Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thought Chea, our resident fam photographer, could use this site. It’s, er, helpful, in a Cake Wrecks sort of way. A real time sink of hilarity. Pages and pages of unbelievable photos. I’ve got a few I’d like to submit.
There’s this site as well. This Bishop has some posts that are pretty funny, some a little less so. No, no I’m not referring to ld;)
Go see for yourself.
And then finally a creative problem solving site. Hilarious because it hits a little too close to home.
Some of my favs like this one:
and this one,
Friday, August 14, 2009
All the psycho chatter I have been reading lately uses all the usual buzz words: comfort zones, ego patterns of response, etc. My new personal favorite (to say exactly the same thing) is neural grooving. Call it what you will, but our predictable and ho hum risk free life is exactly the reason ld and I went white water rafting with some friends the end of June. It was time to ward me off some Alzheimer’s and lay down some new neural grooves, for sure.
It really was a memorable and great trip (see ld’s blog for a more detailed summary) and it did all the things I hoped it would when I somewhat trepidly signed us up: inspired confidence in me, helped repair my numbness to everyday life, sharpened my awareness and aesthetic senses, and provided yet another bonding experience with ld and some people I love.
As luck would have it all this stuff about forging new neural grooves continues to pop up everywhere: I am supposed to stretch, to grow. It’s all: Try this, go here, change sides, move outside your comfort zone, make some new contacts, let go of your usual role, walk instead of drive, make a friend from another side of town, go to the border, etc. We’re supposed to live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
Which is why I am shaking things up around here by:
1) brushing my teeth with my opposite hand
2) sleeping with my head where my feet should be (really, ask ld) and…
3) in general trying to have one new experience a week (so ld, will ‘ya take me to the County Fair this afternoon, hmm?)
Neural grooving could really work in my favor and make me a more vibrant human being.
During today’s early morning rounds I perused this:
which was okay but what got me really excited was the link on the second page:
Laurie Colwin. I am happy to discover her (and secretly hoping I love her as much as Marilynne Robinson). So it's off to the library this morning to locate:
Passion and Affect
Shine on, Bright and Dangerous Object
Happy All the Time
The Lone Pilgrim
Another Marvelous Thing
Goodbye without Leaving
A Big Storm Knocked It Over
The PBS series American Playhouse adapted Colwin's short story An Old-Fashioned Story as a 90-minute film retitled Ask Me Again, which aired February 8, 1989. Maybe the library will have that too.
I’ll keep you posted as I’m never short on my opinions and I’m happy to share. ha!
Oh. And she also wrote a cookbook:
Home Cooking (1988) and More Home Cooking (1993)
(ld, I would like. Pretty please, buy it for me?)
Friday, August 7, 2009
The cloud that has hung over ld and I this past week has not lifted. On Sunday we learned a member of our Stake passed away suddenly from a brief illness. Ld had worked with him closely in the Stake Presidency for nearly 8 years. He was a phenomenal and inspiring man in so many ways. The mood around here has been sober as the reality of life’s tenuousness hits home. If death can take one so respected, loved, and so full of life and personality then the bell really does toll for thee and most assuredly, me, too.
As always such events prompt a lot of introspection and as ld put it, ‘it really brings your faith into play’. It does indeed and even though I am settled in my views and testimony, the last couple of days have found me reviewing the ‘terrible questions*’ Nibley so often wrote and spoke about.
My thoughts go round and round. I don’t think this shows a weak faith. My own mother, a woman of great spiritual strength but one who certainly had lots of reasons to work her thoughts, once asked me, “Tell me again, the other side of the veil is just as real, right?” It was heartbreaking and frightening for me to see her fear of the unknown and I think no less of her for feeling and expressing what we all face. It’s remarkable to me that in the depths of her vulnerability her faith and courage saw her through.
Today my mood has caused me to remember this little gem, and for many reasons it has found resonance. (I apologize to ld in advance, for when I read it aloud to him was convinced it came from the sappy Especially for Mormons series. It didn’t but I acknowledge it's sappiness). Still. The analogy is apt. The faith required coming into and leaving this life is a given.
