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Author Topic: Other Pleasures  (Read 23266 times)
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« Reply To This #80 on: May 03, 2013, 11:41:02 AM »

I loved this TED talk about how every kid needs a champion.  
Loved it to the point that after discovering it, I sent it to a much cherished friend from “teacher school” with a note that she spoke our hearts. You don't have to be a teacher to be able to find value in it.  You could also be just a parent or merely someone who loves kids and who wants the best for them, for all of them.  

I've pretty much decided that just like we've come to believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so, I'm thinking, must that which generates reverence in us also be in the insides of the experiencer.  If you all asked yourselves, what is it that puts a feeling of reverence in you, it'd be interesting in getting to know you all a little, what some of your answers might be.

When I ask myself that, what immediately comes to mind are certain pieces of music* that almost viscerally touch me in a way that surprises me and that I don't understand. I don't mind one little bit that they do, or that different aspects of nature, for instance, the utter magnificence of the ocean and the awe-filling of beautiful or ancient trees, that they sometimes do, too.
* Could be that I'm just a dopamine-craving fool, but a happy music-and-nature-loving one, if that's it.

When on something of a roll this morning, I went looking for pictures of ancient trees, and just by chance, came upon one that led me to I posted about a couple of days ago.  The video doesn't particularly set my world on fire, but what I did especially like about it was its introduction to these pretty lovely people who clearly are filled with passion and reverence for ancient trees and for all that they represent.  I sort of get their passion, and I very much get their reverence, and I found myself kind of loving them for their having both.

For a beauty-reverence-and-wow fix, see, here.  And here.  And perhaps here, as well.

EDIT: This, not really (an-) other pleasure, except for the fact that how absolutely endlessly fascinating this world of ours turns out to be is a source of terrific pleasure and learning for me and maybe for some of you as well.  I found the article especially interesting because one of the multitude of subjects my old friend, a Special Ed teacher, and I talked about when she was visiting last week was about one of her young male middle school students who is absolutely sure he was supposed to have been born and lived his life as a member of the opposite sex.  Seems like all a person can/should do is hope for peace and fulfillment for any and for all.

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« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:39:23 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #81 on: May 11, 2013, 06:30:47 PM »

Happiness is having decided to now-or-never-it-begin taking piano lessons well (actually, incrediblyimpossibly) into the seventh decade of your life.  To have reached a point where you can pound out recognizably, if not all that mellifluously, the melody to songs like The Way You Look Tonight.

And, while you’re doing that for the 10th or 11th  or maybe it was the 18th or 19th time in a row, to have the fleeting if inexpressibly comical thought come to mind as you’re playing and feeling that great dopamine rush of music you love filling your insides,

To have the thought that it’d be fun to be a piano bar piano player (or, at least to hang out with one) in your next life (IF you wanted a next life) playing and singing happy silly sappy dopey standards from the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s,

And being good enough that everybody in the bar would be singing along, loudly and joyfully enough, hopefully, to drown out what would
still probably end up being your slightly less than prize-winning voice.

The versions by Fred and Frank and Ella are pretty fun, too.  Oh, and then there was the one by the Oscar Peterson Trio you maybe don’t want to miss, either.
By the way, I don’t play anything like this.  Not even in the same solar system close to anything like this.  But who knows, maybe one of these days.  Boogie Woogie, Blues, Bach, Beethoven & Beatles (etc.) comin’ up.

This version is from the same era that cavepeople discovered how to make fire.

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« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 06:32:56 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #82 on: November 29, 2013, 12:02:16 PM »

Years ago, friends of mine with an organization called the Institute of Community Leadership (and now of the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, as well ) gave me the gift of the mind-and-heart-construct of “The Circle.”  That’s the circle that we members of the world’s family all are a part of.  

We’re all a part of it whether we’ve been graced to know that or not, and whether we’ve had the chance yet to get to know, identify with, feel for and care about this or that member of it from here or there or wherever.  

I think the first time I ever, actually, was with those friends at ICL and learned to think in those terms was when I was invited to attend (and reclusive person that I’d become, somewhat miraculously ended up going to) some gathering they were having that was held in some big giant room, somewhere in Seattle.  Some big room where there were kids and elders and many in between of a (for me, heaven-like) diversity of colors and cultures and life experiences, all of us sitting in an arrangement of chairs that was, in fact, a circle.  All were united by a caring for “the other” and a belief that the world could be better, that it could be more fair, but that when and whether it was or not, that all of that depended upon and had to begin with us.

I think about that circle a lot.  I thought about it with the greatest of joy and the sweetest of pleasure when I received that picture (I think it’s posted in Florence’s thread) of Irene Kamau of Action Now Kenya and Florence Kaluuba of Mirembe Community College, together, smiling big beautiful smiles, it being obvious from the pic that they’d recognized that sisterhood of the hearts that I knew would bind them together.

