Thursday, November 19, 2015

We Are All Immigrants. All of Us.

We are all immigrants: not just Americans, Canadians, Australians, but all of us. Even the traces of the oldest ancestor in Africa, as far back as genetics could reach, were found in a man in Asia. Sometimes we migrated for adventure, but usually we migrated because of some kind of external force. What I love about the better qualities of the US is the way we embrace our heritages. We talk about them, show them off, brag about them as if we created them. Except for those who were forced to be here, the rest of us got in because someone, somewhere, held a door open for us. It is ethical then to hold that door open for others, and not only welcome, but show some gratitude for the descendants of those who were forced to be here. We are all immigrants. All of us. Here are some good sources:

Spencer Wells: Journey of Man (video, 2 hrs)

Spencer Wells: A Family Tree for Humanity (video, TED Talk, 20 minutes)

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I Didn't Know Kids Could Still Skip

Walking into work, an ordinary day but it's going to be too hot
and the sun imposing over the top of my sunglasses
I'm all too aware of all the world:
the civil servant who wants to pick and choose which parts of her job she does
the comb over guy with the fish lips shouting and
global struggles and 
cultural tensions and
refugees refugees refugees and
fishery slaves on ships they can't escape and
bear poaching lion poaching and elephants and lost dogs and
yoga class is coming and juicing kale prevents cancer and
look a kitten!
now a new big fat corporate mall is opening in my town.
here she comes
skipping along,
a red-headed girl, maybe nineteen,
a slouchy backpack lifts on the hop
bounce hefts on the slide and
she has a smile on her face
like she knows it's a little silly but so
I imagine
something good just happened
or maybe she is making something good happen
simply by skipping.
How much can I influence?
How much can I influence?
How much can I skip?

jeanosullivan, 2015 September 9

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Faux and Soul

In a world of faux and soul,
The former live to gain favor;
The latter to live fully.
The foes lack soul:
Life is a strain to impose, force the will, in hopes of some kind of relief
that will never come
from that tactic.
Sinewy necked and sweating, teeth gritting grimaced all that.

The soulful align to remind each other
The best that can be accomplished in the faux world
is to clutch at straws.

Night time, heads on pillows,
Love embraces the soulful, refreshes, reinforces connections intangible but more solid than a mountain.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

40 Days of Posts that Make Life Better: #6: Ears!

Thanks to tremendously detailed and delicate instruments inside a hard candy shell (our heads), we get to hear.  Here's how it works: Auditory Transduction (not my own video).  But, that is my own ear. And while I'm on the subject, I made that earring and another one just like it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

40 Days of Posts that Make Life Better, #5: There are Sages Among Us

We live in a culture that promotes snaps to judgement. We like to think we know what's going on inside someone's head based on where we might be in ours, and how they might appear to us as they go along down the street.  That imposed notion can make us miss a lot.  Humans of New York is one of my favorite sites for breaking this illusion. Like, for example, the wisdom this guy had on this day at this moment:

From the album: Timeline Photos
By Humans of New York
"I'm learning to be more careful with my words. Words that seem meaningless at the time can end up having a lot of power. Seeds that you didn't even intend to plant can fall off you and start growing in people."

Saturday, March 08, 2014

40 Days of Posts that Make Life Better, #4: We are more than just our memories

We are the present moment. We are our feelings, sensibilities, mannerisms. We endure in the curl around a laugh and the instinct for comfort. We are alive and progressing always, heart and soul---and don't you forget it! 

Friday, March 07, 2014

40 Days of Posts that Make Life Better, #3: listen to where the flow does go

We live in a world of rhythm--heartbeats, breathing, waves on the seashore, wind in trees, cityscapes, birdsongs, dropping things that bounce a couple of times before going quiet. So in life, as we go with the flow, we can also listen to where the flow does go.

Here's a take on Dave Brubeck's rhythmic play in an article in Scientific American.