Posts Tagged ‘wonder’

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Wonder Wednesday

July 19, 2017

There are few times the expression “stopped in my tracks” has been a literal one for me.

This was one of those times.

I recently visited the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Centre.  I had seen this shuttle before, as it flew overhead on its last voyage towards its science centre home.  But this was up close and personal.  As soon as I entered the doorway to the hanger in which it resides and looked up at the shuttle raised overhead, I was hit with grandeur and amazement.  I stood there for many minutes and just looked, taking it all in before I returned to myself and began an slow and deliberate tour around its entirety, from nose to tail and back.

 

Endeavour is magnificent.

Larger than you might think, until you are that close.  Still bearing the signs of her last reentry, score marks along the tiles here, darkening around the tail there.  Nearby are tires furrowed from their sudden re-encounter with terra firma.  Every bit a technological marvel.  That have been to space.  And back.  Again.  And again.

I’ve loved our space programs forever.  I can remember where I was when I learned about the Challenger explosion, can remember rushing in at home later that day to find whatever coverage I could find about it, remember where I was when I learned about Columbia’s breakup, listening with growing dread as I drove to Saturday practice.  I had a chance once to see a launch at the Cape – I didn’t work it out to do so.  I am kicking myself a bit now for not having done so…

But here she was, silent but present, firmly held by our planet’s grip yet still soaring in spirit, delivering wonder.

 

(Unfortunately, despite the scissor lift, we were not being offered a chance to go inside the orbiter… )

(Nifty to note that this is not Endeavour’s final position – there’s plans for a new exhibition building that will have her mounted vertically to the external tank and solid rocket boosters in launch configuration, with a gantry nearby allowing for several levels of viewing access.  This will have the three shuttles on display around the country being shown in all three of the orbiter’s modes:  Launch (here), Orbit (Kennedy Space Centre), and Landing (Smithsonian National Air & Space).

(I cannot help but laugh and love the following bill of lading transferring the shuttle to the science centre, also on display… especially the initial cost line!)

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Sun Decade

July 14, 2017

It struck me the other day in class that it has been just over ten years since we finished “learning” the Sun Tai Chi set  (we started in January of 2017  and likely it took 5 or 6 months for us to be taught all of the movements).  By “learning” I mean “know all the movements” for that is the remarkable fun and truth… I have been practicing this form, now, for 10 years.  Week in, week out, practice and more practice.  There’s been nothing added, no new moves, no “advanced” form to play with, no other set to move on to.  Same set.  Over, and over, and over again.  And after those 10 years, I know I haven’t fully “learned” it yet.  I am still discovering things about the set, about my body, about myself, and I know there is a myriad of things to still discover.  Still many ways to suddenly epiphany on how much more the body can be linked, how I can embody the core concepts, how I can move and flow and energize and balance and connect and sink and transfer and be.  And I frikken love that.  I totally love this never ending path.  Every time I get something – even if I re-discover it, and even if it feels, for a moment, that I’ve been doing it wrong until now – it’s a moment of excitement and joy.  Pure delight.  I know I will be 99, on the day that I die, and I’ll be practicing my tai chi, that same form, that same one that by then I will have been doing for 66 years, having done it thousands of time, and I will move and my face will light up and I will say “Ohhhh… that’s what they mean by sinking!  I’ve been doing it “wrong” all these years!”  And as I sit down and pass on, I will do so with a smile, delighted as ever to have discovered something new and grown.

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Wonder Wednesday

July 12, 2017

by Loika

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Peter passes the microphone

July 5, 2017

Watching the Canada 150 celebrations this past weekend was a treat not just for the party, but because it was also the end of an era.  Peter Mansbridge* retired from the anchor and chief correspondent position of the National at the CBC after nearly 30 years at its helm.  It was an emotional event for Peter, certainly, but I’d wager for many of us on the other side of the screen as well.

30 years.  While Knowlton Nash may have formed my vision of what a news anchor ought to be, Peter was the chief correspondent for most of my viewing history of the National  And Peter cemented that first vision expertly.  He brought humility, humanity, understanding, and expertise to his newscast every night, pushing himself and others in the team to understand as broadly as they could the events they covered.  He brought himself to his newscasts and assignments without making it about himself.  And he brought humanity, seeking contact with people and engaging with their stories.  Never detached, he always personable while also being on point.

The CBC crafted a wonderful tribute:

… and renamed their entrance lobby Mansbridge Hall.  His farewell speech is wonderful:

As he finished his broadcast on our nation’s birthday, he said “I’m not a fan of long goodbyes, so this won’t be one.  I am a fan, however, of long thank yous.”

Thank you Peter.  Thank you for being our anchor all these years.  Not just the anchorperson of a news organization… our anchor.  Our grounding.  Our link to hold on to and to right ourselves amongst the events of the day, months, years.  The voice to guide us towards context and understanding, to a place at the centre from which we could survey the waters and choose our bearings.  Thank you for your generosity, your intention, your care, your commitment, and your time.

All the best in your next adventures.

 

* AKA Peter Moosebridge, and I assure you I was/am jumpingly excited that they chose him to be the voice of one of the newscasters in such an incredible movie.

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Architecture Monday

July 3, 2017

Oh my, I love this!  That crazy amazing facade of windows upon windows upon windows is great in its own right, but its backstory is even sweeter:  they are all reclaimed.  Every single one of them had a previous life.  And it doesn’t stop with just the windows:  old farm equipment is reborn as furniture, bottles become light fixtures, bricks and wood and more are all given a second career.

This community building is literally built from bits that have histories from within the the community.  It’s a reuse gem.

Those windows look great on the outside, and they glow magnificently like a lantern at night, but wow is it even better inside.  The twin-layer of the irregular windows creates an absolutely marvelous space, a complex intricacy of lines and patterns and shapes (almost a Mondrian painting) that in turn creates a tableau of light and shadow, both on the windows themselves and projected onto the walls.   And that rising roofline, beneath which sits the shop and taproom, contrasts so nicely with the more compact brewery, exploding the senses upward and outward in elation.  It’s exhilarating.

Not that the brewery itself is any slouch, nicely proportioned and well refined detailing with a traditional Japanese bent.  A reclaimed brick pathway cuts crosswise through the building, pulling you through and linking the community BBQ and lawn outside back to the town.  Inside, the pathway is flanked on one side by the cluttered homeliness of the shop, and by the precision stainless steel brewery on the other.

There’s so much to love here.  A very resource-minded building that uses a simple palette of materials, many found and reclaimed, with careful craft to create delightful spaces within while connecting to the community without.  Great, great work.

Kamikatz Public House by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP  (whom I just realized also did the Ribbon Chapel I featured earlier…)

 

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Fox encounters of the fluffy kind

June 30, 2017

Hiking today, I came upon… a fox!  Lovely small kit fox, all dusty golden, with a hint of black at the tops of their slightly oversized ears and fluffy tail.  I’ve seen bobcats on the trail before (hello cousin!) and plenty of deer and turkeys, but this was the first fox, and I feel lucky and honoured to have caught sight of one.

(No picture to share, unfortunately — I don’t bring my phone on my hikes, so when my hand went instinctualy to my pocket there was nothing there :P)

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Wonder Wednesday

June 28, 2017

Disneyland Monorail, taken a week ago!