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Exercise #17: Things That Matter

Back to the Garden

Grass. I have a real problem with grass. For starters, it’s not much to look at. Sure, it’s green. But it’s a monotonous, uninteresting green. And then we have a few weeks of drought, and it’s not even all that green. And what does it do? It’s not a food source. It doesn’t provide much in the way of food for insects or animals, either, since we don’t let it get tall enough to flower or produce seeds. In fact, you can make a good argument that it’s actually bad for insects and animals, since it supplants natural vegetation that would be more likely to produce something they can use for food or building material. A grassy lawn is a monoculture, a genetically vulnerable and unnatural creation incapable of …more

Exercise #12: Fear of Water

Tomorrow the god will show his face in the shadow of the big temple. Then the priests will feed us a meal of corn and beans and give us a drink from a gold cup, wash us, paint our faces with the signs of Kukulkan in red and blue, and dress us in gold and feathers. And then they will lead us to the cenote.

I want to believe I will have the courage walk on my own legs and that they will not have to …more

Well said

“The role of the social architect recognizes that acting on what matters for one person will happen in concert with those around that person. Individual effort will not be enough. If we do not encourage others to find their own meaning, their own voice, we will never be able to sustain our own.”

—Peter Block, from The Answer to
How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters

Boot Camp Day 5(b): The City

On the wall to the left of my bed hangs a mosaic that I call The City. I don’t know if I made up the name or if it was one given to the piece by my parents. It’s about 18 inches wide, maybe 30 inches high, and it consists of hundreds of squarish tiles, each a little less than half an inch wide, laid out in neat rows to form a crude cityscape. The top half is made up of even individual rows of uniform color, mostly shades of sky blue, but with some yellows, metallic gold, browns, and darker blues thrown in to suggest pollution or the heat of the afternoon, or maybe the coming of night. In the bottom half, there are clusters of rectangular shapes that suggest a skyline. In this part, there are blocks of orange and off-white and gray and larger expanses of metallic gold tiles. The whole composition is set in a bed of white mortar and framed with a narrow, plain wooden frame of cherry-stained wood with a flat finish.

This piece of art has been …more

50/50 Exercise #26: Freedom Object

Wednesday, January 30: J. spent his bonus on a 67-inch flat-panel TV. He’s very excited about the Super Bowl.

Thursday, January 31: J. left work early to come meet the satellite-TV guy. If they stuck the dish up on the roof, why is my kitchen such a mess?

Friday, February 1: We stayed in tonight and watched DVDs on the new TV. What an amazing picture! After the first movie, I had a headache. We moved the bookcase over next to the patio door and pushed the leather loveseat back against the wall to get more distance from the TV. The front left leg is loose.

Saturday, February 2: We usually go for coffee at Mister Beans on Saturday morning, …more