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Howdy, pilgrim! You're in the ^zhurnal — since 1999, a journal of musings on mind, method, metaphor, and matters miscellaneous — previous volume = 0.9947. Click headlines to browse, comment, or edit the ^zhurnalyWiki. Page-top links provide random mantras, tarots, unicorns, power thoughts, and meditative suggestions. For a lovely little mint-tin deck of mindfulness reminders see Open Mind OM Cards.



2021-12-30 - Julep Avenue Art

~3 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Is it natural, or carved, or ...?" 🐻y speculates about the wooden lawn ornament with Mickey-Mouse-like spherical-sculptural ears, or maybe organically-ovoid protrusions, spied near the dead-end of Julep Ave. Mysterious and curvy, mystical and attractive!http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Lawn_wood_sculpture_2021-12-30.jpg

(trackfile)

- Friday, January 28, 2022 at 06:47:44 (EST)


Midway Between

Midway between stars and atoms
Is the perfect point to push the lever –
The right size and scale to scale the wall,
And nudge the scales of the universe –
To see clearly, know deeply, choose wisely,
And help repair a broken world.

(cf Tikkun Olam (2019-12-11), ...)

- Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 07:16:39 (EST)


2021-12-29 - Post-Xmas Statuary

~3.3 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"That reindeer is nibbling the snowman's carrot-nose!" With 🐻, survey lawn inflatable sculptures and stroke a friendly unicorn's horn. Hmmmm – does that mean 🐰 is, uh, inexperienced, naïve, or ...?http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Unicorn_horn_z_2021-12-29.jpg

(trackfile)

- Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 05:17:53 (EST)


Rationality

Rationality: what it is, why it seems scarce, why it matters by Harvard prof Stephen Pinker is an extended sermon delivered to the choir: nicely written, technically precise, a bit slow in spots, and unlikely to convert most of its audience, since few who don't already know the topic will read it. Sadly, the book lacks a BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) or synopsis. Happily, Pinker's jokes are funny and apt. When discussing axioms of rational choice, for instance, he tells of legendary logician Sidney Morgenbesser who, as the story goes:

... was seated at a restaurant and offered a choice of apple pie or blueberry pie. Shortly after he chose apple, the waitress returned and said they also had cherry pie on the menu that day. As if waiting for the moment all his life, Morgenbesser said, "In that case, I'll have blueberry."

More useful, perhaps, and definitely shorter is Pinker's 2022-01-01 BBC news column "Three ways to be more rational this year" that zooms in:

  1. Future you – "... our problem is not that we discount the future, but that we discount it too steeply ..."
  2. "Methinks it is like a weasel" – "... We look for patterns in the kaleidoscope of experience because they may be signs of a hidden cause or agent. But this leaves us vulnerable to hallucinating spurious causes in haphazard noise. ..."
  3. Being right or getting it right – we should "... treat [our] beliefs as hypotheses to be tested rather than slogans to be defended. ..."

All worth remembering – and easier to remember than if they were part of a 300+ page tome!

(cf Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013-10-24), Future Self (2022-01-22), ...)

- Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 05:24:46 (EST)


2021-12-28 - Temple Loop

~3.8 mi @ ~14.1 min/mi

"Hi, Deer!" Quick circuit around the neighborhood, pausing to pose by an eroded statue wearing a holiday cap, and sprinting back to see a passing freight train.

(trackfile)

- Monday, January 24, 2022 at 05:21:24 (EST)


2021-12-27 - Peanuts Peppers Pastrami

~1.5 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"When the wind-storm came last week," says the homeowner, "my front-yard Saint Nicholas mannequin didn't blow over – but his pants came loose and fell down to his ankles. I had to come outside quickly to fix them. Didn't want my neighbors to think there was a pervy Santa on display!" On the way to pick up the car from the tire shop, pause at the grocery store for peanuts, pastrami, and peppers.http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Santas_Silver-Spring_z-2021-12-27.jpg

(trackfile)

- Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 06:58:53 (EST)


Future Self

Homer Simpson, talking about a choice that feels great right now but is likely to have bad long-term consequences:

"That's a problem for future Homer.
        Man, I don't envy that guy!"

(quoted in Stephen Pinker's Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters; cf Zhurnal Themes (2003-04-04), Homer Simpson Career Advice (2011-04-28), Honor Your Practice (2013-01-24), Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013-10-24), Professor Bertrand Quotes (2019-12-17), Luna Bar Sayings (2020-09-01), ...)

- Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 05:55:35 (EST)


2021-12-26 - StoryWalk

~6.8 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Reindeer stables!" A big front-yard inflatable in Kensington features all eight of Santa's sleigh-haulers bobbing to drink from a faux watering trough.🥃 & 🐻y climb the Mormon Temple hill to meet 🤖 heading downward. Noyes Children's Library StoryWalk posters line a path in Kennedy-Clum Park.

(trackfile)

- Friday, January 21, 2022 at 06:42:14 (EST)


2021-12-23 - Radial Tire

~4.2 mi @ ~16 min/mi

"Good job, Santa!" says the cyclist on Rock Creek Trail upon seeing the red cap. One of the MINI Cooper's run-flat tires is flat, so leave it at at the shop for a long weekend of R&R, then meander home via the Parkway Deli to pick up a few hamantashen!

(trackfile)

- Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 05:54:18 (EST)


Paulette Dickerson High School Annual

http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_a.jpgPaulette Dickerson (aka "DW") attended Washington High School (now Washington Preparatory High School) in Los Angeles, California.
She was a member of the Ephebians, a scholarly honor society, and of the rifle club, the student government, and other organizations involved in the arts.http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_b.jpg
http://zhurnaly.com/images/Family/Paulette-Dickerson_HS-yearbook-1967_e.jpgFrom the Washington High School Yearbook for the graduating class of Winter 1967, here are a few photos of Paulette. She was ~18 years old at the time.

- Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 05:54:54 (EST)


2021-12-20 - Candy and Pizza

~1 mi @ ~18 min/mi

"Velati's, then Manny's and Olga's!" Between chocolate truffles, gyros, and pizza, there's time enough for quick walkabouts in downtown Silver Spring. Lawn flamingos wear Santa suits and reindeer horns made from pipe-cleaners.

(trackfile & trackfile)

- Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at 05:12:41 (EST)


2021-12-19 - Faith, Hope, Love

~2.7 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/Kemp-Mill_faith-hope-love_z_2021-12-19.jpg"Have you been naughty or nice?" Sunday midday dash around the Kemp Mill neighborhood, with Santa cap on head, provokes pre-Christmas questions from passers-by. Tristram is taking his owners on a walk along the horse trail loop in Wheaton Regional Park, but there's no time to sync up. At the Saint Andrew Apostle Catholic Church banners remind: Faith, Hope, Love.

(trackfile)

- Monday, January 17, 2022 at 05:10:47 (EST)


Complicate the Story

Simple is seductive, yet so often wrong. In "Complicating the Narratives" Amanda Ripley (Solutions Journalism) writes about the need for reporters – and everyone else – to artfully:

and from Ripley's final paragraph:

Journalists need to learn to amplify contradictions and widen the lens on paralyzing debates. We need to ask questions that uncover people's motivations. All of us, journalists and non-journalists, could learn to listen better. As researchers have established in hundreds of experiments over the past half-century, the way to counter the kind of tribal prejudice we are seeing is to expose people to the other tribe or new information in ways they can accept. When conflict is cliché, complexity is breaking news.

(cf Mantra - Open the Aperture (2018-10-30), Righteous Mind (2020-07-12) ...)

- Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 07:48:40 (EST)


2021-12-18 - Wet Crossing

~4.7 mi @ ~23 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/walk/Lake-Bernard-Frank_wet-crossing_Caren_Jew_2022-12-18.jpg"Wet Crossing!" says the signpost at Lake Bernard Frank, and Comrade 🦘 is fearless as she leads the way through the stream. Mindful trail therapy talk pauses during breathtaking-steep hill climbs on the Old Nasty Trail. Ultra-friends share stories and thank each other and laugh together at the world. And it's all good!

(trackfile)

- Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 06:02:49 (EST)


2021-12-17 - Xmas Decorations

~3.9 mi @ ~16.5 min/mi

"Santas and snowmen and penguins and dragons!" Front-yard inflatables in 🐻y's 'hood vie with crèches for Christmas dominion. A dog-walking elderly lady at the drainage ponds discusses birds.

