With the Fall Equinox only 2 days away, I shouldn’t be surprised that my habit of taking a daily constitutional (a.k.a walk) at around 7 pm would mean that the sun sets and darkness rises before I finish. Today’s warm summer-like day inspired me to journey on the bike path along the water located only a short distance from my house. Since the sun was setting even as I headed out, I left my camera at home – quite uncharacteristic for me since I love to take photos of nature and birds along this well-worn route, this shot of the moon over the path being one of them.
After staring for a while rather wistfully at the half moon as I walked, the darkness slowly enveloped me and led my thoughts to wander to a recent reference question at work. The patron (a.k.a customer) wanted books on visual and auditory learning. Once I determined that our library catalog used the subject heading “cognitive styles” to tag this subject, I unfortunately determined that we did not have any books particular to that topic. My colleague with more years of reference under his belt than myself took over mid-stream but we did not end up meeting her wish to walk out the door with books related to this topic. I wondered what type of learner I was – visual or auditory and this dusk to darkness transition seemed a metaphor for the visual to auditory shift.
As nighttime caused my visual sense to recede, I spontaneously turned my evening walk into a symphony of sounds. Like a child discovering her environment with newness and awe, I concentrated fiercely to see what sounds surrounded me. It was an eye-opening — or should I say ear-opening — experience to notice just how often I am focused on the visual when I walk on the bike path with all its stimuli of flowers, swans, clouds, marshes and water. Soon my focus swam instead in the chorus of crickets, the cry of a seagull, the wind rustling in the trees around me and the lapping of the waves against the river and marsh banks on each side of me. The shipyard on the other side of the Providence River added the noises of human civilization with its punctuated addition of cargo contents loading and unloading off of large ships. I decided that the auditory sense tends to get neglected when our surroundings offer charming visual feasts. The musicality of the sounds around me seemed just as worthy of attention and the darkness of night provided a shortcut to that particular destination.
The true test will be my vantage point during a daytime walk along the path. On a glorious fall day with a gentle breeze, the tactile sense may crowd in as well when that breeze glides into my heart. Have you ever tried to determine your learning style? Are you a visual, auditory or tactile learner? You might try my experiment and walk through a favorite environment during both day and night and see wherein you find the greatest charm.
One last note – it only seemed fitting that I should write this post while listening to music. I picked another theme song of sorts for this girl on a road. I hit repeat on Itunes and wrote with the song Never-ending Road (Amhrán Duit) from the Ancient Muse CD on playback loop. Loreena McKennitt, another Canadian vocalist genius lyricist and singer, writes/sings:
The road now leads onward
As far as can be
And hedgerows in threes
By purple mountains
Round every bend
All roads lead to you
There is no journey’s end.
Over at the blog The Cool Librarian, I saw the widget for the first time from the All Consuming site affiliated with 43 Things. All Consuming solves the unresolved issue for me related toLibraryThing, in which I would rather show what books I am currently reading instead of the ones I own and in most cases have already read. Since I work in a library, almost everything I’m reading is also a borrowed library book so it doesn’t really qualify as an item to catalog in my personal library at LibraryThing.
The All Consuming site is pretty fun. It allows you to share books, movies, music and food – yes even food! that you are either currently consuming, have already consumed or are intending to consume. People ask questions about what they should read next, rate what they read and create favorite lists. You can upload photos for items missing one and add entries for something not already in there. I already uploaded an album cover for Ferron’s Impressionistic CD which is a nice greatest hits retrospective collection of her music.
43 Things‘ purpose is to inspire you to set goals and get ideas from what other people are entering there as well. Since I like to meditate, reading entries related to the meditation tag already found me referring someone to a homestudy class in meditation available on the Sri Chinmoy Centre website. Once you set a goal, you can also prompt a message to you at some future point in time to remind you of your intentions.
So that’s the background on my new “I am consuming” widget in my sidebar. Maybe my next post will mention more about the two spiritual books I’m currently reading “A Sacrifice of Praise” and “Wisdom Walk.” Until then, what are you consuming as we speak? Hope you’re enjoying it!
Paper lace grace
flutters al fresco
a ticker tape parade
thousand happiness wish
-Sharani (July 2006)
I slowly moved forward in walking meditation, silent, reverent, linked in a seamless circle with others taking darshan from the teacher. With each completion of another time around in our circular passage, a rarefied and angelic feeling of happiness washed over my interior being, deepening with each step. My usual enchantment with beauty found mostly in nature stepped aside as the overwhelming beauty of this breeze of happiness dawning within fed my soul. What kind of fool must I be not to realise it sooner! Happiness is the best kind of beautiful. It feeds our myriad longings and banishes dissatisfaction. Now instead the centrality of abiding satisfaction bubbled forth from within into the bloom of a smile – or to be precise more like a wide and open grin.
Happiness is a complex and elusive wayfarer on my life road. It evaded me when I faced hardships as a child and as I wrestled with feelings of inadequacy. Now these many years later, unless felt as an authentic reality I am usually reticent to paint it on the surface of my life in some kind of superficial nod to its legitimate importance. If it doesn’t honestly dawn from inside up and outward, I shy from hastily donning this garment, however valuable it might be.
Therefore, the solid feeling of happiness that spontaneously graced this walking exercise in meditation struck me with its immensity and tangible power. One thing I know for sure – my meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy offered a very special gift this day with a blessing in the form of kindled happiness. I felt ever so ready to jump up on a soapbox and eagerly declare that happiness is the best kind of beautiful. Not to worry. Maybe my smiling eyes did the talking for me. They can serve as shining testament along with the sweet memory of this experience now imprinted on the tablet of my heart.
My heart’s dawn has come.
Inside my heart
I see only one thing:
The happiness of a God-intoxicated
Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 9
Just as recently as three months ago I was writing about my non-techie foray into understanding RSS and some Firefox add-ons recommended within my virtual circle of blogging friends. Since two months ago, my job now is fully involved with working the Information Desk and trying to take a crash course in the world of 2.0. Each day I learn a little more and while I have yet to start leaving comments, I’m finding it immensely helpful to learn from reading other librarian blogs such as Free Range Librarian, The Shifted Librarian and The Other Librarian.
My current favorites on my newbie 2.0 toes in the water include:
I must be at least skimming the surface with my Flickr badge, Twitter, MyBlogLog, and Library Thing on my brand new WordPress blog. I truly enjoy dabbling in these kinds of content and social networking. As the town I work in struggles to balance their budget and the library is eye-to-eye with the proverbial chopping block, my personal goal is to seize the 2.0 day and strive to inject a modern relevance of content in this changing world for libraries.