Archive for June, 2009

The Human Touch

The old woman smiles gently as her rough hands attempt to wrap fine wool around a large spindle. She struggles to cover her head often as a bitter wind sweeps her frayed shawl off, yet she looks peaceful as she continues to weave intricate patterns on a colorful fabric outside her hut.

Not too many years ago, Indian writer and designer, Laila Tyabji, interviewed this simple village woman who made a living weaving. She was wearing a worn hand-loom wrapping not nearly warm enough for a Delhi winter. Laila asked her why she would not buy any of the warmer inexpensive synthetics available in the market to keep warm.

The 80-year-old woman replied, “I’ve spun this (fabric) out of my own hands; my mother and sisters have woven it. The warmth of so many fingers has gone into this. How can a machine make anything warmer?”

Indeed, how can a machine or a computer replicate the love and personal touch that goes into a hand made. Whether it is fine art or clothing, hand made pieces satisfy the soul.


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Reporters, Step Back

It’s national book week in Israel, and Israel’s oldest newspaper brings in a touch of heart by hiring famous literary figures.
Creative writers have a way of bringing out the humor in society and above all touching the spirit in us. It would be a fun idea to leave a part of reporting to poets and literary figures who have no experience with reporting. That would balance the news, considering how depressing news can get with reports on crime and the plunging stock market.

Here is a “report” taken from the New Yorker website. You can check out some more here.

Avri Herling, a cookbook and children’s-book author, wrote the business update:

Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again….”

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For many people, surviving summer in Phoenix means finding a good place to cool-off. Glossy magazines direct readers where to go, and  valley Gelato’s, Cold Stone’s and Jamba Juice’s are abuzz with activity.
With so many treats to distract us from the heat, we may not notice the effect of the sun on our inner being. The tendencies of our inner being could be divided into three parts: the right, the left and the center. Ideally, being in the center means being in balance. Imbalance develops when we move away from the center and toward our right or left parts.

What does this have to with summertime? Well, too much heat of the sun not only affects us externally, but also internally on our right part.

The right part of our subtle self is also known as the sun side. An imbalance or right-side tendency generally means one of these: over-planning, over-thinking, weak liver, aggression or anger. When we are exposed to the sun for too long then our right side may get over-activated.
To bring ourselves back to the center, it is important to keep the right side cool. One of the ways to do this, besides taking to meditative techniques, is to avoid being in the sun for too long, to try a footsoak and to keep one’s liver cool (take to lean meats, green vegies, juices, cooling yogurt drinks and so on).

The liver is a vital organ of the body, and it generates the energy needed for brain activity. When it is over-worked perhaps by too much brain activity, it can’t perform its other functions too well such as removing toxins from the body. Thus, too much right side or sun activity within the body whether physically or mentally can be harmful to us. If you get irritated, react or get angry too easily, or can’t stop thinking even when you want to, it is probably an imbalance in the right side and taking to a soothing and calming lifestyle would help.

For me, the easiest way to cool off is meditation and then a trip to nearby green cities like Prescott and Flagstaff. Ice-cream is great too, BUT it isn’t that great on the liver ;  ) although that chocolate coated raspberry gelato I had the other day was so good! Anyway…

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