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Over the course of the last several weeks, in order to remain a functional human being, I’ve had to put myself on a strict media diet and step away from the computer, the Internet, and what Abha Dawesar refers to as thedigital now.”  The analog here-and-now, with its bicycles, trees, rivers, paper, pens, and printed words on actual pages in books with heft and texture and scent, has been grounding.  There I spent time self-soothing with the words of Mr. Rogers:

“The media shows the tiniest percentage of what people do. There are millions and millions of people doing wonderful things all over the world and they’re generally not the ones being touted in the news.”

Like many others this year, I’ve found myself in new and uncomfortable roles with my regular routines disrupted as a result of the pandemic. Though not dubbed “essential” in any official capacity, staying home has not been an option. I have been out and about throughout the quarantine on a near daily. In the last three months I’ve made more trips to various hospitals and clinics than I have in the previous four decades of my life combined – and that includes the time I spent interning in one. I’ve seen for myself that there are many people doing wonderful things right here in my own city.

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has – or ever will have – something inside that is unique to all time.  It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”

–Fred Rogers

Coming off my blog hiatus I discovered that My Little Spacebook turned 10 years old this week. One decade and 542 posts later and I’m no closer to understanding anything that’s happened.   As such, this seems an opportune time to drill down and do some retrospective and reflective work to figure out what exactly I’m doing here; with this blog, I mean.

I will say, the media diet has made more space for silence and wonder, for creation, and for appreciation of beauty.  I think Mr. Rogers would be proud.

“Our society is much more interested in information than wonder, in noise rather than silence…And I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives.”

–Fred Rogers

Iris

And the answer to the cake question is a resounding, “Yes.”

Apparently I made another mistake. I embedded the wrong video into my post about The Murdering Crows. They are up to 4 videos now because they are so fancy. I just put the correct video in for Bad Moon Rising, so please check it out!

My creative output for today consisted of a handout for a class. Not as exciting as The Murdering Crows, so here, enjoy another of their videos:

 

 

 

 

I just wanted to share one of my favorite dances that our troupe performed in the show this month.  We started working on this dance around March of this year.

The song is Hanging Gardens by Mosavo on the album Mystic Babylon.  The choreographer is Feyrouz.

 

Grace Flow Yoga

Greetings Friends!

Naturally I’m all in favor of group exercise classes. The benefits are numerous. First off, they are a great way to meet new people who share your values (health, fitness, and fun!!) and who are likely to keep you motivated and inspired to meet your goals.  Practice time seems to go by a lot faster when you’re with a group.  Another advantage of group classes is consistency. Having a regularly scheduled class can help you develop a regular routine.  A third benefit is that instructors are generally trained to offer safe and effective exercise programming.  We take into consideration the need for warm-ups, cool-downs, focus on particular muscle groups, etc.  When we practice on our own, it’s human nature to skip poses that seem “boring” or to focus on our favorites.

All that said, sometimes we just have to practice on our own due to scheduling or logistics.  For that reason, I’ve compiled a few of…

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Dear Friends,

Happy Holidays!

This treasure showed up in my in-box today and I must pass it along so you too can enjoy holiday happiness in the form of goats dancing to Jingle Bells:

 

 

Every year  for a long time now I’ve been asking Santa to bring me Goaty Goodness. The ducks have a new pen, which means we finally have goat space! Now I just need the goat.

Goaty Goodness

Can’t get enough goats? Me either!!  Check out the goaty goodies below for more pictures and videos:

Goaty Goodness Christmas Campaign I

Goat + “Yoga” Ball = Goaty Goodness

A Gentle Reminder

This time of year I think a lot about my grandmother.  She was born into this world and left it during the summer months.

Kiki was a fabulous and funny lady. She taught me lots of things: the names of flowers, my first prayers (“Dear God, Bless Roy and Cathy and Carey…”), how to multitask (she would exercise in the den during Wheel of Fortune), how to drive with my elbows, how to be independent (“It’s my money and I’ll wipe my ass with it if I want”).

She taught me beauty secrets such as taping your face at night to prevent wrinkles. And on that last note, when I came across this funny video today, I immediately thought of her….

 

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

~Edgar Degas

First you get a song in your brain, and then it comes out your body, and that’s how you dance.

~Davis James, age 5

Shimmy Mob Memphis is dancing to change the world. This is our fourth year of dancing for the cause!

This year we dance to raise awareness and funds for the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County. 

Shimmy Mob 2014 flyer

How can you help us end violence and strengthen families?

1. Dance with us

2. Let us dance for you

3. Donate to our cause! Visit www.fundly.com/shimmy-mob-memphis

Related Posts & Links:

Unbreakable

Dancing to Change the World

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2013

Shimmy Mob Southaven 2013

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2012

Shimmy Mob Memphis 2011

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…Live the questions…live  your way into the answer.”

–Rainer Maria Rilke

~~*~~

Last year Parker Palmer shined my teacher’s heart when it when was tarnished.  His book The Courage to Teach got me through a teacher’s heart crisis and showed me how to teach (and live) with greater integrity.

Though untarnished this year at semester’s end I figured the teacher’s heart was due for routine maintenance, so I picked up a copy of The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to RenewalPhysicist Arthur Zajonc joins Palmer to bring educators back to the big questions underlying what we do.  In this work lives the question: “How do we promote educational efforts that address the whole human being (mind, heart, and spirit) in ways that contribute best to our future on this fragile planet?”

This and other questions posed in their work remind us that education is transformation. It is not merely “the conveyance of information concerning objects, but a leading…through the manifold layers of experience and reason to occasions of epiphany…to the exalted experience of genuine insight.”

They remind us that community and conversation are often the driving force behind this transformative experience. They remind us what conversation can bring about when done well, “The point is not to convert, but to cultivate the possible by collaboring with people who hope to bring it into being.”

Twice this week I’ve come across the Bantu word ubuntu once in this book and then later in Boyd Varty’s wonderful tribute to Nelson Mandela (see video below). Varty’s story gets at the essence of the word’s meaning: I am because of you.

I am; because of you. If you want a real education, try living that one.

And yet for transformation to truly take hold, we must strike a balance between community and solitude.  Our institutions and culture have a growing tendency to encourage living at a frenetic-pace. When left to our own devices (and I do mean devices) we are increasingly engaged in a world that keeps us pathologically distracted and distanced from our own minds.  Abha Dawesar makes this point by distinguishing between two nows: the present now and the one that technology provides us, which she calls the “digital now.”

Parker and Zajonc remind us that we need ample time for “quietude that allows for real reflection on what we have seen and heard, felt and thought.”  They promote a contemplative pedagogy that creates time and space for silence with practices that develop concentration and deepen understanding because:

“Education is a vital, demanding, and precious undertaking….if true to the human being education must reflect our nature in all its subtlety and complexity.  Every human faculty must be taken seriously, including the intellect, emotions, and our capacity for relational, contemplative, and bodily knowing.”

And if you managed to read this far, thank you. 🙂 Ubuntu. Please share what’s on your mind.

Moon Pie has added a new skill to her reportoire.

…or maybe El-D has a new bandmate.

 

Need more Moon Pie?   Check out the links below….

Moon Pie is a Genius

Project Moon Pie and Other Puppy Stuff

My Dog is Smarter than the Elitest Jerk’s

 

 

We are very busy at work this morning doing urgent, important things!

What are you up to today?

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