As a kid you run around so fast, the world around you seems to stand still. A summer vacation can stretch on for an eternity. With each birthday we circle back and cross the same point around the sun. We wish each other 'many happy returns.' But soon you feel the circle begin to tighten, and you realize it’s a spiral, and you’re already halfway through...
From Greek, Zeno is derived from Zeno's Paradox, which asks how a person can walk from one point to another if they must first carry out a series of ever-shrinking steps, + Mnemosyne, the personification of memory in Ancient Greek mythology. How can we live our lives while each passing year feels shorter than the year before?
It's actually just after you're born that life flashes before your eyes.
Entire aeons are lived in those first few months when you feel inseparable from the world itself, with nothing to do but watch it passing by.
At first, time is only felt vicariously, as something that happens to other people. You get used to living in the moment, because there's nowhere else to go. But soon enough, life begins to move, and you learn to move with it. And you take it for granted that you're a different person every year,
Upgraded with a different body...a different future. You run around so fast, the world around you seems to stand still. Until a summer vacation can stretch on for an eternity.
You feel time moving forward, learning its rhythm, but now and then it skips a beat, as if your birthday arrives one day earlier every year.
We should consider the idea that youth is not actually wasted on the young. That their dramas are no more grand than they should be. That their emotions make perfect sense, once you adjust for inflation. For someone going through adolescence, life feels epic and tragic simply because it is: every kink in your day could easily warp the arc of your story. Because each year is worth a little less than the last. And with each birthday we circle back, and cross the same point around the sun. We wish each other many happy returns.
But soon you feel the circle begin to tighten, and you realize it's a spiral, and you're already halfway through. As more of your day repeats itself, you begin to cast off deadweight, and feel the steady pull toward your center of gravity, the ballast of memories you hold onto, until it all seems to move under its own inertia. So even when you sit still, it feels like you're running somewhere. And even if tomorrow you will run a little faster, and stretch your arms a little farther, you'll still feel the seconds slipping away as you drift around the bend.
Life is short. And life is long. But not in that order.
Raja Ampat, or Four Kings, resides at the very heart of what is sometimes called a coral triangle, referring to the tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each ecoregion. Raja Ampat archipelago comprises of over 1,500 small islands, cays and shoals surrounding the four main islands Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. It is a part of the newly named Papua province of Indonesia which was formerly called Irian Jaya. I had an honor of visiting this pristine environment in February 2010 onboard MV Pindito liveaboard. M/V Pindito and its amazing crew took us to dive the sites that simply took our breath away. Manta rays, wobbegong sharks, walking sharks, amazing schools of baitfish, rays, sweetlips, and abundance microlife including ever present pygmy seahorses in this one of the worlds most biodiverse areas made this trip a pure enjoyment!
Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.
Although she danced in numerous movies, commercials and TV shows, she had never seen any of them, and all of her photographs and memorabilia have been lost over the years.
With the help of Mark Cantor of http://jazz-on-film.com we finally our hands on three "Soundies" Alice appeared in, and were able to show them to her for the very first time. She had never seen herself in motion in her life! Then historian Alicia Thompson helped us find a few more shortly afterwards.
If you'd like to send Alice fan mail we would love to see her get the adoration she deserves after so many years! (We'll do our best to read some of your comments to her as well.):
c/o Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home
835 Herkimer Street
For more info about the dancers of the Harlem Renaissance, we recommend the lovely documentary "Been Rich All My Life" —several of the women in the film danced with Alice back in the day!
To clarify: "We" are friends of Alice who made this video. I'm a volunteer who visits the home with my therapy dog Katie, and have known Alice for 8 years. The woman in the video is a recreation leader at the home. This was filmed on a cellphone almost as an afterthought, and we're so thrilled that it's brought so much joy to everyone and attention to Alice, who is loving it! Thank you all!
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