(trackfile)

- Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 05:50:33 (EST)


Scam Culture

A recent thoughtful essay by Tressie McMillan Cottom in the New York Times, "We're All 'Experts' Now. That's Not a Good Thing" offers multiple insights into metacognitive challenges and their consequences for society. Cottom suggests that it's not useful to make individuals responsible for knowing everything about everything and to blame them for their own victimization by cheaters. She also notes that it's unwise for people to view government and social order through a personal-profit-maximization lens. Among Cottom's key points:

... important ideas worth pondering!

(cf Shoot the Moon (1999-12-29), Since Fire (2000-04-29), Money Mechanism Meaning (2001-02-15), Money Wisdom (2001-05-20), For Themselves (2003-06-08), Techniques of Financial Fraud (2015-05-02), Risk Shift (2019-06-02), ...)

- Friday, January 14, 2022 at 05:52:29 (EST)


Mantra - Think about Other People

"I think about other people besides myself.
          You should try it some time."

... from the 2021 film The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, a thoughtful-lovely time-loop story by Lev Grossman.

(cf Mantra - No Others (2016-06-27), Mantra - Unself Together (2018-03-30), Mantra - Identify as More (2018-09-11), Mantra - Let Somebody Else Be the Hero (2020-02-17), ...)

- Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 05:44:30 (EST)


2021-12-16 - Climb and Crawl

~2.3 mi @ ~12.6 min/mi

"Science is Real" says a lawn poster by artist Tessa Lloyd. "Be Kind" reads a sign on a telephone pole. Jog around new corners of an old neighborhood, climb a wall, crawl under a fence, and enjoy new bits of an old neighborhood.

(trackfile)

- Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 20:40:49 (EST)


2021-12-15 - On the Way to Mi Rancho

~2 mi @ ~12.5 min/mi

"TexMex carry-out!" Pause en route for a quick run-walk loop around the hilly neighborhood near East-West Hwy east of Rock Creek.

(trackfile)

- Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at 05:57:19 (EST)


2021-12-14 - Warm Wishes

~3.4 mi @ ~13.6 min/mi

"Warm Wishes!" says the coffee mug held by a fire-breathing dragon, an inflated sculpture in a Bethesda front yard spied during a walkabout on the way to the Apple Store. Curvy orange-painted metal acrobats pose in front of another home.

(trackfile)

- Sunday, January 09, 2022 at 07:36:48 (EST)


Oblique Strategies

A deck of cards to help give the Muse a nudge: Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt created Oblique Strategies in the early 1970s. As Eno describes them:

These cards evolved from our separate observations of the principles underlying what we are doing. Sometimes they were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated. They can be used as a pack (a set of posibilities being continuously reviewed in the mind) or by drawing a single card from a shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case the card is trusted even if it appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident.

Much like Tarot cards, an Oblique Strategies random suggestion can help rotate the viewpoint. A few examples:

... all meta, obvious, and often overlooked!

- Saturday, January 08, 2022 at 06:02:52 (EST)


2021-12-12 - MCRRC 8k Jingle Bell Jog

~5 miles @ ~11.8 min/mi

"Devoted Family Man, Teacher, Coach, and ..." says the gravestone at historic Haiti Cemetery, last word invisible behind flowers. 🔥 and 🐇 pause to explore and remember early on a Sunday.

"Fall in love with the problem, not the solution!" – a creative turnabout-inversion strategy shared during coffee walkabout. 🔥, 🐻, and 🦁 lead the club race. Official result: 249 of 280 finishers, 146/153 males, 7/8 among the male 65-69 year old cohort, in 58:29 (58:13 chip time).
http://zhurnaly.com/images/run/MCRRC_8k_Jingle-Bell-Jog_2021-12-12.jpg

(trackfile & trackfile & trackfile)

- Friday, January 07, 2022 at 07:10:08 (EST)


Think All the Time

From an obituary of Robert H. Grubbs (1942-2021), Nobel laureate in chemistry:

You don't have to work all the time,
      but you should think all the time.

- Thursday, January 06, 2022 at 07:48:22 (EST)


2021-12-11 - Sandworms

~4.4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"If we wore them for our walkabouts we might look like baby giant sandworms!" 🥃 & 🐻 lead the way from Ken-Gar to the Garrett Park Farmers Market, and show 🦆 some new-to-him cut-throughs. We discuss walk-around sleeping bags, and who would win in a fight between Cthulhu and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

(trackfile)

- Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 06:28:53 (EST)


2021-12-10 - Local Loop

~2.6 mi @ ~15 min/mi

"Mermaids!" A neighborhood tour revisits the graffiti under a Rock Creek bridge, and the fountain at Forest Glen's National Park Seminary plus other statues and architecture.

