Friday, June 28, 2013

Higgs Boson, part 2

What came to Newton was the connection between the fall of the apple and the motion of the planets. ...the gravitational attraction that keeps the planets orbiting around the sun and the moon orbiting around the earth was the same force that pulls apples toward the ground.
                                                                    ~ Sean Carroll, The Particle at the End of the Universe, p. 118
Every now and again, I'm reminded that there was a time when gravity was not a broadly understood concept; when falling apples and the motion of the planets were considered not only vastly separate events, but also were so far removed from normal life that Newton's concept was a world-changer. The incredibly fascinating piece of information is that there are still things being discovered with that kind of impact.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Warrior of Light

Every Warrior of Light has felt afraid of going into battle.
Every Warrior of Light has, at some time int the past, lied or betrayed someone.
Every Warrior of Light has trodden a path that was not his.
Every Warrior of Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons.
Every Warrior of Light has, at least once, believed that he was not a Warrior of Light.
Every Warrior of Light has failed in his spiritual duties.
Every Warrior of Light has said 'yes' when he wanted to say 'no'.
Every Warrior of Light has hurt someone he loved.
That is why he is a Warrior of Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.
~ Paulo Coelho

At various times over the course of my life I have considered myself a Warrior of Light. Not that I believe I can do something others are incapable of doing ~ or that I can save myself from the Darkness, much less anyone else. It's that I believe in the Light and the power and constancy of that Light. My faith in my own capacity to be a warrior wavers, yet what brings me back is the simple presence of the Light and its belief in me.

What about you? What do you believe about yourself and your capabilities? Are you ready to be a Warrior? If so, a Warrior for what?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Higgs Boson Particle, part 1

"When you're six years old, everyone asks these questions, why is the sky blue? Why do things fall down? Why are some things hot and others cold? How does it all work?" We don't have to learn how to become interested in science -- children are natural scientists. That innate curiosity is beaten out of us by years of schooling and the pressures of real life. ....studies show that kids love science up until the ages of ten to fourteen years old.
~ Sean Carroll, The Particle at the End of the Universe, p. 13
This passage could also be applied to the arts. Children are not only natural scientists, they are natural artists and musicians, sculptors and storytellers. Their curiosity is part of their creativity; their creativity part of their curiosity. They are willing explorers of the world around them in every fashion possible. Their experiments cover the gamut of their world: eating, planting, poking, prodding, putting together and taking apart. That's how they learn.

Scientists, both theorists and experimenters, continue to feed their own and each others' curious explorations and notions. As do artists of every ilk. Our society puts more value on one than the other without noting the connection between the two. 

As for schooling, well, it's purpose is to prepare students to be productive members of society. Some students are encouraged to continue expanding their curiosity and/or their creativity. Others are guided in a different direction. In using the term "beaten out of us," Carroll makes it sound as though everyone would have naturally continued on that path. That's simply not true. Every culture of which we are aware was made up of diverse 'jobs' that its members had. Few seem to have been encouraged within the cultural milieu to pursue being healers or artists or storytellers. Not everyone could or would do the job equally well. That's what creates a full and rounded society.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Super Moon

Tonight's ~ or more precisely, tomorrow morning's ~ full moon is called a Super Moon. Extensive discussions on the internet and in print revolve around whether or not that claim is true. By definition, a Super Moon is a perigee moon: at its closest point to the Earth at the same time, or nearly the same time, as it is at its fullest. It's all a matter of language.

My best guess would be that the term Super Moon has arrived in our language as a result of the current popularity of vampire and werewolf novels which place considerable focus on the full moon. Tonight's full moon will be closer to the Earth than it was last month, yet the likelihood that most people observing the night sky would notice a size difference is negligible. Hence, the birth of a new term to make us "ooh" and "aah" as though we have noticed ~ or as though it's something that hasn't happened in a long time: dozens, if not hundreds, of years. That's just not true.

So what's more important: the coinage of a new term that creates more observers of the perigee moon phenomenon? or the truth that it happens multiple times in our lives, perhaps even every year?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Soul Learning

Have you ever encountered a person who somehow for the life of her cannot be kind to you? What do you do when you are around a person like that? How do you interpret and live with and beyond the negativity?

I have a person like that in my work-a-day life ~ a person for whom I am a constant reminder of something distasteful to her.  We do a dance of sorts: I enter the room, she leaves; if I'm in the room already, she does not acknowledge me; when she's in the room, I walk past without saying anything. It's become the 'elephant in the living room' for us. My 'strategy' ~ such as it is ~ is to have as little contact as possible. I have viewed that as the 'safe' approach.

