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Completely Charmed

bees-breakfast

Photo by Professor Thorne

You guys. My parents just spent a weekend at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, where my father took a course with GNII, called “Journey Into Wholeness.” He had an incredible experience. Check this out:

This weekend we learned an ancient wisdom practice, which in Hebrew is called Hitbodedut.  Similar to the Buddhist practice of walking meditation, or  “aimless wandering,” it involves taking a solitary walk while voicing aloud one’s present pressing concerns. I’ve always been a big fan of the character Tevye, from Fiddler On The Roof, and recall his tirade to God concerning his birth as a poor man, and how he would have enjoyed life as a rich man.  I didn’t realize that this is an example of Hitbodedut. The ancient practice involves conscious conversation, listening, reflection, and discovery.

You can read the rest of it here.

Then, for his birthday I took him to revisit the Statue of Liberty and he wrote about that, too.

Curious footnote: The artists chose a woman carrying the Torch of Enlightenment to represent Liberty, and yet, not one woman was allowed on the island for the statue’s inauguration. Boats of women protesting the discrimination circled the island and the women cried out, “If She were alive, She would be banished from the island!” These women helped strengthen the focus of Women’s Suffrage in America.

How awesome is that?

Happy Friday to all, and to all, Happy Friday.

It’s Thursday

You guys. It’s Thursday, it’s my brother’s birthday, – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR BROTHER! – and it’s eleven days until we pack up our truck.

Totally unrelated: Can anyone tell me why I suddenly have 70,000 spammers flooding my site with comments that say things like:

“Thank you for special advice. Thic post was ecactly what I researching. Good news!”

It’s interesting how these comments always include links to websites for electronic equipment, discount designer hand bags and car parts. Seriously. Annoying.

It’s been a week since I last wrote, but I’m sure you understand because you are very understanding and you know we’re getting ready to move and training our replacements at work and yesterday we sent our cats off to Los Angeles, in the care of my super-patient parents. But amongst all the wild and crazy, (because when you’re buying plane tickets for your cats it is both wild, and crazy), there’s also been some really great fun.

like father like daughter

On Liberty’s pedestal, the shores of NYC and New Jersey behind us.

My folks were in town for a conference in Rhinebeck, NY and their visit happened to fall on my father’s birthday, so I took him to visit the Statue of Liberty. He’d been before; he visited in the sixties and in the nineties, but since her crown opened back up, he’d been eager to visit again. Unfortuantely her crown sells out many, many months in advance, so we didn’t make it up there. But we did make it up to her pedastel and the museum, thanks entirely to my father, who befriended a park ranger, who then scribbled on our tickets so that “NO MONUMENT ACCESS” became “OK for 2. Mark.” and up we went!

This is what Lady Liberty looks like on the inside:

Liberty's skeleton

This is Lady Liberty’s second torch:

original torch

The first one was made like the rest of her, thin copper sheets over an iron framework. After she’d been around awhile, some BigWigs thought Liberty should function as a lighthouse, so they cut a bunch of holes into her torch, stuck in glass plates, and put fifty-two lightbulbs inside. Fifty-two lightbulbs. At the turn of the twentieth century. (And they were surprised when no one could tell the torch was lit up at all.) The artist, Bartholdi, kept suggesting they gild her torch, that way the sun or moonlight could flash off it’s golden surface. But no one listened to the artist. Over time, water leaked through the cut-up torch and ate away at Liberty’s insides. It wasn’t until the big restoration project in the eighties that Bartholdi got his wish and Liberty got a brand new, gold-guilded torch.

broken windows

This is a fantastic abandoned building on Ellis Island

the tablet

An alternate view of The Lady

illustrated newspaper

A newspaper headline decrying the murder of thousands of birds by the light of Liberty’s fifty-two lightbulbs. The illustration is brilliant.

view from ellis island

The Lady, as seen from Ellis Island

NYC and NJ

New York, I will miss you when I’m gone. But not enough to make me want to stay.