(trackfile)

- Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 06:20:39 (EST)


This is How You Lose the Time War

A bundle of love letters – an extended prose poem – an amazing maze of silly alliteration and elusive allusions – a prize-winning SF novella ...

"This Is How You Lose the Time War" by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone is beautiful and fascinating and all of those. From a review by Jason Sheehan:

But what if someone wrote a time-travel story that made the uncoupling and haywire craziness the entire point? And what if you could ground all that crazy in the simple, pure yearning of two lovers separated by the streams of space and time, passing letters to each other across the chaos?

Well, you'd have The Lake House, of course. But if you took that sappy story of unrequited love, Keanu Reeves and a time-traveling mailbox, strapped it up in body armor, covered it with razors, dipped it in poison and set it loose to murder and burn its way across worlds and centuries, what you'd end up with is This Is How You Lose The Time War, the experimental, collaborative, time-travelling love-and-genocide novel by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

And more succinctly, "... it's fun to watch goddesses fall in love ..." as Stephen Case says. Likewise it's fun to hear echoes of classic science-fiction* harmonize with modern spacetime physics speculation. A sample snippet from the center of the story, a fragment of a note from Red to Blue:

... You have me watching birds, and though I don't know their names like you know them, I have seen small bright singers puff before the trill. That's how I feel. I sing myself out to you, and my talons clutch the branch and I am wrung out until your next letter gives me breath, fills me to bursting.

I miss you in the field. I miss defeat. I miss the chase, the fury. I miss victories well earned. Your fellows have their intrigues and their passions, and now and again a clever play, but there's none so intricate, so careful, so assured. You've whetted me like a stone. I feel almost invincible in our battles' wake, a kind of Achilles, fleet footed and light of touch. Only in this nonexistent place our letters weave do I feel weak.

How I love to have no armor here. ...

... and so much more – paradoxical wordplay-foreplay, simple similies and subtle suggestions, human humor and cosmic caring – that grows into a long short story worth rereading and savoring.

(*e.g., "The Seesaw" from A. E. van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher)

- Tuesday, January 04, 2022 at 07:02:20 (EST)


2021-12-07 - Kindness Rocks

~1.9 mi @ ~11.8 min/mi

"Kindness Rocks!" and "I hope you 💕 find peace today!" say signs in the woods. A brisk trot along the paved path atones in advance for 🦬 from Ted's.

(trackfile)

- Monday, January 03, 2022 at 06:49:33 (EST)


2021-12-05 - MCRRC Seneca Slopes 9k XC

~6 mi @ ~14 min/mi

photo of Mark Zimmermann by Dan Reichmann"Seventh place – from last, that is!" The MCRRC cross-country race at Seneca Creek State Park turns out well, on a frosty-brisk sunny Sunday morning in the late autumn woods. Official results show a finish 90th of 96, 59th of 60 males, 5th of 6 among males age 65-69, in an overall time of 1:27:35 – and no falling down or broken bones!

(trackfile)

- Sunday, January 02, 2022 at 07:56:12 (EST)


Apple Watch Meditations

The "Mindfulness" feature on an Apple Watch offers short mini-meditation themes to think (or not-think!?) about. Some examples:

Gently focus on the feeling of your breath as it rises and falls.Remind yourself of a challenge you've overcome. Think about the traits you have that helped.Think about a person you're likely to see soon. Imagine what giving them your full attention will feel like.
Bring to mind three people you are grateful to have in your life. Reflect on why you appreciate them.Notice your thoughts but try not to get caught up in them. Let them pass by.Think about something you've learned from an experience you've had recently.
Notice your emotions right now and consider how they may be shaping your experience.Find one thing to appreciate about yourself. Think about why this is meaningful for you.Think about the last time you were kind to yourself and how that felt.
Link something you're focused on to one of your core values, like kindness or integrity.Think about the best idea you've had recently and why it was so interesting to you.Think of someone who helps you feel relaxed and centered. Imagine them supporting you now.
Be curious about your own thoughts. Notice what comes up and any impressions you have.For this session simply focus on your breath. Cool as you breathe in. Warm as you breathe out.Find one thing to appreciate about someone close to you. Why is this trait meaningful?
Notice your surroundings. Appreciate the time and energy it took to create the things around you.Recall a challenge you've handled well. Apply this sense of resilience to a current problem.Think of a recent experience you've truly enjoyed. Recall what made that moment so wonderful.
Think about someone who inspires you to be a better person, and why.Rather than noticing everything around you, focus on one thing. Let it hold your attention.Become very aware of the things you see, hear, and feel. Let this focus your attention.
Recall a tough time that came up recently and what traits you have that helped you through it. Connect with your strengths.Think of a quiet place in nature. Relax into this peaceful feeling.Bring to mind something you are passionate about. Enjoy how it helps you feel fulfilled.
Think about a recent topic you were curious about. What sparked your curiosity?Creative ideas often come when we're not trying to do something. Take this time to let your mind wander.Reflect on one thing you're grateful for and think about why you appreciate it so much.
Think about how it feels to give kindness. Let that feeling flow through you.Think about something you love to do and why it brings you joy.Remind yourself of the many challenges you've overcome.
Notice any emotions you have during this time. Don't judge them, simply notice what comes up.Think about a tough situation you've faced and how you grew from it....

