Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

January 26, 2014

THE NATURALIZED MID-AMERICAN: A relationship with nature should not only be celebrated in fairytales

Recently, my wife and I and the kids watched “Cinderella” for the 12th — or 15th or 20th — time. I really paid attention this time to the fact that Cinderella talks with the animals and they talk with her.

There is of course also a spirit fairy (who also talks with the animals) and with whom only Cinderella can communicate. Without the fairy and the animals, especially without Cinderella’s goodness to the animals — at least in the Disney version — there is no escape from the wicked stepmother into the dream-world of the prince.

I also recently went to the theater to watch the latest installment of “The Hobbit,” with I don’t know how many more millions of people. There I saw spiders and trees and forests and a dragon, and other creatures which blur the line between animal and human. These non-humans all interact with sophistication and volition in their own interest toward the human foils.

Over the holidays, I read a book which was surprisingly lent to me by Garry Weybright. The book is titled “The Man Who Planted Trees,” by Jim Robbins.

It’s the true story of an unassuming, small nursery owner near Traverse City, Mich., who had a near-death experience. As a result of this experience, he was given a task by “light beings” to clone the largest, oldest trees around the world in order to preserve their genetics in the face of global climate change. He believes that these trees, and human relationship with them, are an important key to long-term survival of many living species.

I’ve also been listening to the new Arcade Fire album, Reflektor. As is their bent, there is an underlying apocalypticism to the lyrics. The theme that comes in over that slightly despairing undertone is the idea that spirit and soul count, and are as real as any kind of physical matter. Songs, including “We Exist,” “Awful Sound” and “Supersymmetry” seem to make this claim most plainly, though Arcade Fire lyrics are never transparent, and brilliantly require the accompanying music for their full weight to be felt. When this band is at its best, its music is a fusion of physical and spiritual, which our scientific minds don’t often know what to make of.

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Life
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    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Staycation' a simple, but fun alternative One of the column topics that I get a lot of comments, compliments and feedback on is when I write about my vacation adventures (or should I say, misadventures?).Since I took a spring vacation this year and didn’t have any other plans to travel, I de

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    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

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Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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