Monday, October 29, 2012

Spooky Pod Club : Anything Ghost

This week's podcast comes from a show I'd never heard of until Jill chose it for this week (that's my subtle way of saying blame her if it's too creepy!). The Anything Ghost Show looks like it could be the perfect aural outing for us in honor of one of my favorite times of year.

Anything Ghost Story: Episode #164

Join my lovely Pod Club girls and I as we listen and report every week. Just Jill and Soft Spiral are the best. Check them out all the time not just for Pod Club.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pod Club : Getting Away With It

I remember the first time I lied. Our church was having a harvest party of some sort (a way of getting the kids away from "Halloween"). A new game was set up for us that involved hanging giant marshmallows from the ceiling and letting the kids compete with hands behind their backs attempting to get one of those yummy treats eaten before anyone else. Everyone wins right? You'd think a well behaved little girl could wait until "Ready Set Go" but you don't know this little girl. She wasn't allowed sugar at home. She looked at that marshmallow in front of her face and couldn't resist trying to take a nibble. Immediately some other kid tattled and the adult in charge asked "Rachael, did you put the marshmallow in your mouth?" and I was so mortified I said "No?". Immediately, a shame washed over me that I knew right then I never ever wanted to feel again. I was called out on my lie by everyone there and told I couldn't play the game. I was only six or seven years old but I can clearly see the view as I stood with my back to the room, looking out the paned glass just crying my eyes out in horror at myself. I can honestly say I have tried ever since to never lie. Looking back, I'm actually glad I didn't get away with it because what would I be today if I'd learned early on that I could mislead other people to get what I want?

I'm in no way saying I never lie. "Little white lies" my mother called them. Remember the movie "Liar Liar"? Proof that if any of us told the absolute truth all the time we would be outcasts. I'm just like everyone else in that regard.  I might keep someone happy with a little white lie or I may just lie by omission. The thing is, we know everyone is doing this and we come to expect it! When you ask if someone likes your new haircut do you really want them to say no? Aren't we horrified when someone IS brutally honest? We learn this growing up and it's possibly what leads people to bigger acts of dishonestly. That whole problem of where to draw the line especially if the line is easy to move. 

So what would you do if you knew you would get away with it? How far would you go? 

I hope you guys enjoyed this episode as much as I did. The stories were thoroughly entertaining and it was just what I needed this week. It made me think about what happens in our world every single day without making me depressed about it. This American Life remains at the top of my list of podcast favorites. If I could produce my own podcast, I'd want it to grow up to be just like this one...and I maybe would try to sound just like Ira Glass. 

Until next week...Pod Club put your thinking caps on for a new podcast. I've been on the hunt and we may have fresh meat soon. If anyone out there in internet land is reading this and not saying anything please join in! Leah and Jill and I would love to include anyone and everyone in our weekly podcast adventures. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Diary 12/7/1990

Confessions of a dramatic 10 year old.
"Dear Diary,
Grandpa's coming tomarrow. And Aunties baby is due tomarrow. I hate Leah. And I hate it when dad gives me long talks. Last night I went with Jessica to Aladdin the play it was really good. Jessica likes Bob too I hope she stops liking him. Mom is sick so she cant be around Auntie probably not during labor. Mom just told me Angel, Aleesha, and Amber are going to school with us after christmas vacation. by. "

First I'd like to say that I no longer hate Leah, I adore her more than anything. She put up with so much as the youngest of four. Sorry Leah!! Also, this is the last entry from my very first little diary. This was all written in a tiny little memo pad but I was the lucky recipient of a brand new official diary with a lock on it for Christmas that year. Get ready for 1991!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Something Wicked This Way

The minute I pedaled up to the gate, the light changed. The sky turned it's back and left me alone to make my way up the path. I had no idea what I would find here. The old zoo ruins, in addition to all of Griffith Park, are said to be haunted by ghosts and undefinable creatures. I went anyway.

