... exploring in my creativity further in 2017

08 September 2008

Tap Dancing

My father is 87 years young.

He has just signed up to take tap dancing lessons. Not just one class either. He is taking two different classes with different teachers and sets of students. Both of them are oriented towards seniors. Both are introductory level. In the first class, which started today, he is the oldest and the only man! I'll find out Thursday the composition of the second class but I suspect it will be similar.

I am very impressed with and proud of my Dad. The courage it takes to start something new at that age is inspiring. The willingness to look silly as you learn new "moves" is fabulous! How many people his age (or younger) are not only willingly and able to do that, but more importantly, how many ARE doing it?! I wonder, as I compare his ability to be goofy with my own or with my kids (his grandchildren), who is young and who are the old fuddy-duddies.

Learning new things, trying different approaches and being prepared to take risks are some of the ways that keep us young in heart, spirit and body. What a role model he is! In all these ways and more, I am so happy to have him to look up to, to love and respect.

03 September 2008


We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as courses, and they come back to us as effects.
Herman Melville

One of the book series I have read is the "Ender" series by Orson Scott Card - starting with "Ender's Game", "Speaker for the Dead", "Xenocide" etc (plus all the newer ones that involve other characters' perspectives). I like these books for a number of the usual reasons - great characters, intriguing plot, interesting dilemmas etc.

OSC adds to these by introducing unusual philosophies. In some cases he does this by extrapolating from those present in today's societies but he also seems to me to create new philosophies.

At one point in Xenocide, he introduces the concept of the philotic web. This idea is that all souls, all people, are connected to each other by invisible strings, by a web. And you can pull those strings, bringing to you the one (the person or capability) you need. Effectively this is done by very strong wish and desire. I have always liked this idea, and personally have found amazing truth to it both when I have tried it for myself and in observing other people’s lives.

It reminds me somewhat of Greek mythology and the Tapestry of Life - but that isn't quite accurate. There are similarities but is not the same. I've never seen a comparable idea of strings and webs discussed anywhere else and he only uses it as a tool in the book (rather than as an underlying philosophy). So it may be an original idea?

This quote, while again not really the same concept, builds upon of the philosophy. It too has much truth in it. Both make me look at the connections I have with other people differently.

Have you ever heard of or thought about connections as threads or strings before?