January 29, 2012
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
- George Washington Carver
January 25, 2012
You trump Robbie Burns' birthday every year, Mom. Hope you and Dad and Mr. Burns are sharing some of Dad's fruitcake and a good strong mug of tea. Here's my cup of kindness in the form of a song. Love.
January 24, 2012
There are debates as to whether photography provides false memories. Some say that photographs diminish true memories, replacing organic, expansive memory with an image that might provide a different truth than reality. Others suggest that without photography we may not remember very much about the past, without a concrete image, things slip away. I tend towards the latter - I have a notoriously terrible memory especially with names and even with faces. I can remember being in a field at three, the spun flowers, the dancing insects in the shafts of sunlight. I cannot recall what I had for lunch yesterday. I can remember how I felt looking out my parents' screened porch windows at about eight, the full scan of the sky through the screen's mesh; I can recall vividly whom I loved and how much I loved them; as for my share or more of difficulty, fortunately the sharpness of sorrows and pain are recalled but in a rounded, softer-edged way. There is such grace in the passing of time. But I love photography because within every image of every photograph I have taken, I recall the entire moment, the sounds, smells, feeling, which I would have otherwise lost. I once didn't recognize a woman from a baby group I was in - she was in a dentist's parking lot and out of context I had no idea who she was and why she was talking to me. But show me a photograph and I can tell you every detail. My life savers, my heart's documents, my snapshots. A photo of my daughter's tiny pink and green sneakers on a bathmat in an old apartment - and I remember for that rounded moment of perfect grace, my daughter as a very young child and the sounds outside the window and how much fun the day had been. Such a gift. She, curiously, has the same rotten memory as me (and my older son and husband, we don't know yet about the youngest boy) and she too has the same gift of photography and time capturing. How about you? What do photographs bring to your table?
January 22, 2012
These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air,
And, like the baseless fabric of vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with sleep.
- (Prospero), William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 4.1
January 19, 2012
Amazing how some people just are gleeful that this woman has diabetes now. I have no really strong feelings about her cooking, her tv persona, her health revelations, her new gig touting diabetes drugs. At least the news shows are talking about something else than the Kardashians. It wasn't until I was in Scotland with my sister watching real news on the BBC, news about the entire world, and then returned home to see endless Lindsay Lohan segments leading the news on all the major channels and barely a mention of any world events, did I realize how entirely vacuous we are as a nation newswise. And worse than that - how terribly unkind. They just are sharpening the knives on this one. It smacks a bit of the Martha Stewart thing - where people could not wait to bring her down (including women who should have been up in arms as feminists that a powerful woman was being hung out to dry where a man would have gotten off with a slap). So what if one of them pushed home tips and one pushes biscuits and gravy. Lots of people like home tips. Lots of people lke gravy with their biscuits. There is no gun to your head forcing you to watch or listen to either of them.
The Paula Deen thing has the added bonus for the wagging tongues that she is from the South and the newsmakers in NY and CA all consider the South as something less than. At any rate, I would like to see something else villified - cruelty, slander, hurtfulness, unkind acts. Oh, that we could all work up a lather about someone being deliberately mean and hurtful. Or about the fact that we live in a vaccuum here and no one seems to care about the world beyond the Linday Lohans and the Paula Deens....color me cranky, we are all sick in this house and I am dismayed at what passes for television and news concerns during the daytime viewing hours. Oh, yes, and - be well, Ms. Dean.
January 15, 2012
January 13, 2012
These fisherman enjoying the last of the mild weather for January will probably not be on the pier this weekend...daughter and I just came back from errands - baby, it's cold out there. We just watched Water for Elephants - they did justice to the very good book by Sara Gruen (book was, of course, better) and the actor - the Twilight star guy - made you forget he was the Twilight star guy, said my daughter, and it was true - high praise indeed.
January 8, 2012
"My way of thinking is completely different," he says. "I have no such mountains to scale; basically, I find that living itself is a struggle, and if I'm satisfied, if I have just done that, lived well, in the evening I sigh and say, 'It was okay.'"
"Do you have bad days?"
"Yes, but it's important to put them in the perspective of insignificance. Even if you have achieved great things, it is a sort of theatre playing in your mind. You think it is so important, but actually you have not made a difference to anyone's life."
"So you're saying, Karma, that both our greatest achievements and our greatest failures are equally insignificant?"
"Yes. We like to think we really made a difference. Okay, in the week's scale it may have been interesting. Take another forty years, I'm not so sure. Take three generations, and you will be forgotten without a trace."
"And you find this a source of comfort? I find it terribly depressing."
"No, as we say in Buddhism, there is nothing greater than compassion. If you have done something good, then in the moment you should feel satisfaction. I used to kill many flies and mosquitoes every day because they give me some fear of malaria, but sometimes I don't do that. I have a moment of pause and think, 'Well, he is not harming me, not directly threatening me. He is defenseless. Why am I crushing it? So then I release it, and there is a moment - it is an insignificant act, I know - but there is a moment of genuine peace. I just let it go."
Conversation between Karma Ura and (author) Eric Weiner, The Geography of Bliss
January 7, 2012
Watching the suave and debonair Zen on Masterpiece mystery PBS the other night and thinking how much is said through gesture, expression, the raised eyebrow, the curve of a mouth. So much is said without words and said so adroitly that it made me consider how I must dilute a lot of what I say with all my endless cha cha cha of words...how do gulls play into this thought? Well, they got very chatty later when an older woman threw bread from her car window in the parking lot by the water...and on such a pretty fake Spring day, I could not resist a swing by seaside after a slice of great Sicilian pizza at Pizza Centre (the best) with my man.