From nowhere we came, into nowhere we go. What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

~ Attributed to Crowfoot

Help the Captain get his spaceship!

Mithril Angel Wings

Did the cow creamer tell you that?

In other news, I bought a cow creamer. Pier 1 cow creamer

My delight will make more sense to people familiar with Wonderfalls, one of those great shows that Fox axed too soon. In a nutshell, the protagonist Jaye gets dragged into helping people in unexpected ways when inanimate animal objects begin telling her to. One such is of course the cow creamer, which her brother Aaron sees her arguing with and pinpoints as a source of her odd behavior, leading to wonderful non sequiturs like the following…

Aaron (in the midst of an existential crisis over whether there is a higher power): I was fine when existence had no meaning. Meaninglessness in a universe that had no meaning – that i get. But… meaninglessness, in a universe that has meaning…. what does it mean?
Jaye: It doesn’t mean anything.
Aaron: Did the cow creamer tell you that?

I’ve never stumbled across one quite like the one in Wonderfalls, but fun finding a ceramic one nonetheless.

Cow creamer from the TV show Wonderfalls, being examined with some trepidation by her psychiatrist

20 Something

“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Maybe this will just be a memory list of all the articles and quotes I’ve found interesting. I quite enjoyed the NYT Magazine article by Robin Marantz Henig on What Is It About 20 Somethings?, it hit on a lot of themes I recognize in myself or my peers including instability, exploration, and postponing the trappings of adulthood (or perhaps just not feeling the need to be very grown up). It describes the 20s as a “churning” period of shifting jobs, housing, and putting off or rearranging the milestones that traditionally defined adulthood – “completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child.” It could very well be a privilege of being privileged but I know plenty of people who have shuffled those milestones around or have no desire to hit some of them at all.

The article explores psychology professor Jeffrey Jenson Arnett’s view of this period as its own life stage, “emerging adulthood”:

Just as adolescence has its particular psychological profile, Arnett says, so does emerging adulthood: identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between and a rather poetic characteristic he calls “a sense of possibilities.” A few of these, especially identity exploration, are part of adolescence too, but they take on new depth and urgency in the 20s. The stakes are higher when people are approaching the age when options tend to close off and lifelong commitments must be made […]

DURING THE PERIOD he calls emerging adulthood, Arnett says that young men and women are more self-focused than at any other time of life, less certain about the future and yet also more optimistic, no matter what their economic background. This is where the “sense of possibilities” comes in, he says; they have not yet tempered their idealistic visions of what awaits […] Ask them if they agree with the statement “I am very sure that someday I will get to where I want to be in life,” and 96 percent of them will say yes. But despite elements that are exciting, even exhilarating, about being this age, there is a downside, too: dread, frustration, uncertainty, a sense of not quite understanding the rules of the game.

Whose game, whose rules, and what do you win for playing?

When I was first out of school and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I wrote a former teacher of mine about how I felt like I needed to immediately choose and embark on an interesting and fulfilling career, which was a shame since I didn’t know what I wanted to do, where I wanted live, or any of those basic starting blocks. Part of me wants to cave, I told him, say screw the expectations and get a job folding t-shirts at the mall. “I don’t know whether this will help or not,” he replied, “but I feel that most of life is spent searching for one’s place in the world and wanting to break out of expectations.  The former will eventually happen if you keep the search alive and the latter is not a bad thing to break out of in life.”

I get the feeling sometimes that the point of the game is what each of us make it out to be, and the best we can hope is that the values we set are satisfying to ourselves.

Flickr and Forgetting

It has been strange using the Flickr friend finder. I give it access to my email contacts and within a few minutes I am looking through panoramic mountain vistas from a friend’s camping trip with her ex-husband. Photos of African host families and living quarters and life that a colleague took during peace corps in Africa. And the most unexpected, a series of 11 images posted by a lady I had an informational interview with once – her sister’s teeny baby, his first and only Christmas, grinning shots pre-Leukemia diagnosis, the family after his bone-marrow transplant, the little brother born after he died. It is odd, the window we allow others in this online age.

I then Googled her and found out she spent time as a sex columnist before moving on to work in communications for an organization whose work I admire. Read a summary of a blogging panel she was on where the participants spoke of wishing they blogged anonymously, seeming to regret either spilling their secrets, or feeling constrained to not share more.

It still makes me wonder how comfortable I am linking my name to my words, though clearly this isn’t the same vein of personal as a dating blog. How much should be public, how much would be permanent? There was an intriguing article by Jeffrey Rosen in the New York Times on how The Web Means the End of Forgetting, which I finally finished reading, talking about the perils of permanency:

“We’ve known for years that the Web allows for unprecedented voyeurism, exhibitionism, and inadvertent indiscretion, but we are only beginning to understand the costs of an age in which so much of what we say, and of what others say about us, goes into our permanent — and public — digital files. The fact that the Internet never seems to forget is, at an almost existential level, threatening to our ability to control our identities; to preserve the option of reinventing ourselves and starting anew.”

My rule of thumb lately is to not put anything online that I wouldn’t want seen by my parents or read by my boss. Not because I expect any of them to see it, but because you never know who will, or how long it will stick around.

Then again, after a cursory search, I can’t track down any of those sex column blog posts she wrote =) Maybe forgetting isn’t too elusive after all.

Hobbies

I was once described as a “very bright but reticent young lady,” which I found amusing at the time, both for the flattery and the fact that I knew what “reticent” meant. There is a lot I keep tucked inside my head, where I can sort through my thoughts to make sense of them, so much life lived in daydreams. It would be fun to let more filter out again, and maybe learn to be a little less of a perfectionist along the way.

Whether this will be a photo blog, a collection of links and stories I stumble across that interest me, or insight into my actual life, is still up in the air. All I know is that over the last few weeks, I’ve figured out how to buy a domain name and install WordPress, looked through dozens of themes, customized the one I wanted, picked and cropped my header images, accidentally re-set all my settings with a new style sheet only to switch back to the one I had before, found and tested Twitter widgets and Flickr widgets and got the photos to pull in more or less the way I wanted… So yes, in short, everything but actually start posting!

So I begin now, not knowing what this will be, but content that it will become.

Beginnings

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” ~ Anais Nin

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