Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Scared Sacred

I saw a documentary this evening. Scared Sacred seemed to me, a chance to revisit the way we look at the world. For those happily oblivious to the terrible challenges that are faced throughout the world, it is a stark reminder. For those who remain aware of those challenges, it is a chance to revisit your approach to them. I haven't had a chance to talk out my thoughts with others who saw it but I can only imagine that the opportunity to do so will put me in touch with new aspects of the film. To provide a small outline, the filmmaker visited some of the "ground zeros" of the world: Hiroshima, Bhopal, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, NYC, Sarajevo, Cambodia. In all those places immeasurable suffering took place (and often continued or continues) but in all those places, hope existed. Hope always exists. That thought can be an extremely comforting one if you are capable of believing it in the darkest of times. While the world may seem to be in one of those times, it is important not to forget that valuable lesson.

It may add to the overall experience to know that the filmmaker is named Velcrow Ripper. Really.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Imagination

It's late, and nobody likes to start a work-week tired. But, being a man of contradictions, here I am.

What is life without imagination? I'm not talking the "what do you see in that cloud?" type of imagination. Then again, maybe I am. Sure, imagination can make you lose track of yourself and the task at hand at inopportune moments but that is important. We need to be taken "out of ourselves" every once in a while. It allows us to see things that we might otherwise have missed being too wrapped-up in our immediate circumstances. Without it, much of the beauty in the world would go unseen. I think it incredibly important because what's the point of a life where you know how it all plays out? Sure there's a level of comfort to be had with the safety of repetition. Still, seeing the unexpected (even within your everyday experience) keeps you living.

I gots to live.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Go get 'em!

I know a lot of "go-getters". You know, people who seem to be proactive about getting out and getting things done or getting involved in things. To some degree or another, we are all like that. Some of us find it easy to consider ourselves the antithesis of being a "go-getter" but we've all got it in us. But, even if I check my insecurities at the door I still see those who are much more likely to be actively involved in their own lives and the lives of those around them. That's where Canada25 comes in. When it was pointed-out to me by a colleague today I thought: "what a good idea". What I didn't think was: "I need to join". I do feel like there are plenty of folks out there who should. Hell, I should. But will I? In their own words: "We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that brings the voices and ideas of Canadians, aged 20-35, to the nation's public policy discourse and takes action on issues of local and national significance." Everyone in that age group should be involved. I'm definitely happy to know about it. Now I just need to see whether I want to use it as a way of sharing my voice and idea. While I consider that, you might want to do the same.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Luck

I am a lucky guy. Lucky to have lots of great people in my life (you know who you are) and lucky to have thought-provoking and touching interactions with them. Prime examples are the letters I received from my brother (yesterday) and my father (today). Both are wise beyond their years, which is saying something for my dad ;). They remind me to revisit my approach to life sometimes. That can be good to deal with less-than-stellar times, but it can also be good to shake one from an otherwise pleasant complacency.

Like I said: lucky. :)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't forget Brain Awareness Week

It would be ironic if I forgot, but in this case I just didn't find out until it was over. As soon as I saw the banner promoting the event I got a smirk on my face. Clearly, I am likely to suffer in some indescribable way on some distant ring of hell (or with my nose in the complete works of Stephen Harper - Unabridged) for seeing humour in what is an important and valuable event. If you're truly interested, here's more about Brain Awareness Week whose goal is to: advance public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. If you're like me though, you'll also find humour in the fact that McGill actually reminded people: "Don't forget Brain Awareness Week".

Saturday, March 18, 2006

So, you've probably heard of the Iditarod. You know, the 1760km dog-sled race (which happened just to have ended this week). Well, I just learned about a very different race, the Idiotarod. Taking place in New York City and specifically between Brooklyn and Manhattan the dog-sleds are replaced with often ill-gotten shopping carts. The teams include one "musher" and four runners though I understand that some teams also had many saboteurs in place to mess with the other teams.

I stumbled across photos of this while surfing Flickr for interesting content. I'm happy that it transcends photography and helps share fun and ridiculous things with those of us "non-idiots".

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Still mulling over the concept of not settling. I think, perhaps, keeping that sort of adage in mind is enough. To keep certain things in our conciousness saves us from ignoring them entirely and I think that is a good thing.

The photo below was taken earlier this week when a late walk home showed me how foggy a night it was and how picturesque it was. This World War I memorial was particularly interesting in the subdued light.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Don't settle.

To some of you that may represent words of (some measure of) wisdom. To others, that I have an unhealthy addiction to network television. Let it mean whatever it wants to you. I'm going to consider what it means to me as I head to bed. Maybe I'll have chewed on it enough to say more about it soon.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fun with Photos


Click on the photo to see a larger version. It's kinda hard to see what I want you to see with this small version.

For those of you hoping I've taken to model building to while away the hours and to fill the extra space in my apartment, I am about to disappoint. The photo started as an image of Mexico City (or D.F.) taken as I came in for a landing en route home. Before I had a digital camera, I told myself (and anyone silly enough to listen) that having one and a computer would be like having my own darkroom. Well, it's even better than that. I can waste hours and hours doing silly things like making a regular picture look like a picture of a model. I don't know if it's believable but it goes to show the amazing things you can do with images and the effect those changes can have. If I can change what you think about the image in a matter of minutes, what can someone who actually knows what they're doing achieve?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Engage - Disengage


Do you think that someone with a propensity towards engaging with thoughts/activities/whatever must have an equal and opposite propensity towards disengaging? It's like so many cheesy cliches/analogies/whatever, equal and opposite reaction, can't have the dark without the light, happy goes with sad, salt with pepper, blah, blah, blah.

I can't help but imagine that there is balance in the world. But does that balance need to come within each of us or is it more of a collective journey? Do my good deeds make up for your transgressions allowing the karma wheel to continue to turn for all of us. Maybe that's just a weak way of getting out of personal responsibility. Maybe the world would be a better place if we were concerned enough to lead a balanced life within ourselves and didn't expect the rest of the world to pick up the pieces.

I can say that I find balance within myself in this case. My apptitude to engage with things seems balanced with an ability to disengage. That doesn't seem like it makes the world a better place but maybe it is part of a larger balance that I just don't see. Or maybe, it's just something in the water.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Keeping up with the Ryans

If my brother can write a soul-baring post at about 3 am local time I should damn well be able to get something down before midnight after having left my loyal fans ;) waiting for something like a week. Granted, that doesn't mean your going to get anything quite so good out of me.

Apologies for my apparent laziness. It has only involved a measure of laziness along with a sou├žon of business. But I'm here now. What have I got to say? I have been reminded this week, from within and without, that I may not be at exactly the point in life that I had imagined. When did I imagine this? Who knows? Is there a point (in life), to "get to"? I don't think it is quite that simple. Perhaps it is just that feeling of certain aspects either lacking or not getting the attention that they deserve. And with that musing, I will consider it closely with the advice of my pillow and leave you to pay the ice the attention that it so dearly deserves.