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In the Songlines of Our Past

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"The song still remains which names the land over which it sings" Mark Heidegger

The Aborigines of Australia believed that the world was sung into existence and that the strips of land that were walked by their ancestors were marked by distinct songs. Vast amounts of land are marked as sacred Songlines permitted to be tread upon only by those descendants who have re-imagined that song and have heard the echoes of the past.
The Aborigines are not the only people on the planet who are fascinated by their past. Many of us, in one time or another, will try to retrace the steps of our ancestors. No matter where we came from or, why we are- where we are, at some point, we will try to retrace the steps of those who lived before our time and who were connected to us by some close genetic pool.
It might seem strange to think that someone can hear the echo of people who lived in the past in a seemingly barren land as is so much of Australia.
Yet, when we think abo…

Shakespeare revisited: Societal illusions & The Crisis of Identity

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Shakespeare has inspired an immeasurable amount of responses to his work. He is by all measures a creative phenomenon which has stood the test of time. Recently I had the opportunity to explore some of the most timeless themes that are reflected in Shakespeare's plays. 
In A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare explores the blurry line between illusions, dreams and reality. Shakespeare was familiar with how to manipulate the perception we have of reality. As a playwright Shakespeare was aware that an audience can suspend disbelief and let their imagination turn to reality what is obviously a fabricated illusion. It's fascinating how our mind can so quickly turn an illusion into something more concrete. 
We have all probably experienced a dream which seems so real that we're not sure if it really happened or if we were actually dreaming. 
In A Midsummer Night's Dream the characters seem to be living a dream within a dream and because the play adds a third layer, the one…

Propelling forces

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Something always propels us in a certain direction. Sometimes multiple forces propel us in many directions causing a dizziness of epic proportions. 
It’s easy to think when we are really young that life is black and white, that there are only two possibilities in life, the right and the wrong way. 

When we grow a little we realize that this is the way a developing mind works, it travels in easy mediums of good and bad, but life for those who have lived a few more years is not that simple.

We can’t always reduce our mistakes and those of others without considering the past that brought those mistakes on. We can’t judge every action as right or wrong. 

Sometimes in the face of our own mistaken beliefs we face the inevitable truth that we were wrong all along, complications happen and we ourselves become an entangled web of contradictions which are hard to contain in a clear path of righteousness.  photo credit: woodlandroad via photopin(license)

On "The Judgement of Birds"

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How is it exactly that someone determines if someone is a pessimist or an optimist? Loren Eiseley* is considered a pessimist yet, when you see the details of his childhood, I would tend to say he was an optimist. 

A child born in a “bleak place” and raised by a “deaf and mentally unstable mother” does not seem to have all the right cards in order to become a contributing and successful member of society. 


The fact that Eiseley was able to carve out his own future and find some measure or glimpse of hope despite the mitigating circumstances of his own childhood would seem to me only possible at the interjection of a blindly optimistic view of the universe.

We’ve all met someone who seems to have gotten an out proportioned share of misery and yet they become a caring and peaceful person whose cling to the natural world seems more like an act of desperation than a natural progression into adulthood. 

With great certainty some of the people who have had to endure the most tragic fates in hist…
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"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." -Henry David Thoreau




I agree with Thoreau that one of the most precious gifts we can get from anyone is the truth. The problem is that so many people are immersed in self deception that even they don't know what the truth is. So many times we hear what we want to hear and we say what we think others want us to say. So many times we sacrifice the most important thing: the truth. 
It's not surprising to me that Thoreau and people like him who wanted to seek some truth decided to find refuge in a solitary environment.  It's perhaps that time they had alone, only accompanied by nature, that allowed them to discover for themselves some glimpse of truth and self discovery.
Most of us want to be completely honest about everything but pure honesty comes at a high price not a lot of people are willing to pay. Most people seem to tolerate better a small dose of deception.However,  for a few people eve…

The Freedom of Frugality

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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau


Freedom is a topic that intrigues and fascinates me. How do you attain it? And, if you attain it how do you keep it? 
Recently I started watching people living in tiny homes. 
Tiny homes are any living quarters that are under 500 square feet. For a couple days I've been seeing these you tube videos non stop. I didn't get it. 
Why am I so fascinated by the idea of living in such small cramped quarters? I'm claustrophobic. Then it hit me. There is something much more profound about choosing to live in such a small space.
Small spaces give people a priceless gift - freedom. Freedom of worrying about how they are going to put a roof over their heads and freedom from all of the chores that owning a bigger property comes…

Inside Out: The internal exploration continued

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I reluctantly went to see Inside Out. Honestly, I'm not into movies lately but I got cornered into going. 
The movie was not action packed or highly entertaining but, I think the creators of the story really thought about the way that our mind works and how our memories are formed and shaped through time.
 It was also a coming of age story but it was based largely on the internal conflict and struggles of it's main character.
The idea that our concepts of family, honesty and friendship are destroyed and reshaped into much more complex forms is an idea true to experience. My brother went to see the movie, although he seemed to dislike it. He said it was interesting how they showed that all of the emotions play a vital role in our mind. Not only joy but sadness, anger, disgust and fear are important and have important roles to play out in our internal development.
Another interesting exploration of the movie was the different parts of our brain. The area of abstract thought, th…