A small Chapel met me on the central lawn. The cloaked parishioners were silent in a prayer I never want to hear.

I should have turned then. I should have gotten on my bicycle and ridden the five miles home. Instead, I was pulled further up the path where another robed group lured me into their strange circle.

Behind them, in the darkness, I found a set of stairs. The bars kept me from seeking what awaited at the top or I surely would have gone. I no longer had any control over my curiosity. 

Further I walked. Innocent stalks of corn whispered only slightly as I passed.

What had been contained in this place? What terrified creatures had looked out from these cages and barred confines? I felt their endless pacing, their pitiful cries at night.

Still higher I climbed. 

Small trails led off into the forest but I did not go. My senses slowly began to make their return. I wanted to run but couldn't make my feet answer my cry for speed. Time stood still. Once I returned to my bike, walking it silently down the dirt road away from all that I'd seen, I could only think one thing.

I must come back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pod Club : This American Life

This week the Pod Club pick comes from the one that started it all (for me at least). This American Life was the gateway drug into my full blown podcast addiction. This is the only kind of drug I can promote without guilt.  Let's all enjoy this new episode and meet back here on Friday to talk about it. 

"Stories of people breaking the rules fully, completely and with no bad consequences. Some justify this by saying they’re doing it for others, or for a greater good. Some really don’t care. And, unlike the mealy weaklings you usually hear on this program: None of these wrongdoers seem regretful about what they’ve done in the slightest."

Pod Club is a weekly meeting of ears and the brains between those ears. We choose a podcast on Monday and write about it on Friday. Check out my co club members Just Jill and Soft Spiral.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Talking to Myself Again

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and tell the younger you a few things about life? You may have noticed a book or two filled with people writing letters to their young selves. What good does that do? We can't travel back in time and take ourselves up on that advice! Wouldn't it make more sense to write our current selves a letter from the future? I'm not talking about actual time travel (when I get that machine working I'll let you know). What would the older and wiser you say to the you of today? 

Dear Rachael,
Today is your birthday. I remember this one well. You've just gotten home from a sunset walk and started thinking about how much you've learned in your thirty three years and how much more you want to grow.  Keep ahold of this feeling of growing and becoming. Be gentle with yourself and compassionate to everyone you meet. I won't give away any of the good bits, but your life will be so full. You'll encounter difficult situations, people and events but you have everything you need right there inside of you. Don't be afraid. Fear will only lie to you. Wondrous things are waiting. Keep your eyes clear and your heart open. Soak up every single moment to get you through the harder times. People will come and go as they should. Don't hold on too tightly and don't push too hard. Just be yourself. Live inside every day as if it's all there is, because it is. 
Happy Birthday,
Your Future Self

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Beautiful World

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is it perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” 
 Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

This is worth memorizing. Say it over and over to yourself until it finally seeps into the last hidden cell of your being. Recite it quietly during difficult and wondrous moments. Go back to it when you're tired and hopeless. Remember that you are a child of the universe. Keep peace with your soul.

(Thanks to my wonderful sister for sending this to me this morning)

We are a Living Social Experiment

Lately I've been personally overwhelmed with information about our world and many of the things wrong with it. So much of my life has been spent not looking behind the proverbial curtain. I go along with the herd of humanity and live the way America lives. It's easier not to know what goes into our food, what we're doing to the air we need to breath, who is hurt when we make certain purchases... 

The social experiments that have been done, such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, may mean nothing to us, but they should mean everything. 

We are a living social experiment. 

Think about it.

I'm late posting this because I started over way too many times yesterday and finally gave up and read Leah and Jill's responses. I knew Leah would have more to say about Sleep No More since she was lucky enough to see it this year and I had a feeling Jill would talk about whether or not to follow rules and I even had a hunch she'd mention Germany and I was right (No, I'm not a mind reader I just know Jill and I read the same book recently and probably made the same connection). Please do yourself a favor and read these two insightful posts.

