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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: art

Day 71: More wishes

Just a couple more wishes on this important day in American history.

May you always appreciate quality time spent with good friends, no matter what the activity.

May you miss the big game one year in order to go see some really good live art (just consider it).

And may you get a really good night’s sleep tonight.

Day 64: Spitting Plasma

Technology is so cool. On August 31, 2012, NASA spacecraft captured images of a giant filament of plasma erupting off the sun’s surface into space.

Close-up images. Of the sun.

(For  a “that’s amazing!” reference, the sun is 93,000,000 miles away and more than one million Earths could fit inside of it.)

Apparently, 2013 is slated to be a year of peak sun storm activity. As far as I understand, there’s really nothing we can do about super-powerful electromagnetic pulses headed towards our atmosphere except look at pictures of the plasma flares and think they’re kind of beautiful.

Solar prominence

Want to see the plasma in action? Check out this super sweet sun spitfire video from Space.com

Day 45: Two Sides to Every Story

Remember that post I wrote about Jill Bolte Taylor and her “Stroke of Insight?” (That’s okay—you can find the post here and watch her TED Talk here.)

Last Sunday, Robert Klitzman, M.D., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, posted a Huffington Post article inspired by Dr. Taylor’s remarks and warning against the tendency to simplify how we think about the brain.

I’m certainly no brain science expert, but I do find myself drawn to deconstructions like the below image, pulled from a Mercedes-Benz advertisement (it wasn’t directed at me; I drive an adorable little Hyundai).

Mercedes brain

Klitzman writes that the right brain has been romanticized as the seat of creativity and freedom, pitted against the logical and analytical left side. He says that in normal brains—in which the connection between the two halves is healthy—“the two sides work closely together.” So close, in fact, that our simplification of the brain into binaries “ignores critical intricacies, challenges and unknowns, doing ourselves, and our brains, a disservice.”

It will be exciting to learn more about the galaxies of the brain as science uncovers the mysteries. Perhaps Klitzman is right, and we are currently doing ourselves a disservice by creating a mythical two-sided brain creature.

But perhaps that’s just his left brain talking.

Day 43: Real Hero

Today, on this clear and crisp Sunday afternoon, a brief message from StoryPeople by Brian Andreas:

Anyone can slay a dragon,
he told me, but try waking up
every morning & loving
the world all over again.

That’s what takes a real hero.

(Real Hero)

Real Hero

Day 41: Why Don’t We Dance?

I’ve always wondered why more of us (Americans, generally) don’t dance. It feels wonderful and it’s incredibly therapeutic. It’s nearly impossible to not smile during and/or after a great dance break.

Tiny Dancer

Every time I’ve veered away from it, dance makes its way back into my life, all sneaky-like. I am currently the proud holder of both a B.A. and an M.F.A in dance. But I firmly believe that a degree is not necessary in order to appreciate, love and use dance to make life better. That’s me on the right, a couple of years before college.

To me, dance is perfect. It connects our minds to our bodies in ways that are impossible to manufacture with other activities. Thinking about an arm, a knee, a hand or one toe so deeply that the owner knows his/her body—really knows it—awakens parts of the brain that don’t otherwise engage. It’s a beautiful thing.

So, I’ve always wondered why more of us don’t dance.

I do realize it can be scary and vulnerable. We get nervous around people expressing themselves with their bodies. Outside of the theater or the dance club, we don’t understand why someone would gyrate their pelvis or thrash their arms around. When a person enjoys a solo dance party on the street or in the park, we tend to see them as drunk, disturbed or out of control.

And maybe they are.

But maybe not. Maybe they just get it. Maybe they understand that one’s body is more than skin and muscles and bones, and it’s more than a temple. Our bodies are so deeply us. They’re our brains. Our souls. Our bodies are ours in ways that nothing else will ever be ours. And when they’re broken, or they don’t work how we think they should or they don’t look quite right, they’re still ours. They’re still amazing.

And we can always, always dance.