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Have I got a song for you!! “Up and Up” by Relient K. If you’ve heard the accoustic version after years of the electric one, you’ll probably freak out because it is incredible. The range is so different, and the sound is so much more intimate. It makes me think back to the glory days of “unplugged” albumns (Eric Clapton, Nirvana, etc…), and how this totally caught me off guard, effectively floored me with joy.

One of the neat things is to hear the lyrics sung with greater emphasis and clarity: “You see I’m finally catching on to it, the past is just a conduit, and the life there at the end of it is where I’ll be.”

“‘Cause it seems I get so hung up on the history of what’s gone wrong that the hope of a new day is sometimes hard to see.”

I loved the piano and guitar opening, like a gentle conversation flowing in the background; the gradual build up with drums and bass, and then the full band playing out.

Relient K has got to be one of my favorite bands, and on the list of most influential “rock” bands I’ve listened to (Dave Matthews, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, are three bands that immediately come to mind).

YouTube has a few of Relient K’s “unplugged” songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3jn5esbR0 (Who I am hates who I’ve been”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVj8ZxIorUc (Give until there’s nothing left)

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I found these resources at www.lifechurch.tv, which is an awesome site for Christian resources. I love the video clips, the Web 2.0 applications, and the combination of visual, multimedia, and Christian sermons. It’s an awesome site with a depth of resources.

I stumbled upon this video about the history of the Internet, and it is a creative and stylish narration of how the Internet came to be. It uses Picol icons, which I assume are proprietary design icons set to be released. The video is cleverly done, so I’ve added it to my blog/video roll.

http://www.ourmedia.org/node/3435

Neat quote from Ray Goodman: “Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

I saw this YouTube video and I had to post it. It’s a video of a cruise ship crashing around in huge storm waves.

Sometimes life feels like you are  in the midst of a storm, tossed around, and no matter what kind of weight or reassurances you have, you still end up getting tossed around.

“Birds in flight, claims the architect Vincenzo Volentieri, are not between places, they carry their places with them. We never wonder where they live: they are at home in the sky, in flight. Flight is their way of being in the world.”

From Geoff Dyer, quoted in Pico Iyer’s “Global Soul” (my emphasis and italics)

I love this quote because it speaks to the question, or perhaps the definition, of home. I share many attributes of Pico Iyer’s own sense of home: that transnational, in-between borders state of existence. For much of my adult life, I have lived in this area, yet was unable to define precisely what that area amounted to or encompassed.

Here’s another quote that tries to distill a new sense of home for us:

In conversation with a Punjab taxi driver who immigrated in Toronto, Iyer starts a fascinating dialogue about the immigrant’s sense of home.
When asked about how he felt about Toronto being his adopted city, a city whose praises he had been singing earlier, the cab driver’s voice turned soft.

“Where you spent your childhood, sir, you can never forget that place. I am here, sir, and I like it here. But,” and I could hear the ache–“I love my India.”

Yes, the ache is the root of a lot of restlessness and wanderlust, but it’s also the ache of homesickness. What I mean to say is that, for me, the distinction between wanderlust and homesickness is incredibly blurry; equally blurred are the lines between my sense of home and homelessness. Yet, amidst all of this, the ache remains.

As a Christian, my true sense of home is not “of this world.” This might sound metaphysical, and in fact it is. Although we have roots in a nation or a culture, our spiritual roots are much deeper, in light of eternity, and our “home” extends far beyond what we see and know this moment. When I became a Christian, I had, in many ways, “found my home.” However, when I try to analyze my life using a different vocabulary, (i.e., not a Christian vocabulary), the ache returns.

That simple line, accompanied by the ache of a man in an adopted city, speaks volumes for me. That terroir of our childhood and upbringing truly does affect the fruits of our lives. Those memories are far more than mere memories; the remnants of our childhood that exist in our minds as sights, sounds, and smells, continue to live in our lives. SO as we age, that terroir remains, shaping our being, our existence, our relationships, and our children (our fruit).

“The man who finds his homeland sweet is still a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign land.”

Hugo of St. Victor (Quoted in Pico Iyer’s “The Global Soul”)

Thoreau once reminded us that all the new methods of communication in the world don’t actually ensure that we have anything more, or better, to communicate.

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”

Simone Weil (My question is, rooted in what, or rooted where?)

Wanderlust.
It’s a word that I had never fully understood until I started reading Laura Byrne Paquet’s book, “Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel.” On the jacket cover is a tantalizing, concise and rich definition of wanderlust. She writes, “That longing, that ache, that anticipation–that’s wanderlust.”
With that definition I see how travel, wandering, and wanderlust have affected me in ways that other forms of lust have affected me (often in harmful and inappropriate ways). That teenage feeling of longing and melancholy, fueled by hormones and weather, that strange combination of bliss and depression over a desired relationship. The ache, the pain, the surge: I had never thought of that as applicable to my own sense of wandering. Yet, in many ways, it is true.
For people who uproot and move, making a commitment to a country and culture for a few years, this moves us beyond wanderlust. However, that lustful feeling is exposed in the pre-move days: constantly thinking about the new country.
In other ways, the sense of wanderlust that Paquet writes about often comes before the planning stages. It’s that yearning that makes you want to purge your belongings, pack, and get on that flight. It’s the physical desire to want to get away.
Paquet raises a fascinating point: people in first-world countries tend to follow a similar pattern: work to pay the mortgage, work to feed the increase in consumption and collection of goods that make your life better, and then travel occasionally to disrupt that pattern you’ve painstakenly set out to make. Ultimately, the question remains to be answered: why travel at all?
The answer might be found in the suffix, namely, lust. Anticipation of newness accompanies all forms of lust: lust for money, prestige, power, popularity, freedom, and of course sexual lust.
I’m pretty sure this book will answer many of my own stirring questions, and read alongside of Pico Iyer’s “Global Soul,” will make for a potent one-two philosophical TKO.

Philosophy is homesickness: the wish to be everywhere at home.
Friedrich Nietzsche (source unknown)

Nietzsche has said an incredibly long list of things that I don’t necessarily believe, but I found this quote to be appropriate to my own musings. As much as I hate to use the words “philosophical journey,” I do think a lot of my questions stem from this searching for home, while wishing to be everywhere at home. I haven’t fully unpacked this quote in my mind yet, but somehow I think it’s extremely relevant. I’ll find out soon enough.

I found this Website and presentation on how to use Wordle in a classroom or to improve students’ writing/thinking skills. It’s a great site and has awesome ideas for teachers.

One that interested me was to use Etherpad (www.etherpad.com), a real-time collaborative application that I hadn’t heard of before. The author combines the use of Wordle and Etherpad to make for a unique online learning experience.

You can view the presentation if you have a Google account, and it’s online as a Google Doc.

http://bioniclearner.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/14-interesting-ways-to-use-wordle-in-instruction

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What I’m reading now

"Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel," by Laura Byrne Paquet (Fredericton:Goose Lane Editions, 2007) "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping malls, and the Search for Home," by Pico Iyer (Toronto: Random House of Canada, 2000). "Outliers: The Story of Success," by Malcolm Gladwell (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008).

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