If you havn't listened to this podcast yet you can find it here: Fear Thy Nature

Pod Club will be back next week for more earmazing adventures. Join us by letting us know what you think either on our blogs or your very own!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Today in History

My Dad

Today is a very important day. Sixty years ago a baby was born. He grew up to be the finest human being you could ever hope to meet - let alone have as a father. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Diary 10/7/1990

1990 - almost 10 years old.

"Dear Diary,
today Toni got married. It was so exciting. I almost cried. in the middle of it adreanna Bobbys baby went pee and her diaper leeked onto my skirt. I had to go and wash it off. I almost didn't pass out birdseed because LL was going to cause that mean Heather Lady told her to afterwards we had a flat and we were almost out of gas and we left Bobby and her boyfriend and David at the church. David is like Steve he kept pulling my hair so I'd pull his back. Now which is 6:41 they are coming over I'm not sure who all is coming. Well, bye.

Okay so I must chime in here and say that I was ONLY nine years old okay? I promise I eventually got the hang of punctuation and spelling. Now, which is 1:43, I'm going to laugh at my immaturity and go ride my bike really fast down a hill. Because that's what almost 33 year old kids do.

Well, bye.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pod Club : Freakonomics

It's monday and that means it's time for a new Pod Club podcast pick. Hey, how about this week we listen to something from Freakonomics? What's that you say? You'd love to? Alrighty then. You're the boss...

Freakonomics : Fear Thy Nature

You aren't a member of Pod Club yet? It's easy to join. Just listen to the episode of the week and have some thoughts about it. You can comment on my blog or maybe you'd like to say something on Jill's or perhaps leave a note for Leah. You have your own blog? Even better! You can devote a whole entire post to anything and everything you have to say about it! Friday is the flexible due date for our write ups.

Podcasts are free and more fun than a water balloon fight in winter. Just go to the link or find it on iTunes. FREE!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Unicorn at the Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens has been one of our favorite places in L.A.  About five miles away, but worth the bike ride! Rob and I find something new or see an animal we hadn't met before almost every time we go. If the animals fail to entertain, the people never do. We beelined to the Elephant exhibit in hopes of catching one of the three giants up close and for the first time we lucked out! Billy the Elephant is my new favorite zoo creature. I've been missing Jabba the Hippo since early this year and found out he passed away in the spring. He was the cutest Hippo you could ever meet and he was a sneaky guy too (if you can possibly imagine a sneaky Hippo).

It was Fall when I fell in love with the zoo last year, and on this trip I was reminded why. Everything slows down. Most of the extra booths selling artery clogging snacks and junky trinkets close for the season. The pathways aren't packed with tourists and whiny children. Even the employees seem to be letting out a sigh of relief.

This year I'm going to ride the new carousel. It's full of every animal you can think of including a Unicorn! As we walked by, I informed Rob I would indeed ride that Unicorn soon. "They're all real except for the Unicorn".  I looked at that boy like he had just walked out of a U.F.O.  "I'm sorry what are you trying to say?" He couldn't possibly be implying that Unicorns aren't real animals.  I'm still not sure where Rob stands, but I believe Unicorns are real. I saw one at the zoo.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pod Club : Healing is a Verb

How do you feel right now? Think about it for a minute. Happy? Anxious? Rushed? Angry? Serene? Sad? Tired? Worried? Sick? Now take a look around. Where are you? Is the current space you're inhabiting pleasant? Does it give you a sense of peace? Maybe the room is just the right color, the lighting is not too bright and not too dim. What can you see from where you sit? What can you hear? It all matters when it comes to your well being and health.

This week's Pod Club pick( On Being : The Science of Healing Places ) touched on how our health can be directly affected by our physical surroundings. Even the architecture of a place can impart peace and enable the pathways of healing in the mind to be open. I think most of us know this inherently. We look forward to vacations that take us to beautiful places. Yoga and meditation are no longer a hippie fad in America because those that regularly practice one or both find that they simply feel better and often are much less stressed. Some folks go to a spa, some to the mountains, some to the theatre... no matter the exact local, it's for that feeling attained by surrounding one's self with beauty. 

