Saturday, March 26, 2011


(I totally stole that title). I was doing yoga today; gentle, flowing yoga to try and center myself and my hurt knee and gain a little perspective on both. And as I did this yoga, I began to think about grace.

I am lucky enough to have had two amazing yoginis in my practice and life. Lisa and Sharon, in North Carolina and New Hampshire respectively, are both kind, lovely, insightful and patient teachers. One day Sharon spoke about grace during a particularly painful yoga session- reference the King Pigeon pose, and then pretend you also run about 20-25 miles a week, if you want to gauge just how painful. She was talking about finding and embracing and emitting the grace within ourselves and in the world around us. This is an easy thing to conceptualize when you are living in an idyllic setting in New England and planning on making a stop at the local food co-op on your way home from said brutal yoga class. Less easy when you are not.

So today, that's what I tried to do. I thought if I could tap into that grace, I could grit my teeth and bear the winter that has long overstayed it's welcome here in Chengdu (it's about 50 degrees and rainy out- as it has been for the past 3 weeks). If I could find that well of grace within me, I could not go as stir crazy as I am capable during this prolonged knee injury. And if I can find the grace in myself, surely I can find the grace of the world around me. Don't get me wrong- I believe that the natural world has more grace than any other source- I have no problem finding that. It's literally the world around me- cold, polluted, occasionally post-apocalyptical Chengdu. Seriously. It sometimes look like the Thunderdome here.

Which brings me to my next point. Today is March 26, Earth Hour (for more information see And I cannot think of a more graceful way to embrace this world around me that to turn off the lights for an hour tonight (yet another plug- Earth Hour always occurs at 830pm whatever your local time is). I have participated in this...event, I guess, is the right word... for the past two years, this will be my third. I love what it means, what it represents. Turn off your lights for an hour and prove to the world population that Look- it is easy. Turn off your lights for an hour and let nature take a breath, a deep one. Turn off your lights for an hour and recognize that the Earth is precious, and it is powerful, and it sometimes needs an hour off. That, to me, is grace.

I know that I sound like an ad for this thing, and that I sound a bit preachy and silly. But this is important to me, it has been since I discovered it. It's so stupidly simple that it may just save the world yet.

Cheers my friends,
Until next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Bone to Pick

Okay. I know this began as a travel blog. I was supposed to write about the amazing places I've seen and food I've eaten. But there is too much happening to limit myself to fluff + the occasional venting about environmental concerns.

I am incredibly disappointed in the US news media. Not only disappointed but insulted. For both Fox News (yeah, I know it's Fox, but even they should know better and that's saying A LOT) and USAToday (still, not a paragon of international news, but one that is followed by a significant readership) to refer to the continuing crises at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant as a "NUKE THREAT" is unbelievably, indescribably, irresponsible.

This is not 1952, guys. We are not in the middle of the Cold War. And to use terminology which popularly and historically recalls threats from nuclear WEAPONS is, again, distressingly insulting and, I cannot stress this enough, IRRESPONSIBLE. First of all Japan has enough on their overwhelmed and nearly destroyed plate without such false labeling. Secondly- look at your science, AP, nuclear reactors and nuclear bombs are two hugely, vastly, unquestionably different things. There is literally no reason to use the word "NUKE" interchangeably between the two. Thirdly, the American people are not morons. There are a few less than savory seeds here and there- but on the whole, the public knows what's up. So what on Earth could compel media outlets to willfully use panic-inciting language?

Come on. This is beyond ridiculous. Man up, Fox, USAToday, and whoever is doing it. Get professional reporters to use professional language- not hack scare tactics. Seriously.