Friday, November 18, 2016

Hidden Cities

The term "hidden city" conjures up all sorts of romantic notions: a Mayan city lost in a jungle; a Soviet-era science city excluded from maps; abandoned tunnels under a city, beyond the rule of law.

It's also part of a strategy some people use to save a lot of money when traveling.

Monday, November 14, 2016

My Post-Election Microblog

In 1960, in a school playground in Northern England, boys were grabbing younger boys and demanding: "Nixon or Kennedy?" If you answered "Nixon" you got roughed up.

All the boys were answering "Kennedy" so I answered "Nixon." I was nine.

My nephews are eight and nine. I wonder if last week's election has inspired bullying in their school playground. I wonder how the girls feel about themselves.

The Internet is not a place to emote: our rants fall on deaf ears, and we deepen our divisions. I don't care for slacktivism: nothing changes in the world when I click on Like.

My microblog (displayed to the right of this post) is simply a place to highlight something I actually did each day. It's almost exclusively something for which I am grateful. This past week I have tried to find small meanings in my actions.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Meaning of Shadows

This morning I photographed my shadow, firmly attached to me. Although it was almost noon, the sun was quite low in the sky.

In 1847 Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Shadow, a short story that talks to the present time. Here's the bare details
A man gave his shadow permission to leave and explore the home across the street from his home.  
The shadow did not return for several years. It was now in human form, and the man and his former shadow became friends. 
After that visit the man did not see his former shadow for several years. When the shadow returned, it forced a role reversal. It was now the master. 
Ultimately, the shadow had his former master thrown into prison then executed.
It's no accident I read this dark story this week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Strange Election

I voted early.

A strange thing happened today as I was jogging slowly round our neighborhood lake, Lake of the Isles.

A diminutive older woman was trying to catch my attention. She announced proudly in broken English that she was voting for the Republican candidate for President. "Very good, very good" she declared to prove her case. By now her right hand was over her heart, and I wondered if she was about to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.