Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dystopian Literature, Introduction

The utopia and its offshoot, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures. Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal society, or utopia, and the setting for a novel. Dystopian fiction is the opposite: creation of an utterly horrible or degraded society, or dystopia. many novels combine both, often as a metaphor for the different directions humanity can take in its choices, ending up with one of two possible futures. Both utopias and dystopias are commonly found in science fiction and other speculative fiction genres, and arguable are by definition a type of speculative fiction.
One thing I've observed over the years of raising a daughter to college age, is that dystopian literature is very much alive and a distinctly strong choice of reading for many young adults. The first one we read together was Lois Lowry's book The Giver. My daughter was perhaps in fourth or fifth grade. We read it together, went to a gathering with Lois Lowry, and later saw the world premier of the play.

The Giver is the beginning of a trilogy of a very different sort. Usually in trilogies, the timeline is nearly, if not perfectly, continuous from one volume to the next; but in Lowry's books, time passes between each of the volumes: The Giver, Gathering Blue and Messenger. In each of them, someone important gets injured or dies. That's one of the features of dystopian young adult literature. The young people who are the focal points of the novels go through tremendous losses ~ and still find reasons and the means to hope.
Have you read these novels? What do you think of them?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Voyager 1 Has Left the Solar System

artist's rendition from 
Here's something to ponder: Voyager 1 is the first human-made craft to travel beyond the Milky Way solar system. Over 9.5 billion miles away. A distance I cannot begin to comprehend. It is traveling through the heliopause, which, according to the American Heritage Science Dictionary, is "the region surrounding the solar system at which pressure from the interstellar medium (made up mostly of hydrogen and helium), and the solar wind can penetrate no further. It is considered to be the outer boundary of our solar system."

What does this even mean? I apprehend the definition, but am totally awestruck by the scope of what it is describing. Something launched from Earth the same year Apple Computer was incorporated, Rod Stewart's Tonight's the Night (Gonna be Alright) was Billboard's #1 Hit, and Harvey Wallbangers were a popular drink in the discos. Voyager 1 is still going.... leaving us farther and farther behind

What do you think about Voyager 1's adventure?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More of the Moon

The Pisces Full Moon ... is a powerful portal for your spiritual growth. This is the Harvest Moon. We are harvesting what we have sown this year. [It] is about faith, spirituality and intuition. You are being asked to dream, meditate and be creative.
Right now, today, this very moment, we are experiencing the meaning of the Harvest Moon: we are reaping what we have sown. This phrase is one which shows up in many spiritual traditions and commentaries. It relates the spiritual world to the physical world in which we live and move. Faith and intuition are the milieu of our spirituality. They give us the broader understanding and form the foundation upon which we build.

I spent many years distrusting astrology and astrologers because I didn't have a very developed faith. I had doctrine, but that's not the same thing. Doctrine relates to the teachings, but faith relates to the understanding, the feeling, the deeper sense of knowingness that moves us forward in the world.

What is the groundwork of your faith? How has it changed over time?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hidden Glow

Did you ever feel as though you were a bright light in hiding? Or that the bright light of your interior self glows between the branches of how you choose to present in the world?

I had a fascinating experience of that today in two separate incidents.
In the first, a colleague took offense at my 'glowing light' as I mentioned a different way of viewing a situation in which the colleague was decidedly invested in personal POV. I found myself undisturbed by the dispute ~ not because I saw myself as 'right' but because I perceived that there were as many differences of opinion as people in the room. I felt open and shining and clear in my intention.
In the second, a different colleague was grateful for my presence at a brainstorming meeting. My input and ideas were appreciated and the flow of discussion was clear as the headwaters of the Metolius River. Crystalline, radiant and boundless.

Where do you find yourself hiding your glow? Where do you find others keeping you in hiding? Is either sense of hiding comfortable? Do you want it to change?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lunatic, Are We?

The current moon is close to full. This really does look full, doesn't it? In another two days, it will be even larger and rounder. Amazing process to watch when it gets this close!
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the term "lunatic" came from the late 13th century and meant "affected with periodic insanity, dependent on the changes of the moon," from the Old French lunatique, lunage "insane." (

When standing on my lawn or in the middle of the street or on the balcony of a hotel or on a sandy ocean beach, camera in hand, snapping photo after photo of the various phases of Lady Moon, I ponder whether or not I fall under that definition. Personally, Lady Moon is one of my most photographed beings in the galaxy. Almost a year ago, I began taking snapshots of the Lady in her full or nearly full preen. She is absolutely gorgeous! Her poses in the night sky are awe-inspiring and I never tire of staring at Her either in the night or in my pictures.

What natural phenomenon do you like? Do you take pictures of it? Why? How do the pictures influence you?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You Matter

When this image crossed my Facebook page, every facet of my being focused on it. Entirely. I realized these few statements expressed the current of my way in the world. The flow of who I am.

The formatting of this image doesn't highlight the words calling my heart: Purpose, Story, Dreams, Voice, Impact. When I give VOICE to the PURPOSE arising in and from my DREAMS, it IMPACTS the STORY. How would you use those words to express what is important to you? Would you use others either instead of or along with those that jumped out at me? How would it sound?

I believe in listening to every voice I can hear in the world: people, animals, the wind, the rain, thunder, traffic, etc. Sound is significant. Only in that listening way can I hear the purpose of the owners of those voices, the ones who often want so desperately to be heard. The content of what is said gives rise to the dreams and stories which continually impact each other's dreams and stories so that our interdependence shows and flows.
What do you dream?