Thursday, November 22, 2007

Give Thanks

It has been a very pleasant Thanksgiving here with the family. I have been thinking a lot about hometowns lately, partly because I've been writing some words for this Prayer Breakfast demo thing, and most of the songs have parts about a hometown. There is something really nice about being away and then coming back to the place where your family is, where you hang out with people who knew you a long time ago, be it family or old friends. It's nice. My family is wonderful, I really am blessed to such wonderful people so close to me. I guess this leads into the mandatory Thanksgiving thanks list. Here goes!

I am thankful for:

  • good health
  • a wonderful, loving family
  • interesting, talented, and kind friends
  • a life that is fulfilling and meaningful and full of options
  • the freedom to do what I want (most of the time, and even when it's not something I want to be doing, it is usually something that is good to be doing nonetheless)
  • still feeling thirsty for knowledge (for example, sometimes I feel so happy when I have to go to the bathroom, because I know that I will be able to sit down and read)
  • having enough free time to feel like I am in control of my life
  • having the ability to sit down and do something with music every day
  • knowing that I'll finish my doctorate soon enough
  • not really having to worry about money
  • opportunities
  • feeling full of faith
  • not feeling tired all the time
  • feeling less nervous
  • having lots of people who I know will really listen to me
  • not making car payments anymore
  • not having to buy a new computer anytime soon
  • sometimes having some good ideas
  • the talents I've been given
  • the challenges I have faced
  • the ability to better understand my weaknesses
  • good food and the time to prepare it
  • a nice place to live
  • the surprises that keep happening
  • the ability to learn from life's experiences
  • the ability to see the good in people
  • the ability to think positively
  • knowing that I don't understand it all
  • travel
  • the many opportunities and experiences that I have had that have shaped my life
  • being here
It has really been a nice day. It's been kind of strange, when I am home here and there are kids running around, it kind of reminds me of those scenes they sometimes have in movies where people get these visions of joy, like at the end of Raising Arizona, when H.I. McDunnough has just given back Nathan Jr. and he is having a vision of his future family and that weird music is playing in the background. It's been kind of like that, to see that maybe this is what it's really all about, about sharing and coming together, the young and old, telling some jokes, playing some music, eating some food, and feeling love in a way that is easily understood.

My dad asked me to say the blessing on the Thanksgiving meal. At first I was a little nervous because, you know, it's like public speaking. But then I remembered that it's more than just public speaking, it's me talking to God, speaking for all of us at the table (and the adjacent kids' table), giving thanks, and that I certainly had more than a few things to be thankful for. I opened my mouth, and what came out was pretty alright.

Yesterday, I started learning about cellular automata. Although I'm just kind of messing around with it, I feel like this is something that better helps me understand life, because it takes very simple rules and through those rules complex systems are generated and interact with each other and seem to teem with life, just like when Mr. Wizard put a drop of pond water under a microscope. Here's a video of some of my cellular automata creations. Although some kind of blippy techno-pop at first seemed like a more appropriate soundtrack choice, I think that I did the right thing by going with Xuxa.

Sometimes when I squint at this, I can just see a million swimming swimmies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it's like a really awesome magna-doodle!!