Things to Do Once in Your Lifetime: Visit a Penitentiary

Boise, Idaho.  Lots of land, river tubing, surprisingly hip restaurants, and the site of one terrifying old school penitentiary. When in Rome, eh?

IMAG2211Outdoor dining hall. Guards with rifles watched from above.

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IMAG2216Summertime cells. Four to a room. One shower a week.

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IMAG2223Just look at all that creativity. So many shivs.

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Almost Like Flying

Freedom is one of those things that we love and crave about being human. Want to take off on adventure? We can. Want to create something beautiful? We jump to it. But how does a person cope when they feel as though their freedom is hampered – by another person, situation, or even by their own body.

In a series entitled ‘Creating the Spectacle!’, a filmmaker offers an innovative take on finding freedom. This is such stuff that dreams are made on, guys.

In this video, the underwater wheelchair enables the occupant, Sue Austin, to go on a gentle, dream like exploration of an exotic underwater world.

“Through unexpected juxtapositions, this work aims to excite and inspire by creating images that transform preconceptions.”

 

Love it? More at We Are Free Wheeling

How to Thoroughly Enjoy Your Life

1. Sing in the car. Laugh when you realize that the guy in the car next to you is watching. Smile as he turns on his radio to sing along too.

2. Stay up too late. Fill your evening with a fury of sounds and thoughts and people before heading home. Let the afterglow of exhaustion pull you into sleep.

3. Write someone a letter. On real paper. Doodle in the margins and send it off to them. Realize that written correspondence is a rare joy.

4. Travel. Doesn’t need to be far. Get in the car and drive for 30 minutes in a direction you haven’t wandered before. Get out, explore what’s there, return when you wish.

5. Forgive someone. The person who spilled coffee on you this morning or the person that “ruined your life.” This will be the most important thing you will do.

6. Try your hand at something you never thought you’d be good at. Juggling, unicycling, baking, parasailing – pick one and enjoy the thrill of something random.

7. Look up. At the tops of buildings, birds, stars. Beam when you see a plane skywrite a message of love.

8. Eat food that makes you stop in your tracks and go “mmm.” Yes, like in the commercials. Maybe that’s homemade pesto, maybe it’s Burrata cheese. Find what makes your taste buds rejoice and treat yourself often.

9. Dance a little when alone in an elevator. Grin and nod politely when the doors open to someone waiting to get on.

10. Take time for yourself everyday. Whether its a cup of tea in the morning or taking yourself out to a meal amid the hustle and bustle of others, relish in your own company. Learn to befriend yourself.

11. Get lost. Gain a newfound sense of home when you find your way back.

12. Talk to someone new. Recognize that their story is beautiful and be inspired. Think of your encounter when you start to feel like you may have done it all. Go out and talk to more people.

13. Create something. A song, story, an image, something that reminds you of who you are. Notice that it’s rewarding. Do it often.

14. Make time for people that matter to you. Treat an old friend to drinks, share favorite stories and realize that a lot has changed. Appreciate that even though things are different, you both still get along so well.

15. Fall in love. Try to stay in love. Fight for each other, not with each other.

16. Listen to music. In concert halls, at home, while walking, before you fall asleep. Find songs that shake you and make you wonder how someone knew just what you needed to hear.

17. Laugh until you cry. Make someone else do the same.

18. Share what you have. If you think you have nothing to give, share an idea, a memory, maybe your life.

19. Celebrate the things you used to take for granted. Finally understand what people meant when they babbled off “the best things in life are free.”

20. Face one of your fears. Don’t look away until you’ve mastered it. You’re freer now.

Image Source: Dara Scully

I Have a Dream, or two, or three

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of MLK day.

No better way to pay homage than by sharing a dream or two:

I have a dream that the people of this nation recognize that history repeats itself. I hope that we can open our eyes and see that the struggles of the gay rights movement are no different than the struggles of the civil rights movement. Individuals are  fighting to get equal and fair treatment owed to them under the law. I hope we may soon be able to look back and shake our heads over the folly of not recognizing this truth sooner.

I have a dream that we may realize that the “American Dream” never included a provision on blatant arrogance and egoism. I hope that as other nations progress and potentially surpass our status as global superpower, we takes notes on how to improve rather than try to cut down their success. If we attack other nations verbally, physically, or ideologically simply because they stand a chance to rival us, we only promote xenophobia.

I have a dream that future generations may be able to live in a country that champions the health and wellness of its citizens. I hope to see families who ensure that their children stay active, schools that offer vegetables other than pizza to their students, and prescription medications that cost less than the price of  summer beach home on the southern coast.

I have a dream that we all may come to understand that protecting and caring for this earth is a global responsibility. This shared gift is one with an expiration date. If we continue to treat the planet like garbage, that is all it will become.

I have a dream that even with all of the entertainment and ease of communication technology can provide, we acknowledge that there is no substitute for human connection. I hope that we continue to see value in face-to-face conversations, hand-written notes, and random acts of kindness in the future. Even if every three year old starts toting along an iPod to preschool one day, I hope we never forget the importance of forging real relationships and learning from others.

I have a dream that we may finally free ourselves from the shackles of prejudice. I hope we can understand the difference between one “bad person” and an entire community. I hope that we can see that fear begets hatred. And if we allow fear to control us, we will shrink our perspective day by day. We will see only a fraction of options when there are a multitude. May we choose freedom now.

I have a dream today.

Let freedom ring.

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