"Home" has been on my mind. How many times have we moved house in the past 18 months? (During a pandemic I might add!). This month we finally settled into our new place in Kelowna after two months of nomadism. This chair goes here, that rug goes there. Should we move the lamp? We keep things pretty minimal for practical reasons. In the meantime, my mother is reconsidering her home situation after the passing of my father.
The local wildfires have taken many people's homes. At the beginning of August it looked like hell outside. With the drop in temperature and recent rains, the smoke has cleared up significantly, but there are still sites in the valley where evacuees from surrounding areas are living out of campers and trailers, waiting to return and/or rebuild.
This month has also seen another dislocating disaster as people (try to) flee Afghanistan. Previously I have written about Dr Nakamura Tetsu who spent 30 years in Afghanistan. In his book (my review here) he scoffs at the coming-and-going of arrogant foreign militaries and NGOs. He was able to accomplish so much on the ground because he was so committed to listening to the needs of the Afghan people. (His attitude and story impressed me so much I travelled to his memorial south of Fukuoka this spring).
The calm of being settled has attracted productivity at last. I am consulting on a couple of projects and am back on the horse of reading and writing book reviews. Three essays have been handed to editors for future publication in addition to the couple of blog posts I have made. I got my second vaccination. The kids are registered for school next week. And after months of not really taking any photos I have gotten my camera out and been experimenting with a new photo-sharing site called Glass (which you can learn about here). I am not sure if I can ever leave Flickr since I have over 12,000 images hosted there, but I will always be on the lookout for alternatives. Nine years ago, when I first moved to Kelowna, I was considering the same thing. Some things never change.
May your home be peaceful, happy, and healthy. 🙏
Antiracist baby in Japanese
Some side-by-side shots of the English and Japanese versions of the excellent Dr Ibram X. Kendi’s book.
Meditation stats snapshot
Sharing some real-world data on meditating alone.
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson (22% Complete)
Finally getting around to this classic study. So far I am enjoying the observations on how language is used to construct identities. The Latin/Arabic/Pali of transnational religious communities gave way to a shift to the vernacular, creating strong local identities bound with the written word of newspapers and novels. No wonder modern movements trying to elevate sub-national identities try to get the local language in print and radio.