Jan 3, 2017

Cloning and having a soul


I just finished reading the book Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I've never been one of those who reads all of the most popular books that are out currently.  Sometimes it takes me years to get to some of those books if at all. I found this by chance while looking for something to watch on YouTube. I watched a snippet and decided that this would be interesting to watch.  Then I went to my local resale shop and found both the book and the DVD. 

When the first sheep was cloned back in 1996 and Dolly arrived on the world's platform, I was amazed. Somehow, I felt that maybe we trying to fill God's shoes in the creating department or on the verge of it anyway.  Then I began to wonder if the sheep had a soul or if any being that was created in the lab had a soul. Does it or doesn't it? Isn't there something magical that happens at conception? 

The story centers around three characters, Kathy, the story teller, Tommy, and Ruth. Kathy narrates this sordid tale about their secluded existence in a place called Hailsham. The children were treated very well at this home for clones, unlike some of the other centers around the country we hear about in the story. All of the children are the same age, which piqued my interest more deeply as I read. It is hinted to them what their short lives will consist of but it is never out in plain sight. They are lied to, tricked, and manipulated so that they will be resigned to the fate for which they were created. 

They were encouraged to be creative and if they became good enough their "art" was taken to Madam's gallery.  Everyone aspired to have their work at the gallery even though they would never get to see it on display. If a student doesn't do well creatively they are made fun of by the other students. Why did they have such an intense focus on being creative?  Hint: It has to do with the soul. 

If you never read another book then this one should be your last. I was enthralled by this novel and how it played out.  Throughout the story I kept asking myself what I would do if I were in that situation.  The author kept my mind twisting and turning the whole time, not wanting to look at the horror of their lives, but peeking nonetheless. 


Dec 27, 2016

Photography Exhibit


After a lot of hard work, I am pleased to announce that I will have a few photographs on display along with fellow classmates at The Museum of Art in Garrett beginning January 20, 2017.  Please come out and join us in celebrating our achievements! (my picture is on the bottom left)

Dec 11, 2016

Finding your Kin



It seems like I always get the genealogy bug around this time of year.  Maybe it is because we are held prisoners inside and want badly to be doing something worthwhile.  Summer is always busy running here and there, especially with my photography work and a full time job that requires chronic overtime. But in the back of my mind genealogy was always lurking in the shadows. 

Yesterday, I finished a book called Finding Family, My Search for Roots and the Secrets in my DNA by Richard Hill.  The book is about a search that lasted over 20 years for an adopted man who wanted to find his birth parents. From the moment that I started reading this memoir I had a hard time putting it down. 

The "secret" leaked out during a visit to a new doctor in 1964 for this recent high school graduate.  For years the family physician kept the secret about Richard Hill's adoption, but when the doctor retired, the new physician wasn't given any instructions regarding Richards adoption. Richard was clueless. He left the doctor's office in a daze. Maybe it was fate that Richard found out when he did.

I would have been as shocked as he was. (My family has a secret too!) But truth has a tongue and it speaks if we are only brave enough to listen.  Richard's quest for truth began. He traveled far and wide to try to put together the missing pieces of his family tree. 

If you are interested in using DNA as one of your search tools, like me, then I suggest that you read this book. The author took several DNA tests until he found his missing parents. The truth is in the DNA. 

"And many of us will not know peace until we know all the pieces."

Richard Hill

Nov 27, 2016

All that is expected of her life...

"All that is expected of her life is to be a wife and a mother," he said to me smugly.  I tried to defend her but the battle was already lost. The girl was taken out of school at the tender age of 13 to train to be a wife and mother. Her meager existence was planned. Dreams of being more than her chosen lot in life were floating into the air like a balloon, to never return. Education was the first area of girl's life to be chained and there is no key to unlock it. This is only the beginning. I felt rage like I've never felt before. Injustice. Narrow mindedness. Power. All enforced at her expense...And yet, we sit and watch as this tragedy unfolds.  Where is the hero to save her? The hero is within, but will have to come at a price. 


Nov 19, 2016

Allegiance to the Flag

From Youth's Campaign 1892
Whenever we would say the  pledge allegiance to the flag in elementary school we placed our right hand over our chest. I remember doing this when we lived in the south, but not up north. However, it was not too far in the distant past that the salute was different.  In 1942, the Hitler regime began using the same salute that we did for years prior to WWII.  It is called the Bellamy Salute.

Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, wrote the original "Pledge of Allegiance." Until 1892, there never was a Pledge of Allegiance. Daniel Sharp Ford, owner of the magazine "Youth's Companion" was on a mission to have a flag placed in every school in the States.  He asked Bellamy to write the pledge and it was published in the magazine.  It caught on like a wild fire and before you know it the pledge was being recited daily by children across the country. Not only was the Pledge of Allegiance being said at school but in other venues as well such as: public gatherings, campgrounds, and even congress.

So, what does one do with their hands while reciting this allegiance to the flag? You cannot let your hands dangle, they must have a part in this. It was decided that the participants hold up their right arm and it extend it towards the flag.  It looks rather odd to those of us who have never done this. 

By the 1930's when news reels came from Europe and "Heil Hitler" was being said with the same salute the stance fell out of favor with the American public. It was decided then to change the way we saluted our flag and we then began placing our right hand over our heart.  Isn't that where our hand should have been all along?  

Nov 13, 2016

Persistence



Many of life's failures are people who did not realize 
how close they were to success when they gave up. 

                     Thomas Edison

Oct 23, 2016

Create your own luck

Reflection in a puddle
This is Your Life. Claim it. Find your Passion and live it. Corporate life is not an end all to the work experience. Life is more than paycheck to paycheck.  Seek success by your own definition. If you love art, music, or writing, then go for it. Don’t wait until you are near retirement to fulfill your dreams. Explore this planet on which we live.  You will be surprised by the many wonders that are out there. Make a list of what you want to do, see, or feel and plan to accomplish as many as possible before your journey in this life is over.  Love deepCry sometimes. Get up and start again. Stretch your mind beyond the boundaries of culture and religion.  Someone’s opinion of you is just that, don’t let it define or defeat you. Dream big. Create. Everything you do begets something else. Inspire others to do the same. Create your own luck.

Jeannie Smith

10/23/2016

Oct 15, 2016

Look to the Sky


Sometimes we have to look beyond ourselves for answers.  Besides, if we knew everything then why would we search to know the mystery that is called life?

Don't be afraid to live and to do it passionately. Love deep. Cry sometimes. Be thankful. Don't get upset over small things. Sometimes God is in the strangest places.

Oct 2, 2016

Sensitivity: The Untold Story, A review

A few days ago I wrote a post about sensitivity, especially highly sensitive people.  I ordered a movie called:  Sensitive The Untold Story and it arrived on Friday.  I watched the movie that evening and was thankful that someone out there understands people like me. 

Elaine Aron is the author of the book, The Highly Sensitive person, which I have just begun to read. This movie helped me to see that I am not alone. Whether we believe it or not everyone falls into some kind of category regarding their personality. 

Growing up, I remember biting my nails until they bled because life made me a nervous wreck. My upbringing didn't help my nerves at all. Chaos at home would make me scurry to my room for peace and quiet because I felt emotionally drained and needed a recharge in order to face the world again. Then there were times I would explode because my feelings were very intense about a situation I was put in. Watching horror or gory movies was never my thing. Loud noise makes me crazy. Touching coarse fabrics or paper gives me the creeps. After reading this paragraph makes me appear like an odd ball, but this is how my life is. 

I always loved music, art, poetry, and writing my feelings down in a journal.  I, also, notice details in my surroundings that others just don't see. When I love, it is deeply. I feel with the same intensity. 

High school was a place that I could become invisible among the throng and I liked it that way.  Once I got out into the world things were a bit more tough.  I ended up in jobs that made me miserable or had to deal with a brute for a supervisor. For the sensitive person it was hell. I had a hard time fitting in anywhere. 

If you know someone who is sensitive please have them watch this clip from the movie,  Sensitive The Untold Story. The clip is in English, so don't worry about not being able to understand. ( I am not sure what language is written below) Better yet educate yourself about the sensitive person in your life.  They would greatly appreciate it.  



Sep 27, 2016

My take on copying a painting

Have you ever seen a painting that moved you?  I am finishing up a Fine Art class at the local college and it has been challenging to say the least.  One of the assignments is to emulate a painting that you like with a modern twist. Well, I didn't do that. I wanted to see if I could try and make my image look close to the original.  I used the painting by Albert Lynch called Elegante. 


The woman is soft, elegant, with very fine features. I liked how the golden light illuminated her hair from the the side which made her skin look like porcelain. My version is below. 


I think that it turned out well enough for the first try. I would like to try another one and see how it works.