green and blue

Take a moment if you can, and imagine that your world was just green and blue. Push your mind further still, and imagine that every person was either green or blue – not shades of green and shades of blue, but just a singular green or a singular blue.

Now imagine that you could see a colour outside of this green or this blue – maybe something in between, or something new altogether. What if you saw yourself as a different colour, or you saw the people around you in different colours?

But “most people” only see the singular green and the singular blue. There is no word to express or describe the colour you see. The people around you are confused because they don’t see what you see. No one has ever been told that other colours are possible, but you’re sure that you’ve found a third colour.

What then? Continue reading

All the Light We Cannot See

I bought All the Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr) a few years ago, after seeing it mentioned on a blog. (I think I also had some loyalty points to use, or maybe a gift card, but that’s beside the point.) However, as always, I had too many other books I wanted to read first, so All the Light just stood on my bedside table for ages, held up between two book-ends and a number of other novels.

Last month, after I finished reading The Idiot, I felt a bit disorientated, and wasn’t sure what to read next. It was also a time when a lot was happening — a very close friend was moving interstate, several other close friends were taking extended holidays to travel, work was getting busier, and I was exhausted in every sense of the word — so I was finding it hard to become absorbed in reading. I actually tried to start two or three other books before I picked up All the Light.

Once I got started, though, it was really hard to put down! I can’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly (I mean, quick by my standards). I suppose it helped that we’ve had a few long week-ends and public holidays recently, but even so… Probably the last book I was so enraptured by was Anna Karenina — not that I read that that quickly, but I was positively besotted by the story and the characters and the writing. Continue reading

meditations – removing judgement

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine was giving me a lift home from work. On the way, she kept complaining that she was so hungry and really wanted to eat. Our plan, however, had been to go for a run, or at least do some exercise, and I generally don’t eat right before exercise (it’s just not a good idea), so I was basically trying to get her to stop complaining and get some control over her appetite.

I’d written previously (some time ago now) about the virtues of being hungry, and I pretty much have the same views on it now, so that was what I was telling her that night.  Continue reading

All Quiet on the Western Front

When my friend lent me her copy of All Quiet on the Western Front (along with a couple of other books), she told me that it was pretty depressing. At the time, I was just finishing reading David Copperfield, so I was kind of keen to read something a bit shorter as my next book. But, taking her advice, I held off, and read other things while mentally preparing myself for AQWF (plus there were a lot of other things going on at the time).

All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, had been on my to-read list for quite some time (it was just lucky coincidence that this friend of mine had a copy to lend me). To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I actually knew what the novel was about when I put it on that list – I just knew that it was something about war, and that it’s a classic. Yeah, I never even bothered to Google it before adding it to my TBR list…

Well, anyway, as it turns out, AQWF is about World War I, and is told from the perspective of a young German soldier (Paul Bäumer). It is both gut-wrenching and heart-rending, and I kind of wonder if it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make this compulsory reading for high school students (except for all the graphic details…)

Continue reading

blue sky thoughts

Yesterday morning, I was watching the Today Show, and they interviewed adventurer Alison Teal. I’d never heard of her before, but apparently she’s been dubbed a “female Indiana Jones” alongside other fun nicknames. From what I gathered from the interview, she basically travels around the world for a show, through which she tries to raise awareness of how beautiful and precious our Earth is. She’s a big advocate of conservation and all that.

This particular interview was prompted by a recent trip she took to Hawaii. While she was there, she went surfing around an active volcano (the first woman to ever do so), and footage of this is supposedly going viral on the internet. In the interview, they talked to her a lot about what it was like to be so close to the volcano as it was erupting, and she talked about the extreme temperatures and the inherent dangers; but that wasn’t what really impressed me and made me actually stop and watch the entire interview.

Continue reading

shared spaces

Ok, I’m going to write about this because I said I would, and it’s been over a week, and by the time this is scheduled to be published, it will have been two weeks, so I’m just gonna do it now.

At some time around the middle of March, I went to a panel discussion about women in architecture. I actually do remember seeing an ad for the talk somewhere, sometime ago, but I don’t know much about architecture, and I don’t have any specific interest in architecture, so, although I thought it might be interesting, I didn’t think about going. As it so happened, an architect friend of mine, who was going to go to the talk, and had tickets for it, sent out a group message the morning of the event, advising that she could no longer attend, and offering her tickets to whoever wished to take them.

This also happened to be the opening week-end of Brewsvegas as well as the final day of the World Science Festival, and I’d be out and about anyway, so, without really thinking about it, I accepted her offer, and she emailed the tickets over to me. After the eye-opening experience of attending one of the World Science Festival talks, I was pretty keen to see what insight this talk could give me. The event was also loosely tied in with International Women’s Day, which, if I remember correctly, had been the week before (?), and I thought that, if nothing else, my attendance would sort of be like a show of support for female architects.  Continue reading