Reading through my AC subscriptions, I ran across this article by Catherine Spencer, describing a word game started by Tracie Walker. I like words, I like games, so I went over to Tracie’s article. The game is to take five random words and describe what they mean to you. I left a note for Tracie and she sent me words.
Contemplate, Fireflies, Cake, Rare, Challenge
As I contemplate the challenge of participating in this rare game, I am tempted to give up, get a piece of cake, and go watch some fireflies.
To me, it is very valuable to have some idle time each day to just contemplate about life, the universe and everything. Bertrand Russell wrote a book “In praise of idleness” and Rabindranath Tagore said “The Gods are amused when the busy river condemns the idle clouds”. There’s too much rushing about.
I am a city boy, born and bred. I’ve lived my whole life in cities (mostly New York, but 3 years in Tel Aviv) and although I do get into the country now and then, and have seen fireflies, my association is to Groucho Marx, who played Rufus T. Firefly in the wonderful movie Duck Soup.
Cake! I like cake! My favorite used to be banana cake with caramel frosting. My mom was a good baker, and my birthday each year she would make whatever my favorite cake was, and for many years this was it. My sister makes a great lemon cake. But I’d say my favorite these days is chocolate cake, particular the sort of fudgy molten chocolate cake.
Is how I like my meat cooked, when I eat meat. But I am trying to eat meat a little more rarely.
Challenges can be very good, or too hard. I think challenges are very important to learning, both in school and out. But we need challenges that are just a LITTLE too hard for us. Too often, we associate “learning”, “easy” and “fun”, as if learning had to be easy to be fun. But watch a little kid – say, one learning to walk. Is this easy? No. For most kids, it isn’t. They get up, they fall down. They toddle a few steps, and fall down. Over and over and over again! But then they overcome this challenge and are joyous. For most of us, walking (just the act) doesn’t bring much joy, but the same thing can happen if it becomes a challenge again, as when people have a bad accident or a stroke. On the other hand, if a task is far too difficult for us, it’s not fun either. We do not ask toddlers to run a mile. But adults who are runners are often joyous when they run a little faster than they have before.