Archive for December, 2004

The rainbow, its magic unwoven by science, still inspires the mind and relaxes the body

Friday, December 10th, 2004

I stretched and stood to relieve tension from hours bent at the computer
putting together the finishing touches on a newsletter for the McNary
National Wildlife Refuge. I squeezed my eye lids tightly to remove the
monotony of the fixed target of the computer screen. Turning to the window
expecting to simply extend my vision, I was treated to the most brilliant
rainbow I had seen in months. The color spectrum was subtle in its changes
and instantly my eyes followed the arch upward as it spread across the
sky and plummeted back to the horizon. There was the most awesome presentation
of nature. In that moment all the weariness in my body fled, replaced
by the strength of wonder that never fails to rejuvenate my spirit.

No doubt the contrast of the colors against the solid slate gray of rain
clouds that had plagued the sky all day made the colors more intense and
the presentation more dramatic. I stood transfixed. And while I was overwhelmed,
the colors faded until all was lost in a gently falling rain. I had the
good sense to go inside to shut the rain away from my body but the rainbow
was not so easily shut away from my mind. Science explained the refraction
of colors and the crystals of minerals in the airborne water.

Should that hard and natural science cast a gloom on the awesome sight?
No, it did not! The knowledge made the rainbow even more awesome. Understanding
the why and how of the science of the rainbow did not diminish the excitement
that flooded my weary mind and body. Nor did it diminish my appreciation
of the rainbow and its timely appearance. Instead of a tiring day ending
with discouraging fatigue, it ended with improved satisfaction of time
well spent and a job well done.

The wonderous world of cyberspace, the world wide web of information hanging somewhere in never never land.

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

I think it is wonderful to turn on my computer and with a few keystrokes
bring up information on the screen. My choice – descriptions, history,
news, cartoons – all at my fingertips on the keyboard. I accepted that
concept easily enough but when I began to put articles and pictures
on my websites I questioned the mysterious wonders of those thousands
of kilobytes zipping through my phone line. Where did they go in cyberspace?
And could I ever find them again? I learned that if I couldn’t it was
because I didn’t send them out with the right clothespins in the first
place.

That’ correct, clothespins. You see my clever webmaster, actually a
son of mine (luckily for me genes work wonders too) explained the technology
to me in a most primary way by using the metaphor of a clothesline,
hence the need for clothespins. I send a very profound article over
the phone line and it just doesn’t go out and dance around until some
needy scientist or happy surfer puts on a tutu and dances after it.
Well it probably does. But I have a URL out there. That was established
by my webmaster and I should think of it as a clothesline. I send pearls
of wisdom and images of delight to that URL and pin them on with clothespins
so to speak. Isn’t that clever of the Internet? Or my software? Or my
son’s metaphor?

The process is really more clever than that because the symbols I send
out are changed into ones and zeros and hung out to permanently wait
for some lucky computer keyboard to swoop out and haul in my clothesline,
pins and all to enjoy my efforts. Now if you’ve never hung clothes out
on a clothesline or ever saw a clothespin you are just going to have
to use your imagination to figure it out. But then you have plenty of
imagination or you wouldn’t expect to take advantage of all the empty
cyberspace out there full of kilobytes hanging around tingling to be
captured by your tender fingertips on your very own keyboard. Happy
surfing!

Exercise muscle pains away – try it – you’ll like it.

Sunday, December 5th, 2004

Every inch of our bodies needs exercise. Muscles must be flexed to
remain healthy. The hundreds of miles of capillaries that feed the muscle
and bone cells need the blood pushed through them. I think neglecting
that push – exercise – is what brings on the disease that is commonly
called rheumatism or swelling of the joints. Long before the cells get
stressed to that degree, muscles ache. Old folklore delegates that to
foretelling storms or drastic changes in the weather and may have some
truth which you have to endure. But the aching may also be warning you
that there is a lack of blood pushed into the capillaries and you can
do something about that.

I stretch, twist, walk, breathe deeply and move about. I flex my hands
as if squeezing a soft ball. I concentrate on the offending muscle as
if to confront it as an individual, willing it to admit that it is hurting
me. Well that usually helps the occasional twinge in my wrists – they
both have been broken in years past – and my concentration seems to
overpower the twinge.

Charley horses in my calves are another challenge and not so easily
confronted. Relaxing to send them away is not easy because the pain
is too great to let me concentrate on anything but hurting. Message
relieves and softens the muscles but they often hurt long afterwards.
I have to keep reminding myself to drink more water. Lots more. Not
coffee or pop, just water. Then exercise.

I’m lucky that most of my muscle aches were so easily self treated.
When that didn’t work I went to the doctor. I was cat scanned, ultrasounded,
and oscopy-ed in many nooks and crannies before being told that my muscle
pain was caused by ulcers in my esophagus. I’m on medication now and
perhaps those muscle pains will recede but I still stretch, twist, lift,
breathe deeply and walk to keep my blood moving into every capillary.