Jimbob's Journal

by Jim Harris

Exactly how do you experience your environment. Do you use all of your physical senses? Do you use your mental facilities? Do you inquire about it's past or wonder about it's future? Have you thought about what effect it has had on you, or what effect you may have on it?

Here are a few exercises that I found fun and enriching.

Look up - Houses and buildings -. How many stories. What kind of roof. What kinds of trees are there.
Follow the daily path of the sun and find the moon when you can.
Street names; Is the street named after a person or a place? "Pike" or "highway" often indicates an old toll road
Look down- Are there bricks or old train or trolley tracks under that asphalt. What kind of plants, dirt, or rocks are there.
Look near - For plaques or date stones on buildings, bridges and statues. Are there obvious additions or renovations.
Look for insects.Carry a little magnifying glass. It can be a window to a fascinating world A friend once pointed out to me that you can sometimes see fossils in the marble walls of buildings. Look into peoples' eyes. What color are they?
Look far - How far can you see in any direction from a given spot. Where are the hills and valleys. How do the vistas change with the seasons. Binoculars can come in handy. I discovered that, in winter, I can see the top of the Ben Franklin bridge, seven miles away, from my back yard.
What's old - What do you think will be gone or different a hundred years from now. I took a ride on the 23 trolley and videotaped the whole route just before they tore up the tracks for good. Do you think that that barber shop or the Taco bell will survive the century? Not likely.
What's new - This is a tough one. What new addition will still be there a hundred years hence. Nowadays, they generally don't renovate or refurbish, they demolish and build something new. What's new might be a whole community or a school, or something intangible like a group or.association.
Smell - Flowers, perfume, the ocean. In London, I noticed the taxis' diesel fumes. In San Francisco, the friction from the cable cars created a unique odor that filled the air. Breath! The stress of modern life causes us to take shallow little breaths. A wise old man once told me something that a wise old man told him - that the secret of longevity is to take at least sixty deep breaths a day.
Listen - You hear a lot more than you realize. Dance to the music of your world, and take comfort in the familiar voices of friends
Taste the fruits, and above all
Touch the people you love
Like the beer commercial says, you only go around once in life (how they found that out, I don't know), so live it to the fullest and have no regrets. Peace and Joy to you all.

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