Monthly Archives: January 2014

Video

Bucharest, Romania — Seen From a Drone

It’s been almost five years since my last visit to Romania (terrible, I know).

So, it was nice to see this on YouTube, the city seen from a drone. A short ad precedes the video, which you can skip in seconds.

My native city. Take a look. 

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Thank you, Pete Seeger

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Thank you for daring to be different, Pete Seeger.

Ninety-four years of a wonderful, significant life. And today we say goodbye.

One of the greatest pieces of advice Mr. Seeger offered a friend, and by extension all of us:

“Look ’em in the eye. Make a gesture of inclusion. And above all, have a chorus.”  Which he always did, and made sure people sang along.

Pete Seeger talked the talk and walked the walk. Stood by ideals he believed in as an activist and prominent folk musician. Was he rare among his ilk? Maybe, although his were different times.

Thank you, Mr. Seeger.

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven 

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

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Photo courtesy:  http://www.cbc.com

Dig Deep

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You’re physically spent, can’t move anymore. Can’t find the motivation to take on that task/challenge/whatever it is. Now what?

My husband is training for a 5K race (a 3.2 mile run). In preparation he goes for long runs, and I sometimes go with him.

To build up endurance, we go on a running trail and sprint as fast as we could. Or he does. Most of the time. That builds stamina, and it also puts us in a nice amount of pain.

A few days back, halfway through the last sprint, my legs and lungs were crying for mercy. I was sure my body could not run a single more step. Just as I was about to slow into a walk, a pair of runners zoomed right past. Pride kicked in, and somehow I found the strength to run. 

That moment spurred a great deal of reflection. I had felt sure I was physically spent, but then found strength I didn’t know I possessed. My mind had lied to me.

The scientific explanation goes something like this: Our deep reserves of strength are guarded by a brain that would rather maintain the status quo than take us to the next level. This goes back to basic survival. Back to the time when conserving energy kept us alive.

That was our brain’s job.

But nowadays, since we have the basic necessities, we can afford to turn our focus elsewhere. If health isn’t a concern, of course.

Show the brain who’s boss.

Dig deep. The expression always made me think of mining — really making the effort to get to the good stuff. The gold.

Have you ever come to a wall (physically, mentally, emotionally), yet found a way to move forward?

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Photo courtesy: www.shropshirecmc.org.uk

The Writer from Curaçao

I’ve never heard of Curaçao until I met Guilie Castillo-Oriard, a Mexican writer who lives on the island. Now I know it’s in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast.

Maybe it’s this Caribbean paradise, maybe it’s the Latin side of Guilie, or plain ol’ talent, but one thing is clear. Guilie can write emotion.

She makes her fiction touch you. And not only a simple nudge.  She prods and pulls and pushes. She offers laughter and sorrow and breathlessness. She gives the reader emotions that her characters experience. Takes the reader to this island. To a paradise at once beautiful and enigmatically foreign.

We’ve all read books that are technically perfect but emotionally barren, right? But not here. Not for one second.

I think you’ll see what I mean if you click on the book (the first in a year-long series) for a sample read. It will take you to this island, but I can’t promise it will let go.

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Photos courtesy: dxing.at-communication; amazon