Internally, I've needed to distance myself from the negative energy that snaps between us when we're near each other. Forgiveness and compassion have become my greatest allies. Whenever I catch myself spiraling into the negative chatter inside my head, I remind myself that no one is that negative without being wounded herself. Mostly, this is self-talk about the stress she is or must be under, any good/talented actions I've observed her doing, examining how I have fit or fed into her negative space. This exercise works to keep me both humbled and focused on the other person; both of these keep positive energy in view.

What are your strategies?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Don't Sit and Wait....

Don't sit and wait.
Get out there, feel life.
Touch the sun,
and immerse in the sea.
~~ Rumi

When I have the opportunity, I love to go to the sea and walk along the beach as long and as far as I can. Those moments string together to encounter life. Mary Anne Radmacher has a card that reads: I go to the sea to breathe. How true. How utterly true. The expanse of the sea and the sky opens me. I feel more alive; I breathe more deeply; I see beyond the horizon.

What do you experience when you go to the sea? or to the lake? or the river? What is your deepest connection with water and sun? Where do you feel life? What do you do with that feeling?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Under a Certain Little Star

by Wislawa Szmborska
My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity in case I'm mistaken.
Truth, do not pay me too much attention.
Solemnity, be magnanimous toward me.
Bear with me, O mystery of being, for pulling threads from your veil.
Soul, don't blame me that I've got you so seldom.
I know that as long as I live nothing can excuse me,
since I am my own obstacle.
Do not hold it against me, O speech, that I borrow weighty words,
and then labor to make them light.

I love this snippet of her poem. That first couplet startled me with the very idea of apologizing to a concept.... no sooner is one apology completed then another scurries on its heels, just "in case I'm mistaken." I can decidedly relate ~~ on occasion being mistaken about both Chance and Necessity.

My favorite lines:
Bear with me, O mystery of being, for pulling threads from your veil.
Soul, don't blame me that I've got you so seldom.

To what part of your being do you owe an apology? For what would you apologize? With which concepts or thoughts do you dance? What would you say to them?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Determining vs. Controlling

"There is a difference between being the determiner in your own life and being the controller. We often confuse the two. ... the desire to control is a normal human response to fear. The ability to determine is the ability to remember who and what you are...and to act from the centre of that awareness."               ~~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer in The Dance
Controlling is a much easier path to take. Demanding that things go a certain way ... or that people act a certain way ... or that we present ourselves, our homes, our work, our lives in a certain manner. Even though it's an easier path to take, it's not an easy path. Being in control also means we're to blame when things go wrong. And going wrong is inevitable. Life just isn't controllable. People aren't controllable. Something is bound to go awry at some point. And those 'out of control' moments are bound to create more fear and ~ whoosh! ~ there goes the roller coaster of control once again.

Determining, in Oriah's definition, is the ability to remember who and what we are. Although that sounds like a simple task, the truth is that we often don't remember ourselves. Remembering involves bringing all the parts of us together over and over again as we grow, mature, interact and change. Making this the more difficult path to choose. Choice is key to determining: aware, awake, responsible choice is how we bring our entire being into alignment to determine our life.

Which do you find yourself more attracted to: controlling? or determining? Is it a static, constant attraction? or is it a dynamic, fluid one?

Friday, June 7, 2013

History of Plagiarism

From the website The Hot Word:
The Roman poet Martial who lived in the first century AD had a problem: without the protection of copyright laws, he couldn't stop the other poets of his day from circulating his poems as their own. His only recourse was to write witty verses admonishing and mocking the thieves. Of one rival he wrote, "The book you're reciting, Fidentinus, is mine; but when you recite it badly it begins to be yours." He used the Latin word plagiarius - which until then meant kidnapping - and gave it a new twist so that it was understood as literary theft.
What a thought! A desire to claim one's words and to keep them out of the mouths and pens of others recorded in the first century AD! I love that the term itself originally meant kidnapping. Plagiarism: the kidnapping of someone else's words ~ abducting them and passing them off as one's own. Quite a unique way to get the point across. 

In our day and age, the term plagiarism is thrown around a lot. The internet provides an incredible resource to find what others have written.... and copy it. Or credit it to another. I wonder how much of what's written today, including my very post here, is truly original? And if something is accidentally 'kidnapped,' does that still constitute plagiarism?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.                                                                                           ~ Rumi
Life is a dance. Not a performance. An opportunity to interact, to respond, to improvise. We want life to be perfect, but it isn't. It's messy; filled with dirty dishes, bathtub rings, garden weeds, spare tires, pets. Most of the time, we simply move through it without recognizing how beautiful every step, every movement is. We pause to notice when it shines gloriously or creates an incredible distraction. This dance called life requires us to regard it in every single awesome moment, through joy, pain, tension, learning, blood. Every. Single. Awesome. Moment.