After I listened to Esther Sternberg talk about the study she's doing and her own personal experiences, I couldn't help but think about our homes. We spend so much time at home. It needs to be a place where we can relax, lose track of time, unwind and heal. Our bodies are constantly repairing daily damage done just by being alive in the world. We fall ill when our body simply can't keep up. Maybe we don't get enough sleep or excercise. Some of us might feel an underlying sense of stress constantly, even at home. What if we took the time to create a peaceful place? Consider the color of your walls, the cluttered shelves, the electronic stuff strewn about, the music that's a little too loud or a little too harsh. Is there enough light? Would you feel better if your couch was facing the other way? Would you feel best if you got rid of the couch altogether? 

I've been in this apartment for almost a year now. For the first time in my life, I've been deliberate about every single aspect of decor. Happily, I can report that for the first time in my adult life I'm sleeping regularly. For the first time in my adult life, I smile when I walk in the door. For the first time in my adult life, I enjoy being at home more than going out most of the time. I needed this healing space and I created it on my own. Now that I'm also meditating more and more, I'm learning to create a place of healing in my mind that I can go to anytime. I call it a PPOP (portable place of peace).  

We can't all afford to pick the perfect home. We can't choose what our workplace feels like. What we can do is the small things that we know might not be easy at first, but will make us happier and therefore healthier in the long run.

Here's a few things about my living space that truly make it peaceful, even here in Los Angeles:

Very limited art/pictures hanging on the walls.
No furniture that isn't used regularly.
The T.V. is in a closet and rarely used and no stereo.
Music isn't always playing and when it is I've chosen what I'd like to hear at that moment knowing how it will affect my emotional state. 
Windows are usually at least cracked so fresh air is flowing.
Very few decorative knick knacks - more plants and books.
Luckily I have a small space where my yoga mat is always out and ready to use.
The bedroom is an electronics free zone and this includes my phone much of the time.
No paper clutter except the small amount of mail and a notebook or two.
Keep it clean. If I use something, I put it away when I'm done. If I dirty a dish, I wash it right away. 
No clocks. Zip Zero Nada. It helps that there is no microwave or coffee maker or a visible DVD player: none of the things constantly alerting you to what time it is. If I want to know the time I check my phone or computer.
The color scheme is very natural and the shades stay open to let in as much natural light as possible.

So that's me. What do you do to make your space a place of peace and healing? Please leave me a comment and don't forget to see what Jill had to say over at her blog Just Jill. We have a new member who will join in as she has the time. Soft Spiral is a brand new blog you're sure to love. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Riding a Bike is Like Riding a Bike

Autumn Colors a la California

The first stormy day of Autumn was the perfect day to take the bikes out for the first time. The first time? But Rachael, havn't you and Rob lived in L.A. for over a year now? Why yes, yes we have.  It took this long to get over the daily battle of facing these mean streets in a automobile. The bikes were hung on the wall when we moved in last year and stayed there nicely serving as decor and wet laundry holders. Until today. Today I told Rob I was finally brave enough to peddle to Trader Joe's and back home. Was it the passing thunderstorm that shook me up and made me crave a ride? We carried the bikes down to the sidewalk and took off. This city has the worst sidewalks and roads of anywhere I've lived and it's uphill both ways. I'm not kidding. Somehow no matter where you want to go around Silver Lake and Los Feliz there are enough frequent hills that you will face them both ways. At first I was worried about riding after a whole year of no practice but it turns out that riding a bike is like riding a bike. We charged up hills and coasted down leaf strewn streets the two miles to the store and back home. Rain drops lightly sprinkled down on the dusty, sunburned city. I felt renewed and free. So yes, the first stormy day of Autumn was the perfect day for a bike ride.

