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  • Denise Frakes

Today is the leading edge of history

"We need a new way of thinking, a new vocabulary. We have nineteeth-century thinking, but technology is so fast. We have to change our brains. That is why I'm so for art, because art will give us a new kind of thinking."

Andrei Voznesensky a Russian Poet 1933-2010

When my great Aunt Velma was born the year was 1908. Her dad, my great, great grandpa Biddle would recite poetry when the family road into a horse drawn carriage. A little over 100 years ago, life was very different. Over consumption was unknown- as we know it now. Our air quality was clean - beautiful. There were no cell phones, computers, internet. I would be writing on paper probably to an oil lamp.--- or more likely I'd be outside feeding our cows breakfast.

Over the course of 114 years, our world has transformed into another place. Is it a good place? Are we headed in a good direction? History will tell us. Are we moving forward with wisdom or abandon? I wonder.

The other day I popped into a big discount store- doesn't matter which one. They are all packed to the hilt - ready for holiday shopping. The stores are skipping current holidays to get to the good ones...the profitable ones. My brain raced. Is this sustainable? Are we missing the poetry of life? Go fast, slow down, pause, speed up. Take a break. Listen to the sea.

I wonder what my great, great Grandpa Biddle would think of our world today. Would he still recite poetry on long rides? All of his 4 kids lived long lives. They all kept on reciting poems from the book A Hundred and One Famous Poems Compiled by Roy J. Cook One of the poems I most aspire to - inspired to me from my grandpa Biddie, is the poem by Emily Dickinson.

Not in Vain by Emily Dickinson 1830-1886

If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain:

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.

We are born when we are born. Into this life and time here we are. What are we going to do with our lives?

Life is moving quickly changing exponentially. Being a facilitator our our Puget Sound Asthma Coalition has opened my eyes to our air quality. How our ambient air quality is loosing it's health. The level of 2.5 particles are increasing. Before learning about air quality...I didn't know this. Now I do.

Today, slow down- just for a second. Take a deep breath- a long, slow, deep, rich breathe. Go outside. Look, for find art in nature. Read a poem -an old poem and and new poem.

To run fast...sometime you need to walk slowly. Build your form, your foundation, your strength, your balance and then you can run fast with power.

We are moving forward. I read one time "Today is the leading edge of history" author unknown. That phrase caught my attention. Where are we going? Do we have a vision or are we running wildly with scissors- cutting ourselves off at the roots? Pause everyday just for a second to see forward.

Happy Travels my friends,


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