Saturday, October 28, 2006

a brave and startling truth

poem by Maya Angelou read at the 50th anneversary of the UN.

WE this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
from the fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the mistrel show of hate
And the faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When the battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots of foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And the children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfections
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Not the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nuture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade, and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people, on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That, in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistable tenderness,
That the haughty neck is happy to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradition
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, flouting body
Created on this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when and only when
We come to it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

better mexico blog

i actually switched my travel journal over to blogger from vox, because i didn't like vox so much. oh, and i got a digital camera for my birthday so i can post photos too. yippee!
so here is the new one.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Super-Screw You Award!

Feist, riding the money wave of popularity for her album "Let it Die", wins this award for her crappy remix album "Open Season" and the commercial for men's cologne using her song "Mushaboom".
cha-ching!
"Let it Die" indeed.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

happy birthday


Next saturday, the 21st, will be this blog's first birthday.

From London

I'm in London waiting for my travel companions to wake up for our flight home to Iceland. I am here on a working vacation with everyone from work. The owner decided to invite us all (9+him) to go to London and attend an event with comic writer Alan Moore and to explore the London bookstores espessially Forbidden planet on which Nexus the store where I work is inspired by. This is my sixth time in London and I always love coming here. The bookstores are great, Borders, Blackwells, Waterstones, Foyles, Murder One and Forbidden Planet to name some of them. Beside Forbidden Planet which is my favorite with it's humongus Sci-fi and fantasy selection I think Borders is my favorite. Ofcourse Murder One is always a delight with it's narrow staircase and small rooms crammed with books from top to bottom. Wish I had some pictures to share with you but I have been horribly lazy taking pictures. More when I get home.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mexico


The new link in the links list on the left, Snowbirds, is a blog I set up to document our migration south for the winter. I like documenting...

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Joy of Ernie Zelinski

The last few weeks I've been reading quotes from one of Ernie's books to Liz, which inspired her to write her last post.

I'm pretty sure I first heard Ernie on CBC a few years ago (another thing that I have to thank CBC for, but that's another story). I was impressed by what I heard.

I've read several of Ernie's books since then. I started with "The Joy of Not Working", everyone should read that - it should be a textbook. In a good way.

Ernie has a knack for putting things into perspective, I feel like he is showing me how to realize things I already know.

I suspect that nobody that reads this is probably going to get all excited about reading any of these books (maybe he should title his next book: "Da Vinci Potter and the Harry Code").

"Don't Hurry, Be Happy: 650 Smart Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life" won't kill you, it's light and easy. I hope that it'll inspire you to read some more Ernie. (I found 14 copies in The Alberta Library Online), ya lazy bums.



Sunday, October 08, 2006

deepa mehta

I've watched a couple of movies by director Deepa Mehta. I think she is really good and i hope to see more of her work. She depicts india so wonderfully yet so scary at the same time. most of her films are tragedies, especially against women so be prepared to cry. I think her most recent is Water, with previous films, Earth and Fire. I first saw Water and walked out of the theater very grateful for my protective husband and society that takes a little better care of the poor and destitute. I always hope that people have become wiser over time, even though there are tons of ways to disprove that. Her films also make me morn the lost rights of millions of women around the world. Her films are very intellegent, historically eye opening and beautiful.

poor is the new rich

So many people think more money would make them happy.
This is dillusional. Think of all the money that is spent on lottery tickets every day. I hear of so many stories of the people who win messing up their lives. Yet, people buy into this illusion that if they would just win the lottery, their lives would be so much happier. Why wait around for your life to be better, especially by something that you have no control over, like a one-in-a-million chance of winning a lottery. Start making your life better now on your own. And then there's the chase for the higher paying job. Those unfortunately come with higher stress and less time for a life. Is it really worth it?
Here are some quotes from Ernie Zelinski's book "The Joy of Not Knowing It All" (also published as "The Joy of Thinking Big"):
"People want to believe there is one big money deal that will take care of all their problems. This is believing in a form of Santa Claus; everything is going to be great once this savior brings something of great value for us. Remember how false this belief was when we were children. Our happiness was short-lived and our problems remained."
"A higher percentage of people making higher incomes are less satisfied with their income than people with lower incomes. A higher percentage of the rich have alcohol and drug problems."
"If we are unhappy and don't handle our problems well on $25,000 a year, we can expect the same of oursleves with a lot of money. We will be just as unhappy and handle our problems just as ineffectively, but with more comfort and style."
"The one-big-deal syndrome is one of those adolescent-rescue fantasies we all had in our younger years. Unfortunately I know many people who have carried these fantasies well into their fifties and sixties. eg. If I could only get a high paying job then I could start living."
"People are looking for an easy way to happiness, when none exists. Waiting for the one-big-deal avoids the effort to make life work."

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realise we cannot eat money.
-Cree Indian Proverb

Sunday, October 01, 2006