How can you miss….

12 06 2006

….a place you've never experienced?

Sue Bailey

I'm feeling a longing for Tanzania that reminds of the ache of wanting to see a loved one that has been gone too long. But I haven't been there yet. I'm almost afraid to think about it. Maybe that's why I've put it to the back of my mind for the past couple of months. And maybe why I've put so much space between my traveling partner and I. A part of me is so afraid of some illusion I've held all my life of "Africa" breaking with reality.

It's similar to having a fantasy for years and years, acting it out and then losing the mirage. The wonder of reality can amaze and usually opens unimaginable worlds, but….frequently the fantasy fades or disappears. And sometimes that's a healthy thing, but sometimes it's also sad.

I'm afraid of losing my idealistic Africa…afraid to let go of that image I've held all my life. It's necessary, I know. But there's a sadness/fear mixing up; likely indicative of something larger going on inside.

Anyone close to me knows that I have more than a healthy dose of idealism swirling around in this cloud I walk through on a regular basis. And I'm sure my resistence to actually look at and acknowledge reality has driven more than one person nuts. What can I say? It constitutes one of my on-going struggles. I wonder if I should start "Idealists Anonymous"? Maybe it's not necessary; I don't know.

This trip has shown me that I am often afraid of facing a truth and this fear manifests in saddness, resistance and shutting the situation out.

(My friend Sue painted the picture above. I tried to think of words to describe her, but kept coming back to: "If a truth can be spoken, it is no longer a truth.")

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biological and technical

12 06 2006


(I found this photo on flickr and hope the person who took it, firequall, doesn't mind that I'm using it. Here's a benefit: you can click on the photo and see a bunch of other cool photos that firequall posted.)

I just finished reading Cradle to Cradle, a book in which the authors talk about designing products so they can be the beginnings of the next product's lifecycle when the current one is complete. The example I like is making paper cups that decompose rapidly and have some type of nutrient in them so when they decompose (as litter), they feed the plants and soil as they break down.

One important concept in this is to keep separate two different pathways: biological and technical. Once they mix, the end product can't be easy utilized for either cycle, but if kept separate as products and as waste, they can each enter their own reuse/recycle stream. An example is shoes: if the shoe can be taken apart after disposal and separated into synthetic (plastic soles) and natural (canvas top), they can each be re-used in different types of products. It's a good read and describes this (and other concepts) much better than I can.

SO, this picture reminded me of the concept of keeping the biological and technical separate after something is disposed and the photo illustrated it in a symbolic way.

Plus, it's just a nice composition and invites me into that space.





new definition

2 06 2006

It's been amazing to witness the redefinition of age as I get older.

age

One of my favorite lines from the musical Mama Mia! proclaims: "Age does not wither her!" What a great line……..I plan to not wither.

I remember not SO long ago, at the age of 20, having a friend that was 28 and thinking how well she had aged. Now that thought would be for a friend of 60 or 65.

So far, 38 has been a great age. I made a very conscious decision to stop coloring my hair about 8 months ago. With this symbolic move has come a growing into my years and an acceptance of who I am. When 20, there were expectations that I act 30, so when I turned 30, I lived what should have been the freedom of my 20's. Now there is an equilibrium and 38 feels right. Old enough to have a clue, young enough to make mistakes.

The best part is realizing that this process keeps going and I can keep enjoying growing…not just emotionally, spiritually…but physically also. I don't have to get to some fictitious place…or avoid some other place…but just travel the way that feels right.

Maybe it's not a new definition, but rather, a new acceptance.