While walking through an airport during a longish layover, I realized that I was hungry. Stepping off the main walkway into a restaurant, I suddenly became discombobulated. Whoa—just look at that floor!
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I’ve never had vertigo, but I think I came close to it walking on this flooring that has the optical illusion of being three dimensional. A female diner who was watching me tread lightly smilingly said, “Take baby steps; I had to.”
While waiting for my meal, I too started watching other people who entered to see if they had the same reaction as me. Sure enough, it only took moments, but other patrons—men and women, alike—began walking with caution too. The funny thing is, children who entered didn’t bat an eye!
When I was in Minneapolis to speak at ModernWell, I rode the Blue Line train and was mesmerized by the giant, bellows-looking contraption that I sat near.
A bit of research informed me that they are accordion diaphragms, and their purpose is to ensure passenger safety between railway cars.
Much like a giant playing the accordion (think Jack in the Beanstalk), the membranes gracefully push together and pull apart as the train rocks, sways, and rounds corners.
Further research revealed that back in the day (the early 1900s), the spaces between the cars on a freight train were often occupied by migrant workers or vagrants—many people referred to them as hobos—who were “riding the rails.” Tucking into these in-between spaces kept them out of sight from the police and train crew, but thousands of people were maimed or killed by this dangerous practice.
When I was a little girl, I was motivated by stars. I loved earning them in elementary school and by memorizing Bible verses in Sunday school. When I’d acquired a certain number of stars, they equated a larger prize.
When our son was little, he too was motivated by stars. He loved nothing more than the adrenaline rush of licking and sticking a star on the errand chart affixed to his bedroom door. An avid reader, once he’d earned a certain number of stars, they translated into a trip to the bookstore to select a book of his choice.
Imagine my delight when my mother-in-law made this star quilt for us!I love the colors that she chose, and I can’t even begin to imagine the number of painstaking hours it took to complete this gift.
This coming Friday I leave for Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas where I’m hosting a writing retreat. Each of us will be inspired and motivated by the turquoise water during the day, competing with a star-studded Bahamian night sky to write, Write, WRITE!
One of our daily walks includes the Baybrook Court Bridge that gets us from the north side of the Boise River to the south side, with ease. We never fail to stop, rest our foot on the railing, and take several minutes to appreciate the river as it meanders along, often carrying ducks and geese, and in the summer, rafts of people enjoying themselves.
You can tell from the worn spots in the paint that the bridge is well-loved. I hope that by the time I reach my expiration date I have lots of “worn spots” too. To me, it seems like a grand way of measuring one’s “loved-ness.”
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” —The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Boise, Idaho has a fantastic downtown area with a plethora of incredible signage. One of my favorites is this one for the Idaho Blueprint and Supply Co. I love that it’s three-dimensional, that it doesn’t lay flat against the building.
Every time I pass this sign I think of my blueprint, my DNA. The dictionary defines DNA as follows:
“DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional.”
“We’ve been led to believe that the goal of equality is to somehow make differences disappear yet, in reality, it is to be profoundly aware of them and to recognize them as beautiful and valuable and necessary. The virtue is not in ignoring our various distinctions, but in celebrating them; not in pretending as though they don’t exist, but in believing that their existence makes us a better version of humanity as we live together in community.” —JOHN PAVLOVITZ, from his book “A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community”
Have you ever had your DNA tested to discover the breakdown of your ancestry?
Zipping along through the Gold Creek Wilderness Study Area in Oregon, Len and I drove past a roadside tree and then looked at looked at each other quizzically. “We’re those shoes?” we asked in unison. “Let’s turn around!”
Pulling off the road, we saw perhaps a hundred pairs of shoes had been slug up into the tree. Almost all of them tennis shoes, most of them nice. Mind you, we’re in the middle of nowhere. Someone would have to drive a long way out here—on purpose.
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A bit of internet research reveals that slinging shoes over telephone pole lines could mean anything from exuberance at passing a sexual milestone, to gangs marking their territorial boundaries. I also learned that the Southwest has a similar practice of placing boots upside down on fenceposts by the side of a road. And in the military, some soldiers pitch their boots over wires when leaving a post. But I didn’t find a single thing about slinging shoes into a tree. Particularly a tree in the middle of nowhere.
Ifyou’ve pitched your shoes in a similar manner, why?