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April 30, 2007

This morning, Caitlyn paused in her attempts to "play" with Wasabi to stand in front of the oven and study her reflection in the oven door. She placed her feet wide apart and started doing baby lunges side to side, sometimes looking vaguely like she was also trying to do sideways bends. "Exercising," she said to her reflection. "Exercising."

I have no idea where she learned this. Certainly not from me, as focussed exercising appears to be out of the range of possibility for me these days. I've tried doing yoga with Caitlyn in the room with me; she thinks that it's just so much fun to keep me from any peaceful, focussed breathing and then, when I'm in the downward facing dog pose, to sit underneath me. "Caitlyn, you need to move. Mama needs to get down and she can't until you move. Caitlyn, please move. Mama's going to fall down soon. Caitlyn. Please. Move." She thinks this is funny and tries to duplicate my pose while still being underneath me. I've not tried yoga with Caitlyn since.

April 13, 2007

Back at the beginning of the year, Ian's "Quote of the Day" list sent this out:
"This is a marine biological station with her history of over sixty years ... Take care of this place and protect the possibility for the continuation of our peaceful research. You can destroy the weapons and the war instruments, but save the civil equipments for Japanese students. When you are through with your job here, notify to the University and let us come back to our scientific home.

"The last one to go"

- Katsuma Dan, marine biologist, from a handwritten notice he left at the Misaki Marine Biological Station for U.S. forces occupying Japanese installations at the end of World War II. The station survived the war.
I've held on to the quote since then, thinking I should "do" something with it. I've not quite figured out what, exactly, but it seems important somehow.

Recently, the thought that keeps coming into my head when I look at that quote is more about the future. I've been feeling pessimistic lately, despite the various baby steps about ending the war in Iraq and the general sense that we're finally going to take climate change seriously. I'm not sure why, but there it is. Maybe it's the feeling that no matter how distressed the little people are, the powerful won't permit the changes we want. Maybe it's the vague sense that the change that may be in the air is too little, too late. Maybe it's easier to just assume we're all doomed.

So I've found myself wondering if anyone will leave a note like the one above. What would it say? Who would it be left for? Rather than "Please don't wantonly destroy our research equipment - we'd like to come back someday" will it say "Please don't hate us too much - we meant well"? If Americans found such a note in Iraq, would we respect it? If the note was left in the ravages of climate change, who would "the last one to leave" be? And where would that one be going?

Or maybe I should see the existence of the original note as a spark of hope to counter my pessimistic funk: In a time of war, with all the tensions and mistrust that goes with war, one person had enough faith in the decency of the enemy to request respect for the peaceful intellectual pursuits he had to abandon. Just as hopeful: the enemy honored that note and request.

April 09, 2007

Ian's Thoughtsam has made the local news! I'm not really that envious of all that creative energy going into something somewhat tangible, I'm not.

In completely unrelated news, there are now flowers in the front yard:
my front yard

And we now share the house with a cat named Wasabi:
Wasabi