Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Safety First.

Check out this website.

You put in your zip code and "Get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more."

It's informative. And sad.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Rules without relationship lead to rebellion."

I passed a sign on a pawn shop the other day that said "Rules without a relationship leads to rebellion."

I know this was supposed to be in context of God (or a higher power), but it applies to any relationship. Without respect, rules just exist. But a relationship creates trust and respect. Trust and respect lead to following established rules (assuming they are fair).

Just saying... thank you pawn shop. How very insightful.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Do You Follow Your Religion?


Why do you follow your religion? Does it have to do with the location where you were born, or the family you were born into? If you're born in the Western world, you're probably a Christian. If you're in the Eastern world, you're maybe a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist.... and the list can go on and on.

The point is, most people are not converts to their religion. They grow up in a religious household, or with religion around them, and they propagate those ideas to their young. And the cycle repeats. That doesn't make any religion more superior than any other. I'm intrigued how some people think their religion is the only "right one" while the other ones are clearly the "wrong ones." Most likely, the people who believe so passionately that that their religious path is the only way is because they were indoctrinated when they were young.....  Would you believe so passionately about your religious choice if you were born across the world from where you are now? Think about it.
Just sayin'

Friday, May 20, 2011

Explaining the Intangible

People are always trying to explain what love, friendship, and other intangible things are. How do you describe something you can't touch or see? How can you explain something the exists only because you feel that it exists? Feelings are so subjective and they cannot be compared from person to person (or can they?). I'm not sure, but maybe that's why I like quotes so much. They provide me with validation that someone else, somewhere has felt the same way that I have. 
My good friend Jody posted this quote as her facebook status the other day:
"Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is an act of recognition...two souls suddenly recognize each other. It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party...suddenly there is the flash of recognition.... There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing." ~ John O'Donohue
A quote by C.S. Lewis says “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”
These quotes provide an interesting perspective on friendship/love. I'm intrigued that I can have the type of intense connection that both quotes discuss over and over again (to varying degrees), with different types of people. That "flash of recognition," the instance when I'm communicating with someone and I pick up on something they say (or something they don't say) that I can relate to on a deep level, is powerful, and fun, and worth reflecting on.
I used to form a lot of superficial relationships. Not on purpose, at least not on a conscious level. But, I was subconsciously drawn to people who didn't ask me too many questions about my life, because I wasn't yet ready to start answering questions. In the past few years, I've changed a lot. I've grown a lot. I've learned a lot. I'd like to think I've always been an inclusive, warm person, but I'm now more receptive to that "flash of recognition." I try to spend more time appreciating how much I can relate to other people, but I'm also encountering the next step (which corresponds with my last post) which is learning how to let people go. I'm working on valuing time spent and relationships built with people even if it is only for a short time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"We only part to meet again."

I recently did an updated post, but it appears that it's not showing up now. I'm not quite sure how they just disappear, but I'll repost the entry I posted on my other blog.

This morning, at about 5am, I dropped my friends from Ecuador off at the airport in Norfolk, VA. I had some wonderful discussions with Maria and Liz on the drive up. Piece by piece, Liz, my co-pilot,  has told me a lot of her life story, which I greatly appreciate and value. Over the journey, everyone in the van eventually fell asleep. Liz even fell asleep with my GPS in her hands haha.

