Monday, January 27, 2014

deconstructing and exegeting: part one of two


Image by Jam Project
{link to}

How do we know the events of the past, when one person discovers a place that another already has? Historians realize it isn't always about being the first to find facts; it isn't a race to find this or that. It's not about a new discovery but about a change in perspective. When observing the past we must undergo the process of deconstruction, to place one's self in that time, place or setting. A historian's task is to become one with their study.  By this we mean the best way to observe history is to understand how those people observed themselves. It is of little use to place our cultural norms on the past; would we want the past to place their norms on us now? Historians by trade, try not to place moral judgments on the objects of their study, they simply wish to know the choices that have gotten us to the present. Cause and effect is the puzzle that is followed, a maze of questions and answers through time, space and matter. With the past we can learn from it, we can study it, we can try not to repeat it but the truth of the matter is we can't control people. The only device or artifact we can control is ourselves and with humility pass on the wisdom to the souls who succeed us. Deconstructing historically comes with a weight of postmodern philosophy; it's not accepted by all and not meant to be infallible. A term that promotes no absolutes can be a tautological problem. Therefore the point here is not to argue about the proper definition or practice, but to express how this blogger intends to put it to action.

It is with this notion that I hope to deconstruct my own life, I share with you my experiences based on my observations about myself.  I intend to piece together the events that caused and affected me.  How great is it that I get to do this job for myself instead of leaving the interpretation up to someone else based off of things that would otherwise not have been written.  In summary of part one, deconstructing my life is the process through which I will begin to analyze the obscure path I have been on through my current understanding.  Historically speaking, I am writing the primary source for my life.  When someone looks back to learn who I was, they need only to look to my writings.  It is through writing that history is recorded either through shapes on a wall or a well structured system.  I want to provide my own record of my life, not just a record but an interpretation of facts.

the novelty section

Game/Recipe of the day: Boggle Soup

Items needed:
  • 1 can of Alphabet Soup (Or make your own as suggested by Shannon at Cozy Country Living)
  • 2 competitive people
How to play:

With a slotted spoon, scoop up 25 letters out of the bowl.  Flatten the letters out on a clean table surface and arrange the letters in a 5x5 grid and set a timer for 1 minute.  Following traditional Boggle rules, write down as many words you can find.  After tallying the points based on word length, decide who wins.  The loser has to lick, slurp or suck the noodle letters off of the table.  Continue making the grid and playing more rounds until the noodles are gone.  Whoever has either won the most rounds, or has the highest overall score (make this decision clear and be sure to argue about it for an hour before playing) has to chug and chew the remainder of the soup in 1 minute.  Have fun playing an overly complicated game that I think I invented but I'm sure someone else has thought of.

Image Credits: Jam Project,
Recipe Credit: Shannon at Country Cozy Living,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

exposition of sorts

The pictures and paintings my eyes are drawn toward contain a common and similar feature.  Though the angle of this feature might be different, there is one that wins my attention the most.  This man made geographical construct can be created by design or something that develops over time.  In these observed pictures I find a path of any making will suffice, but the most important aspect is that you must be able to imagine yourself as the creator of the piece who was there in that moment capturing a dream.  I long to stand in observation of a trail I can wander down where the end is uncertain and the danger is unclear.  These inevitable bumps in the road are not seen here, but if one starts walking, it is these obstacles that will be there.  I know the way is not always easy, but the imagined destination is what my mind creates.  I see these pictures that I find myself in, on a road, trail, path, dock or walkway but the end is obscure. Sometimes the path gets smaller giving the perception of distance, and at other times it ends over the horizon or a new undiscovered plain.  Whether the path disappears or abruptly comes to a halt, the way must still be passable either by man or by machine.  The greatest hindrance to imagination or pursuit is an impassable wall.

All this to say I can observe a captured moment of a noun and find the intended meaning and purpose; however these moments of thought don't last more than a feeling.  Contrastingly, it is the tease of a journey which stays with me for a life time.  It is these pictures of paths that spark the vision for my life and provide the needed self reflection of the distance I have gone.  The path makes it possible for my mind to project my presence within a moment. The place evokes the feelings I can identify with; whether it is tropical, desert, mountainous or wooded, the environment elicits my mood.  It is the path's end which provides the hope that I am in search of, to find a purpose worth moving toward and something my mind is left to complete the picture.  These kinds of pictures might seem simple but observing this art is more than the obvious.  These pictures tell a story and it is up to the observer to place the meaning that can be found.  If no meaning is found, it isn't the pictures fault so don't blame the art.  Be open to perspective when I propose a postcard with a dirt path through an empty field is meaningful.

As Robert Frost wrote in his poem, The Road Not Taken, he took the road less traveled and it made all the difference.1 If a road is hardly traveled, then the thing that makes it a road is not clear.  Namely the boundaries of where to step and not step have not been sorted out by others.  This path can be treacherous, confusing and full of wounds but as you walk you will find it is worth every step.  This blog is my attempt at describing that path that is obscured both ahead of me and behind me.  I hope you laugh with me, empathize with me and learn with me. I hope when I describe the picture I am standing in, the layout of the land and the place I am heading that you might find yourself standing in a picture of your own.
Image by Peter Alfred Hess {link to}

Recipe of the day: (As requested by my sister-in-law)

Ants on a log aka "the ants have a journey too." The longer the piece of celery, the more peanut butter and ants there are to consume.

Here is what you need:
  • 1 extra long piece of celery
  • creamy peanut butter
  • ants/raisins/small pebbles if you are a 2 year old
Here is what you do:
  • Put the peanut butter in the crevice of the celery, place the ants on top of the peanut butter, then proceed to press your tongue into the above mentioned celery crevice and scoop up the pb & ants into your mouth in one foul swoop.  I'm really not sure of the purpose of the celery other then being the log portion of this analogous treat.  Who would want to eat a log anyway?

1 First published December 1995; published July 1999 by; © Copyright, Inc. (Terms of Use).

Image Credits: Peter Alfred Hess,