I was afraid I’d missed the Super moon tonight. I couldn’t imagine how I could have since I love the moon so much. I was all over last year’s Super moon like white on rice. I posted about it then too. (wordpress.com/2012/05/05/super-moon-mania-2) ) I was pissed at myself for letting other things distract me from watching it rise tonight.
Anyway, I took off my pajamas, put my clothes back on and ran outside. None of my neighbors were out walking the dogs so it was very quiet. It was 9:30, 81 degrees and the air was perfectly still. There it was, the moon, shining gloriously. Small veils of clouds drifted past it but I could still make out the details of it. I stood on the sidewalk for a good long while staring up at its largeness and beauty. The wonder of the moon makes me feel connected to the essence of nature like very few other things can. Thanks Super moon!
I’ve recently been working with a team of researchers from Miskatonic University, whose main goal is the delve into the lost recesses of cyber space and uncover long forgotten blog posts from blogs that, for one reason or another, came offline. We’ve made some astounding discoveries. This following piece is a prime example of some of the lost treasures we’ve found.
Hi guys! In case you’re new here, my name’s Peter, and I’ve got 3 MILLION VIEWS, and I’d like to show you how you can too. You guys are obviously familiar with my work since, you know, you’re on the internet, so here we go!
HOW TO GET 3 MILLION VIEWS
I go on a lot of people’s blogs, normally just to post a spam comment so they come look at mine, sure, but it still counts, and there’s one thing I always…
I’ve had a tough time since the beginning of the month when I took a few emotional hits. I tried to get back on my feet but I wasn’t able to do it. That was until a reader unknown to me commented on a post I wrote a year ago. He reminded me to remember where I want to be. So, I’ve reblogged that post below this one and I’m going to start a new post with a mindful attitude tomorrow. Thank you again, Gerardo.
I didn’t want the month to end without adding to the recipe page, so please head on over to Heaven’s Menu for my seasonal selections of Mince Meat Balls and Pumpkin Mousse. I hope you can use and enjoy them.
If you’ve read this blog in the past you know I have what I call “moon mania”. Did you see the full moon the other night? As usual, it was both breathtaking and beautiful. (It helped a lot in my reflection on the nature of life as I processed my stepdad’s passing.) It was an unusual full moon in that it was the smallest full moon of the year and Jupiter could be seen just to the left of it. (Star of wonder!) There are some beautiful pictures of it at earthsky.org. Here is the link: http://earthsky.org/space/photos-from-friends-jupiter-and-moon-awesome-in-late-november-2012
I’m off to Boston for the funeral. I hope your weekend is one with peace and love.
Over the summer I was living in temporary digs so I went without a TV for a while. A friend recommended Netflix. I had read about the company in the news and had judged it as having a dubious business model so I didn’t rush to sign up. But I’m an insomniac so having nothing to watch at 2AM, I gave it a try. I’ll admit that Netflix opened a new world for me. A world I like to call “Strange Things in the Middle of the Night”.
I initially started watching documentaries every night because the drone of the voiceovers put me to sleep. As you probably know, Netflix has an odd recommendation system. The more documentaries I watched the more obscure the offerings became to the point where they became positively fascinating. Now sometimes I’m up in the wee hours watching programs about the most curious people and events. So here are some docs I think you should check out if you’ve got Netflix and insomnia:
–Moving Midway; a family decides to move their antebellum era plantation house & sell the land to developers. It tells of the extended family’s feelings and those of the slave descendants who were all invested in the land.
-Waste Land; Brazilian artist Vik Muniz organizes a big art project with the collectors in a landfill and the found recyclables from which they make their living. It tells of their life and how the project affects them.
-Dr Bronner’s Magic Soapbox; most of us have seen his soap and some of us have used it. How many of us know what a strange guy he was?
-Thunder Soul; “Back in the day” there was an all black high school jazz band that blew away all competition. It tells of the one teacher responsible, his challenges and the love he inspired.
-The Cats of Mirikitani; an independent film maker connects with a Japanese- American street artist in NYC. It tells of their relationship and the very complex set of circumstances that led to his homelessness. The insights into the consequences of the WWII Japanese internment are startling.
-TED Talks; how is it I didn’t know about these before? There are so many of these mini-lectures on so many subjects! Some are absolutely brilliant and some are absolutely boring.
These are just a few. I’ve found little documentaries that touch on almost every subject in which I’m interested and I’ve connected a lot of dots in terms of related themes as a result. If you’re interested in the other nuggets I’ve discovered let me know and I’ll list some more. If you have Netflix and have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.
Speaking of strange things, here are some photos of things I’ve seen lately. Is it me?!
I’m grateful my area (Washington D.C./ Northern VA), didn’t get hit as badly by Hurricane Sandy as some other states did yesterday. We were affected though so a lot of businesses are closed and there’s no public transportation right now. It’s pretty quiet. I’ve decided to spend the day cooking. I pre-cooked some staples in case the power went out and I need to use them up. Soups on!
Deciding on a day of cooking reminded me that my daughter said I needed to add some more recipes to this blog. She’s right (as usual). That was always my intention. So I’m committed to adding at least one recipe per month from now on. Please check the Heaven’s Menu page for the new monthly updates. This month’s recipes are Pork Tenderloin with Sauerkraut and Apples & Mediterranean White Bean and Spinach Soup.
Tomorrow is an uber-symbolic end of summer. It’s September 1st and the start of the Labor Day weekend. I’m sure I’m not the only one thinking ahead with excitement and/or anxiety to the fall. Before I start writing about what the southern autumn is like for me, there are a few things I feel the need to mention.