Perhaps these could be good ^zhurnaly "Mantra" pages, or could inspire short poems, or ...?

- Friday, December 31, 2021 at 06:07:47 (EST)


2021-12-04 - Northern Bethesda

~4.3 mi @ ~18.5 min/mi

A beautiful morning walkabout, cut slightly short by (ahem) chafing "issues" ☺️ ...

(trackfile)

- Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 06:04:12 (EST)


2021-12-03 - Sisyphus

~4 mi @ ~21 min/mi

"Sisyphus!" The 2009 sculpture by Wendy Ross in downtown Silver Spring "... reflects on the notion of cycles within cycles, of growth and decay, and the perspective of time and space as a continuum. It is a metaphor for the human condition, of hope and despair, and the eternal search to find purpose and meaning in a single act." For today's walkabout, the Act is to return library books 📚 ... and stop at the fancy chocolate store ... and improve physical and mental health ... and be a better person! ⚖️ http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Sisyphus_sculpture_Wendy-Ross_Silver-Spring.jpg

(trackfile)

- Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 06:47:37 (EST)


Navigating Ambiguous Loss

In "Caregiving and Dementia: Navigating Ambiguous Loss and Grief" Regan Olsson summarizes Lori Nisson's suggestions for "... ways you can work through these feelings, begin to grieve the losses and stay connected and present for the person you love while also building up your strength and resiliency." She uses the metaphor of ambiguous loss, "... a loss that is unclear, has no resolution and no predictable ending or closure ..." and advises:

(cf Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Rebalancing Doing and Being (2011-02-28), Fear of Failing (2015-07-08), Fraying at the Edges (2016-05-04) Mantra - Touch and Go (2017-04-01), Distilled to Pure Love (2019-01-04), ...)

- Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 06:38:33 (EST)


2021-11-29 - Lovely Dog

~2.2 mi @ ~13.5 min/mi

"Lovely dog!" Pup-walkers and bird-watchers line Sligo Creek. Take the natural-surface trail for a segment; join 🐻 at the Beltway and keep him company for the downstream return trot.

(trackfile)

- Monday, December 27, 2021 at 06:26:45 (EST)


2021-11-28 - Store in a Cool Dry Place

~6.4 mi @ ~19.5 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Store-in-a-Cool-Dry-Place_earth_globe_trash.jpg"Store in a Cool Dry Place!" says the box that 🔥 spies by the globe in a trash heap behind an apartment complex. Too obvious a metaphor for the Earth's situation?

"I miss my dose of you!" Mindful conversation is a beautiful gift between friends. Consider: good housing as part of the larger System of Society; hacks to become the Teacher's Pet at an upcoming short-course on Innovation; creativity principles from Category Theory; why horses nuzzle each other. Aspirations for the future: "Do Less, Better" (too hard?) and "Pause" – 🐾🐾!

(trackfile)

- Sunday, December 26, 2021 at 06:09:29 (EST)


Ron Mann on Mindfulness

From a podcast interview by Chase & Sarah Koserlitz with Ronald L. Mann, PhD, insightful thoughts on relationships, meditation, and love:

(deep namaste to DDR for sharing this beautiful interview!)

