February 17th, 2008

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Good Morning!!

I read a slew of columnists this morning, and it seems like, in the moment,  Barack Obama is the guy.  Peggy Noonan has a good analysis of Hillary in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, and Maureen Dowd continues to have a great deal to say about Hillary.   The list goes on.   It is Sunday, and not my usual preferred way of beginning this day, and yet, curiosity overtakes me.  I think the rise of Obama really does matter. It sounds like he is appealing to conservatives and liberals, and it says something huge about the issue, or perhaps non-issue of race in this country.   Bill Maher says this welcoming of Barack and Hillary is 200 years late.  That may be, but it is here now, and I have lived to see it, and I am thrilled.

Pablo Picasso said, "Everything you can imagine is real."

The ordinary cardboard box is in the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY.

According to the National Toy Hall Of Fame, "Children rapidly sense the possibilities inherent in cardboard boxes, recycling them into innumerable playthings. The strength, light weight, and low cost that make cardboard boxes successful with industry have made them endlessly adaptable by children for creative play".

The Toy Hall recommends the big sized cardboard boxes like the ones that your fridge or dishwasher came in, rather than the smaller shoe boxes for your child.

Even my cats have great fun with a cardboard box, and we all know how children respond.  It is absolutely clear and right that the cardboard box is in the best of toys.  Imagination soars.

As of November 2005, there were 34 toys inducted into the National Toy Hall Of Fame.

They are in alphabetical order: Alphabet Blocks, Barbie®, Bicycle, Candy Land®, Cardboard Box, Checkers, Crayola® Crayons, Duncan® Yo-Yo, Erector® Set, Etch A Sketch®, Frisbee®, G.I. Joe™, Hula Hoop®, Jack in the Box, Jacks, Jigsaw Puzzle, Jump Rope, LEGO®, Lincoln Logs®, Marbles, Monopoly®, Mr. Potato Head®, Play-Doh®, Radio Flyer® Wagon, Raggedy Ann™, Rocking Horse, Roller Skates, SCRABBLE®, Silly Putty®, Slinky®, Teddy Bear, Tinkertoy®, Tonka® Trucks, and View-Master®.

I've played with all but G.I. Joe.

How many have you played with?   Do you have any in your house?
I keep reading that the Hula Hoop is back, and there is an adult version for exercise.
I remember mine.  It was blue, and my brother's was yellow.  It was quite a phenomena at the time.

There is also a good article in the NY Times today on the importance of play for children, of sensory physical movement and involvement with other children as a way to learn empathy and cooperation.  

It is a day to rest and play, and perhaps, climb into a cardboard box, and then, climb out and play Ring around the Rosy, and Captain May I, and Red Light, Green Light, and Tag.   I grew up in a neighborhood with children, and those summer evening games come tumbling back this morning as I look out on the green of leaves and trees and the gray of fog above.

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Gratitude -

Gratitude is a wonderful practice. 

If you can just appreciate each thing, one by one, then you will have pure gratitude. Even though you observe just one flower, that one flower includes everything.


Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
Branching Streams Flowing in the Dark

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a poem by Stephen Dunn -

The Kiss

  She pressed her lips to mind.
                                —a typo

How many years I must have yearned
for someone's lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.

She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.

Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she's missed.
How had I ever settled for less?

I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek's ear,
speaking sense. It's the Good,

defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. we married as soon as we could.


    - Stephen Dunn

    from Everything Else in the World



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moderation -

I don't usually read fiction but I read Orson Scott Card's book Empire today.   He makes a good argument for moderation in politics, and certainly presents a "novel" solution to our political problems.  It is fiction, and respect for the ideas of others is one of his requests.  I checked him out on Wikipedia, because I was intrigued with what appeared to be a shuttlecock of back and forth as to "liberal" and "conservative."

He doesn't fit strictly into a category of Democrat or Republican, and wonders in his book why there is such fascism in the parties, such intolerance for those who stand with a foot in each camp.  It is to consider.

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At the center of your being you have the answer.

You know who you are and you know what you want.

          - Lao-tzu