At the airport, Stephanie and I helped some of them shove their stuff into bags. They thought they were going to have to leave so much behind, but we just crammed their belongings in so tightly that we joked that their bags would explode (and I hope they don't). After they all checked in, they realized their flights were boarding and they hadn't even been through security. We parted ways in a rush. But, it was a very difficult "bye" (please note that I won't say "goodbye," because it's too permanent). But, Edda hugged me first and held on for a long time. She started to cry, and I tried to pull away. She held on longer. So I hugged back, tightly. It's so nice when you hug someone and you let go first, and they continue to hold on. I almost choked up and would have cried had it not been 5am (and I hadn't slept yet). Then, I went through and hugged each person; Liz, Maria, Victor, Fernanda, and Sandra. I hugged each of them tightly and told them how thankful I am for them, and that they'll be missed. As they walked away, I told them I love them, because I do. I love each of them, and have only known them a short, short time. I formed stronger connections with a select few, which is to be expected when we were all hanging out in a group of 10ish. As much as I'd love to have a strong connection with everyone, group settings aren't conducive to such things. But love, it is such a powerful, and painful feeling. It's terrifying not knowing when I'm going to see them again. It's terrifying knowing I can help create such a strong bond with people that live on a different continent. I knew all along they were leaving, and I continued to be attached. I had to remind myself that it's okay to love people who will leave. It's okay to enjoy my experiences with them though they will be finite. It's okay to be close to people, and to value that connection. I'm using this example to remind myself that I am able to connect with a variety of people, and this connection doesn't have to span a lifetime (though it'd be great if it did) to be of value in my life. I've learned a lot from these friends. I can value and appreciate the time that we did have, and the experiences that we shared. I can look back and smile and know that their trip to the U.S. was better because I was a part of it. And that, with time, will be such a good feeling... It's still so hard though. I've never been good at parting ways with people. But I'm learning.

Today, my heart is heavy, and it's difficult to move. I'm trying to embrace the wonderful times we've had together. Right now, I can't help but be reminded that the odds of me seeing any of those people ever again will drastically dwindle with time, and that kills me. I want so badly to take a trip to Ecuador.

"We only part to meet again." John Gay

Friday, May 6, 2011

Coffee Shops

You never know how important having a coffee shop in your town is, until you don't have access to one. I'm happy to be back to civilization where I can spend an entire afternoon at the coffee shop, if I want. It's a nice convenience that I formerly took for granted.
It's bright in the Front Porch Cafe today. The cafe is a big open space with a lot of windows. I feel comfortable here. It's well-lit, accommodating, and inviting. The light coming in contributed to my day-long headache that no amount of water will heal. I probably drank too much last night, but I had a nice time with my friends from Ecuador and the Philippines.
The main barista knows me because I stop in several times a week. She, too, is originally from Michigan. She actually graduated from Michigan State University, which is where I was just accepted for a PhD program. (Small World.) 
I've starting drinking more tea. Hot tea, iced tea. I usually ask for their suggestions for flavor. But, it's pretty good and is usually enough to take care of my caffeine fix. It gives my body a break from coffee for a bit.

Moral of the story: Coffee shops are a wonderful part of my life. I never knew how much I value them until I didn't have access to them in Chauvin, LA. I'm glad to be reunited.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hate and Death.

"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." 
Why would we rejoice that someone is dead? Did that man not have a mother or a father? Sisters or brothers? Nieces and nephews? Did he not feel pain or happiness or love? Was he not human? Was he not alive?
I understand that he did terrible things to our people. I understand that he took the lives of others. Is it our place to kill him because he killed citizens of our country? How is it right that the punishment for murder is death? Who are we to rejoice that one more life is gone? Why don't we understand, yet, that hate breeds hate. As MLK Jr. says, "Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." So many people are "promoting" world peace, but when it comes down to it, they're happy that our enemy is dead. Where's the world peace if we just continually perpetuate the cycle of hate?
It's okay to be angry, outraged, livid because of his ruthless choices. I disagree with our actions when we decide who can live and who will die. That's not "justice" as it's written in the laws. In the end, as Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye leaves us all blind."

Note: So the quote ISNT entirely by MLK Jr. If you're focusing on WHO said those words and not what the words MEAN, you've missed the entire point. But check out this link:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Because it's slow at work.

The one year anniversary of the BP oil disaster came and went. Aside from just posting a lot of articles and photos, I didn't really get to do anything. I'm frustrated by the people who think that tragedy is over, and also by the people who are propagating that idea.... The BP oil disaster is actually just starting and will be affecting the ecosystems, wildlife, and people for decades. I try to use every opportunity I have to inform people that there is still a lot to be done with the oil spill and it's effects. Knowledge is the first step.
Take a look at these pictures.
We need to change the way we operate; our materialism, our greed, and our idea that we're dominate over the natural world.
Watch this clever video for inspiration:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Corruption, Money, Lies, Greed: BP and Moving Forward

"BP anniversary: Toxicity, suffering and death"
The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has caused the biggest chemical poisoning crisis in US history, experts say.

