Friday, August 31, 2007

Something about this just doesn't seem right to me

Last week I read about a very young boy in India running great distances. Here is a story about an 8-year-old in China who just ran 40 miles a day for two months and weighs 44 pounds. She looks happy in the picture. Something about it seems potentially wrong to me for an 8-year-old to be doing that. What do you think?

More about her feat here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Conference of the Birds

God said to David:
“Tell my servants prayer
Should be creation’s all-consuming care;
Though hell were not his fear
not heaven his goal,
The Lord should wholly occupy man’s soul.

But if the sun did not light up the day,
They would not think of Me, nor ever pray
Their prayers know nothing
of love’s selfless pain;
Not love inspires them
but mere lust for gain.

True prayer seeks God alone; its motives start
Deep in the centre of a contrite heart.

Tell them to turn from all that is not Me;
To worship none but God continuously;
To heap together all the world can show;
To break it piece by piece and blow by blow;
To burn these fragments in one vivid flash,
And scatter on the winds the swirling ash –
When they have done this they will understand
The ash they grasped for with each greedy hand.”

If it is paradise for which you pray
You can be sure that you have lost your way.

- Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-Din Attar
Translated with an introduction by Afkham Darbadni and Dick Davis

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A night filled with recurring places

Last night I woke up around 2:30 from a dream that was taking place at my parents' house. But it was a recurring version of my parents' house that exists only in my dreams, and I woke up and thought about it I realized I had dreamed of that place before. It has the old yellow shed and red shed they used to have. On the north side of the house, there is a gap between the wooden fence and the neighbors yard which does not exist in reality. People were walking down this gap to do something in an alley behind the house which also doesn't exist in reality. As I drifted back to sleep, I dreamt of other places that have some vague basis in reality but exist only in these dreams yet I realized I had dreamed of them before.

I had a dream of a house I live in very loosely based on this one I live in now. But the back yard of the one in my dream is very different - it is hilly and grown-over and there is a mini-lot to the side of the house that is also grown over. I've only seen this house at night time, and the neighborhood is laid out similarly to this one, but it is not the same neighborhood. I remember another house in the neighborhood and could tell you how to get to it by walking. In that house, the floors are unsealed and there is a big grandfather clock and there is a basement with lots of antiques in it.

Then I was remembering/dreaming about a park that I've dreamt of before. This park is long and narrow and has an unusual playground. There are lots of trees and trails in the park. Near the park is a path that goes up a hill to a zoo/natural history museum but these are not like the zoos/museums I've been to in real life. Another trail from the park also takes you down alleyways in neighborhoods and small jeep trails that take you to small sandy ravines and large empty expanses of land and abandoned farming and mining equipment. Another road from the park takes you to my university - or the dream version of it, anyway - which has an opulent student center , different buildings, and secret passageways around campuses and bazaar or flea-market type vendors along certain roads.

Somewhere near that place is a kind of mall or shopping or center that has 4 levels. There is a dark curved hallway that leads to a little-known food court and huge game room. An outside hallway curves to a movie theater and a giant stair-step plaza.

There is also a dream version of the high school I went to. In my dream there is a different road to get to it by the small shopping center near it and if you go up that road you end up in a maze of concrete hills and basement-back entrances into the school. Inside the school, there are three levels and math classes are on the top level. Down a long hallway there is a stage for drama class that no one seems to know about or use.

Often these places are so vivid I could draw maps for you and describe particular stores to you. This mall seems to be related to this parking lot of dreamt of before and a long road somehow related to Academy Blvd.

But there is another place that has these weird giant art pieces like giant clocks or giant abstract art pieces with flags tied to them and it turns into rolling hills and remnants of old stone buildings on hilltops, and ancient graveyards that aren't spooky.

Anyway I'm rambling and clearly this would make no sense to anyone but it was interesting to me that last night my dreams involved lots of places that recur in my dreams but that I didn't recall until dreaming about them again.

Okay - off I go to school!