turquoise - a mineral, hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium

turquoise - a hydrous phosphate mineral of copper and aluminium CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O
I learned to look at hands, which I'd never looked at before...and I learned also that shadows are not black but coloured

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Perception & Gratitude

(thinking about Somali famine & drought)

I walk into the Sports Complex after a 13.1 mile run; 90º+ with no water.
(thirsty by choice)

A tween hockey player spits on the floor at my feet.

I look at him and say "seriously? yuck."
Hockey kid, "sorry, but I just got off the ice and I'm really thirsty."

I'm sure he was thirsty. I was thirsty too.

There was water, as much as we could possibly drink within a few feet of us:
cold available relief.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm a freakin' hummingbird

Every day I sit out on my deck to enjoy the squirrels, the robins, and
the hummingbirds
they happily buzz around the crabapple tree, the pines, and my head.

Hummingbird me, let's compare:

They're only found in the western hemisphere (hey,
that's where I live), so references to them in european poetry, legends, and stories are, none! They are however, very commonly referenced in Native American mythologies.

the hummingbird convinces the gods to bring rain
yep, check...I pray for rain or snow and VOILA!

the hummingbird is the sun in disguise trying to court the moon
no comment

the hummingbird was sent to look for light when people lived underground in a world of darkness
errand girl for light - for people living in darkness,...well I certainly hope so!

the god of music and poetry took the form of a hummingbird to make love to a goddess who then gave birth to the first flower
almost positive I had a part in the birth of the first flower

"The Hummingbird is the symbol of the spreader of life on the Earth. It also symbolizes the rebirth of the Taino Indian Nation of the Caribbean and Florida. We also call our Warriors, Colibri Warriors (Hummingbird Warriors), as the Hummingbird is very peaceful but, it protects it own homeland with the heart of a Eagle." Peter Guanikeyu Torres
...yep, check.

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards, & their hearts beat 1260 beats per minute. When they're not flying, like at night, they have to go into a hibernating state called 'torpor' to keep from starving to death (they have crazy fast metabolisms, and a unique glomerular filtration rate in their kidneys to allow torpor).

In the torpid state their heart rates
range from 50-180.

yep, this describes me too:
crazy metabolism - if I'm not moving I'm passed out - hibernating, dead to the world
eating constantly to fuel energy output

kidneys can't quite keep up!

In comparison to everyone else, I definitely 'fly backwards'.


A few weeks ago Eric pointed out that my heart rate was perhaps higher then it should be while exercising..., for my level of conditioning, perceived effort etc.
He encouraged me to get my heart checked, to make sure it isn't enlarged.

Melissa and I noticed it was a bit high on our Little Red ride...

Cardiologist, Dr. Whitehead, thinks that physiologically I have a young heart
(MHR closer to an 18 year old's).
I'm small: it doesn't take a very strong pump to get blood to all my parts.

Apparently, instead of increasing stroke volume, my heart prefers to increase HR to increase blood flow. It just likes to beat crazy fast (...you know, the rest of my muscles don't really bulk up either).

(It's kinda like I have a hummingbird in my chest instead of a heart.)
So, there you have it. I'm basically the human equivalent of a hummingbird.

Note for those with whom I've discussed the MRI:

big brain, quick heart

I'm sooo backwards...
shouldn't it be

quick brain, big heart?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Iron Sulfide (FeS2), Bingham Copper Mine, Utah

perception of frosting & iron pyrite altered by age

you prefer the frosting to the cake & think the
captivating luster of iron pyrite is as good as gold

frosting makes you gag & iron pyrite captivates you for its
isometric crystal system and conchoidal fracture.

Ring Around the Rosy

I have depth perception problems. I have vertigo. I drop things, run into things, and fall down. I trip over my own feet.

note: this somewhat handicaps me when skiing through trees and hiking steep ridges. I don't so much mind colliding with a tree if it's a smaller shrubbery, but the larger conifers can whack an arm clean off. Luckily, human limbs and tree limbs have flexibility. The ridges, unfortunately, I have to avoid.

