Archive for November, 2009



November 29, 2009

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements -the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.”

– Lawrence Krauss


Going through the motions..

November 19, 2009

It seems not so strange to me that most of the time I spend in my head involves movement. I’ve often thought this is a result of my unrepentant desire for change, newness, experience. Every now and again I consider that it has more to do with the panic that seems to come along when I feel I’m spending too much time in one place, on one thing, in one mindset.

Perhaps the reason I have so many different hobbies (guitar, piano, tango, hulahooping, knitting, yoga, arty things of many types) and yet would consider myself great at none, not so bad at most is because I lack either the discipline, desire, ability to be really fantastic at any one in particular. Perhaps it’s a direct result of never spending enough time in any one place to become great at any one thing.. But these hobbies, they come and go like so many shiny objects, beautiful and engaging at first introduction, studied furiously and with passion for a time and then left by the wayside before too long. Will I ever get beyond 10 rows of knitting stitches, on my way to superawesome homemade legwarmers? Will I get to a point where I can play more than 5 chords and feel good about the strides I’ve taken to feeling like I can play the gypsy jazz that moves me so? Will I ever continue on to learning the second page, the fourth, the ninth of that sheet music I printed out with the determination that I will play it well by heart some day?

I think this is not an uncommon occurance. Something stands out, something draws us in to the extent that we want that thing to be a solid part of our lives. A sensation that our lives will be fuller, richer, broader, more enchanting in the day to day if hobbies become habits..

The first time I saw a tango dancer when I was 19, compelled to state that one day I too would be locked in the embrace of a strong leader who gracefully directs me across a floor in time with the music. And yes there have been little steps, little motions towards realizing this dream. But never quite enough to satisfy the need inside me, the need that complains to me at times, if I reeeeally felt so passionate about it, I would practice more often, I would go to milongas, I would seek out teachers and lessons everywhere I go. As it goes with everything, not just tango. Yes, I have my shoes with me wherever I am, but how often do I put them on. And there’s the self talk that insists, ok. Tomorrow we will start a regimen of at least half an hour of ochos, of molinetes…and all the next day, I’m working, I’m doing ochos here and there, thinking of the time I’ll be finished the work day and then on to something less productive perhaps, but more in tune with what my soul is craving. But for some reason, the second I’m in the house, after some dinner, email checking, whatever else, the desire is forgotten. I get distracted and suddenly it’s late and I finally notice the shoes (piano, guitar, ball of yarn, creepy cute crochet book, whathaveyou) sitting lonely and unattended in the corner. Think to myself, well it’s too late tonight, but ToMorroW! For sure tomorrow I will do one of these things. I will sit and play the piano for an hour. I will do yoga every day. I will practice until the day I too can do an entire chinup. From dead hang. Oh yes. I will, I will, I will….but I throw the word will around a lot, never actually applying aforementioned will to enable me in any respect. I will put on some music and hulahoop for 30 minutes every day, regardless of the fact that I never actually call on the will to see it through.

I guess that’s the trouble though. Tomorrow it will likely be more of the same. Hmm..reading back on this it seems as though I’m feeling a little despondent about my lack of drive, my unerring ability to feel too tired to focus, to sit my self down and just get on with it..or stand myself up in those shoes and get on with it, whatever the case may be.

At the same time, if I’m tired, then I’m tired and no amount of bullying, self-loathing or any kind of negative head talk is going to change that. If anything, I’m just going to feel worse that I’ve procrastinated another day..And so there is no point in continuing in this vein because it’s has sooo much potential to become one of the those (to be uttered in a high pitched beaker type voice) meemeemeemeemeemeemeemee things.

I think I have the mid november blahs…perhaps this mood will change…tomorrow….for now I will pour myself a cup of tea, crawl into bed and watch Le Samourai (1967) for that luscious french film noir-y vibe and perhaps a desire to aquire a  1965 Citroen ID 19 like Alain Delon drove in that movie…(that picture is of a shot from the movie where he had to drive the car into a garage with very little clearance while going fairly fast and everyone was super nervous about the car getting smashed up…Alain Delon did it on one take…le sigh…except for his obvious jackassery regarding his illegitimate love child with Nico he could be a very dreamy guy) or watch Richard Bohringer in Diva(1981)  befuddle everyone with his supercool ability to be supercool…all the time. It doesn’t hurt that he keeps a 1954 Citroen 11 Normale on hand…

mmm…how is it that cool french movies are so much cooler than cool movies from most other places? Jean-Pierre Melville will certainly help me conquer these mid november blahs! Je sais ca bien!

Bon nuit mes amis….


Happy Anniversary coupled with ramblings…

November 10, 2009

I realize that it’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. There has been more than one query as to why that might be so. The most obvious (at least to me) reason I have given is that I haven’t really been travelling all that much lately. What would I possibly have to say on the subject of standing still that could be half as interesting as wandering about like a loon in some foreign city where I don’t understand anyone around me but seem to have no problem finding fun and adventure..

Then I thought, why not try it out and see? Me who is not travelling is still me, with all her awesomeness and wackiness in tact. And it’s not as though I’m exactly settled or anything like that. Yes I am in one place that I plan to be more or less for the next while. The next while being how long, exactly? Who can say? Most likely until the weather warms and green becomes a commonplace color once more.  At any rate, there will be much opportunity to see how interesting it can be to write about standing still. It could be argued that I’ll never truly be standing still, even on a molecular level, there is frenzied activity, but I think it’s pretty clear what I mean.

Of course, in my dreams I’m moving, constantly. The smells, sounds and smiles of foreign cultures beckon to me, insistent, inspirational.  I search out travel blogs, country profiles, cultural nuances, music, food, language. I look for apartment rentals in Buenos Aires, Florence, Reykjavik..shipboard crew placings on freighters and yachts travelling through the Canary Islands, the Bahamas, the Mediterranean…volunteer positions in Guatemala, Mozambique, Vietnam…it changes day to day. Sometimes my desire to go places I could be needed is overwhelming and bears no resemblance to the desire I had the day before to see places I’ve read about and wanted to see since I was barely cognizant of a world outside my back yard.  But there’s always movement involved.

Now and again I have pangs of those feelings of settlement. I would like to live someplace where plants grow that I have planted. Where a window opens out to the smell of spring and birdsong and a cat naps on  a very comfy and colorful windowseat while I sit and play my in tune piano of actual ivory keys. Lots of wood and light and color and fragrance and cushions and coziness and friends dropping by for tea. Where the sounds I hear at night are frogs and the river and an occasional owl. A dog who keeps perfect time with the coyotes.

I think I might have found something ressembling where this house could be. But how will I possibly know until I’ve been everywhere else? There’s nothing to suggest that my window with the comfy window seat and the cat and the piano won’t have a view of a rainforest canopy in Costa Rica…I’m sure I have many friends who would be just as pleased to stop by for tea if I lived in a treehouse near Tamarindo. Or overlooking a banyan tree in Cambodia.

All this travel in my head is exhausting. A final before I sleep and dream of breaks where there are no wetsuits needed, it is November 10, 2009. I severed almost but not completely my left thumb one year ago today. I am pleased to report, it’s still there. Happy Anniversary to me.


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