"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Just watched this film via Netflix for the first time. Wondering how much if anything Thor and the gang left out of the story. Could it really have been that much fun to hang out on a balsa raft for 101 days? I wonder, could I possibly ever grow tired of sushi?

Celia recently purchased some maps from AdventureCycling.org that lay out mile-by-mile how one can ride one's bicycle from San Francisco, CA to Fallon, NV. Additional maps take you from Fallon to Cedar City and thereon across the continent. So happens we are also reading Twain's *Roughing It* and he mentions taking 56 hours to travel 300 miles by overland stagecoach. This is an average of about 6 mph, a fairly easy jogging pace (though it's easier to change horses than legs). I am thinking about the effect that speed and distance have on our experience of place. Seems like a whole lot of place gets skipped most of the time. With gas now over $3 / gal my motivation to bike has increased. Drove today because I had appointments in a town 30 miles south of Chico, but trying to leave the truck parked as much as possible. Imagining what it would be like if no cars were on the highways and cyclists had free reign to ride where they pleased. This is the sunny side of the oil apocalypse.

I had a short but productive swim this a.m. After 6-8 laps I started feeling less tired and stiff. Lost my lane to the water aerobics class around 8:30 a.m. and decided to call it good at 450 yds. I have a problem with doddling around in the morning and leaving not enough time for as long a workout as I thought I wanted. Times like that I can hear the voice of the head waitress at the restaurant in Strasbourg, pungent Gitane cigarette dangling from her lip, exclaiming "Depeche-toi Emilie, hein?" as if sweeping up all the butts on the terrace were something to which one should devote ones full mental faculties. It is a refrain I have heard often in my life from pretty much everyone I've ever lived with or worked for or been coached by.

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