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Thursday, February 12, 2009

olga's girls

I am in awe of 83-year-old Olga Murray, featured in a wonderful San Francisco Chronicle story Sunday (and yes I know it's Thursday). You have to read this story. Murray lives in Sausalito, but travels regularly to Nepal, where her extraordinarily successful program, the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation gives goats and other domestic animals to families in return for a promise that they won't sell their adolescent girls into slavery. Then the foundation pays for the girls' education. Reading this story is inspiring -- and a kick in the pants for all of us to think more and harder about the world around us...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

random cheer

...while worried and outraged about the fate of the stimulus package and Obama's depressingly short honeymoon, I've been finding little bits of joy and interest worth sharing:

A bellydancing class last week with the fabulous Julie Flynn Siler , the highlights of which were learning, from the master teacher,Dhyanis how to "polish your jewel" and practice drawing an exaggerated alphabet with your upper rib cage, while driving. (There will soon be a law against this in California.)

Belatedly reading a wonderful piece on animal assistants , including a parrot that helps talk down a guy given to homicidal rages ("You're safe, Jim. I'm here, Jim.")

Discovering an old, lovely song I'd somehow never heard before by Gil Scott Heron called "I Think I'll Call it Morning."

And, more on the bittersweet side, watching an amazing 2002 documentary called "Refrigerator Mothers", about the women who were blamed for their children's autism from the 1950s-70s.

While of course I should have been working on my book, sometimes distractions are essential...