- MT @wcronon: I've just posted a new blog entry on UW-Madison's response to the request for my emails. Please share: http://bit.ly/dF00Mu #
- In the midst of planning three upcoming travel adventures around the West. Woot! #bringit2011 #
- RT @MHpodcast: Join us April 21st for "The Journalist as Historian" @theHuntington: http://bit.ly/dHZ4dA #
- Tried Korean BBQ for the first time tonite & had the all-u-can-eat special. It might be awhile before I eat meat again… #
- Big hat tip to DavidM for turning me on to Universalsubtitles.org-it's creating great transcriptions for our #ChapmanU oral history project! #
- The ocean, it's calling my name (I love it when that happens…). #
- I have synethesia. The 2nd video here is pretty close to how I "see" music http://bit.ly/efyuRq (h/t @anselm) #
- I'm testing the hypothesis that an indulgent weekend fosters a more productive workweek. :) #mondaymorning #sofarsogood #
- Slept in, drank afternoon tea in the sunshine on the front porch, & had a rather lazy Sunday. #indulgent #fun #justwhatIneeded :) #
- Medical "Art" Posters. Amazing. Wish I could see this exhibit! http://bit.ly/dJRbS5 (h/t Steve) #
- FRIDAY! #nuffsaid #
I wasn’t sure where I was headed, only knowing that I needed to walk for awhile. I meandered past rows of historic cottages, smelling the roses that drooped over picket fences. I walked past the student housing, seeing the undergrads milling around and heading back to campus for class. I crossed block after block of streets where I’d never walked before.
There was an inordinate amount of pleasure in feeling the wind pull my skirt around my lower legs, and whipping my scarf out in front and to the side of my body. The dark clouds that were overhead when I began my walk were mostly gone by the time I finished, and the sun was shining.
Earlier this morning, I’d logged into an interesting web-based project called “The Wilderness Downtown” that overlays images of running children with a googlemap of your childhood home (try it, it’s quite powerful). As my address, I entered in the home where I lived in Colorado–coincidentally the place I lived when I slowly lost my ability to run–as my knee lost its strength and flexibility while filling with cancer. I can’t remember the last time I was able to run, although I do remember trying that one time in 7th grade PE class when we were doing hurdles and I found that I simply couldn’t shift my weight onto the sore knee anymore.
The project prompts you to write a postcard to your childhood self. What I wrote:
“You will never run again. But you will walk. Miles and miles you will walk. And you will ski, and bike, and paddle, and swim. Sometimes you will cry, and hurt, and be alone. But more often than that, you will smile and laugh and have people to love.”
For me mornings used to be a blur of getting ready for the day, getting the kids out the door, etc. I was generally bleary-eyed and short-tempered. There was so much rushing here and there and bumping around in a small kitchen with everyone juggling cereal boxes and leftovers and schoolbooks and such.
My mornings now are spent with me in meditation on the soft carpet of my living room. I open the back curtains and let the sunshine pour in. Ellycat typically joins me there, sunbathing. And more often than not, curling up into a soft purry ball in my lap.
Right now, seeing the green leaves on the boughs of the trees overhead makes me feel my own excitement for the promise of spring. There is so much new and interesting and happy in my life. I feel so alive and present to the gifts of this day, and to those in my future.
This morning I realized that it’s been just about 3 years since the injury in the garden that led to my massive leg infection and surgery. As I told that story to a friend this weekend and showed him my scar, I marveled at the place that used to be sunken in (where the dead tissue and muscle was removed). It’s now a regularly contoured calf muscle and the scar has faded to a pale pink seam. There’s such satisfaction in knowing that old wounds do heal and that my leg (and my immune system) is now stronger than it ever was before. From that experience I found my love for outrigger paddling and began to learn the ways of the ocean. I never would have guessed then that such a hard time would eventually bring me so much strength, self-knowledge and joy.
A few days ago I took a walk in the dark, late at night to clear my head of a few things. Within a few blocks I found myself at the site of my former garden. It was the first time I’d been to the site since saying good-bye a few months ago. I peered through a gap in the protective fence around the construction site. The earth there had been scraped clear by bulldozers. There was not one bit of evidence of what had been there before. I cried.
It’s hard to acknowledge how deeply it broke my heart to lose my garden. I’m feeling it especially acutely this spring as I ache to have my hands in warm soil and to sow seeds.
I have so much else to keep me busy right now that there is little time to dwell on what I’ve lost. But there are those moments when it still hurts deeply. And I am grateful that I’m still surrounded by plants (in pots) to remind me of the magic of spring, even if I won’t be celebrating the blossoms of my peach tree this year. Recently a friend brought me a plant that has flowers that close each evening and open again in the morning. I love the symbolism of that–to know that there are those dark nights when things are closed and tight. Yet soon enough there is the morning again: a time to be open and feel the sun.
by John Updike
One size fits all. The shape or coloration
of the god or high heaven matters less
than that there is one, somehow, somewhere, hearing
the hasty prayer and chalking up the mite
the widow brings to the temple, A child
alone with horrid verities cries out
for there to be a limit, a warm wall
whose stones give back an answer, however faint.
Strange, the extravagance of it—who needs
those eighteen-armed black Kalis, those musty saints
whose bones and bleeding wounds appall good taste,
those joss sticks, houris, gilded Buddhas, books
Moroni etched in tedious detail?
We do; we need more worlds. This one will fail.
- My friend & fellow #ThatCamp #039;er @PennamitePLR interviewed on the NARA blog about her flickr commons art: http://bit.ly/f9RRXu #
- Looking for the spreadsheet that lists academic institutions using wordpress. Anyone have that link handy? @boone @patrick_mj #
- Today: got locked out of home & office; left car keys on front seat of unlocked car all day; left wallet in car while getting dinner. Sigh. #
- Really looking forward to tonight's episode of "Historians in the Hot Tub." #lifeofahistorian #
- Trying to decide if having such an amazing weekend makes it easier to return back to the workweek tomorrow, or harder… #bringit2011 #
- RT @westcenter: By the numbers. FWIW. Bottom line shows humanities really do make money (UCLA Today) http://bit.ly/grQTU0 #