Sunday, February 25, 2007

Roots and Wings...

I was surprised this morning when I visited Julie's blog "The Ravin' Picture Maven" and found that she had acknowledged me with a "Thinking Blogger Award". Needless to say, I am very grateful! My ramblings here seem to be all over the map and I wouldn't have considered them to be the product of a "thinker", a term that brings up a mental image of a thoughtful professor, stroking his goatee while pondering the gnarliest of questions, ultimately laying the answers down before us.

It got me to consider what standard I would use to describe "a thinker". Not the comic book image but the real thing. A thinker is one who is awake and aware to the nuances of his or her own life, able to see the invisible print between the lines of their experiences, process and integration into a worldview that benefits not only themselves but everyone who comes in contact with them. It's the wisdom that passes from person to person, often in small unrecognizable nuggets that take time to sink in but finally find a cozy spot in our own process of integration. It is what creates the tiny silver thread that runs through all of us and connect us to each other. It is the thought and experience that creates growth in each of us. We create a worldview and we live it. Roots and Wings. There are very few Oprah "AHA!" moments in this life. Most of our growth and wisdom comes from nuggets that are slowly digested.

Part of this project is that I am supposed to pick five bloggers to pass the award along. That is nearly impossible because I value every blog I read regularly and I read over 100 a week ... easily. So I tried to come up with some kind of kernel that would make five stand out in one way or another. Two of the standards I used is that I wanted to acknowledge those I consider both smarter and wiser than me ~ which then elevates me because I learn from them.

So... I'm stuck with 14,269 or so blogs. What do I do now?

Third standard: I have had some personal experience with them, leading me to think more seriously about something.

Okay. Now we have only 30 blogs or so.

I'm getting there.

Teaching can be done in so many ways. It can be done with words ~ or art ~ or poetry ~ or through journalistic reporting.

The first person who came to mind is someone who teaches through art. Pam at Mind Trips.
Her beautiful work is the result of her own very positive thinking style, one that refuses to acknowledge or allow negativity in her world, in spite of some significant physical challenges. I admire her very much and learn from her in many ways.

I have a true admiration and affinity for people who have overcome significant things in their backgrounds and have somehow found peace with their lives today. They are the future wisewomen and wisemen who will influence lives without even realizing it.

Penny at COAHTR and De at Sober Briquette are two of them. Both of these women are brutally honest about themselves, their own growth processes and the circumstances that brought them to where they are now. They use a lot of invisible ink between the lines and that is what makes them so intriguing and so inspirational.

I am someone who needs to be challenged occasionally on a purely intellectual level, too. I appreciate those who do that without knowing it, who present their own views and leave me to sit and think about it. One of the things that matters a lot in this regard is that they think very differently than me. It is easy to reinforce our views by reading people who think exactly the way we do. It's harder when someone's views are the polar opposite.

My political views are certainly no secret to anyone who reads here. For the most part, I am typically progressive with some very conservative views mixed in for good measure. The one thing I am not is an individualist.

That is why The Atavist is such a good challenge for me. He presents his libertarian views with a large component of compassion and wisdom. He is what I believe my ex-husband (who is a radical libertarian) could have been with a lot more maturity. The Atavist states his views with clarity and intellectual integrity. There is never any sense of him dealing with his own personal issues and using libertarianism to justify selfishness or egoism. He's pure gold in that respect.

And finally, the blogger who has probably been most significant to me personally is Jen at One Plus Two. Over the months, we have gotten to know each other in a reasonably significant way ~ in a way that can be done on-line at any rate. I love watching her grow. I love watching how she winds her way through the ethical labyrinth of the personal and the global. I love her instincts and her passion. I believe she is raising an Indigo Child. She is a budding wisewoman who will one day end up writing a book (I don't think she believes this yet) ~ and will be influential far beyond the blogging world. She has a message. And she freely allows us to participate in her see-saw process of sorting it all out and fashioning a worldview that is somewhere between Ghandi and Nelson Mandela.

Jen is 20 years younger than me, almost to the month. Yet in many ways, she is my elder. I learn from her regularly.

