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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A question about new beginnings (spring)...

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~Robin Williams

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" ~Mark Twain

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." ~Margaret Atwood

It's finally spring (I know it's autumn for you Lindsay, but bear with me)... The bulb flowers are poking their noses up through the soil, the robins are chirping and flitting, the teenagers are doing the same, and the sun is rising earlier each morning. I like it.

Here's an interesting question for you: What have you done in your life that says 'new beginnings'?
Tell a story, give an example or simply describe that terrific dark strong coffee after a night of too much red wine (oh, wait, that was me...)

Or just read what others write.

Hi Gary
Reference –previous post

I think reading of such books not only engages us to think about the authors experiences and ideas but enhance our own understanding beyond what might have been intended by the Author.
But we are now moving to a reliance on just a visual and digital type culture. It will be interesting to gauge changes to our society and functionality of the brain further down the track.

Ref 'new beginnings'? Tell a story, give an example or simply describe that terrific dark strong coffee after a night of too much red wine (oh, wait, that was me...)

I recall agreeing one evening over a bottle of red wine to accompany a friend, considering committing to some volunteer work on an Island, to experience something new. Hence I found myself and wife (who somewhat reluctantly agreed to come) in Kiribiti and on the island of Tarawa sweltering in the humid atmosphere. After a short stay on Tarawa we hired (the only available small plane was being repaired) a fishing dinghy to brave the Pacific Ocean and visit the Island of Abiang. Our boatman lost their way and we eventually waded ashore across the coral to Abiang. When there we also visited what we thought was uninhabited island, only to find its locals were most concerned we had not firstly paid our respects to the spirits of the island by walking from one extremity to another.
We experienced the islands oral history in dance and song. The Island was one of an endless summer; being only a few degrees from the equator it remained a relatively constant temperature. Its endless coconut trees, the booming crash of the ocean and glorious sunsets remind me once in a while to step out of a rut and experience something new, what can become an endless summer.
Best wishes
With the arrival of spring, I'm feeling Twain's "spring fever" and Williams' "Let's Party!" Last weekend I celebrated with friends - made some liberating decisions and will be taking charge of my own new beginnings. (A little cryptic? Sorry.)
Lindsay - thanks for the thoughtful comment. And that's a great story! It certainly qualifies under a 'new beginning' ... and it even includes red wine.
I'm trying to be nicer.
I don't know if that's exactly a "new beginning" but it's at least a rolling drive-by.
At age 37, is that being young?
At least, I'm not "poking my nose out of the ground." Yet.
Sera - you're already very nice, aren't you? And yes, from my vantage, 37 is being young. I attended a funeral of a dear friend a couple of weeks ago - she lived from 1908 to 2008. And she was still beautiful and still young, in my eyes.
I've been trying to be the love I want to see. Especially when I'm at the airport.
First, why are you looking up skirts? Mmm? ;)

As for new beginnings, April 1 was a new beginning for my family. We learned the chemotherapy treating my mom's lung cancer is working.

Halle freaken luiah. God is good!

Regardless, God is always good.

Breathe folks. Love life. Love your family. Love yourself!!!
I plant peas every March and watch for their tiny bent bodies to pop out of the ground.

Every year, lettuce comes up all over my garden from the plants that I let go to seed the year before (guess Monsanto hasn't gotten their hands on those seeds yet).

Every year, I'm amazed that life has such a proclivity to push through and, well, live.
Beth - go for it.

Cheri, if you can do it at the airport, we should send you to the Middle East.

Sarah - for heaven's sake, it's a statue! FANTASTIC news on your mother.

Nice image Carol. Just seeing the new beginnings all around me helps me too. Enjoy your refugee salads.
That's an interesting and thought-provoking question, Gary. I'm going to have to reflect on it some before I can answer. :sigh: I can never think on my feet/seat.
I'm not sure I understand the question. But I am always reminded at this time of year of the beginning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote/The droghte of March hath perced to the roote.... Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages...."

One "new beginning" in my life was going to college the first time. Another important one was the birth of my oldest son. Both were good things, too. Life-altering.
Hello, Gary.
So many new beginnings I'm having some difficulty singling one out.

I'm at a loss.
Nova - your most recent post on your site certainly featured a wonderful new beginning (one that is running all over the house now!)

Scarlet, love the Chaucer and have been thinking about pilgrimages lately. A Canadian violinist, Oliver Schroer, recently did the Camino 1000km pilgrimage in France and Spain... and recorded himself playing in a variety of chapels cathedrals and goat trails. Incredible CD.

PT - no pressure man!
Tiny green shoots of my tulips and daffodils are proudly showing across my flower gardens... yeh!

And this is COMPLETELY off-topic and rather a buzzkill to the beauty and celebration of Spring, but were you aware of the un-frickin-believable deal that was struck (oh so very quietly, I might add) between the US and Canada???
I confess, I was 100% clueless....http://www.newswithviews.com/NWV-News/news38.htm
"In a political move that received little if any attention by the American news media, the United States and Canada entered into a military agreement on February 14, 2008, allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis, according to a police commander involved in homeland security planning and implementation.
The agreement -- defined as a Civil Assistance Plan -- was not submitted to Congress for debate and approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorist attacks.
This is a military plan that's designed to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act that traditionally prohibited the US military from operating within the borders of the United States. Not only will American soldiers be deployed at the discretion of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office, but foreign soldiers will also be deployed in American cities.
The extent of military integration called for by the BNP is unprecedented and has received absolutely no debate publicly or in the House of Commons. But it is still surprising that Prime Minister Harper instructed Canada Command not to publicly announce the new Civil Assistance Plan. Canadians must go to the Northern Command website to see any evidence of the new agreement."

