August 5th, 2010

blue jellyfish

another foggy morning -


I attended my third Toastmasters Meeting last night and learned that the sun has not been seen in the Presidio area of SF since May 29th.  People are getting depressed.  Even my cats sleep most of the time.  They think we are in winter hibernation though we have seen the sun here but it is still cold even when it pokes out.  My geraniums have given up but I find it soothing somehow and I can always go north, south, or east for sun.  I know many of you are sweltering so it is odd that we continue to experience our coldest summer since 1940.

I am told that my Toastmasters group is the best ever and maybe it is true but I recommend Toastmasters for the sense of community and the quality of the speeches.  Each time I go I learn something new.  One new member is 28 and was the first, with the help of his family,  to bring wheelchair access to our local high school.   I learned about Laura's Law.  I had been unaware and might have questioned the legality until I heard the impassioned plea by someone who could personally say why there is a time and place to enforce the taking of medication by someone who is unable to realize the damage they do.   

Each night there is a theme, but what most amazes me is the enthusiasm.  When I returned home last night, I had an email of support on my speech, and the minutes were already posted.  This organization is run by volunteers and information is shared easily and quickly.  I am impressed.

Also, this morning I woke with a cramp in my leg and I couldn't seem to stand on it, so I crawled a bit and then lay down on the floor.  I forget how restful it is to lie on the floor.  I recommend it.   May your day provide the inner weather you need.
alan - morning glory center

The Secret Powers of Time!

My son and I were discussing 3-D movies. Other than Avatar, I have not been impressed with the last two 3-D movies I've seen and I think it is because my brain is trying to understand what is going on rather than falling into the experience. The two were animated films by Pixar. They were clearly creative and yet my brain seemed to be analyzing as I was watching. I couldn't "go with it."

My son said it is dangerous for young children to be exposed to 3-D. As I understood him, their brains will be re-wired before they are even wired for functioning in this world, the "real" world as we perceive it.

Professor Phillip Zimbardo is fascinating in his look at how we perceive and utilize time. I had seen the first part before but then he continues on, and maybe I had seen the whole thing but I didn't take it in as strongly until the discussion with my son.

What I see in Toastmasters is how important it is to have human contact. I realize that when we clap, we smile. I don't think we can clap without smiling and Toastmasters is about clapping, is about encouragement. We need touch, the touch of our two hands coming together to make a sound, and the touch of others, the accolades of their eyes, their hugs.

We need to stay aware of how we are raising our children. We need to stay in touch.
alan's beach photo

Rilke - "enter the breathing that is more than your own."

Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, IV

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins beside you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(In Praise of Mortality, translated and edited by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)