Is there a hobby you really love that you havn't enjoyed in a long time? Worried you won't be able to take it up again? Thinking you may have lost that muscle... physical or mental? It might take a few false starts, but I promise you'll get into the flow again in no time. Life is too short to second guess your abilities. Tomorrow may never come, so get out there and do what makes you smile!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pod Club Extra Credit

Extra! Extra!

This weeks Pod Club pick is The Science of Healing Places. If you want to hear even more by this same author, check out an older episode titled Stress and The Balance Within.  I've already listened to both and I have to say as good as they are individually, they tie together and give a deeper understanding of the subject in an interesting way.  Check it out!

My posting of this weeks Pod Club pick can be found HERE.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dear Diary 8/1/1990

Another fabulous installment from
the Diary of my 9 yr old self.

"Dear Diary,
My life is getting great. Mom, Dad, Steph, and Mike went to Spokane and they went to a park thing it cost alot but they had fun they brought us back a badminton set. Then Dad went to Alaska and Mom Mike Auntie took Steph to camp and brought us Suckers Popsicle things and makeup dolls but the dolls don't work. We got to stay with Teresa and play with Nicolas and Lorene Sussane. Then Dad came home and brought me a little glass thing. It's pretty. Today I'm getting glasses. But theres about a 30% chance I might Not. We are going to go to Portland saturday. by for now. 

P.S. We have Anne of Green Gables and were getting Anne of Anvonlea."

There's a 30% chance I had a future as an artist.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pod Club: Healing Places

"On Being is a spacious conversation about the big questions at the center of human life, from the boldest new science of the human brain to the most ancient traditions of the human spirit. "

This week's Pod Club pick is a from On Being. I've been enjoying quite a few of the older episodes of this podcast recently and can't wait to give this newer one a listen. As always Jill and I would love it if you joined in on our weekly listen. We choose a podcast on Monday and post our thoughts on Friday. Give this one a listen and post your thoughts on your own blog or leave a comment on one or both of our. It's free and better than trying to teach your old dog new tricks. Leave that guy alone already.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pod Club: Truth Vs. Fact

"Getting a firm hold on the truth is never as simple as nailing down the facts of a situation. This hour, we go after a series of seemingly simple facts -- facts that offer surprising insight, facts that inspire deeply different stories, and facts that, in the end, might not matter at all." (from the website)

I live in Los Angeles. Fact. I have brown hair. Fact. Peppermint tea is the best kind of tea in the world. Truth. Camping is fun. Truth. My apartment is on the third floor. Fact. The view from my window is fantastic. Truth. I could keep going but hopefully I've gotten my first point across. A fact is something that is actual, that has really occurred or is the case. Truth is sincerity in action, the state of being the case.  This is purely my opinion, but the way I see it a fact is always true, but a truth is not always fact. Ok, now that you know my take on it I can proceed with the swirling mass of emotions and thoughts I've been trying to sort out all week.

RadioLab has often brought up intense feelings of all sorts for me. I've wondered at amazing stories. I've laughed and I've been overcome by sadness on more than one occasion.  They do have the storytelling down do a science. Until now.  I was listening to this episode during my morning hike on monday. The first story was interesting and had me thinking about how we tend to believe what we see and what we're told. I was happily trekking up the hill when the story titled "Yellow Rain" began. When it came to a close I stopped. Emotions I couldn't describe washed over me. I stood looking out over Griffith Observatory wanting to cry. I felt like something horrible had just happened, like i'd witnessed a crime. I wanted to cry, and I admit tears did well up but soon were replaced by anger and confusion. 