"BP internal meeting notes"

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists conducting independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster

Please read the two articles that are linked.
Be sure to understand that these types of issues affect everyone, not just people in the GULF.
And then note that we still want to drill for a non-renewable resource.

It's time to move past this mode of thinking.

Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught, will they realize that you can't eat money Native American proverb


Friday, April 15, 2011

What to do... what to do....

The one year anniversary of the BP Oil Disaster (explosion) is April 20th. I feel like I need to do something Earth-related. It's difficult to boycott petroleum for an entire day, since most of my life directly depends on the materials made from petroleum. (We need to start transitioning to more sustainable products).
I've gotta think of something though.....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Infestations... Head Lice.. Bed Bugs.

So, unfortunately, the house I'm renting has been infested with bed bugs. Which has me suffering from flashbacks from elementary school. Every year, a few times a year, we would have "head lice" checks to make sure we weren't carrying the parasites around and spreading it to our classmates. I, though I've never had head lice, have always been anxious about those days. The humiliation that comes along with having head lice... being ostracized.... being an outcast and being thought of as dirty.... I dreaded that threat each time the nurses came into our classrooms.
Our bed bug infestation reminds me a bit of those times. People immediately think you're dirty (though, it was my old man roommate who brought them in and then moved out). So, I've had to hold back in telling a lot of people about the additional amounts of stress my sister and I have had to deal with recently. Basically, we're trying to keep it on the down low, until the issue is taken care of.

So, reflection on money and bug infestations....
All throughout school, it was the "poor" kids who were singled out and told they had head lice in front of the rest of the class. It was those same kids who brought lice to school, and who I kept my distance from in my classes. The kids with money never seemed to have those issues.... head lice or bug infestations seem to have only affected the poor kids. The truth, however, is that head lice, or bed bugs, don't target the rich or the poor. They don't target people with dirty hair, or dirty houses. These parasites are equal opportunity bugs; they will attack and infest wherever they can. (I'm not saying that a cleaner house may/may not slow an infestation.) What I'm saying is that maybe bug infestations like bed bugs or head lice seems to be a poor person's problem because it's the poor who can't afford treatment for the infestation. Maybe it's the poor who are harder hit by the bugs that take over their residence. Maybe it takes longer to financially, as well as emotionally, respond to such an infestation.
Our bed bug problem alone is costing my landlord $1200 to take care of. Someone with limited income could not pay the bill upfront.
I'm learning that a bug infestation does not just target the poor, or the dirty. Bugs target whoever they can. It's just the the people with limited income don't have the means to keep their problems under control, or to pay an exterminator right away.
Just sayin.... our socioeconomic roles effect EVERY aspect of our lives.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Feeling Low? Try List-Making.

Someone, at a meeting I recently attended, suggested making a gratitude list when you're feeling angry/alone/hopeless. Try to pump out 10 things you're grateful for. If you can't get 10, try 5. She said it will help alleviate your bad mood and get you to start thinking on a more positive track.

It's worth trying. Next time you're feeling low, just try creating a list. Get your mind off of the negative, if only for 10 minutes.Controlling your thoughts can do a lot for your mood. It might just end up changing your mindset for the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loss: As Viewed by Gail Caldwell (And Me)

Shortly after Christmas, I read Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell. A few months earlier, I had come across the book in a small book store in the outer banks of North Carolina. It was too expensive for me to buy at the time, but I sat down and read about 30 pages, instantly falling in love. I'm drawn to anything that attempts to express grief and/or loss as I experienced, but couldn't articulate, it/them.

