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Dave’s brilliant idea

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I could blog mostly about movies and books! Now there’s an idea, suggested by Dave, who I’ve never met but who occasionally sends encouraging comments to this blog. Kendall’s Quest could morph from the quest for a-place-to-plant-my-little-self into a quest for what matters (to me, maybe to others) in books and movies. Travels, when they occur. And who knows what else. There are other blogs that do book or movie reviews, but they tend to be cutting-edge: movies you can’t get from Netflix and can’t see unless you live in New York, Toronto, or San Francisco and go to film festivals; books that won’t get cataloged at your local library till you’ve already forgotten about them and have lost the little pieces of paper on which you wrote the titles. I love writing about books and movies (and poetry and damn near anything else that crosses my mind)–so yeah, I could do that, Dave. [read on]

To blog or not to blog

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Here I am again in one of those existential blogger moments. In summer of 06 I went to Portugal and started this blog of a pilgrimage, a journey. I came back from that adventure with the sense that all life is a pilgrimage, so I went on with the blog, during which time I intensified the search for a place to plant myself, a place to “retire” and step into as much freedom as I can find. I wrote about books and movies, about my daughter moving out, about the search for a new way of life, and about my cat. Now I think I can vaguely see that new way of life ahead…if I get Section 8 housing in Portland, and if nothing unexpected arises to stop me. In the meanwhile I have one more semester to teach, before that career is over. Do I go on blogging? [read on]

Blog breaks and movies

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Ansie phoned this morning to be sure I hadn’t fallen off the edge of the universe. I was blogging my brains out for a while, and then suddenly I had nothing at all to say. I’ve had several delicious hour-long conversations with good friends far away. Every day is full–of what? Time seems to expand or contract to fit what’s available. When I was teaching five courses and trying to get my last chick safely out of the nest, the hours were filled. Now I’m doing nothing. And the hours are filled. A friend who was just in Portland, Oregon got me excited about the possibility of moving there, so I’ve been on the internet, reading everything about Portland. In a desultory way I’ve been packing, sorting, getting rid of more books, watching movies on DVD, reading, gazing at old photographs, doing yoga, walking, having migraines, and even coming to the computer to read other people’s blogs. [read on]

Making judgments

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

One of the joys of blogging, for me, is that I have encountered a few people I’ve never met who have become virtual friends. That’s how it is with Nacho, Dave, Steve, Lubna, Jetgirl, and Stephen, the most frequent commenter on this blog who, because of his frequent comments, is here and now moving up to the center of the blog. At least for today. Stephen and I often communicate by email when we are not meeting on the blog, and I perceive the man I know via email to be gentler, kinder, more humorous, and more approachable (though no less discerning and discriminating) than the man who makes comments on the blog. This week our email and blog conversations have to do with India, where I have never been and he has; with judgment; with my perceptions of “harshness,” and with his beliefs about travelers, ethics, spirituality, and travel writing, his own and other people’s. [read on]

Brain enemas, Holy cows: a book I can’t put down.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Travel much? Ever worry about the cultural imperialism inherent in “tourism,” especially in countries full of poor people? Two recent films touch on these issues, Blood Diamond and The Last King of Scotland. Sarah Macdonald wrestles the beastly issues skillfully in a book that is for me a real page-turner. Last night while doing errands (because it’s too hot to go out in the daylight) I came across her Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure. It’s reviewed here (do read the review and all the comments–fascinating!), and I agree with everybody who writes about the book. It’s smug, it’s respectful, it’s loving, it’s arrogant, it’s an Australian woman’s experience of India, her own spiritual quest undertaken inadvertently and against her better judgment, and it is also, as most of the reviewers fail to mention, gut-busting hilarious. I’ll copy out some pieces of the book below the line. [read on]

Arundhati Roy’s Vows

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

I just clicked on Joan Halifax’s blog and found this wonderful quotation from Arundhati Roy: [read on]

Silence, Listening, Censorship, Media

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Twice this morning I have written a new blog posting about two things: the workshop at the prison last night, and Amy Goodman’s speech at the Oscar Romero Awards this past Sunday, which I heard rebroadcast on the radio as I was driving home from the prison. Twice, as I neared the end of my post, I accidentally hit a wrong key that navigated me away from my post and erased everything I’d just written. When that happens twice, I have to take stock. What do I NEED to say? Can I be more succinct? The clock is ticking. [read on]

Two Poems and a Protest Singer

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Via Gallo, here are two poems by the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis (his father was Greek, which explains his surname, but his mother was Mexican, and he was born in Michoacan and, according to the web page created at Sweet Briar College, where he must have been a guest, still lives in Mexico): [read on]

Thinking Blogs!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Thanks to Nacho for tagging me as one of his five nominees for Thinking Blogs! He got tagged by T, and he and T are authors of two of the blogs that make me think! (Irony noted: one of the goals of Buddhist practice is to go beyond “thinking mind.” But art takes me beyond, and artful living and artful writing about life matter to me.) [read on]

Breath-taking Photography

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Here, for those who have DSL (forget it if you’re on dial-up, as in that case you’ll be all day waiting for the sites to load), are some links to incredible photography: [read on]