Life, Peace

“Incurable Whirling Disease”

Over The Rhine — if you haven’t met them yet, go introduce yourself; they are quite friendly, and extremely talented.

Exit

I have to leave the city now, she said,
Or dash my soul against my will instead.

I do not wish to have the quiet part of me
That once could rest (the part
That could just be) tossed
Aside and left somewhere
For dead.

Tonight it seems to me
That what some friends call energy
Is nothing more than a phenomenon of nature known as
“Incurable Whirling Disease.”

Please, take me far from here, she said,
The buildings sting and echo
With the fumy cries of yellowjacket cars.

I took her hand in mine and said,
I’m thinking of a place now
Where I used to have to tell myself
Aloud,
Those are not clouds,
They’re stars.

Copyright 2007, Linford Detweiler

 

Life, Peace, Photographs

Gains and Losses

pilgrim oil bottle
At Plimoth Plantation: A Moment of Clarity photo by Teresa Day

Last summer while working in Plymouth, Mass., I visited Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum set up as it would have been in the year 1629. I walked into one of the tiny Pilgrim cabins and saw the above, pretty much exactly as you see it here. I entered through the door just as the sun was pouring into the otherwise darkened cabin through the narrow chimney shaft, focusing the concentrated light on this small bottle of oil. So striking!

I’ve thought of this image many times over the last eight months or so since I took this picture. The thoughts generally focus on the question of gains and losses…since 1629, we’ve gained so much. A nation! Democracy! Medicine, technology, science…so much! I wonder why I keep returning to the other side of the coin (so to speak)–what have we lost?

We’ve lost the pace of peace, to be sure. All of our modernity, each item eagerly trumpeted as “the latest and greatest time-saving device” has not given us more time at all. As we have regulated all that used to regulate us–harvest, seasons, night and day–we’ve removed the natural barriers that kept us separate from the now constant-fast pace at which we hurtle through the days.

We’ve gained medicine, but lost health through our demand for processed foods and our unwillingness to unplug and slow down. Even when the doctor says to us specifically, “You have to reduce the stress in your life, or you will have a heart attack,” we don’t really believe him.

Nostalgia can be a dangerous drug. I want to be careful not to pine for what’s past as a retro-version of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

In a sense, though, that IS what we do with our present and future–striving forward with technology and other “improvements.”  Once I get a SmartPhone, I can keep up with email when I’m in the carpool line or waiting at the post office; once I get and iPad and subscribe to the newest airplane wireless technology, I can stay in contact with the office even while I’m in the air; once I get the new 2011 Ford, I won’t even have to parallel park by myself! Once I get…

How do we break the cycle?

 

 

Spinning

The Spinning Universe: 2010 in review

WOW! WordPress.com sent me this information today about this blog and its visitors, namely YOU. They’ve been keeping track for us, and basically, “we did good!”

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 47 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 215 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 75mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 3rd with 103 views. The most popular post that day was Photo Credits.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were jacobsreward.blogspot.com, facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, Google Reader, and terrificfibers.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ancient egyptian tools, spinning blog, naalebinding, ancient spindle, and drop spindle history.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Photo Credits April 2010
1 comment

2

Ancient Spindles May 2010
5 comments

3

History Has Been Woven by a Stick — The Astonishing Drop Spindle April 2010
6 comments

4

About April 2010
8 comments

5

Naalebinding, or Knotless Netting June 2010
3 comments