The piece on "Yellow Rain" is too multi faceted for me to even attempt to describe. Please listen to it and form your own opinion about what happened during this heart breaking interview with Kao Kalia Yang and her uncle Eng.  What I took from it was a heavy sadness that such a tragedy took place and that it had to come down to "semantics". The abrupt ending to an overdue conversation about what had happened to the Hmong people left me empty. When Ms. Yang referred to entire villages being slaughtered by communists and interpreted her uncle's words, "That's when we knew that the laws of humanity had been terminated", I was broken.  As the host, Robert Krulwich, kept trying to get to the "fact of the matter" he quite clearly had different intentions for the interview than Kalia and Eng. They wanted to tell their story, their truth and RadioLab wanted to tell their story, their truth. Kalia tearfully says the interview is over and then silence. What follows is a short discussion among the hosts about what had just happened and Jad eloquently says "what do you do when three truths are right?". Exactly. Sadly, editing here was just not well thought out. There is some laughter, some banter with jazzy music followed by a short spoken ad for some college or aural slap in the face.

I stood there on the trail. Really guys? Really? No words about how this didn't go the way it should have? No apology for the hurt feelings? Maybe a promise to explore the story of the Hmong people in a future RadioLab Short? Could you at least hand me a tissue? 

I do believe they had the best of intentions and what we, the listeners, don't see are the laborious hours that go into these programs. I suspect that certain callouses are built up when dealing with sensitive subjects on a daily basis. My instinct tells me that there are two sides to this as with all stories and our humanity tends to have us side with the underdog. I listened to a journalist talk this week about how he learned as a reporter that you can't always trust the victims because they have been traumatized and their "truth" might not be a "fact". I'm not saying what happened in this interview was okay, I'm simply trying to see both sides.  

Now for the final part of this roller coaster ride of a podcast. The "Skelly Story" upset me almost as much as "Yellow Rain" but for different reasons. Again, I don't want to tell the story here in case you havn't listened yet.  In short, it relates a long term friendship with a man that, in the end, the narrator realizes he never really knew.  

How do we spend so much time with people and not ever truly know them? I wonder if sometimes we know the truth but we choose not to see it for what it is because it would just be too painful or too hard to deal with.  Explain to me why we allow ourselves to be lied to by people we love? And how do we allow ourselves to be directed by the media? Every day we are hand fed "The News" which we take as fact. Is it? Have you investigated it for yourself? And as for the people in your life, I dare say once in a while a loved one tells you they are fine when they aren't. Perhaps they tell you their truth and you take it as fact. Should you? What would happen if you DID break those "unspoken rules of friendship"? I could go on for quite some time about how we don't truly get to know the people we love on a continual and growing basis. (Just because you knew her last month doesn't mean she is exactly the same today) Be curious about this world and the people in it. Question everything, even yourself.

Today I started writing this post a few times only to stop in frustration because I have too much to say. A few of the ideas it sparked will be saved for later posts that allow for it. 

For now I am left with one thought... 

It's not about the definition of truth versus fact. It's about what we do with the information given to us. 

Pod Club would love to have you as a member. Jill and I are going to keep picking interesting podcasts and talking about them. Don't forget to check out what she has to say about this and a whole bunch of other things...JUST JILL.  Please comment on our blogs, post on your own blog or turn to your neighbor in line at the grocery store and share your thoughts.

RadioLab has letter's from both Jad and Robert on their website concerning the story about Yellow Rain and the debate it has stirred up among their audience. Please listen to this podcast and read what they have to say on their website,  RadioLab.Org.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Slow Wind of Words

On the day when

The weight deadens

On your shoulders

And you stumble,

May the clay dance

To balance you.

And when your eyes

Freeze behind

The grey window

And the ghost of loss

Gets in to you,

May a flock of colours,

Indigo, red, green,

And azure blue

Come to awaken in you

A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays

In the currach of thought

And a stain of ocean

Blackens beneath you,

May there come across the waters

A path of yellow moonlight

To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,

May the clarity of light be yours,

May the fluency of the ocean be yours,

May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow

Wind work these words

Of love around you,

An invisible cloak

To mind your life.
-John O'Donohue

This poem is only a small piece of light that found it's way into my heart this morning as I listened to this interview with poet, philosopher and author John O'Donohue. He reads this poem toward the end and it's worth hearing it spoken in his gentle accent.