And so, I find myself contemplating balance. Not just physical balance, but emotional balance.

The movement of balance.

Balance is not a destination. It is not fixed. It is not unwavering. It's a continual process of steady motion actively working to maintain equilibrium. In chemistry equilibrium is achieved when a chemical reaction and the reverse reaction happen at a steady pace. Two opposing reactions working constantly to maintain optimal function.

Physically, we feel the movement of balance. Consider the yoga pose utthita hasta padangusthasana (extended standing hand-toe pose). In a state of perfect balance, our bodies can feel the constant movement. The work of it, the power and opposition between the body's muscles to achieve the balance of the pose. If we hold completely 'still', we fall. If we give preference to one force over another, we fall.

The same principle holds true for our emotional stability. Emotional balance is a harmony of various influences and powers. This harmony provides spiritual calmness. This means there are opposing forces (pain, anger, unhappiness, joy, peace) at work to achieve emotional harmony. We need these opposing forces to keep us in balance. To keep us calm. Emotional pain, in whatever form, is necessary for calmness (peace, joy). To maintain calmness and joy we need something to push against!

I'm going to try and remember all of this jabber the next time I fall down.

Monday, February 7, 2011

When is sideways forward? & 3 Chinese proverbs

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.


I have tried to learn many many things, and I can tell you this: this Chinese proverb is wrong. It's not FIVE MINUTES. If learning only required us to be fools for five minutes we would all be fishermen. Learning takes a life time. But, regardless of how long it takes to learn, I would rather be moving forward (or sideways, or backwards) than standing still.

And there I found myself today, wrestling with heavy internal doubt (once again) on the side of a mountain. Not afraid, not confident, but moving...sideways. For the sake of optimism I will say "I traversed across the slope". In the moment, it felt like a failure. But it was rather, a step sideways. I didn't fall, this time. And so goes the learning process. The next run on which I encountered doubt, I was able to ski with greater confidence. Now I am happily relishing in my reassured ego of having successfully moved sideways...which ended up being a step forward.

I am consequently grateful for patient, encouraging, and non-judgemental fishermen. Teachers who provide fish for me to feast upon until I am able to catch them for myself.

And, maybe in the end, it's okay to doubt.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

a.m. resistance training • 6m run • 45minute spin • p.m. resistance • 1m run
It's amazing how a simple head cold can wipe out every ounce of motivation to be active, and yet,...

I took a rest day yesterday. Thought I would really really rest, maybe get on top of this miserable head cold.

Never again.
Resting does not make ME feel better. It doesn't. It makes me sick, literally.
(this is why I will never consider myself an athlete. I simply can't give my body the rest required to maximize strength and performance.)

Moving makes me feel better.

By 3pm I had a full classic migraine coming on fast and furious. I was extremely nauseous, barely functioning. By 3am the pain had settled in my right ear (usually the pain goes to the left eye). This is what I get for rest. A wonderful reminder of IT'S NOT WORTH IT.

All day yesterday I'm thinking, "oh, here comes a headache, just go run....NO! I AM RESTING, really rest...rest is important. I want to be strong. My body needs rest time..." blah blah blah. Again, NOT WORTH IT.

I refused to take medication, for the benefit of my kidneys, which was my second mistake next to choosing to rest (I did finally cave and took 3Aleve and 2Extra Strength Tylenol this morning - HAD TO FUNCTION). So now I'll swap out the migraine for the next onslaught of kstones. IT'S NOT WORTH IT.

The head cold doesn't seem bad by perspective. It's annoying, not debilitating.
The only thing that's really horrible to do with a head cold is yoga (note that it's been missing from the routine for a couple of weeks). Down dogs and inversions will basically drown you in your own mucous and therefore yoga with a head cold is a life threatening situation.

The running: due to the cold temperatures and added wind chill, I've been doing my cardio on the spin bike. 15º is my 'cold' cut-off for running. I've found that I can't really do more than 4miles at a time if it's below that temperature. It's a frostbitten nose/icicles for fingers thing. And it doesn't seem worth it to go out and run less than 4miles.

so what is the accounting?
a bit of resistance training in the weight room, a little bit of skiing, a little bit of spinning, and that's about it. I've had it with this "off" time.
It sucks.