You can't imagine the incomparable pain, the hopelessness, the relentless longing for what's lost, unless you've personally had someone very close pass away. You want the world to stop, because your world has stopped. But it doesn't, it keeps going, and it expects you to keep moving forward too.
Gail Caldwell expresses this really well:

"Mostly I couldn't bear... the paltry notion that memory was all that eternal life really meant, and I spent too much time wondering where people got the fortitude or delusion to keep on moving past the static dead."

I could easily relate to the next two quotes:
"Hope in the beginning feels like such a violation of the loss, and yet without it we couldn't survive."
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)

"The real hell of this," he told her, "is that you're going to get through it."
 Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)

Not only do you want your entire world to stop, but you don't want it to ever start up again. If you feel how I felt (and I'm assuming Caldwell felt), it seems almost like a betrayal to move on and continue your life. As long as you're feeling that excruciating pain, the loved one is still an active part of who you are, a part of your life. The pain serves as a constant, stinging reminder that you haven't forgotten about them, you haven't started moving forward. But, recovery manages to sneak in no matter how hard you fight it. Hope slips in and at first it feels like you're violating your lost loved one. Just the thought of moving forward while loved one can't is an amazingly difficult concept to fathom. Nonetheless, hope exists so your world continues forward, even if it seems like that's the last thing you want. You'd otherwise stay stagnant, overwhelmed, and overcome....(which is tempting but unrealistic).

"Maybe this is the point: to embrace the core sadness of life without toppling headlong into it, or assuming it will define your days."
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)

So, while we can never stop or really even prevent death (because inevitably everyone will die), we can find some comfort in who our loved one was to us. We can share how that person helped us become who we are and how beautiful that person was. "Memory was all that eternal life really meant"... and that person lives on through our memories of them and our outward expression of said memories. In the end, that's all we really can hold on to.

"I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them, and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures."
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)

"It's taken years for me to understand that dying doesn't end the story; it transforms it. Edits, rewrites, the blur, and epiphany of one-way dialogue. Most of us wander in and out of one another's lives until not death, but distance, does us part-- time and space and heart's weariness are the blander executioners of human connection."
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green, Healthy, and Safe Product Reviews

I stumbledupon this website yesterday. It's awesome, and informative! This site rates numerous products in three different cateogries: healthy, green, and socially responsible.
This is a helpful guide if one wants to be mindful of the products she is purchasing.

Find healthy, green, ethical products according to scientific ratings:


Sunday, March 27, 2011


It's dreary today. It'll be dreary tomorrow. A lot of our activities are being canceled, rescheduled, or windchecked (a fancy name for a raincheck). The store has been mostly dead today, with random spurts of people/calls. I can't believe I'm working for a corporation that has little to do with the environment (environmental preservation). I like the company, and I like recreation. But, if you asked me three years ago where I'd be today, I never would have seen this. What a surprise.

Which makes me think.... if it comes between instant gratification or long-term satisfaction, I think someone will chose instant gratification nearly every time (the Buddhists realize this as being one of the Four Noble Truths). Especially if one is desperate. No one living paycheck to paycheck will turn down a promotion, even if it's doing something she hates. They'll take the promotion and stick it out "until things get better." Instant gratification is more tangible, but unfortunately leads to discontentment and continual yearning. Whereas true contentment might only come through long-term planning. I guess it boils down to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. No one can move up on the pyramid until their most immediate needs are fulfilled. 

Extending this idea further, I feel like we often times neglect environmental preservation because so many people are stuck in the lower levels of the "Hierarchy of Needs." If one can't afford to feed her family, she's not going to buy, or even care about, energy-saving light bulbs that are more than double the price of incandescent light bulbs (not to mention the "eco-friendly" products that are wayyyy more expensive than light bulbs). Most can't even consider leading an "eco-friendly" lifestyle because it's so expensive; it's a luxury... Almost a status marker. Environmental preservation, in this country, is an elitist system set up to fail. We've created a way of life that is unsustainable, and the sustainable options are just out of reach of the common person. But, how to we solve this? Make sustainable options more affordable? Subsidize "eco-friendly" products? Provide incentives and bonuses for companies who promote/make sustainable products?
I guess that's all just a start..... I just want to see that there's more progress and that "green living" isnt just a fad.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On Choosing a Man

"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
Anaïs Nin

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pink. Perfection. Music. Truth.

