March 6, 2003

Marking the Stones



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

I have taken up a new hobby. Well, it is not entirely new, and it is more a habit than a hobby.

In the past, during the winter, I would do my "hamster run". That involved walking around the house in circles for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Later, last summer, I purchased an old treadmill, and used that to watch television while I was walking. The problem with all this was that it was boring, horrifyingly boring. Boring activities tend to be avoided at first, and eventually dropped altogether. This says more about my attention span and television, than it does about walking.

Now I have configured Marjory, the computer, to alert me every 30 minutes. Then she goes to sleep for 5 minutes while I walk around in circles. I find this routine much easier to maintain than walking in circles for 15 minutes at a time. Five minutes is just the right length of time to step back and think about whatever project I am working on. It rejuvenates my mind, while giving me a short bit of exercise. Five minutes of thoughtful pacing does not interfere with my work habits or my lifestyle.

I know it is not the recommended length of time for a work out. It does not send my heart racing, or leave me sweating, or short of breath. However, five minutes is better than no minutes, and I believe it will add up over time. It suits me much better than any formal exercise.

My goal is to spend a minimum of three, five-minute sessions of pacing every day. To this end, I have a set of stones, displayed in a bowl. These are not just any stones. The bowl is not just any bowl.

During special times and in special places, I collected stones. These stones hung in a pouch around my neck when I sat for my comprehensive exams. These stones traveled with me, when I drove around the countryside, alone with my young daughters. These stones are treasured possessions, old friends.

The bowl is one I made during my brief venture into pottery making. I prefer to "hand-make" pottery, partly because I am physically unable to use a wheel, and partly because of the variety of interactions it affords with the clay. I like this bowl created entirely by my own whimsy.

So the stones sit in the bowl.

Each time I walk in circles, I move a stone to one side of the bowl, thus marking the number of pacing sessions. Once I reach three stones, I stop counting. Everything after three stones is a bonus.

Top of Page

Worldly Distractions

Snowy landscape, Southern Ontario
Winter's Grip

Dripping icicles.

On the Screen
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

14:12 EST
Temp: -6`C
Humidity: 62%
Wind: NW 11 km/h
Barometric: 101.8 kPa

Sunrise 6:52 AM EST
Sunset 6:19 PM EST

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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