The World

The internet — or internets as some would say — is definitely a big part of making the world a smaller place. My day job certainly takes me to places and connects me to people from all over the world. All from my chair, of course!

I never thought I’d ever be doing anything on a computer. Back in high school — I wouldn’t even touch a computer. Thanks to RIT and my good friend Jeff, I learned how to use a Mac (thanks Jeff!). I’ve been smitten since. With the Mac, that is.

Anyhoo, I was going to be a famous photojournalist rock star or something like that in high school. I think that’s when the whole “world view” started to develop for me. I just remember these dance club parties (Pandora’s Box)  my friend Dawn & I would have in her basement. They were always of an International flair. I remember Tami and Keith came over. One time Laura and Natalie came too. Ah the 80s! We loved anything not American. We weren’t UN American we just liked to know more about the world than what we’d seen already. We enjoyed meeting the exchange students at school. We watched CBC and listened to Canadian music.

So I guess I was already of this World mindset even in my small town of Bliss, NY.

A few years ago, while working at WXXI, we had a guest come in for an event named Spencer Wells. An amazing GORGEOUS man, he was also super intelligent. He had done a show we were airing called The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey. He’d also written a fascinating book of the same name which completely floored me. Basically, he was able pinpoint how all people of this planet were related by genes. Incredible! Learn more

So imagine my dismay when we are bombing other countries. Hello! Everyone is related! Quit it already.

Now we are at the social media part. The part that once again, bridges the gap between people in different cultures and backgrounds. I guess Michael Jackson was right — We are the World.

Practicing Non-attachment

Aside from living in the present moment, this is one of my BIGGEST challenges. How does one DO this? How do you stay grounded by releasing things, people, etc. ? I’m a photographer — I capture. That’s what I do! I was looking at my little girl tonight and trying to think about how to not be attached to her. Impossible! How can I let go this sweet thing I created?

My Little Fairy

My logic tells me that everything ends, as well as life itself, but I just can not apply that to my baby. I can make art and see it go. I’ve moved enough times to see my belongings go.

I’m reading No Self No Problem by Anam Thubten. I saw him lecture at the UU church last month. He was fantastic! I bought his book on the spot. It was kinda weird having a spiritual leader who was close to my age talk about Buddhism! I’m used to old guys who are “wise.” But he was great, down-to-earth, and seemed quite in touch with modern life despite being a month from a young age.

I just finished reading his chapter about non-attachment today. Logically, it all makes perfect sense. But emotionally, I feel like if I let go of someone, like my baby, I need to DETACH. And as far as I can tell, detachment is not the best way to parent your kids. On the other hand, I do practice this with our cats. They are indoor/outdoor cats. We live near a busy street in the burbs. I let them out knowing they may not come back, yet I do love my kitties and I take them to the vets, and buy them reflective collars. I will be sad if something does happen to them, for sure. The best I can do for non-attachment of my daughter is to have no attachment as to who or what she’ll be like. It started that way in the womb. It was more out of superstition — so that the baby would come out ok. All pregnant mothers must go through that. Anam calls it “inner contentment.” He writes that you give up nothing, just your attachment. Again, sounds simple. Not always so simple to do. Or maybe it is and it’s just not so easy to do. }:(

Duran Duran and the Art of Spirituality

When I was a teen in the 1980s, I was madly in love with every member of the band, Duran Duran. I idolized them and idealized them. I wanted to BE them. My friends and I even tried to do the band thing, we just couldn’t commit. Frankly, I couldn’t play an instrument. I could write, however.

I would spend most of my days from age 13 to 16 writing songs emulating their style as well as many others of the time. I truly became a sort of scholar when it came to Duran Duran and the lyrics written mostly by the lead singer Simon Le Bon. In the late 70s, early 80s, Simon really used words to paint a picture and create an atmosphere. They weren’t “Oh I love you baby, oh yeah” type things. It was more poetic, more shimmery in my mind. I’ve never experienced songs like that before. So I bought TONS of songbooks to read every word the man wrote. I couldn’t figure out what half of it was about.

After a while, I realized that it just didn’t matter.  I took words and made my own “landscapes”. I wrote odd “poems” or stories that were one paragraph long. I  wanted to see what kinds of words I could use in a song. I experimented. I challenged myself with this art. (I still have a notebook with my writings in it. I gave it to my stepdaughter, as she is now a teen writing her own songs.)

In a way, I guess some of that word-smithing opened my eyes to many things in the world. I grew up in the country with not much for Art or Culture. I wanted to get out of there so badly so I could see what the world was like. One of the notes from Sing Blue Silver that Simon wrote that sticks in me was about Kundalini and the union of snake. Yep, that song. Years later, when I started Kundalini Yoga, I knew exactly what the guru was talking about! I’d know this for decades! When I find that notebook, perhaps I’ll post something to give an example of what I wrote.

I just ran across two posts about Simon just today, which inspired today’s post.

The first was for a song he is singing on called: Simple Joys by Beautiful Small Machines (How cool is that?!)

The second is an awesome reading by Simon of his chapter from a book called The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas

I had no idea that long ago that a pop band could be such an inspiration to me even after I grew up.

Meditation, Nature and Photography

I just finished a meditation CD of a retreat by Thich Nhat Hanh. The man is brilliant. I just love the sound of his voice. One of the things he talks about was walking meditations. I did a quick one during my retreat the other weekend. I’m thinking I’d like to do a walking meditation in nature. I grew up in the country and I’m seriously missing some nature. In fact, U of R just did a study about the effects of nature on people. I guess then the walking meditation makes alot of sense. Before it gets too cold, I should go off somewhere — I don’t know where — and bring my camera. Probably I should bring someone along for safety. Gees — where to go?