Trying to figure out this life: I’m with you, Avril Lavigne

Every now and again I’ll find myself humming a tune — I’m usually humming a tune — somewhere in my subconscious, but, suddenly, I’ll become aware that I am, and I’ll know just as suddenly I need to figure out why…

Not that I can just right now but this brings up images from other people’s lives, people in my life and out of it, and on the fringe. Not my life; I’m really pretty OK.
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Remembering with Shakti: Lotus Feet and Vancouver’s Sea Wall

It was a couple years ago that this piece of music resoundingly re-entered my life. The spring in Vancouver seemed to be a never-ending stream of sunny, tranquil days, riding my bicycle along the miles and miles of sea wall ringing the city. This is a spectacularly beautiful city once it wakens from its winter greys. I’d spent the winter in Whistler, one of the world’s great ski resorts, and had reconnected to the bliss of skiing, of living in a true winter with new snow daily for weeks on end. Whistler is even more spectacular, blanketed with snow, than Vancouver blanketed in cherry blossoms and blue skies.
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The Tao of Love and Light: Riffing on physics and faith

The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism

The Tao of Physics

The following is a comment storm that blew out of a seemingly innocent status message I posted on Facebook. It got a few of us thinking, and I think the thinking in it, on all sides, is interesting.

Note that the quote, by Stephen Edwards, is not taken from the book, The Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra.
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Peter Gabriel’s “So” — change is coming down like red rain

The text below (with some new edits) was posted as a link on my Facebook profile a week shy of three months ago. I’d just returned from a nearly 3 month-long road trip through the western US, preceded by 2 months in Australia. The story it tells begins to describe the unusual relationship I have with music. Yes, it’s my muse, as this site’s title insists, a source of inspiration and insight. Even more than that, there’s a mystical timeliness to the way songs appear in my life, an undeniable synchronicity often accompanied by portent, a message or significant meaning.
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To Kill a Mockingbird: the courage of Atticus Finch

It’s the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and I’ve got the film paused, just after the scene in which the verdict is handed down. Guilty. Both the film and the book resonate very deeply with me, in all the themes they touch upon. Family, community, love, goodness, social responsibility, justice, right and wrong…right and wrong particularly regarding the conditions of racial and class inequality as they existed in the United States in the years before the Civil Rights Movement, but also right and wrong in the spiritual sense of a human dignity that trumps the rational system of justice. Underlying all these is a greater theme that ties them together in the person of Atticus Finch.
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Courage is…: Joannie Rochette & Petra Majdič

The greatest achievement of this 2010 Winter Olympic games wasn’t Canada’s first Gold medal, or its last, or any other Gold or Silver medal awarded in the Olympics. The two most courageous performances in the Olympics netted Bronze. One was a battle as much with emotional trauma as with any other competitor. The other was a battle through serious injury, repeated several times over.

On February 26 it was announced that Petra Majdič and Joannie Rochette are the two Olympians to receive the prestigious Terry Fox Award, the purpose of which is to honour an Olympian who touched the world with courage, humility and extraordinary athletic abilities at the 2010 Games.
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Sheryl Crow is strong enough to be my man…

Sheryl Crow, I don’t know, she’s got something going on, and has been one of my muses at critical moments. She writes and sings like a broken angel, with equal measures of strength and vulnerability, passion and fear, hope and futility. Some of her music is exquisitely beautiful — notably just about anything from the album Wildflower — and some of it is deeply moving — notably, just about anything from the album Wildflower. This one’s not from that album (rather, Tuesday Night Movie Club). Here it’s arranged as a simple (nonetheless beautiful) country melody. While the words ride gently over it, beneath them runs a subterranean river, in a dark, soulful place Sheryl Crow goes better than anyone else. There flows a sense of betrayal, pain and futility. From all that, Crow extracts a searing elixir of truth then, somehow, you drink it down and it’s beautiful.
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Quotes and notes regarding Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram

Shantaram ~ by Gregory David Roberts

by Gregory David Roberts

A dream is a place where a wish and a fear meet. When the wish and the fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare.

~ Gregory David Roberts

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Black and white, darkness without light: a spiritual journey begins on a Three Dog Night

The joyful melody and playful rhythm will be all too familiar to my mother, and the eldest of my sisters. I was about 12 when this song came into my life, the first 45 rpm record I recall owning. I spun the disc hundreds of times…maybe thousands…playing it again and again until I’m sure everyone else’s ears bled with it. My mother and sisters continue to bring those days up from time to time, a cherished family twitter.

The year was 1972, the advances of the American Civil Rights movement still fresh in the public consciousness, and Three Dog Night took Black and White to the top of the charts. However, the song had been written at the outset of that movement in 1954, an ode to the US Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial segregation of public schools. Sammy Davis Jr. recorded it in 1957, just as things were heating up, politically.
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Peter Gabriel & Ken Follet: Fear, the mother of violence

A while ago I was reading Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth. Set amidst the brutality of the English middle ages, it’s interesting to see how all Follet’s characters experience fear, and more interesting how they respond to it and how, oftentimes, they are controlled by it, particularly the most violent of them, and how weak it ultimately makes those who wish to appear strong. The strongest of his characters? Fear — overcoming their fear — makes them stronger.
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