On Being: The Inner Landscape of Beauty

John O'Donohue had a beautiful vision of the world. I was mentally highlighting his words as I walked.

"So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life."

"...everyone is involved whether they like it or not in the construction of their world. So, it's never as given as it actually looks; you are always shaping it and building it. And I feel that from that perspective, that each of us is an artist."

"What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time."

"I love Pascal's phrase, you know, that you should always "keep something beautiful in your mind." And I have often — like in times when it's been really difficult for me, if you can keep some kind of little contour that you can glimpse sideways at now and again, you can endure great bleakness."

"I think the beauty of being human is that we're incredibly, intimately near each other. We know about each other, but yet we do not know or never can know what it's like inside another person."

"there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you."

" of the huge confusions in our times is to mistake glamour for beauty."

"I think that there is always an uncanny symmetry between the way you are inward with yourself and the way you are outward. And I feel that there is an evacuation of interiority going on in our times. And that we need to draw back inside ourselves and that we'll find immense resources there."

"And I think there are huge thresholds in every life. I mean, I think, you know that, for instance, I'd like to give a very simple example of it is, that if you are in the middle of your life in a busy evening, 50 things to do and you get a phone call that somebody you love is suddenly dying. Takes 10 seconds to communicate that information, but when you put the phone down, you are already standing in a different world. Because suddenly everything that seems so important before is all gone and now you are thinking of this. So the given world that we think is there and the solid ground we are on is so tentative. And I think a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit, and I think that very often how we cross is the key thing."

" of the loneliest things you can find is somebody who is in the wrong kind of work, who shouldn't be doing what they are doing but should be doing something else and haven't the courage to get up and leave it and make a new possibility for themselves. "

John O'Donohue died in his sleep on January 3rd, 2008, at the age of 52. This was one of the last interviews he gave. His books include Anam Ċara and Beauty. His final work, which was published posthumously, is called To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Can Do It: T-Shirt Yarn

Once in a while I actually do the projects in my DIY bookmark folder. Today I figured out the reason I put links in that folder and then rarely touch them.  I bet my older sister could tell you why I do this, but since she's not here to explain: I don't like being bossed.  "Do It Yourself" sounds like a command therefore I don't do it. Very simple. You are not the boss of me Bookmark Folder!  I don't have to crochet that afghan if I don't feel like it! That skirt can just go sew itself! I'll show you!!  

Anyone interested in making t-shirt yarn can follow this lovely tutorial...or not. It's up to you.

Dear Diary 7/10/1990

Another fascinating entry from my first diary.
I was nine years old.

"Dear Diary,
I don't like it when mom has to work so late. Somewhere I herd that the people you love the most make you the maddest. well thats true with me and mom I guess. yesterday some Idiots left this poor little kitten by our tree and they say they didn't do it but it was obvios. I call it bunny it's eye was hurt but it's getting better. we're keeping aunties kitten but Tim's taking it. Today I ame just getting over a cold. Leah just got it.
Well, goodbye."

I wonder why nobody pushed me toward art.
Clearly I was overflowing with talent...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pod Club : RadioLab

I'm so excited about this week's Pod Club choice! I've loved RadioLab for so long. It's been a little while since a full hour podcast has been added but guess what happened last week?? A new one that's what! It's called "The Fact of the Matter".

From the website:
"Getting a firm hold on the truth is never as simple as nailing down the facts of a situation. This hour, we go after a series of seemingly simple facts -- facts that offer surprising insight, facts that inspire deeply different stories, and facts that, in the end, might not matter at all."

Pod Club is a weekly meeting of the ears and the minds between those ears. Jill and I choose one podcast at the beginning of the week and post our thoughts on it by Friday. We are always looking for people to join us in these conversations so give it a listen and comment on one or both of our blogs. You can listen on the RadioLab website (linked above) or download it for free on iTunes.  I can't say enough wonderful things about RadioLab! Don't take my word for it though, listen and learn for yourself!