I’ve added my Twitter address to the sidebar. I’ve held out until now because I felt safe to unleash my meaner side there. Now I see that I wasn’t all that mean and more importantly, I’m a whole person whatever and wherever I write. (Thank you Anne et al for the insight.) I feel all right with myself as I am so I don’t need to hide an aspect of my personality. I’m mindful that feeling all right is a blessing as well. So, on Twitter I was Snarkyhere but now I’m SnarkyNoMo.
Lastly, I had the wonderful fortune to see the rising of tonight’s “Blue Moon”. (If you’ve read this blog before you know that I consider myself a moon maniac.) My friend the moon was stunning tonight.Of course the moon itself wasn’t blue. It was a deep cream-colored orb against a dusky blue sky. As it was explained in today’s LA Times,
A blue moon doesn’t mean the moon will actually change color–it’s the rare occurrence of two full moons occurring in the same calendar month. (The first full moon in August happened on Aug. 1.)
Next month’s full moon on September 30th will be the “Harvest Moon” and it doesn’t get more autumnal than that.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Throw a little something on the grill for me.
This morning, I found myself sitting in gratitude on my balcony sipping my coffee, listening to the birds and feeling positive and vital. Suddenly, I realized that moving to the DC/VA area has unblocked a vein of energy in me that I didn’t even know was blocked! Since I’ve been here I’ve been engaged in activities that I couldn’t find the energy for in Boston. For instance, I joined a couple of meet-ups here. One is the history group I wrote about in a previous post. They like to experience historical sites by walking to them. Who knew I would enjoy it as well? The other is a group that deals with spiritual and religious matters. If you’ve read other posts of mine, you know how important that has always been to me. What’s different now is that I’m willing to discuss the topics with other people…face to face…in real time and I’m not emotionally spent afterwards. (See my post on introversion.) And where did I find the energy to keep up with my grandbaby? I mean really, do you know how busy a toddler is? Also, I’ve been writing. Obviously I’ve been writing all along but up until this summer, it’d been laborious and kind of scary. Now I’m writing regularly and with alacrity. That hasn’t been the case for a long time.
Four years ago my life veered unexpectedly and onto a path I didn’t know was there. This happens to a lot of people. We come to a twist or turn in the road and lose our sense of direction. Before we can move forward again we have to develop a strategy to figure out where we are. The unexpected path I found myself on was one of great loss and big change. It’s apparent to me now that part of my coping strategy was hunkering down inside myself and giving away the pieces of me that I thought contained the pain. So I stayed in a place that no longer suited me doing things for people other than myself. I had gotten through the hardest time of my life without falling apart but I didn’t understand that I wasn’t whole.
The atmosphere here feels right for me. It’s a combination of being around people with whom I’m more comfortable and paying attention to the things that are important to me. So I’m not going back to Boston. I’ve rented out my condo and put in a change of address. Some of my friends cautioned me about making such a significant change at this point in my life. But I’ve decided that if my life can be changed dramatically without my intention then what’s wrong with changing it with intention. I’ve learned that there will be unfamiliar consequences either way.
I feel like my recovered self on this new path and I like where I’m going. Last night I went with a group to the National Cathedral for a walk around the labyrinth there. How about that, people and walking all in one night!
This is actually a re-post of a piece I had on my recipe page. St. Patrick’s Day is big here in the Boston area so I thought I’d share it again. The recipe is still on the page and I invite you to take a look.
When my children were small we belonged to a multi-racial family group because that’s what we are. It amazes me how many of these families there are these days but back then there were only half as many. As a group, socializing together was just one of the strategies we used to make sure our children felt comfortable in their own skins.
One March, right around St. Patrick’s Day, one of the families hosted a visit by a Maasai tribesman at their home. The mother of the family took great pride in telling the story of how her mother-in-law had taught her the recipe for THE best Irish Soda Bread. I marveled at the scene, watching her wave a piece of soda bread around as she boasted, Kenti cloth around her head and a Maasai guy standing next to her. It was an unusually warm day for March in Boston so we were out on her lawn and all these little different hued kids were running and tumbling around her. It was a very good day. Please enjoy her recipe and happy St. Patrick’s Day.
I mentioned in my previous post that I have persistent thoughts of death in the winter. I don’t mind because I think it’s natural. Historically winter has universally been interpreted as the dead time of the year.
Every year I contemplate the lack of plant life and the hibernation of animals at this time, but more than that I think about human death. I tend to focus on loved ones who have passed on and re-mourn their loss. I would say that my definition of ghosts is the occurrence of re-experiencing someone or something that is gone so as to feel as though they are still present and further to feel the absence as a presence itself. To me ghosts are our own feelings. That’s why I think those ghost hunting shows are hilarious. Why hunt our own feelings? (Although a lot of us spend time doing it in therapy). And as an aside, how would the dead, who have moved on to a totally new reality, spend time here. Can you or I go back in time?
Anyway, I think about that every time I look at pictures or movies of people who are gone. I know they are gone yet it feels to me; it registers on my emotional scale as though they are still here. I couldn’t watch any of my favorite old movies if I viewed the actors as a bunch of corpses or ghosts. I was thinking about it today while I was listening to one of my favorite Curtis Mayfield songs. I could hear him inhale in the recording and yet he was not inhaling. The time of the recordings are “ghosts” themselves. That particular time of that song being sung that particular way is gone yet I am experiencing it now. Just as the plant life and animal life appear to be gone at this time of year yet we experience them anew but what feels like again in the spring, are we humans ever really gone as long as someone can re-experience us in some way? Ghosts, ghost images, ghost songs, ghost feelings. .. Ahh, but spring is less than a month away (March 20th). The full snow moon is behind us and sunsets happen later now. As always, the added light prompts in me thoughts of new life. I hope it does in you as well.