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The context for this stunning poster is explained in this NPR piece. However, like all great works of art, this piece lives beyond its immediate context, providing a message resonate both in India and around the world, one that calls to woman to share their stories and raise their eyes to the stars.

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Beautiful #IWillGoOut poster by @aruna_sekhar and @shilo1221 for Fearless Collective. #YesAllWomen #WhyLoiter pic.twitter.com/2kzkkQ90q8 — Point of View (@povmumbai) January 6, 2017

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Imagine you have not yet been born. You are asked questions about the type of life you will have. Answer the following questions with this in mind. Maybe you are fated for a happy life filled with love, or one of misery and sacrifice. Go with what comes to mind and see the life develop through how you answer these questions. Take no more than 7 minutes, and let me know what you find.

  1. Where are you born?
  2. What is your gender?
  3. Describe your mother in 5 words.
  4. Describe your father in 5 words.
  5. What year (past, present or future) will be be born?
  6. What is your religion?
  7. What challenges do you face?
  8. What gifts have you been given?
  9. What secrets will you be born into?
  10. What are the expectations of your success or failure?
  11. How will you be comforted when you are sad?
  12. What disappointments will you encounter?
  13. What about the world will baffle you?
  14. What will be taken from you?
  15. What will you want to change about yourself?
  16. When you dream of a better life, of what will you dream?
  17. What will they say about you?
  18. What will you be forbidden from?
  19. How will you rebel?
  20. Who will you love?

 

Sommerregen

I’ve always preferred abstract watercolors to literal oils, warm rain to clear skies: 

Tonight we ate at a Thai-fusion place in our new neighborhood. Typically, we don’t eat at restaurants that carry multiple cuisines, but we were lured in by the promise of Vietnamese Pho. We sat by a fish tank and in the shade of a fake palm tree. A girl with one pig tail, too young to be working legally, filled our waters.

My wife and I examined the menu of more than 150 items, ordered after a short discussion and began speaking when two different single people were seated next to us.

The young man, pimpled and shy, flicked the game of solitary on his iPhone and ordered without making eye contact with the waitress. Directly next to us, sat an Asian woman in her early 60s. I was unable to look at her directly, we were sitting too close; however, I did get a good look at her small, healthy hands as they pointed to the dish on our table, and as her knuckle nearly caressed our calamari.  

Other than the phones visible on everyone’s table, nothing about the scene suggested a particularly place or time.

Behind us, a bratty child reached for the check before his mother could review it. The waitress apologized for not filling up our water on time. We discussed our favorite house guests of the past two years. And it all seemed to fit for an ordinary Monday night. But I wished it rained, rained sideways in the warm weather, rained endlessly, rained so that we found shelter  in a place serving tea a perfect sanctuary from the week ahead. 

 

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Worlds in Words

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If I am writing in a sacred text, then each one of my words should should contain a world.

The only purity we have is nature.

And we approach it through song.

When the words leave our mouth, the sky fills with tears and empties upon the barren land.

There is no word for how the land opens to receive the sky’s tears.

To know that is to know G_d.

 

 

Dear Old Man

Dear old man,

I’d never call you old man. Never would. I saw you advance to the stone street, a miniature version of your former self, hunched, stepping forward inch by inch in oversized shoes, one eye shut as if you were winking at me, your hand grasping the metal railing and your grey sweater vest covering an untucked pinstriped shirt.

I asked if I could help you with you bag. What was in there? It wasn’t laundry or groceries, perhaps it was a paper or something you had clipped like coupons, or was it birdseed -why on earth would you have bird seed?

Where were you going and why didn’t you accept my help? And I hope, humbly, that I did not offend you by asking. I wish I could have bought you coffee and you would share your story with me.

I suppose this type of intimacy is earned. Seeing you hesitate before crossing the street made me want to flatten myself before you and become invisible, or bow my head near your gray Velcro sneakers in an act of supplication.

If we met, as men, I’d ask you questions I wish I could ask my grandfather. Questions about the war which he never answered. Questions about marriage which he never answered. And sadly, I couldn’t tell whether there was a ring on your hand because I forgot to look.

I’d never call you old man, I know there is vibrancy your frame now inching its way into my heart, unable to cross the street and unwilling to take my hand.

#books #notes #ideas

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Coming back

Here’s a wise video which I want to remember so I’ll leave it here for us. It’s a good invitation to return to creating and being present.