- Saturday, December 25, 2021 at 09:12:08 (EST)


Gift Box

Like a frame around a photo
  Or whitespace around a poem
    Or "quotation" punctuation –
    Simple separation
  Brings attention

To rest

(cf Between (2009-12-10), Cling to Nothing (2011-01-29), Attention (2015-03-03), Work the Whitespace (2017-05-07), Halfway (2019-08-09), Om - Be Between, ...)

- Friday, December 24, 2021 at 06:19:29 (EST)


2021-11-27 - MCRRC Turkey Burn-Off 5 Miler

~5.0 mi @ ~12.5 min/mi

Nine years ago the average pace was ~7.5 min/mi (at the 2012-11-24 - MCRRC Turkey Burnoff 5 Mile Race) – today, it's a thrill to be five minutes slower every mile! The Montgomery County Road Runners post-Thanksgiving Saturday run goes well, with minimal knee pain.

Comrades 🔥 and 🐻y lead the way and come in just ahead. Official result: 223 of 259 finishers, 112 of 122 males, 7th of 8 in the 65-69 year male age bracket, with chip time 1:02:37 and gun time 1:03:18. Hooray!
MCRRC Turkey Burn-off photo of Mark Zimmermann by Dan Reichmann

(trackfile)

- Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 06:10:14 (EST)


Trust

Faith is a pyramid
  Founded on the premise
That what was will persist
  That laws rule and connections bind
That cause gives birth to effect
  That Lover remains forever true,
And that meaning at its foundations
  Will not collapse in an avalanche
When the final snowflake lands.

- Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 05:59:22 (EST)


2021-11-26 - Christmas Lawn Art

~4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

"And a Santa as big as a house!" In 🐻y's neighborhood early Xmas inflatables include a Mandalorian holding a baby Yoda, an aged Yoda with a holly badge, and other decorations.

(trackfile)

- Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 06:23:28 (EST)


2021-11-24 - Mastiha and Kaiser

~4 mi @ ~20 min/mi

http://zhurnaly.com/images/arty/Mindfulness-maze_geyser_2021-11-24.jpg"Olives, cookies, and prescriptions!" A leaky hose erupts skyward in the middle of the Old Spring Road meditative maze. Pickups at the Greek Bakery and the Pharmacy provide a perfect excuse to ramble.

(trackfile)

- Monday, December 20, 2021 at 06:09:47 (EST)


Thinking Differently

From an obituary of nanotechnologist-chemist Ned Seeman (1945-2021) in Nature, on the value of having other people get excited about and work on something you started:

"We don't have to have all the ideas any more,
and we don't have to make all the mistakes!"

Seeman's big ideas involved DNA self-assembling building-blocks and fitting tiny tiles together to do computations. In the same Nature obit author Philip Ball notes:

Seeman was renowned for his blunt way with words and dry, self-deprecating wit. He has been described as a singular character – at once gruff and caring, vulgar and articulate, stubborn and visionary. Winfree told me, "I feel it's no accident that DNA nanotechnology sprang forth from someone who took almost a perverse pleasure in thinking differently."

- Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 05:35:37 (EST)


2021-11-23 - Be Present

~2 mi @ ~14 min/mi

"Be Present" admonishes a painted stone slab by the road. So simple. Yes, and...

(trackfile)

- Saturday, December 18, 2021 at 06:15:39 (EST)


On the Floor

From a December 2021 New York Times column by David Brooks, "What Do You Say to the Sufferer?", thoughtful suggestions that might be summarized as:

Brooks describes how hard times can provide meaning – "... tenacity, courage, unselfishness and dignity ...". He shares "... cases where suffering didn't break people but broke them open – made them more caring toward and knowledgeable about the suffering of others ...". He tells of:

... a woman with a brain injury who would sometimes fall to the floor. People around her would rush to immediately get her back on her feet, before she was quite ready. She [said], "I think people rush to help me up because they are so uncomfortable with seeing an adult lying on the floor. But what I really need is for someone to get down on the ground with me."

... getting on the floor can be anxiety-producing and, when someone is in deep despair, even dangerous to the strongest caregiver. But sometimes you just get on the floor. ...

Brooks concludes:

"We all need witnesses –
    to witness others,
    to be witnessed,
    to draw inspiration
        from each other."

(cf [1] for free-gift link), and see also How Great Thou Art (2005-03-16), New Superpower (2018-10-27), Receiving (2019-12-22), Mr Rogers Asks (2019-11-18), ...)

- Friday, December 17, 2021 at 06:29:45 (EST)



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