Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 1: Happy New Year 2011

Sunset in the Holy LandSt. Peter's Church, Jaffa, Israel, February 2009,
Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, Focal length 7.56mm, Exposure 1/8 sec @ f3.5, ISO 200, no flash,
© Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Happy New Year everyone.  Did you celebrate?  Get to kiss someone?  Make any resolutions?

Here are my answers:  Not so much.  Yes, my lovely wife, Carol.  You betcha!

We stayed home, which for us is over here in Böblingen, Germany.  New Year's Eve in Germany (as in many places around the world) is celebrated with fireworks at midnight.  And our dog Frito is not a big fan of fireworks.  He shakes like a leaf when they go off.  

So we watched some TV, to drown out the sounds.  And covered him with blankets and kept him in between us on the sofa.  He did fine.

So what about my resolutions?  Well, here they are:

1.  Post a picture of beauty every day (right here, on this blog).
2.  Give something away every day (e.g., a donation, or to someone in need, or an unused item).
3.  Do some physical exercise every day (at least 15 minutes long).

And for the first item, at least, you can help keep me honest.  Or at least, check back and see what kind of pictures get posted.  In many cases, it just might be a picture without all this writing to slow you down ;-)

Well, let's see how it goes.  Here's wishing you the best in 2011.

  • Donation:  to Vegan Outreach
  • Exercise:  Running 11.11 miles (120 mins) (see next post for details)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What do you believe?

Face in the Wall, South Garden below the Castle, Prague, Czech Republic, May 2010,
Canon PowerShot SD870 IS, Focal length 6.14mm, Exposure 1/50 sec @ f3.2, ISO 80, no flash,
post-processed with iPhoto © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

I’ve had a feeling for some time. Twenty years, maybe more. But I wouldn’t call it a belief — I mean, maybe I am wrong. Who really knows, ya know?

But I think I just got a push. I mean, c’mon. Either you believe it, or you don’t. And what’s the worst that can happen — you end up changing your mind; revising your beliefs. That’s not the end of the world, right?

OK, so here it is. You know the expression, “You are what you eat”? Well, I’ve really come to believe that recently. My wife and I have taken the plunge. We’re all about fresh produce, avoiding any packaged foods. Thank God for my wife — she is willing to cook from scratch, and oh-my-God it is all so delicious. And healthy. We now buy organic. Cook with lots of fresh herbs and lots of spices. Really. I mean, it’s better to eat at our house (tastier and healthier) than dining out. Trust me.

OK, so what else is like that? What else do we consume on a daily basis? How about the news? How about TV? How about movies? How about video games (well, maybe not us, but our kids)? So here’s the deal: not only are you what you eat, but you are also what you read, what you listen to, what you watch, what you play ... you get the idea.

What food is to our bodies, so too is this external stimuli to our our minds, our psyches, and our souls. They are what we "consume" into our minds. So what are you consuming? Are you reading inspirational, motivational, reflective, wise material? Or are you gorging yourself on all that other garbage that is out there? You know what I’m talking about. It might be the message itself, or all of the advertising that surrounds it. It might be the gossip, the petty thoughts, the cheap shots, the sarcastic comments, the talking behind one’s back.

So how about trying a different approach? Find sources that speak to your heart. Cultivate those, and eschew those that taste bitter or spoiled.

Here’s a story I think you will enjoy. Please take a look and see what you think of this person’s incredible passion and heartfelt emotion. It reinforces my faith in humanity. And I know it is the truth. Or at least that is my belief. What is yours?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A little mesmerizing

I thought this was a beautiful, artistic, and creative performance, and wanted to share it with you.  Indeed, when it was ending, I was wishing there was a "more" button that would allow me to see the next act.

I really find it amazing what some people can imagine, craft, perfect, and bring to life.  There is so much power in such an offering.

I hope you find this entertaining, and a little mesmerizing.

"Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent."

... Jalal ad-Din Rumi