five things, october 11


1. I think I've had such fun hearing from you about the Lensbaby this week. (Thanks for indulging me!) I couldn't believe I didn't include one single shot of the Eiffel Tower in my post on Wednesday, so I had to include one today. It was hard to choose! I've had a crazy week, but I'll get to answering your comments this afternoon. My friend Kim has had the little LB all week, and I'm anxious to get it back today. What should I shoot this weekend?

2. I think as long as I'm looking at camera toys, I'm hoping to add the Edge 80 to my Lensbaby lineup (I'm SURE I can convince Neel that this would make an appropriate anniversary gift...NOT!) and I keep thinking about playing around with an Olloclip for my phone. Doesn't that look fun? Macro on my phone?! (!!) Almost as much fun as Football on Your Phone. (Who doesn't love a good Peyton and Eli Manning music video?).

3. I think I finally got my rain! I've been trying hard, of late, to fall more in love with where I live, and one thing I can say I enjoy about the Tidewater of Virginia are the vagaries of the weather. We desperately needed rain. This coastal storm was barely a Nor'easter, but for Wednesday and Thursday the wind blew and the water came down in buckets. Because we're so tidal, storms like this can make a mess of of our roadways. Both days, I started my trip to get Callum from school in the normal direction and had to turn back due to flooded roadways. On Wednesday, Neel was on the phone with me checking for safe traffic routes while I drove (don't worry, we're hands free). It took me more than double my normal travel time. Our street didn't flood this time, but plenty in our neighborhood did. We went to the river both days after school to just enjoy the connection to the earth that storms like this give us.

It's supposed to keep raining through the weekend. 

4. I think I picked a pretty good few weeks to pretty much stop watching the news. Hello, government shutdown! What I have been paying attention to are the announcements of the Nobel Prize awards. Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics. So far, the prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace have been awarded, and hello Alice Munro, one of only 13 women to win for literature! Crazytown. Neel is always (of course he is) interested in the science-y stuff. So many Americans, or men (sadly, all men) working in America, among the winners. That's exciting for our country, but Neel worries that in 20 years it won't be the same. He fears a dearth of scientists from America due to funding cuts going all the way back to the Bush years. Recent budgetary cuts haven't been kind to foundational science either, and Neel thinks we'll lose a whole generation of scientists.

It's chilling to think about, and that's not where I meant to go with this. If you go on the Nobel website, you can hear interviews with award recipients from shortly after they were notified (one guy found out at the interview!) . And that's just so moving. What a stunning achievement. One guy, who shared an award with two others, talked about how they were both competitors and collaborators, and to me that's part of why science is so amazing. There is so much giving of credit and sharing of information and collaboration. My own husband is in the middle of a really beautiful and compelling collaboration, so I see it every day. It's easy to forget how special it is.

5. I think that if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that Neel and I attended a "house concert" Wednesday night. This was such a special evening at our friends Jackie and Terri's on the most miserable night so far this year. Guitarist Mark Kroos performed for a group of about 15 or so of us, and he's pretty special. Funny and charming, and just incredibly sweet, Mark rocketed to fame because of his mastery of the double necked guitar. (Only about three people in the country are playing them.) Remember that dueling banjo scene in Deliverance? Mark plays both "banjos" on his double neck guitar and the YouTube video of him doing it was part of what has boosted his success. (He has to play it at every concert now!) So fun! He also (among many other slow, pretty and beautiful songs) played around and had us laughing, and he played dueling Thunderstruck/Back in Black by AC/DC (That had me longing for our old Guitar Hero days!).

We bought both his CDs. He has a spectacular rendition of Amazing Grace. It reminded me a bit of Charlie Haden. I love Amazing Grace. I think it's such a stunning song. And that sounds funny coming from someone who who was raised in a decidedly non-religious environment. But Mark talked about this song and described just why I relate to it. It's because everyone needs grace. We're all looking for it. I've had such a hard summer and fall, and such a rough go lately of sadness and hurt feelings, but listening to his music I felt touched by the faintest heartbeat of happiness. I thought about grace, and how we're all looking for it. And how especially when we've been hurt, well, that's when we need grace the most.