And I thought about it, that circle, just a few minutes ago, and again with the greatest of joy and pleasure, when the Executive Director of Ryan’s Well Foundation with whom I’ve shared a rich and happy Internet friendship copied me on this email that she’d written to Florence.  And sent these wonderful pics.  

I don’t think she’d mind me sharing.  This is our circle.  For that matter, I’ve really come to believe that it’s everybody’s.

“Hi Florence,
Mark (Ryan’s dad) shared the photo of your new water tank with me. How wonderful to see!  I am so pleased that it all worked out.

Florence, I have such nice memories of visiting your school. I carry the bag
that your sewing students gave me when I give Ryan's Well presentations --
and I always receive lovely compliments on it. I'm not sure if I shared
these photos with you when I returned, but am attaching a couple from that
day in the sewing room.

I hope everything else is going well at the school. May the rains fill your
tank to the rim with clean water!

All the best,


EDIT: There is no point in pretending that I’m not a sap, that I haven’t always been a sap, and that I don’t hope to always remain a sap.  I think I’ll be forever grateful to my parents for their having taught me that the ability to be touched and to show that you’ve been touched is something to cherish, to feel lucky about, and to love when you see it in yourself or in anyone else.  

I came across this video in a Huffington Post story today.  I went to youtube to track it down because I really wanted to be able to enlarge it full screen and hadn't been able to.  Maybe it was only because some really close friends of mine have a son who was a high school wrestler and because, years ago, I went with them to a meet or two that I understood what was going on, beginning at the 1 minute 46 second mark of this video.

Maybe/maybe not it was because of that that I was able to savor the gift that the one kid, by “letting himself” be pinned, by letting himself be “defeated,” was giving to the other. The entire video was pretty neat, but, for sure, that part was my favorite.

EDIT #2: I would have loved this story probably no matter what.  But the fact that I was just at Seattle Children’s Hospital interviewing, that I absolutely love the caring colorful hopeful beautiful kidcenteredness of the place and have high hopes of being able to have Fella work his therapy dog wonders there next year made it just all the more fun for me to read.

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* Mirembe School Girls and Bags_.jpg (431.73 KB, 640x503 - viewed 61 times.)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 02:24:38 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #83 on: December 05, 2013, 03:46:54 AM »

Unsurprise, unsurprise,


KIDS      and



Came across and got pretty happily lost in the following just a little while ago.  Many many treasures to be found and regaled in:
This is quite a website.  Just came across it this evening.  There are almost 700  “social documentary” photo collections, different ones of which will be of interest to different ones of us. I came across it when I was googling the photographer/social activist, Anthony Asael, whose organization, Art In All Of Us, I think I featured here sometime, somewhere, and whose work, especially the pics of the kids, I love (see above).

EDIT: A bit bleary-eyed, but somehow nonetheless compelled to keep looking, I just now came across the “To Do” list I’m tacking on at the end when I was racing through Anthony Asael’s facebook pics. I looked at his “To Do” list and I thought about mine, and knew without a second’s hesitation that his made a Whole Lot More Sense and sounded a Whole Lot More Fun.

EDIT #2:

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* amazon-brazil-baby-mother-grandmother-indigenous-nikon-d700-24-85mm-david-lazar.jpg (517.85 KB, 1200x800 - viewed 77 times.)

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« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 10:03:52 PM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #84 on: February 19, 2014, 06:45:21 PM »


Imagine that you got invited to go on a trip back to Africa.

Imagine that you absolutely love kids and you love books and you especially love kids’ books.

Imagine that the words, “self-control” never quite made it into your lexicon.

Imagine what a kick this would be!

I’m only sorry as are a growing number of the people I’m going to go see that I can’t figure out a way to bring along as a stowaway the now, still not quite, but on his way to becoming the world-famous guy pictured at the bottom, as well .

EDIT: (An-)other “pleasure”, but so much of an anguish, too, to read about, let alone, to live.  
Again, can someone please tell me why?
The contrast between my post and this edit almost immediately brought this to mind.  

EDIT #2: Clicked on an article to see who the finalists were for the L.A. Times Book Prize and being my standard “a day late and a dollar short” self, learned about Project for Awesome for the first time.  It snagged my interest, so I sought out and came up with some links.  What I read and heard gave me pleasure
Also, I just watched a video on youtube about P4A which may be of interest called “THE PROJECT FOR AWESOME 2013 IS UPON US!”

* Just Getting Started.jpg (500.65 KB, 480x640 - viewed 49 times.)

* AFRICA, HERE WE COME!.jpg (632.51 KB, 524x640 - viewed 44 times.)

* Did You Say More?!?.jpg (565.87 KB, 480x640 - viewed 49 times.)

* And This Is Just Some of the KIDS' Books!.jpg (583.38 KB, 485x640 - viewed 47 times.)

