|Photo Credit: NBC NewYork|
Never fear. I am taking a break from blogging to take a break (vacation) to New York City. Rockefeller Center, Rockettes, Broadway, and museums here I come.
See you in a week!
|Photo Credit: NBC NewYork|
There are books you read that make you hold your breath. It's only when you get to the end that you realize you need to come up for air. In fact, the origins of the word inspiration stem from the act of inhaling. There is something sensuous and visceral in the experience of being inspired. It felt it with Looking for Alibrandi (7).Mandy Hager is a young adult New Zealand author who found her voice for activism when she read Nineteen Eight- Four by Orwell.
One of the characters in Nineteen Eight- Four says: 'Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.' I say, rebel and be conscious! Let's all have a damn good stab at proving him wrong and making sure his dystopia can be forgotten as we work to build a utopia instead! (35)Bernard Beckett is a drama teacher and playwright from New Zealand. One day when he was in the car with his preschool-aged twin sons he popped an audiobook into the CD-player of George's Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl, read by June Whitefield. The audiobook delighted his sons and they giggled away in the back seat. "And that moment reminded me of something that I, as a writer, should never have needed reminding of. That storytelling in its purest form---some words, a voice---is compelling in a way that no other medium can be" (55).
Who was it who said that 'literature in the only art form in which the audience provided the score'? I don't remember, and Google is being unhelpful. Never mind, the point is an important one. When we read a story, or indeed listen to one, the only way to comprehend it is to fully engage with it. The words must become alive in our heads... We own the story because we are, to such a large extent, creating it (56).Ambelin Kwaymullina is a native Aboriginal person from Australia. She believes in the power of storytelling to pass on important information and traditions.
I want everyone who will come after me to inherit an earth bursting with diversity...and I know that the future is a story to which we all contribute. So look. Look ahead. Dreams matter. Every story matters, and we all have the power to influence the future (67-8).Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person from Australia and a playwright. He identified The Power of One by Bryce Courtney as a book which helped him see racism for what it is and helped him on his professional path as a writer hoping to highlight injustices around the world. I honed in on this example because I, too, was deeply touched by The Power of One.
|Daniel, my son-in-law, with Ian. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Autzen Stadium, Nov. 25, 2017. Note the sky! Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|My parents, great-grandparents to Ian. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Thomas, the turkey chef. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Nephew, Andrew and brother, Tony. Photo credit: A. Parr|
|Rachel after she found her wedding dress. Photo credit: K. Kingsbury|
|Ian with quite the hairdo! With Grand-aunt Becky in background. Photo Credit: K. Powers|
|Me (dark hair) and my siblings, July, 2017. Photo credit: G. Ruddy|
|Bobby, my niece's husband, reading. Photo credit: A. Parr|
|Rita and Ian, Nov. 25, 2017. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Carly and her friend Kelsey horsing around before Thanksgiving. Carly spent Thanksgiving with Kelsey's family.|
|Don and I at the game. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Bridal shower with the bride-to-be's mother, grandmother, three aunts, two cousins, mother-and sister|
-in-law-to-be, and one friend.
|Part of the Summer Palace in Beijing. Photo Credit: Don Bennett|
|Don and I on the Great Wall. Notice the poor air quality.|
|Outside the Forbidden City in Beijing with Ken and Carol. Mao was watching.|
|Statue guarding the Sacred Way, near the Ming tombs, China. Photo credit: D. Bennett|
|Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China. Photo credit: Carol Wenk|
|Don and I standing on the Sacred Way|
|Ken and Carol on the Great Wall. Photo credit: Carol Wenk|
|Kevin, our Beijing guide, and Ken in the Forbidden City|
|We were all obsessed with the lines and colors of the architecture. Here is a building on the grounds of the Summer Palace.|
|A roof detail from the Forbidden City|
|We were surprised by the lines of people waiting to see the tomb of Mao in Tienanmen Square. Our guide estimated 250,000 people were in line at 8:30 AM, some would be waiting in line four hours (at least).|
|All the pandas we saw (there were eight in the zoo) were asleep. This one at least was facing forward.|
|The Red Panda, or lesser panda, is also a native of China and he was active.|
|We spent an hour away from the crowds at a tea tasting. Fun.|
|The terracotta warriors blew us away.|
|We stumbled upon this huge pile of bikes in the 798 Art Zone. We don't know if it was intended to be art or just a pile of bikes waiting to be redistributed around the city|
|Our guide service also provided a driver. In Xi'an our driver had a little shrine in his car.|
|Food vendors sold roasted corn and sweet potatoes everywhere. Here I am tasting haw, a candied fruit. Obviously I bit off more than I could easily chew.|
|Darling children in cute outfits were everywhere with proud parents. Photo credit: A. Bennett|
|Quiet courtyard in the Forbidden City. Ken is exiting a small museum.|
|The four of us on the Sacred Way, near the Ming tombs|
|A brief serene moment among the chaos at the zoo.|
|Don and I make weird art.|
|Dancing in the park in Xi'an with the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the background. A delight.|
|A view from the Forbidden City. So lovely.|
|An artsy rendition of our little guy. Photo credit: R. Adams|