Friday, January 28, 2011

the accounting:
wt room x4, bc x4, 1 90minute spin, 1 60minute spin, 6m run, snowbird x3

Monday, January 24, 2011

freeform stitching
stitch rate: one inch = one hour

the accounting: a.m. weight room, snowbird, 4m run

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the accounting: 7.4 run
skiing in fog; running blind
(removing sensory processing of sight)

While skiing in a storm last week I was enveloped in thick fog.
Visual perception became non-existant.
My body responded immediately to the lack of visual stimulation.
Rather than feeling restricted by my lack of sight, my body became MORE RESPONSIVE, spellbound by MOVEMENT.

joy unconfined

I went out for a short run last night.
Cloud cover extinguished the moonlight leaving me in solitary rural darkness.

breath, movement, the feeling of my feet pushing off of the earth,
coldness of the wind, the pressure of the wind,
the heat of my body

Today: short run, no ipod.
Blizzard conditions, white-out, blinding bleak grey-white nothingness, frigid wind,
I can't see.
I listen to the wind, and delight in its force against my body.
I am aware of my warm breath and the motion of my mortality, its rhythm.
Can i find my heart, a pulse?
Yes, but not "in" me. It's around me:
the wind, the dirt underneath my feet, my breath.
I can feel the heat of my body, the cutting cold wind on my face...my mind tells me "these are opposites", but they don't feel like opposites:
they feel the same.

my abandoned footprints in the snow erased by wind
there:gone there:gone there:gone

* * * * *

Nikoo, my esthetician (waxing, brows etc.), and Steve Jepson my dermatologist, have both independently proclaimed my skin the most sensitive they have cared for in their careers (a total of roughly 45 years of clients).
I find this fascinating. Is my skin that sensitive?

sensory processing:

The brain sorts, prioritizes, emphasizes components, and then determines how to understand the available information received and what to do with it.

The nervous system's response to input determines one's "responsiveness".
Do you over-react, under-react, or have a balanced response to stimulation?

Consider how each of your sensory systems respond.
Do you have high sensitivity to sound?
Low sensitivity to smell?
Do you find enjoyment in movement?
Visual experiences?

According to Nikoo and Steve, I have high sensitivity to touch:
Aston Martin skin.


Consider how this relates to pleasure, to pain.

This sensory processing directly impacts our perceptions, how we act, and how we feel emotionally.

Filter out the irrelevant.
Our senses, especially sight, can give us false perceptions!
Thus, paradoxically, our senses can restrict us from finding truth in our experiences.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I received the following text message this afternoon:

This is b.s., no new posts since Jan. 12? I need to be entertained by your wisdom, insight, and beauty.

- Disgruntled Follower

Dear Disgruntled Follower,

The entertainment quality of my wisdom, insight, and beauty is debatable. Unless, you are referring to the plethora of material I provide you, amusingly mockable, in true "Mystery Science Theater" fashion.

I will mention, I was alarmed by the deer roadkill on Wasatch.

Roadkill is part of my running adventures, compelling me into reflection, gratitude for life, animation of flesh, and breath. This deer's haunting smokey blue-glazed eyes and half eaten entrails are morbid. This deer is a severe contrast to the deer roadkill on the other side of the road: sunshine sparkling off its blanketed ice-crystal coat. Glittering, still corpse.

The Turquoise Bee

the accounting:
hmmmm, guess I ran between 9-10 miles today.
a.m. weight room

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Candy Land.

Remember when you made it all the way to the Lollypop Woods and then drew the card sending you back to the Peppermint Forest? The modern version of the game equivalents are Queen Frosting and Plumpy.

I hate drawing Plumpy. Peppermint wasn't so bad, but Plumpy is the worst. I've been drawing Plumpy a lot lately. I'd really like to get the Queen Frosting card.