Monday, August 27, 2007

Beauty of Rainbows and Other Water

I need more beauty in my life. This may seem odd to people who know me well, and would say that I have a lot of beauty in my life. I do, but I need more. I have been thinking about this off and on for months. It is time I do something about it. And it has occurred to me that I have an opportunity to gather beauty from images right here on the blog.

Reading another blog tonight caused me to consider thinking about this in terms of different kinds of beauty. I think I'll start with rainbows. Maybe they're on my mind because I just saw one Friday night.

You can click on the text above each photo to see the context and more photos.

Susan's Farm in March of this year

Kentucky in December 2005

August 2007 in Inman

Thinking about rainbows made me think more about water, which led me to sort out some other photos. I know I have a lot of pix of water. One of the ones I thought of immediately was the pond at the artist's retreat I went to last year. A quick google search found the blog entry about my little cabin in the woods where I spent a week without running water - something my brother, Jim, still can't believe.

But, the photo I was thinking of from the pond there isn't on the blog. So, I went into my photo archives and pulled it out. I have even used this as a background on some business cards.

There are other water related photos to share. I can think of river ones right off the top of my head, and I know there are others. I also have tons of pix - like these pond ones - that never make it onto the blog. I have the best of intentions, but life keeps moving at a pace that means there is something new to blog every day so they never get used. I have a lot of water photos taken at the Portland Chinese Garden that would be perfect to illustrate the beauty of water, too.

Maybe I need to make this a regular feature on the blog. It's kind of nice to have a reason to look back at older posts.

One of the things on my continual to-do list is to make a "favorite posts" list so people could easily go to them. There are some things that continually show up in the stats as posts that get a lot of hits. Maybe one of these days I'll finally get that done.

Kansas Dialogue is Over

Kansas Dialogue ended about noon today, with what has become our traditional conclusion - a take off on the "This I Believe" show. You can hear "This I Believe" on NPR, or through their podcasts. We follow the same basic format, and it's done as if it's a live radio show. I don't care so much about that, but I LOVE ending the weekend by hearing something really meaningful. The structured format does make people focus.

Last year was the first time we did "This I Believe," and I was one of the panelists. This year I was the "host" - introducing people and bridging between them. It went very smoothly.

It's always fascinating to hear people's core beliefs, which is what the show is about. My introduction today summed the premise.

Welcome to the second annual Kansas Dialogue edition of "This I Believe.” I’m
Patsy Terrell. This morning five people will share statements of belief detailing the core values that guide their daily lives.

“This I Believe” is modeled after the Edward R. Murrow show of the same name that premiered in 1951. In introducing "This I Believe," Murrow said , “we present the personal philosophies of thoughtful men and women in all walks of life. In this brief space, a banker or a butcher, a painter or a social worker, people of all kinds who need have nothing more in common than integrity, a real honesty, will write about the rules they live by, the things they have found to be the basic values in their lives.”

Murrow recognized what he was asking of people was significant. He even said it was an invasion of privacy, but people of all walks of life, including Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt, participated. More than 50 years later, hearing people discuss their closely held beliefs has the same attraction now as it did then.

All five people who shared this morning did a really good job, with a couple being standouts. It's always emotional when people are sharing their true selves - it's an intimate experience in a large group of people. Some people are more willing to "go there" than others.

The other thing we do on Sunday morning is roundtable discussions from topics people suggest on Friday and Saturday. I really enjoy those, as they're more timely and cover a broad range of areas. Because we had a record turn out this year they were encouraging us to add topics so I put down a bunch. A few of them made it onto the final list, but I couldn't go to but two of them because they were concurrent sessions.

Anyway... here's part of my list. Some of these maybe topics I explore here at a later time. I have misplaced my actual list, so can't remember all of them now.

What "double lives" do you lead? (This one made it and I went to it and it was very cool. One of the most thoughtful people I've met at dialogue said he had never heard it phrased that way - he really loved it.)
How does the lack of high speed internet and good cell phone coverage in rural parts of the state affect Kansas? (This is a HUGE issue - well, to Sean and me, anyway - but it didn't make the cut. C'est la vie!)
What alternative health therapies to you participate in? (I hear this one was really interesting but I didn't get to go.)
What are your "defining moments?"
Why is conversation important?
Do you like "new and different" or "constant and stable?"
What motto do you live by?
What renews you? (This one made the list and I went to it. Unfortunately, I left about 5 minutes early - after everyone had said what renewed them - to get ready for This I Believe. Three people told me it got really interesting after I posed the question of WHY do those things renew you - people were even in tears. But, I missed that part. Pity!)
How does social networking affect us?

I'm sorry I didn't get more of a chance to enjoy dialogue - especially since there were lots of new people there this year. But, so it goes.