OMFG... do Canadians really want the burden of "taking over" American cities?
Better yet, do Canadians really want US soldiers and Marines on their soil??? If they asked a few Iraqis or Katrina survivors, they just might not.
Thanks for the tip Tina. I'm aware that the 3 amigos (Bush, Harper and Calderone) are meeting regularly (again in April) to develop the Security and Prosperity Partnership agreement. It's totally behind closed doors and only corporate types are invited. Maybe this agreement sprung from that evil den.

I'll look into it.

You may know this, but our current Leader and his Conservative Party are Republican Lite, with social conservatism as well as free market individualism. We need to turf the turkeys as soon as possible.

Hey, why don't you elect Obama or Clinton and we'll elect someone who is a social democrat and we can go sane together?
I learn't how to switch on a computer, opening up a world of friends!!
you need to pop in to collect an 'award'
Today, to make myself better, I didn't do anything.
I slept in, read the paper, took a late shower, had a nice breakfast.
Sitting at the computer, I made a comic. Then I laid in the sun for a while.
Sometimes you have to empty the bucket a little before you can add anything new to it.
Hey Gary! ANOTHER one bites the dust over in the Hillary Camp. I think SHE needs a new beginning ... outside the race for the White House!

C'mon Canadian, whaddya think?
hmmm, ... new beginnings.... thoughts are provoked.... and who knows how they'll retaliate?

there have been so many new beginnings... it's the endings i have trouble with. mornings come to mind. golden first rays of sunlight, leaping over the horizon gilding fresh snow, green noses probing through the last remains of last summer... dewdops cradled in a spider's web... golden leaves, strewn like coins on the ground. each morning is a new beginning.
Thanks Claire! I saw it and will figure out how to post it and make a list.

Ooooh, nice Seraphine. New beginnings often require emptying or endings...

Sarah - yeah, we might elect her here if she wants to move!

Grannyfiddler - you do pretty well with endings in order to have so many beginnings. It probably the in-between bits that are tough...
I started drawing just for fun instead of endlessly trying for the masterpiece I'll never paint. That was a new beginning and very much thanks to you.
What Susan said.

The instructor in my art class told me, "You know you can't intentionally paint a masterpiece, don't you?"
Of course, I don't like being told no, and when one of my paintings sells for $25 million, I'm definitely rubbing it in her face.

I already have a title, "Intentional Masterpiece."
Hello, Gary.
Back again.

There was a time, several years ago, that I took a job at a gas station in between jobs. I had to go to this training store for a day to make sure I could perform at the requisite level.
I was taking out the trash, and I saw that there were three raccoons trapped in the dumpster. A mother raccoon huddling over two young raccoons, her arms wrapped around them and a concerned look in the eye.
There had been a drought in the area, and wildlife had been moving into the populated areas more.

Anyway, I went inside and got a broom. I rearranged the bags of trash in the dumpster to form something of a stairway, and shooed the mother raccoon out with one end of the broom.
The little ones were to small to be able to get up that stairway. So, I jumped into the dumpster and used the stick end of the broom to catch them under their forelegs, so I could incapacitate them enough to snatch them by the scruff of the neck. I held them over the side as low as I could hold them before plopping them on the ground below. And away they scampered.

Raccoons have really sharp teeth, and they growl like a dog. They didn't like it so much being snatched up like that.
But I knew that the trash truck would be by that night, and I didn't want them in there whenever it came.

I went into the store and got a little package of cheese nips, and spread them around in the grass several yards away from the dumpster. And I made sure that the lid to the thing was closed before I left.

Never saw them again, but I wish them well. I hope they managed to hook up again out in the woods somewhere.
I want to clarify something here.
This isn't a story about only saving the raccoons.
I was saving a part of myself as well.
As much as I worried about them being alright after I got them out of there, I don't like to contemplate how troubled I would have been if I chose to ignore their plight.
PT - you are a lovely man. I'm just saying that before Gary gets back to say it himself.
It's funny you used that
Robin Williams quote
because I just got invited
to a Spring party! Yay!
PT. She's right. You are a lovely man. And yes, the story is about your heart as much as their rascally little selves.

Susan and Fairlane - you are both talented and wonderful - masterpieces in fact (hey, we're on a nice streak here today).

Have fun at your party Sera!
Hello, Gary.
I'm afraid that Susan was overly generous in her praise.
I believe it would be more accurate to say that I have done a few good things with what time I've had.

It remains to be seen of what time I have left.
I would feel comfortable if I did nothing of greater good, but of good more often.
That would please me.
I stand by my praise as I believe Susan would too.

Nicely put about doing good more often - I'm pondering that.
Gary for this you'll have to go read my most recent post. :) And PT, I don't know who you are... but I'm so glad you saved those raccoons.

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