Tuesday, May 31, 2011

unending joy

You hold my heart
Like a bubble
in the palm of your hand.

Ai Weiwei ... Never Sorry

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the first feature-length film about the internationally renowned Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei.

From 2008 to 2010, Beijing-based journalist and filmmaker Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai Weiwei. Klayman documented Ai’s artistic process in preparation for major museum exhibitions, his intimate exchanges with family members and his increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government. 
The Tate Modern in London, home to Ai's 'Sunflower Seeds' exhibition, put a large sign on their exterior that reads "Release Ai Weiwei"

old Apple ad...

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. 
The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. 
They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. 
You can quote them; disagree with them; glorify or vilify them. 
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. 
Because they change things. 
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. 
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world 
are the ones who do. 
- Apple Inc.

if you can't see the video... click here

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

 Desert Storm Memorial

"Four things support the world:
the learning of the wise,
the justice of the great,
the prayers of the good,
and the valor of the brave."
- Muhammad

"Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Memorial Day

"We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace 
that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. 
There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart."
- Albert Einstein

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cement Eclipses

London sculpture artist Isaac Cordal has created the beautiful book Cement Eclipses.
Since 2006 he has placed tiny human figurines throughout London as street art.
Cordal captures many emotions in his mini vignettes. His concrete figurines can be found waiting for buses, at family funerals, just waiting, amid tragedy, and on vacation. Their placement is magical and easily missed.

So Cordall's men in grey are a little message of hope in spite of their forlorn appearance and they are there to remind you that pessimism is not common sense, it's just pessimism. So make sure you do something inessential today. Go on, the grey men don't want you to.

Monday, May 16, 2011

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. 
~ Angela Schwindt

Sunday, May 15, 2011

i can

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
 ~ Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

let your eyes light up

Today at my children's school we had a meeting regarding an ongoing approach to putting our school's purpose into action. It was inspiring, but also got me thinking...

It takes courage to step out and make your mark on the world.

Our society can often appear egocentric and narcissistic.
Competition appears to be commonplace in the lives of our kids... but what of collaboration? Everyone is grappling for the brass ring, trying to jockey for a position on the crowded ladder of success... but what success? Who defines "making it" and what about following your passion?

I've concluded today that the best I can for for my kids comes from a Maya Angelou quote:
"How do you react when your child enters the room? Do your eyes light up?"

Let your eyes light up when your child enters the room.

Let them see it in your eyes when they walk through the door. Let your encouragement inspire them and your love be their stepping-stone to greatness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You, pickin’ on the weaker man...

Taylor Swift gives hope to bullied kids everywhere...

"Someday, I’ll be living in a big old city,
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.
Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me,
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?"

little bits

"Do your little bit of good where you are;
it's those little bits of good that change the world."
- Desmond Tutu

Monday, May 9, 2011

NYC dining car

Challenge a habitual experience...

"On the first of May we hosted a "luncheon" on the L line of the New York City subway. The subway is a familiar place, providing a necessary means of transportation for many New Yorkers. Its stairwells, turnstiles, platforms, trains and unpredictable elements are all-too-familiar to its dedicated patrons. One begins to know the exact time of travel from one destination to another. One begins to intuit the conditions of a ride, anticipating smooth stretches and knowing when to brace for a jarring turn. Through a series of familiar gestures, presented in commonplace locations in unfamiliar ways, we set out to challenge a habitual experience."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

kissing outside the lines

Diane Farr's new book Kissing Outside the Lines examines interracial marriages in America.
The book is wonderful, and the book trailer is adorable:

What's wrong with our world? And what can we do to make it better?

Last night I finally went to see the documentary I AM by Tom Shadyac.
After watching the film we got to meet Tom Shadyac and enjoy a fantastic Q&A session.

Watching I AM is ultimately, for many, a transformative experience, yet Shadyac is reluctant to give specific steps for viewers who have been energized by the film.  “What can I do?” “I get asked that a lot,” he says.  “But the solution begins with a deeper transformation that must occur in each of us.  I AM isn’t as much about what you can do, as who you can be.  And from that transformation of being, action will naturally follow.”
I strongly recommend that you go see this movie!
Here's what I did last night...
We are one, after all, you and I.
I left a Samaritan Experiment envelope at the Flicks.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 
If you want to be happy, practice compassion"
- HH the 14th Dalai Lama

Friday, May 6, 2011

At school, V's class is studying sound, which got me thinking about silence...
and Dr. John Francis's book The Ragged Edge of Silence. The book offers you the lovely invitation to reexamine your world view.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

life is a marathon

I love all things Amy Krouse Rosenthal...

I love, love, love her book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
How to Be a Poet
by Wendell Berry

Make a place to sit down.   
Sit down. Be quiet.   
You must depend upon   
affection, reading, knowledge,   
skill—more of each   
than you have—inspiration,   
work, growing older, patience,   
for patience joins time   
to eternity. Any readers   
who like your poems,   
doubt their judgment.   
Breathe with unconditional breath   
the unconditioned air.   
Shun electric wire.   
Communicate slowly. Live   
a three-dimensioned life;   
stay away from screens.   
Stay away from anything   
that obscures the place it is in.   
There are no unsacred places;   
there are only sacred places   
and desecrated places.   
Accept what comes from silence.   
Make the best you can of it.   
Of the little words that come   
out of the silence, like prayers   
prayed back to the one who prays,   
make a poem that does not disturb   
the silence from which it came.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sarah Kay

Absolutely beautiful... the spoken word poetry of Sarah Kay

"...and you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother."

(having trouble with this video... click here)

I would want...

teacher appreciation week

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2nd to May 6th
and Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 3rd.

What do you have planned?

For some great ideas, check out Reading Rockets.

Honor a teacher and read Dave Eggers article, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries.

"I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework."
-Lily Tomlin

Monday, May 2, 2011

death of bin laden

Listening to the news and following social media, I realize that many among us feel the relief of retaliation, the joy of vengeance; the idea that justice has been served. 

And yet...

I keep thinking of Mother Teresa's quote:
"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there." 

I think somewhere in that quote is how I am feeling today. I can't wave my flag, march through the streets, and celebrate the death of anyone... I will never do that, but hold a rally for compassion & healing and I'll be there.

Perhaps today is a day for thoughtful contemplation. 
For me, much of being present and authentic is counter-intuitive. I love to turn assumptions, automatic thinking and habit on its head and in so doing, reveal amazing gems of wisdom, transcendence and true relief from suffering.

My automatic response last night upon hearing of the death of Osama Bin Laden was, "Yes!" Only to realize that nothing is gained without true compassion, healing, and forgiveness.

As Confucius states, before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

Revenge will ultimately hurt the seeker as much as the victim.

"All wars eventually act as boomerangs and the victor suffers as much as the vanquished."
 - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Today I will pray for myself, my friends, my family, and my perceived enemies to be happy, peaceful, and loved. And in so doing, I'll have no need for two graves.