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." 
Salvador Dali

"All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection." 
William Faulkner

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing."
Harriet Beryl Braiker

Stephanie showed me Pink's new music video yesterday. I've always liked Pink as an artist. I havent liked all the music she's released (which is typical of any artist I like), but she says a lot of powerful things... Things a lot of people are intimidated to say. This song in particular brings to light how strongly society pushes us to be perfect, to fit the mold created for us. She expresses how the pressure sometimes feels unrelenting, and it comes from every angle (peers, parents, media). It also shows how detrimental striving for perfection is. I like the "happy" ending, but I understand that this is an idealistic way to finish the song/video. Not everyone gets to experience the happy ending. But maybe by being aware that we don't have to fit into those oppressive molds, we can begin to accept that being flawed is ok. We don't have to be someone we're not.

"Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence."
Rosalynn Carter

Check this out:

Made a wrong turn
Once or twice
Dug my way out
Blood and fire
Bad decisions
That's alright
Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, missundaztood
Miss "no way it's all good"
It didn't slow me down
Always second guessing
Look, I'm still around...

Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than
Fuckin' perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're fuckin' perfect to me

You're so mean
When you talk
About yourself
You are wrong
Change the voices
In your head
Make them like you
So complicated
Look how big you'll make it
Filled with so much hatred

Such a tired game
It's enough
I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons
See you same

Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than
Fuckin' perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing

You're fuckin' perfect to me
The world stares while I swallow the fear
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer
So cool in lying and I tried tried
But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time
Done looking for the critics, cuz they're everywhere
They don't like my genes, they don't get my hair
String ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that?
Why do I do that?
Why do I do that?

Ooh, pretty pretty pretty,
Pretty pretty please don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less then, fuckin' perfect
Pretty pretty please if you ever ever feel
Like you're nothing you're fuckin' perfect, to me
You're perfect
You're perfect
Pretty, pretty please don't you ever ever feel like you're less then, fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please if you ever ever feel like you're nothing you're fucking perfect to me

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ohhhh, Life. It's waiting for you.

Our Lady Peace

How many times have you been pushed around?
Was anybody there?
Does anybody care?
How many time have your friends let you down?
Was anybody there?
Did anybody stare?

How many time have your friends let you down?
Just open up your heart
Just open up your mind
How many times has your faith slipped away?
Well, is anybody safe?
Does anybody pray?

Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive

How many days have you just slept away?
Is everybody high?
Is everyone afraid?
How many times have you wished you were strong?
Have they ever seen your heart?
Have they ever seen your pain?

Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive

She gets high
She gets lost
She gets drowned by the cost
Twice a day, every week, all her life

She gets high
She gets lost
She gets drowned by the cost
Twice a day, every week, all her life

Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we're alive
Oh, Life is waiting for you
So messed up, but we'll survive
All messed up, but we'll survive

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Much Praise Is Too Much Praise?

Can you ever provide too much positive praise?
Is it unacceptable to compliment people you dont know?

Everyone likes positive praise and positive feedback. We all need to hear when we do a good job. It just feels good. People like to be recognized for the good things they've done. Especially because the negative things tend to stick around in our brains longer. I dont think you can provide too much positive praise or feedback. If it's genuine, if it's deserved, then let people know they are doing a good job.

Why are people so uncomfortable with compliments?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Busy. Busy. Busy.

The internet connection at my house is a bit untrustworthy and annoying.
But, the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan was intense. It's hard to relate to the people suffering over there, because it's so far away. The media helps to desensitize the population, too. Constant exposure to tragedy can do that.
I'm angry with anyone who says that nuclear power is "safe" power. The half-lives of the radioactive materials used in nuclear power plants needs to be considered. The material is going to be toxic for thousands and thousands of years. How can we guarantee that the material will not affect the life in surrounding areas? We can't control human nature; we can't control disasters. We shouldn't manipulate harmful materials for short-sighted gain if we can't keep the materials from harming life on this planet. How many times do we have to be taught that lesson before we fully understand?

