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General

Pace Yourself

Preparation is key.  Petroleum jelly in the right places, sunblock everywhere.  A bandanna covers my forehead, for the sun as well as the sweat.  My water bottles are filled and stowed away on my belt, and I strap my timer to it as well.  Power gels or gummies are shoved into the front pocket.  Everything ready, I stride out the door into the sun.

The first minute is always the hardest.  Getting the stride back takes effort through no effort, much like thinking without thinking in Zen meditation.  You don’t think too much about moving your feet; after a few minutes, your muscle memory will do the work for you.

I remember to time my breath.  In two steps, out two steps, in two, out two.  It comes naturally; I don’t break rhythm.  If I feel winded or my legs ache, I shorten my stride.

On most days, running liberates me.  But not last Saturday. 

Categories
Weekly Wednesday Poetry

Weekly Wednesday Haiku for April 13, 2011

The sun’s power: in
Plants’ photosynthesis; and
Giving me heat stroke.

Categories
General

Holy War

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.

–Frank Herbert, Dune

It was a Tuesday, and I was in British Literature I.  We were discussing an early text, either Beowulf or Canterbury Tales.  Our professor was teaching via teleconference from a campus two hours away.  As she was listening on our class discussion through the television, an off-camera student leaned in and whispered something in her ear.  Her expression changed immediately.

“Thank you,” she said, as one of my classmates finished speaking.  “Uh, we’re going to end a little early today.”

Categories
Weekly Wednesday Poetry

Weekly Wednesday Haiku for April 6, 2011

Drinking tall iced tea
Summiting Mount Everest
Both: epic brain freeze.

Categories
General

The Curator Fan

I hate quotation.  Tell me what you know.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Immortality

Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Unlike many in the fan community, I have an uneasy relationship with fan fiction.  I indulged in it a few times during college.  I’ve had half a mind to write a fan screenplay of Dune, or Neon Genesis Evangelion, or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.  I even developed an idea for a sequel novel to the Avatar: the Last Airbender, but with the upcoming Legend of Korra covering similar grounds, I haven’t pursued it.

And I will never write any of the above.

Why?

Categories
Weekly Wednesday Poetry

Weekly Wednesday Haiku for March 30, 2011

Slowing the day down
The good moments and the bad
Prolong my headache.

Categories
General

Little Fuzzy and the Slow Loris

And soon all the people would find Big Ones to live with, who would take care of them and have fun with them and love them, and give them the Wonderful Food. . . . [The Fuzzies] would give their love and make them happy.  Later, when they learned how, they would give their help, too.

–H. Beam Piper, Little Fuzzy

Have you seen the tickled slow loris video that’s been proliferating on cute animal websites for several weeks?  In the video, the loris holds its front paws up as his owner tickles his armpits.

Categories
Weekly Wednesday Poetry

Weekly Wednesday Haiku* For March 23, 2011

Weed-whackers keep me
Distracted; I hum and sneeze
The whole day away.

*Will not always be haiku.

Categories
General

Escapism and the End of the World as We Know It

Post-apocalyptic literature troubles me.

I should qualify that.  I enjoy a fair share of post-apocalyptic storytelling.  The Road is minimalist and bleak to the point of horrifying beauty.  Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an exceptionally realized far-future fantasy.  Battlestar Galactica takes the most profound kind of end of the world scenario and puts real humans in the midst of it.  Even Star Trek is a post-apocalyptic society, given the events of First Contact.

Categories
General

For Love of Transcendentalism

Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Most of what I read in grade school sucked.

It was not for want of material.  I was lucky to have attended good schools, with access to many books and stories of all kinds.  No, my problem was what I was force-fed in class: dry and humorless, assigned by committee, designed to be as encompassing and “important” as possible.  I learned quickly to look outside of school for material that entertained me.

Some of the school curriculum was good.  Dickens.  Shakespeare.  Whitman.  Others.

The rest wasn’t.

But there were some stories, some essays that were transformative and quietly profound, moving me in ways I couldn’t understand until years later.