Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Only One for Me Is You

The more I read about Syria and think of the past couple decades of middle eastern world affairs, the more it becomes clear that the objective is disruption of the entire Islamic world- religion? Oil? I don't know the "whys", though many people have their own ideas.

I do know that we all suffer in the consistent demoralization of humanity, sitting by, as those who blanket us in security are the monsters in the night who terrorize the hopes for peace. When I say "we", I mean all people of this planet.  Remiss of nationalism or any other "-isms", my choice is not to take sides, nor do I place blame with entities that I or mass culture deem responsible.  I understand that at the core of everything, each person is taught that Survival of the Fittest reigns over the land. I know that we are taught, from the moment the umbilical cord is cut and the oxygen from mother to child is ended, that we must breathe on our own, or perish.

It literally gives me pain to think of others' suffering- it doesn't matter how or in what fashion the pain occurs, just that it exists.  It's a real pain that I feel in my heart when I think of everything from the macro, planetary aspect, to the micro, of a dying child. It's a lot to shoulder that I, individually, am responsible for everything that exists whether positive or negative. What a heavy burden.

Fortunately, the burden is shared. Collectively, we are the same one at heart.  So, sing, dance, chant, pray, meditate, fund-raise, build, create, be that one consciousness that decides Peace. There is enough for all of us if we just change the way we think.

The long-standing beliefs of aloneness and separateness are at the core of humanity's progress and its demise. One mustn't toss out progress in place of collective oneness.  A recent study published in Nature Communications, coupled with common sense, determines that teamwork and cooperation are what propel society into survival.

This very moment of the Now is a chance to transform the energy of perpetual fear and suffering into one of perpetual motion of compassion and peace.

You are enough.

This is enough.


Thursday, August 8, 2013


This morning, I was having a shitty feeling for a few moments, which upset me, because I was emotionally responding to an Internet thread... talk about a double-edged sword. I mean, no one likes allowing one's self to become upset at all in some negative ego response, let alone when it is due to Internet strangers. So, I stood up to look outside my large, floor-to-near-ceiling, front window.

On the top of where the deep, green, creeping juniper arches, there was a bright, handsome, male cardinal eating berries. In swooped a male blue jay whose immense size put the cardinal on high alert. He, too, began munching berries, but at the flat base of the plants, closer to the house. Then, just as the scene triggered an early childhood wish to be able to see both of these birds together, something amazing happened: a butterfly dashed across the yard, the female cardinal appeared on a pine tree branch, a bumblebee flew to the vinca and hopped from flower to pink, trumpet flower. Goldfinches arrived on their thistle seed-filled sock feeders and a common northern mocking bird landed in the driveway, which led my eyes down to see a pair of mourning doves scouring the ground for treats.  At that moment, the sun burst through the fluffy, white clouds that mostly blanketed the sky, revealing bright blue that reflected on the lake, where a silhouetted squirrel hopped over the landscape's horizon.

It was a scene right out of Snow White.

The collective whole was symbolically telling me to not be so serious about something so trivial when, if I just open my eyes and release my silly, hurt self, there is so much beauty to be seen which helps the ego to rest peacefully and just let it flow into a new moment, being ever-present.

Just in case I forget what matters, the universe is happy to remind me and, fortunately, I am grateful to receive her song. I guess it does the same for others in whichever way they need to be shown. For me, that comes in the form of reminding me that there is so much more that is seemingly, infinitely smaller and equally, infinitely larger than a moment that will, ultimately, be nothingness.

Little bit harder, just a little bit more,
A little bit further than you've gone before.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Doing Their Own Thing (What You Wanted Them to Do in the First Place)

It's a tough balancing act, this line caregivers walk when trying to steer kids in the right direction.  I made the mistake of pushing a bit too far with my older daughter, a musical whiz who can proficiently teach herself any instrument of her choice.  That's the problem with gifted and talented children- it has to be of their choosing and it generally, from my experience, has to feel natural, like it's their thing.  Once there is interference, no matter how well-meaning, kids lose interest.  It's a classic case of reverse psychology through oppositional defiance-- kids are turned-off by anything their caregivers deem to be remotely hip, because they're trying to find their unique Self.

It reminds me of this old Sesame Street video where viewers have to pick the one kid who is doing his "own thing".

For Julia, my 14-year-old, I hired a classically trained concert pianist/composer who hailed from Romania to provide lessons.  As a mother, I know what the kid is capable of achieving... greatness, of course! But I failed to understand that Julia has her own style of learning and of creative inspiration that have little to do with strict teachers telling her that her scales are sloppy.  I actually, for a brief moment, thought that hiring this type of person was better than Julia free-wheeling music in her own creative, fun, and interpretive manner that results in a unique sound all her own.  I was mistaken.

According to school testing and learning metrics, my younger daughter, Angelina, prefers to operate using logic, reasoning, and organization.  She categorizes and sequences, attempting to make sense of the world around her.  So naturally, her scores in Maths and Sciences are high.  Even as a talented artist and writer, her pieces have a sense of precision.

Since we are a household of musical geeks who love technology and nature, she wanted to do something that seemed to gel well with the rest of us and declared last year, "I want to be a florist and have a shop in Manhattan.  I will have to study art and botany in college."  Learning from my early mistakes with Julia (sorry Julzie, the first kid is always the guinea pig... but, you're fine! Right? Mommy learned and from this point on, I will not stand in the way of your liberation from expectations!), I backed-off and let her sit with that idea, telling her that being a florist is a fine profession.

Secretly, I wished she would pursue a career in science.

Ang also watches a lot of YouTube- mostly popular and goofy bits.  Recently, on several occasions, I have noticed she is immersed in watching neuroscience videos that are about ten minutes in length.  She literally sits glued to the computer, watching video after video about how the brain works, for hours.  I am careful not to comment and say something like, "You're a GENIUS! I mean, what 10-year-old wants to watch these videos?  Furthermore, what 10-year-old understands these videos? Do you want to go to science camp? I will totally send you to science camp!"

It is with all my might that I restrain myself.

Last night, Angelina said, "I don't know what I want to do when I grow-up." I told her that she had a while to figure that out and shouldn't worry, and that she should do whatever it is she enjoys.  She said, "Well, I don't think I want to be a florist anymore."  So, I said that was fine and she continued, "I would like to study science, I think.  I'm really interested in the brain and how the brain works.  Like when why we see optical illusions and stuff like that."

I told her neuroscience is a fine profession.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Google Maps on Nintendo's WiiU- A Refreshing View

As early adopters of most things technological, we love being on the edge of the latest consumer trends.  When Nintendo's WiiU arrived on the market last year, we bought one knowing that the supporting software was not quite up to the consumer's or to Nintendo's expectations.

Nintendo, at least in our experience, has always delivered products and innovations far ahead of its counterparts.  Not only does it deliver, it does so with impeccable class and style from design to the finished product.  Nintendo has always seemed to care more about maintaining a strong reputation for excellence than it has in producing quantity.  So, as a consumer, I know that if I buy Nintendo anything, I can't go wrong- because the stuff is also easy and FUN to use!

Knowing that updates would take place in the future, the future is now and Nintendo sent its latest update in the form of Google Maps.  Licensed by Google to Nintendo, Google Maps can now be fully interactive using Nintendo's state-of-the-art controller which incorporates the same gyroscopic technology seen in smartphones.  Here are some videos we shot using Google Maps on WiiU- you can see how much fun it is to just explore our worlds in the comfort of our living rooms, seeing places that maybe we would never have the chance to see.  Check it out for yourself!

Video #1 was shot with an iPhone 4.
Video #2 was shot with a Google Nexus 4.