an assassination attempt. If this were a male congressman would it be different?

These events have shed some light on something that has been in the shadows of our culture for a few years now. This culture of hate that has been lingering underneath the surface. It was brought to light yesterday in the form of an image that appeared on Sarah Palin‘s website earlier this year. It is the image of the United States of America with cross-hairs over those districts that Palin wants to “take back.” This image was accompanied by tweets that used violent rhetoric to make her point. Example:

It is interesting to note that Congresswoman Giffords, herself, commented on Palin’s crosshair graphic in an interview, and was concerned with what it implied.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”

Palin was caught in the beam of the light-shedding yesterday, and was the focus of it. But it’s not just Palin. It’s our media culture. It’s bigger than just Palin, though Palin should be held responsible for her actions. It is this idea that it is o.k. to incite the pubic in this way. It is this idea that it is o.k. to use violent rhetoric to make a point. Sure, most people can read Palin’s tweets and not go out and commit murder. But, obviously, there are people who take this language to heart and will go out and literally point the crosshairs at the target, aim, and fire. This is not acceptable. A fucking 9 year old child was killed yesterday.

So what is the answer? I don’t know. I’m angry and I’m not sure how to direct this anger. Obviously, spewing more hate is not the answer. You can’t get rid of hate with more hate. But the good thing about anger is that it does spur action. The question is, what action needs to be taken? How can we move away from this culture of hate that seems to be getting worse?