Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Am Borg

After a few months of actively preparing for this, not to mention "10 years" of actively avoiding it… I have finally taken the plunge and have begun wearing an insulin pod. In fact, it's a great technology breakthru — an "OmniPod".
click here for Full Size image of one of my first days on the pod — when we were building the deck that Quest madeAs you can see in the picture of me working on a deck-building team project barn raising style, the OmniPod is worn 24-hours a day, (mostly) externally, and usually in a somewhat concealed place. It does a miraculous job of the insulin delivery part of my diabetes management — all of it — so after 23 years I have no need to take insulin shots 4-5 times a day any more. (See also deck building SlideShow.)

click here to go to the OmniPod web siteShown in the picture on the left is the pod itself, along with the brains of the operation — a wireless remote control for the pump — which give me access to a personalized diabetes management system, contains a detailed food library, and lets me make this device do everything a fully-functioning pancreas would do. (Well, not including glucose monitoring — for now, but see the The Charmr.) Not only is the end result of all this much simpler, leaving me with less constraints about my lifestyle, but it allows me to achieve much better control of my blood sugar so the long-term effects of diabetes are likely to be much less significant. For more, see my profile in the OmniPod Users group — part of the cyberspace Community for People Touched by Diabetes.

This is all great stuff, though I admit that realizing that I now wear "a computer" just as if it were part of me, that I will have to do so (in some form) for the rest of my life, and were I to stop wearing this that I would die… does leave me with the humble admission: "I Am Borg !!"    With such great results already, I've learned my lesson: Resistance is futile !

Sunday, June 15, 2008

SoundPlay at Rowe Camp — Music, Sound, Rhythm, and Listening

Father's Day morning, and — sleeping in my empty bunkhouse at the Rowe Camp in Western Mass — I am awakened at the crack of dawn by birds singing like there was no tomorrow, each one determined to bring on the morning sun, to dispel the overnight mist, by the sheer brilliance and beauty of natural voice. And how appropriate — this is the weekend I wrote about as my Father's Day present (last April, in "Music In My Soul"); now I'm writing on the last morning of my stay at Rowe.

So here I am — up early because the birds woke me up, relaxing on the balcony of my bunkhouse in the woods, drinking the espresso part of my Father's Day gift from the love of my life. Her card lovingly affirms her experience of being my life- long partner and how much joy my inclination towards music has brought to her life, to our daughters, and into our home.

click here for the Full Size image (panorama) of Rowe center, made from 24 snapshotsThe card/gift + this weekend experience… I couldn't imagine a better Father's Day present !! — ♥ three days with a wildly eclectic collection of (25) "music people", all in agreement that (for this weekend) there's no such thing as a wrong note   ♥ fully participating — making SoundPlays in every combination of personalities and sounds imaginable   ♥ singing every note that comes to mind   ♥ vocalizing every sort of sound I can imagine   ♥ sound healing and ritual   ♥ playing dozens of instruments (strings, brass, didgeridoo (huh?), percussion, woodwinds, conch)   ♥ and the astonishing experience of really listening… like I've never experienced listening before !!

click here for Full Size image of the Chapel in Rowe where we made our SoundPlaysCheck out the (Flickr) snapshots of Rowe, Paul Winter, and the weekend participants (or SlideShow). Or, for more action, see the YouTube video clips: ♥ two clips led by the Masla father and son duo rocking and then more rocking after lunch before our leader arrived,   ♥ Paul Winter explaining the pentatonic scale called "Koto",   ♥ percussion and improv dancing,   ♥ strings and steel drums,   ♥ Peter and John make our very foundations vibrate with dueling didgeridoos,   ♥ conch shells with a low pitch and then two octaves,   ♥ violin, cello, didgeridoo,   ♥ the conch finale from our Earth Wind Fire Water ritual, and our final listening experience   ♥ Paul Winter's ethereal soprano sax performing a favorite track from his latest CD, Crestone.

Of course, all of the multimedia recordings provide only a glimpse of this phenomenal experience that has nevertheless left me with the solid affirmation that I really do have Music In My Soul. And for that I shall always be eternally grateful.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Circle of Men — the Legacy Discovery experience

This past weekend I had the privilege of being on the training team for the May 2008 New England Legacy Discovery, a life-changing experience that I know in my gut has already led me to the next level. An "entry event" for MDI (Men's Divisions International), the LD purpose statement says it all: "The purpose of Legacy Discovery is to connect you to your masculine identity through the wisdom of men and with that power put your legacy into action."

Very early one of the mornings, when I got up out of my log cabin bunk early enough to go down to the pond at the Clara Barton Center before anyone else got up, I was able to capture twenty "around the pond" snapshots which I later made into this panorama, not unlike its LD May 2006 counterpart :click here for Full Size image of the CBC Pond panorama made from 20 snapshots

Towards the end of this very powerful weekend I came across the following quote which reminded me of my commitment to living a purposeful life : click here for Full Size image of what was available at the 2008 Legacy Discovery weekend
"This is the true joy of life — the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible, before handling it on to future generations."

George Bernard Shaw