In closing, I feel bad for those people affected. Though, I am distant and detached from the situation. Natural disasters remind me why I am against nuclear power plants.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Main Store

I'm sitting in the main store at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head, NC. I've been hired in as the Reservations Manager for KHK. It's been overwhelming thus far, but I'm learning every day. Anxious. Anxious.
I've moved around a lot recently; Michigan, North Carolina, and Louisiana. I'll be here for a while now and hopefully I can keep up with this blog.
There are so many things swirling around in my head, I just need some time to get my bearings back. More posts coming sooooooon!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel Time.

Sunday morning, bright and early, I'm going to drive from Houma, LA to Vine Grove, KY. The rest of the trip up to Mount Pleasant, MI will resume the next morning.
A week later, I'll travel from Mount Pleasant, MI to Kill Devil Hills, NC.
So much driving, so little time. But, that also means I wont be updating too often until I get settled.

With that said, I'll leave you with this website to explore at your leisure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Effects and Dolphins.

We are still feeling the effects of the Exxon Valdez spill and that happened in 1989..... How long are we going to feel the effects from the BP oil disaster?

And, it kills me that baby dolphins are washing up on shore, dead. 24 dead babies..... and they said more are likely to appear.... Uggghhh.

What are we doing to this planet? When will we realize that money does not buy life, health, or happiness?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's The Truth?

"Truth exists. Only lies are invented." Georges Braque

I've had several discussions with several different types of people about what truth really is. Groups all across the board like Republicans, Liberals, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Therapists, Writers, and Professors all believe they know and possess the truth (or at least some aspect of truth), but how can all of them be right? How can groups that harbor beliefs that are polar opposites still see their own "truth" as supreme, ultimate, "the right way"? It seems like believing your own truth takes a great deal of faith, and faith does not equal truth. Therefore, can we ever really know what the truth is?

And on a side note: I'm not even sure we can find truth because we are constantly bombarded by propaganda and marketing strategies that force us to think a certain way. The lives that many of us live are so convoluted and caught up in materialistic nonsense that we've taken other people's truths as our own.
I'm constantly searching for my truth. I'd encourage you to do the same.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Beautiful and Terrifying Portrait.

This link has two videos embedded in it. The first one is short, two minutes and eleven seconds. It shows some beautiful, scenic views of the earth. But, it also captures how the planet is in danger because of the exploitative ways we humans are living. The first clip  is almost like a long trailer for the second, "Home" by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. I haven't seen "Home" yet, but it seems as if it's filmed in a style similar to "Koyaanisquatsi: Life Out of Balance".
I saw "Koyaanisquatsi" in my "Religion and Social Issues" class my freshman year of college. At the time, I was too naive to appreciate what the movie has to offer. There's no dialogue, no characters, and it lacks a conventional plot. It's a bunch of scenes from all over the earth (natural and man-made) set to a soundtrack by Philip Glass. Years later, my sister gave me the DVD as a birthday gift. Since then, I've been trying to get everyone I know to watch it. (Note: It doesn't go over well at parties.)
This unique documentary is visually-striking and sends a powerful message if you're patient enough to sit through its entirety. It shows how badly our lives are out of balance. We're creating so much turmoil that we're inviting disaster. Be sure to see this movie (as well as the other two in the series; Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi). There's a lot of truth in those films.

Some notes about Koyaanisquatsi.

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

Translation of the Hopi Prophecies Sung in KOYAANISQATSI

"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the Day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky which could burn the land and boil the oceans."

Back to "Home." The video is one hour and thirty-three minutes. As soon as I'm done dying from my cold, I'll be sure to watch it. I just wanted to make sure that the video was up here for others to watch!