Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Inspiration! Roundup: Dancing on the moonlight, bannock stories, and minimalist brains

Inspiration! Roundup: Dancing on the moonlight, bannock stories, and minimalist brains, among other things
This week's "I want to go to there": weird robot fun.

Dancing on the moonlight

There's a stunning photo series of three dancers doing ballet on the surface of the moon (okay, fine, it's not the real moon, it's a set) that I just love. There is an alleged mystery attached to it - it was taken on the set of an old film called Destination Moon, but wasn't a part of the film itself.

Now, people are treating this like some crazy conundrum, when I can think of three fantastic explanations: 1) the actors were goofing around between takes and someone took photos, 2) it was meant to go over the title sequence at the end (or something like that) and got cut, or 3) this is actually the moon and they all teleported there for a photoshoot and then sworn to secrecy about it (but were allowed to release the images).

Regardless of where the photos came from, they are gorgeous and otherworldly (pun not intended, but recognized).

tea&bannock

The blog tea&bannock should be read by everyone! It is made up of photographs and stories by Indigenous women and it is beautiful. The images are beautiful. The stories are beautiful. Its creator describes how it began, and the story is beautiful:
“I want a community, a group of women I can talk to about editing, and writing, and art, and what it means processing all of that through Indigenous eyes,” I said. “I want a place where we lift each other up, and support one another.“

“So start it,” my friend said.
Check it out. My favourite stories so far are No Wave Feminism and Epic Summer Road Trips: #auntiesdoportlandia2015. What are yours?

Like Lady Gaga, Just Dance

I am a HUGE advocate of dancing it out. There is something in the act of moving to music that can solve a world of ills. Here is a letter of recommendation in the NY Times for the video game Just Dance as a brilliant dance and workout option: "I am elevating my heart rate, but I am also sidestepping the self."

She's got a point. When you dance - and I mean really dance, as in, the-music-moves-you-arms-akimbo-feet-flailing-everything-is-free dance - you let yourself go. Self-consciousness, self-awareness, and basically all concept of self must be set aside. You are a body and some music, and that's it.

Try it! Use the video game or DIY the thing with music and a bit of floor. Either way, just dance!

Minimalist Mantras

Minimalism is all the rage right now (she says, sitting in her apartment filled with books, mementos, and now multiple shelves of fossils). Apartment Therapy has put together a collection of mantras to help us keep our brains and lives as minimal as our homes are supposed to be: this too shall pass; just say no; don't borrow trouble; less is more.

This too shall pass: one of my favourite lessons from my yoga teacher training is the reminder that everything changes. This too shall pass applies to the bad and the good. Live in the moment that is happening and don't worry too much about holding onto it or pushing it away. This is not easy.

Just say no: this is too hard. I don't know how to do this.

Don't borrow trouble: also hard. I feel other peoples' feelings quite a lot. One of my psych profs called me "a high empathy person", which I like because it makes me sound like a kindness superhero, but in reality sometimes I borrow someone else's trouble.

Less is more: you mean I don't have to do everything? I can do less, and do it well, and that will be worth more?

Get in there and do something
“It is not the critic who counts; not the [person] who points out how the strong [one] stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the [person] who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends [themselves] in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if [they] fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt (edited for gender neutrality, so that I could feel included)
Ever since reading Brené Brown's Daring Greatly, I see variations on this quote all the time.

Question is: what is the relationship between "less is more" and getting into the arena? I suppose it has something to do with not getting into every single arena. And perhaps refraining from commenting on the activity in other arenas.


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