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‘Miles upon miles of waste brought on by man’s devotion to war.’–Ami McKay, writing of the 1917 Halifax Explosion in The Birth House, 213.
Remember last week, where Jon Kabat-Zinn (pictured) said when we change our approach from aversion to embrace we achieve a breakthrough? It’s a matter of taking whatever comes in the present. He quotes Walden, which he says is a ‘rhapsody about the present moment.’ And Martha Graham: ‘Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.’ You develop the skill of being present in the formal mind-body stress reduction program (MBSR) program, and you apply it to the informal program, life. MBSR=training wheels, life=bike. Recent, ground-breaking studies in neuroplasticity show that older brains create new neurons, especially from repetitive experience, like meditation or music practice. It’s an exciting time, both for science and for meditation. However, the risk is that it will become materialistic and lose the ‘heart’. People didn’t go into meditation to make pretty MRI pictures. Is MBSR, by removing the spirituality and making it a medical treatment, the death-knell of meditation? Kabat-Zinn doesn’t see it that way. MBSR is grounded in an ethics; it doesn’t need to be Buddhist. And what isn’t spiritual? Chopping vegetables? Making love? Spirituality (to Kabat-Zinn) asks what it means to be really human. How present are you? How well do you know yourself?
The Royal Ontario Museum turns 100. Museum Diaries follows the ROM’s Curator of Paleontology and his team as they prepare the Mega-Dinosaur Exhibit for travel. In the Badlands they unearth bones and ship them back to the ROM. Go behind the scenes.
• 2014-03-19–we watched wonders of the universe (falling), about the weakest yet most far-reaching of the forces, gravity, which shapes the structure of space-time itself.
• 2014-03-20–jm visited in the morning; we talked of many things, such as music, kids, love, work, and the orenda; in the afternoon cb, bl, and i discussed jesus and the paralytic; in the evening sue and i viewed some of canada’s stunning bc and yukon natural history, then a bit of cultural history, discovered in a century-old collection of photographs, which makes you wonder: who really owns the images: the descendants or the finders-keepers/sellers-buyers?
• 2014-03-21–sue and i watched the final episode of wonders of the universe (messengers), about light.
In The Birth House, Ami McKay writes, ‘I guess Dr. Thomas [the ob/gyn and, in this case, hunter] won’t be happy until he’s taken every last thing that mattered to Miss B [the midwife, protector of deer].’ (321) And, ‘if women lose the right to say where and how they birth their children, they will lose something that’s as dear to life as breathing.’ (361)
‘Through Jane [Eyre], Brontë opposes Victorian stereotypes about women…: “Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer.” … (Chapter XII)’
Rohr (pictured) summary: Dualistic thinking is why racism, classism, homophobia, religious imperialism, and prejudice of all kinds is so hard to overcome. (Sunday) Dualistic thinking is our way of reading reality from the position of my private ego. (Monday) The fragmented mind and the egoic mind see in parts. (Tuesday) Everything specific and concrete in this world is a mixture of opposites. (Wednesday) First clarify, then subtly discriminate. (Thursday) By the second half of our lives, we are meant to see in wholes and no longer just in parts. (Friday)
Leonard Bernstein (pictured), although not prolific, did more than compose the score for West Side Story. For example, in 1971 he wrote MASS, for which the FBI ‘warned the White House that the Latin text of the Mass might contain anti-war messages, which could cause embarrassment to President Nixon should he attend the premiere and applaud politely…. Nixon did not ultimately attend the premiere; Nixon had this decision described in the press as an act of courtesy to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis [who commissioned the piece], because he felt the formal opening “should really be her night”.’ Nice spin.
• 2014-03-24–oscar back. sue home. watched the agenda–going global (with democracy).
‘But we known Lilah’s gutted flat [in Paris, 1940] wouldn’t fend off the chaos forever. Ain’t no man can outrun his fate.’ Half-Blood Blues, 9.
A trailer for MASS by Leonard Bernstein. (thanks to bb)
‘Use your power to make change a reality’–Earth Hour,
The Wye Marsh’s Sweetwater Harvest Festival,
Saturday & Sunday, 2014-03-29 & 30
At a library near you: Books2Eat .
Walk, bike, or paddle, don’t drive, especially on Fossil Fools Day.