* front on friendly fella february '14.jpg (166.62 KB, 320x307 - viewed 198 times.)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 10:40:07 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #85 on: June 05, 2014, 10:14:13 AM »


The 51 minute-long film, Ryan’s Well, that years ago touched me beyond imagining, is available for rent or purchase, among other places, at Amazon Instant Video, here, if anyone who hasn't heard of it might want to check it out.
Ryan's Well Foundation Website

« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 03:02:58 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #86 on: June 15, 2014, 03:04:37 PM »

This is probably irrelevant, but I feel strongly about what these guys are doing: Neurim is a great tale, I can only wish I knew the language, but it works even without that.
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« Reply To This #87 on: June 27, 2014, 10:08:43 AM »

Awe.  Insides-Permeating Excitement.  Wistfulness.  Resonance.  Something Akin to Reverence.  Yearning.  Pleasure Beyond Pleasure.  An Almost-Feeling of Religious-ness (I'M A BELIEVER!!!), or,
as “religious” a feeling as I probably get apart from those occasional times when a moment in nature or a piece of music very deeply stirs me.

The foregoing were just some of the things I felt as I watched the first, nearly 80-minute long video, noted below.  I’d recently posted about Will Allen and his Growing Power organization in the Book thread.  

And I had thought I was impressed, before….
Turns out that what I felt then doesn’t even touch what I’m experiencing now.  ***

With all that (though for me, it doesn’t feel like) “hyperbole,” it’s going to be pretty funny if some of you watch this first video, and at the end of it, find yourselves scratching your heads going, “Huh?!!?"

Illustrated with great photos, throughout.  
Over An Hour Long.  A Couple of Years Old.  
Since the talk was given 2 years ago, I can’t even imagine the breadth and scope of the projects that they’ve probably gotten involved in, in the meantime.

A 5 Minute Video About The Kids’ Book, Will Allen And The Growing Table


For very good reason, the urban farm, urban gardening, community gardening, micro-gardening, slow food, “good” food movement apparently has been growing, basically, taking off rather exponentially around the world, I think, in the last couple of decades, at least. Here’s a pretty neat 6 minute video I recently happened upon about what it looks like, Haiti-style:

*** Suffice to say that Miguel Herrera could probably relate to the sense of exhilaration that I feel.

EDIT: Did you say, “Más?!?”

EDIT #2:  We takes us our pleasures wherever we can find them.  I sure found some in the following:

The Urban Garden Inside of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport

Rooftop Rice-and-Watermelon-Harvesting, Chinese-Style

Rooftop Rice-Growing, Bee-Keeping, Downtown Tokyo

EDIT #3: Feeling about farmers and farming the way I do, though it wasn't by any means the most elaborate or the most spectacular of this pretty spectacular artwork, I particularly liked the pic of the guy behind the horse pulling the plow, especially because I know that people in different countries are still farming this way, though probably more often with oxen than with horses.  In any event, as exemplified by the different people featured in this post, it's amazing and pretty wonderful what creative people can do!

EDIT #4: Yes, Charity.  Click on the first word of the post on June 5th.  And you're right, it really was.

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« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 10:02:01 AM by Jill » Logged
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« Reply To This #88 on: June 27, 2014, 04:21:33 PM »

Hi Jill- Is that you you are talking about a few posts down, with the books?  Smiley  That would be pretty awesome!
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« Reply To This #89 on: July 09, 2014, 06:30:13 PM »

AnOther Pleasure.
An enormous one for me.

I got a heads-up email this morning from one of my friends and traveling partners at Ryan's Well Foundation that this was going to be put on youtube today.  I just got home from therapy doggin’ it with Fella at our local Hospice and was watching the tail end of the semi-final World Cup thriller with a friend when I remembered to check to see if it was there.

I’d already seen the clip this morning as an attachment to the email but that didn’t diminish the pleasure I felt one little bit when yes, I did find it newly posted on youtube.

Unsurprise, Unsurprise,

I say that with less than no objectivity at all, having watched the original Ryan’s Well film so many times, that I almost have every nuance, facial expression, and line of the “dialogue” memorized.  So, this “Return to Ryan’s Well,” starring so many people that I have grown to so deeply care about, (and sweetly "honoring"/alluding to the original film as Sleepless in Seattle did with An Affair To Remember),

well, how could I not love it ?!?

Though I could have done without the unsolicited cameos of someone’s double, triple, and quadruple chins; I can say that for sure.  But one of the so many things I learned from watching the Hreljacs in action, moving so lovingly, so humbly, and so respectfully amongst the people we met, was that egos have no place in any of this.  That it was and it is and it always will be all about the people.  This time, it was all about the wonderful Ugandans and Kenyans, who welcomed and embraced us so gratefully and wholelovingheartedly.

For those who pay particular attention, you will see our friend, Florence, and her three beautiful sons (Mephi, Enoch, and Joshua) at the very beginning of the film.  I can tell you without reservation, they’re all going to be thrilled when I send them this.

There’s a lot of love in these 11 minutes.  A lot of love.

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* Such A Strong Desire To Give Ryan Something Back -- In Return For His Gift Of Water And Hope And Life.jpg (157.81 KB, 300x320 - viewed 65 times.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 09:18:31 AM by Jill » Logged
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