Parable of the Twin Fetuses
Once upon a time, twins were conceived in the same womb. Seconds and minutes and hours passed by as the two dormant lives developed. The spark of life glowed until it fanned fire with the formation of their embryonic brains. And with their simple brains came feeling. And with feeling came perception. A perception of surroundings, of each other, and of self. When they perceived the life of the other and their own life, they knew that life was good. And the fetuses laughed and rejoiced, the one saying: “Lucky are we to have been conceived and to have this world.” And the other fetus chimed in, “Blessed be the mother who gave us life and each other.” Each budded and grew arms and fingers, lean legs and stubby toes. They stretched their lungs and churned and turned in their new found world. They explored their new world, and in it found the life cord. They found the life cord that gave them life from the precious mother. And so they sang, “How great is the love of the mother that she shares all she has with us.” And they were pleased and they were satisfied with their lot. But weeks passed into months, and with the advent of each new month, they noticed that they were changing. They noticed that they were growing older. And each began to see a change in themselves and one said: “We are changing. We are growing. What can this mean?” “It means,” replied the other, “that we are drawing near to our birth.” And then a chill suddenly crept over the two, and they were both afraid. For they knew that birth meant the leaving their secure world behind. Said the one, “Were it up to me, I would live here forever. I would stay in this womb forever because I know its safe here.” “We must be born,” said the other. “It has happened to others who were here before us.” For indeed, there was evidence of life there before, that the mother had born others. “But might not there be life after birth?” said the one. “Well, how can there be life after birth?” cried the other. “Do we not shed our life cord and also the blood tissues? And have you ever talked to anyone who has been born? Has anyone ever reentered the womb after birth? No!” He fell into despair and in despair, he moaned, “If the purpose of conception and all growth is that it is to be ended in birth, then truly, life must be absurd!” Resigned to despair, the one stabbed the darkness with his unseeing eyes and he clutched his precious life cord to his chest and said: “If this is so, if I must be born, life is absurd and there must be no mother after all.” “But there is a mother,” protested the other. “Who else gave us nourishment in our world?” “Oh, we get our own nourishment and our world has always been here. And if there is a mother, where is she? Have you ever seen her? Does she ever talk to you? No. We invented the mother because it satisfied a need in us. It made us feel secure and happy.” Thus, while one raved and despaired, the other resigned himself to birth. He placed his hands in the trust of the mother. Well, hours passed into days and days fell into weeks, and it came time for them to be born. And both knew that their birth was at hand. And both feared what they did not know. And as the one was the first to be conceived, so he was the first to be born. The other followed after. And they cried as they were born out into the light. They coughed up fluid, and they gasped the dry air; and when they were sure that they had been born, they opened up their eyes and they found themselves cradled in the warm love of the mother. They lay open mouthed, awestruck at the beauty of the mother that they had never seen before.” (AGAPE magazine)
My faith teaches me that death is "a birth into a world that we on Earth can only try to imagine."
*the terrible questions consisting of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. See his Temple and Cosmos book, for a great read.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
One of these days I’m going to own a Kindle. Until then, there’s this:
I like reading on my laptop as it:
1) eliminates the need for my ‘under the covers’ flashlight ;
2) you can make the print jumbo B-I-G. (which is way less strain for these middle age eyes);
3) chocolate wipes off much easier from a screen than it does the printed page.
Monday, August 3, 2009
The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good. (Robert Graves)
Other evidence that suggests my upbringing from my brothers was very different is the fact that my mother bought me the complete set of condensed Shakespeare Stories for Children, on 8 albums, no less. She also bought me The Littlest Camel Knelt, a Christmas story (on album, again) that I adored. I listened to these albums along with my brothers 45’s of Be My Baby, My Boyfriends Back and I Think We’re Alone Now ad nauseam. But the Shakespeare recordings (and I still have them) I loved beyond anything. It isn’t every little girl that has her Ken doll say to Barbie “Customs curtsy before great kings”.
Ld gave me a most perfect birthday Friday night as he (cheerfully, almost!) sat through Henry V at the Shakespeare Festival with me. It was a wonderful performance. I was delighted to discover that the actor who played King Henry (Brian Vaughn) was the same one who played Hamlet a couple of years back. Kenzie and I first saw him then and he was/is incredible.
Ld kept his comments to a fair minimum while I reveled. Still, I know it was painful for him and I really appreciated his efforts. He does not love Shakespeare at all, but he does love me.
And in answer to his query What makes Shaky-spear so hot, huh?, there’s this for starters:
Depth of wit.
Creative with language.
Depth of psychological insight.
Relevance of subject, you know, like, uh, all things human and divine.
Breadth of subject: tragic to comic/good to evil.
Stands the test of time, etc…
Perhaps ld, if you had been given a little Shakespeare on LP when you were but a boy, then maybe Friday night would not have been so torturous for you. And then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have to anticipate watching all 6 hours of Lonesome Dove with you on your birthday;).
Seriously, ld, it was a great birthday. Thanky.
Oh. Some linky love, as Shaky-spear is meant to be performed. Don’t read it people, rather see it/hear it: