Just Like You, Nothing Like You – Day Twenty-Nine

Yes, I will join you in seeking 5 distinct things about another person! Love your encouragement to mindfulness and thoughtfulness practices in your blog! 🙂

Eirene

like no one else

One of the first personality inventories I took sorts people into groups represented by one of four animals (lion, beaver, golden retriever, otter) developed by Smalley and Trent in the 1980s. I never liked taking these inventories mostly because the questions could be answered differently depending on the day, or two answers were equally true. The animal incarnation proved this when my responses graphed a line nearly straight across. Also, I resist being placed in a box.My dyslexic-processing brain confronts categories of any kind, and to place billions of beautifully unique persons in 1 of 4 categories is anathema to me.

Still, our culture insists. There’s the assessment based on the Greek humors – Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, Phlegmatic – developed by Graeco-Arabic medicine, c. 400BCE. And the most widely used by businesses and university-entrance constabularies, Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory first published in 1944, based on Jungian categories of personality traits. And the…

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Ordinary Time – Day Twenty-Five

Ohhhh, I like that notice 10 things thing! I’ll have to work on that. Get back to you later on that. Plus, I want to know the story of the betrayal and what words you said! 🙂

Eirene

ordinary time

The first time I ever cursed out loud I was about ten or eleven. I was hurt so badly by a friend, all I could think to do was use a phrase I heard others use—it contained nearly every curse word I knew. On the walk back home I repeated it over and again as a sort of incantation to purge the muck from my friend’s betrayal that almost threatened to choke me. By the time I returned home I felt even worse and I never repeated the phrase again.

The poet Marie Howe describes the force of poetry as like a counter spell to the mean girls’ curses and disparaging discourse. It is a way to use language to speak truth, but in a way that redeems the muck and discouragement that intrudes on our day. And it makes that reality accessible to others because it is human, it is…

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Put Your Record On – Day Twenty-Four

Good word! Also makes me think of Romans 7 – the “Do-do Chapter” with the whole stuck needle playing something over and over. The needle needs to be nudged to Romans 8! 🙂

Eirene

let your hair down greer

Around the time when I was born, in the late 1960s, James T. Russell invented the technology behind the Compact Disc. Russell was a huge music fan and wanted to enjoy it via media that recorded the music with better precision than LPs and cassettes. The writable CD comprises a thin layer of dye sandwiched between a layer of protective polycarbonate and a layer of aluminum. Lazar light passes through the (normally translucent) dye, bouncing off the aluminum and back out. A higher-powered lazar, then, will “burn” a dark dot that acts as a “0” and passes back to make a space – “1,” and so on, creating a binary code of information.

This first type of CD cannot be changed—the code is burned, indelible. Developers, then, drew from a fundamental premise of chemistry that atoms are arranged differently based on configuration and state (liquid, gas, solid): Replacing the dye with…

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Girl With a Book – Day Twenty-Three

Love this blog, love the picture, love girls with books!! 🙂

Eirene

girl with a book

Mrs. Dumas was my 6th-grade teacher. She was kind but not gushy, at once generous and restrained. She had a sort of regal quality in her posture yet I always knew she was for her students, wanted all of us to succeed. My 6th-grade teacher taught with the qualities shown in my research as most effective: gender-neutral style leadership that is accepted and best understood by the majority. It was also in my 6th grade year that my father died, and I am grateful it was in her classroom that I spent the better part of those days. Mrs. Dumas was my favorite teacher and a key motivation behind my decision to study education in college.

Today we celebrate teachers – and that we have the privilege to educate our children irrespective of family income, ethnicity, gender or aptitude. It is also an excellent time…

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Concrete Cancer and Discrimination – Day Twenty-Two

Yes – good word!

Eirene

concrete imperfect strength

Reinforced concrete was once called “liquid stone.” It is made of a combination of three main ingredients: 65% aggregates such as sand, gravel, crushed rock, recycled glass; 10-15% cement (calcium silicates and aluminates); and 15-20% water: and was invented in 1867 by Joseph Monier. The word “concrete” is derived from the Latin concretus that means, “grow together.” The crushed stone and gravel are mixed with the cement and water. And as the water hydrates the cement, the silicates grow and crystalize binding the strong rock powder, making it stronger than it was in the first state. By continuing to wet the mixture the binders grow further, strengthening the mass still more.

Interesting, the crystals are not crystalline as such, rather a more random structure (much like glass) that traps air pockets. In this way, this super strong concrete mass is also flexible. By adding twisted strands of steel—reinforcing bar, or…

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Grace Forthwith – Day Eighteen

Wow – Amen! So thankful for that heritage in you Nicole, as well as in my children. You are a beautiful reflection of a lovely man.

Eirene

may the 4th be with you

When I was about to turn ten years old, the first Star Wars movie was released (May 25, 1977). Following the rejection of his Flash Gordon pitch George Lucas developed the idea of a space opera that included a hero that fought space creatures in foreign galaxies, by tracing the genres origins to the 1905 science-fantasy Gulliver on Mars, by Edwin Arnold. We would not see the movie until the next year when my Aunt Louise took my brother and I to viewing at a Denver theatre.

My aunt was with us because my dad had just endured an horrific accident related to his work. He was severely burned and would succumb to the injuries’ relentless tax on his body eight months later. So, as one might expect, my memories of the movie are mixed. It was a relief to be drawn into this galaxy far, far away—if only…

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The Politics of Pink – Day Eight

So I coined this term “masculist” many years ago in response to my pastor (at the time) flipping out to the idea that I would call myself a feminist. I assumed I was the originator of this word. To me it meant that I reject the notion that certain traits that are considered to be feminine traits or roles and assert men’s rights to have gifting and desires to nurture their children, to change their diapers, to be a person that cries and likes drinks with umbrellas in them and so on. But Googling the word, I find that there is much more history with the term and its related masculism, which has taken a much different meaning to others where it is more characterized as anti-feminism & machismo. Which is actually the opposite of my intention for the use of the words! So to others, masculism was as a rejoinder to feminism, but to me, it was actually a rejoinder to the negative reaction to feminism! …if you can follow. But just sharing this for the record based on my wife’s blog here mentioning my use of that word… 🙂

Eirene

feminism quote korean food

The most popular Christmas present in 1967 was Battleship. It had actually been around as a pencil and paper game since 1930s until Milton Bradley released it as a board game in 1967. And while there were unmistakable elements that marked many toys as intended for a specific gender (e.g., dolls and kitchen sets for girls, GI Joe and die cast cars for boys), the color of these objects were not so obvious (i.e., pink for everything-girl) and still more toys were available that were merely intended for any kid to enjoy (Wham-O, Lite-Brite, jacks, marbles, and kazoos).

sam of the jungle

When my girls were young, we enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer. They learned a little Spanish and loved the quests Dora led them on, and she did so with a sense that anyone is able to go on such a quest. So when I went in search of a Dora-themed toy one…

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Multiple Dimensions to Healing Earth – Day Six

Best Earth Day Ever! Beautiful bike ride enjoying the earth, beautiful time with the fam and sharing about the cosmos and the deeper wave of love!! 🙂

Eirene

Love is the seventh wave

Peace activist, John McConnell, believed humans have an obligation to take care of the earth, and to share its resources equally, based on such passages as Psalm 115:16. Two years before I was born, in June 1965, McConnell spoke at the National Education Association Convention in Madison Square Garden where the public came together for a “Minute for Peace.” In October 1969, at the National UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, McConnell proposed a global holiday to celebrate Earth’s life and beauty and to advance peace. And in 1970, US Senator Gaylord Nelson established April 22nd, first as an environmental teach-in, followed by the annual observance.

palm sam bw

Growing up in Denver, CO, I remember years of looking toward the foothills, not able to see them for the perpetual brownish haze that lined the Front Range. Despite regulations imposed on oil and gas industries, air samples in some areas remain at greater than national percentages…

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Love Mercy – Day Four

Wow, what a quote… and reflection!

Eirene

Mercy anne lamott

On this fourth day into contemplating turning 50, desperately resisting the compulsion to take the easy route and apply the term angst (though it is likely more akin to ambivalence—but, more on that later), I am drawn to consider mercy. A recent entry to a blog I follow reviewed Anne Lamott’s book, Hallelujah Anyway, with a beautiful hand and great wisdom, but mostly leaving Lamott’s words to speak for themselves. She calls mercy “radical kindness” and it occurs to me that kindness is the last thing I give myself when I begin the long spiral down the chute of “what ifs” and “too old now fors.”

I resist the good-natured counsel I often hear to “be gentle” with myself and to call it “grace” without any sense of doing something about it. How can I be kind to myself, radically or no, and not get stuck binge-watching Netflix with cumin…

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Endure, Stand, at the Pace of Grace – Day Three

Good words from Nicole here and she even gives me props! 🙂

Eirene

endure with grace

On this day, fifty years ago, Katherine Switzer began the #BostonMarathon. The problem was, women were not allowed to participate. Two miles into the contest, the race director, Jock Semple, fully angered at the realization that a woman had somehow slipped in attempted to physically force her out. Tom Miller, her boyfriend at the time, fought Semple off and Switzer went on the complete the marathon. On Monday, at the age of 70, she again ran the Boston Marathon, this time comprising 45% women.

I am a runner, though I will never run a marathon. Still, it is women like Katherine Switzer who, in the year I was born, had courage to do what she was capable of doing despite the arbitrary social conventions that would prevent her. She helped to forge a path for those of us who were born that year, and enable and encourage us to…

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