Okay. I have chosen five.. and it was very difficult because my head is so full of those who I value equally but did not mention. Laurie, Cecilieaux, Doodee, Kate, Lucia, everyone on my sidebar and the ones listed on my writing tablet to be added as soon as I get eye surgery are equal in my mind. Just know that, please.

I nearly forgot to mention this but each of the five I mentioned should take the "Thinking Blogger" graphic from my site, keep one for your site and acknowledge five bloggers who will, in turn, do the same for five more. Yeah. It ain't easy, is it? :)




Pam said...

It isn't often that we get to see ourselves, especially in such a positive light, through another's eyes. Particularly when it's someone who's insights and opinions we admire. Thank you.

I may or may not make a list, I don't read a large number of blogs as my art, and what I wish to express through it, tends to consume my time and efforts, time being the operative word, here.

It would be difficult to pick from the ones I do read as each one touches me in a special way and I am still getting to know my new friends.

I come here because you speak of so many things that are important to me and because you are open to discussion and opinion. (An open mind is the only mind that truly learns.) And because you give me new things to stretch my thoughts around and new ways to look at what's already there.

After reading this post, it seems a good idea to stretch my blogging wings and check out the blogs you have mentioned.

The Atavist said...

Most fair-haired and fair-skinned individuals (I am one) have something in common. They blush easily. That red glow you see in the direction of Ontario, Canada, is me. Thank you for your kind words.

I am a curious guy and recognize that learning is only possible if you expose yourself to ideas with which you are not already intimately familiar. That is why I read bloggers like you; you challenge me and educate me and although we may be fundamentally different in many ways, we are also fundamentally similar in others.

Know one thing I believe we have in common? Neither of us, I believe, would ever dream of forcing others to be just like us, to create a homogenous and featureless soup of humanity with characteristics that couldn't possibly provide truly satisfying mental and emotional nourishment to all. You really do have a streak of libertarianism in you, Chani.

But even if you didn't, I would still be here, and I am pleased and gratified that you find my blog of interest too.

Anvilcloud said...

So ... now you're thinking about thinking.

Girlplustwo said...

Chani, coming from you, someone i consider to be one of my elders, this humbles me beyond belief. I am with our friend The Atavist in regards to the blushing.

I shall pass this on. Thank you, truly.

meno said...

Chani, i believe that you are the only one of us who would be surprised by your being recognized for being thoughtful. It's quite true and it's the reason i come back time and again.

Anonymous said...

In my books you are most definitely a thinker. I never leave your blog without taking some of your thoughts into my day.

Anonymous said...

This weekend was about Oscars and nominees?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You've blown me away.

Unknown said...

Hi Thailand Gal,
I really enjoyed reading the essay that you created here. Solid content and eloquent form. I read your blog because you write from such a singular point of view. You are not one to shy away from any topic; the passion that informs your views prevents your posts from being mere exercises in rhetoric.

I enjoyed peeking into the blogs that you selected as your own nominees.

SuperP. said...

That was very sweet of you to mention me in that list. I am happy that my cathartic pasttime can affect someone else in a positive manner. I enjoy the same types of benefits from reading your blog, TG.

As soon as I've got a few minutes, I'll make my list, as well.. school n' all..


God Bless.

thailandchani said...

Pam, glad it was pleasant for you. :) Every now and then, it is just a good thing to acknowledge each other.


Atavist, you are correct. I would never want to see everyone the same. I love diversity and difference. Heck, if we couldn't be diverse, I wouldn't have been free to make the choices I've made. It's invigorating, knowing there is a whole world of choices available to all of us.


Anvil, a little epistomology with my morning green tea? LOL


Jen, glad you like it, too. All of us learning from each other is the core reason for our existence, in my humble opinion. :)


Meno... thanks. I don't think we ever see ourselves as others see us. Maybe that's a Good Thing. :)


Hel, I am so glad for that. Ultimately, I do want to put out something of use to others. When I remember back to my very young days... no Internet.. no sharing of ideas... no way to balance my own thoughts against the thoughts of others... It was kind of lonely.


Genevieve... wow. Not sure what to say to that. :) No, I don't think one is predicated on the other although I can see where the timing is a bit... wacky. LOL


De, if I blew you away.. that's a good thing. Every now and then, we need to know that our experiences and processing of them are helpful to others.


Potato, thanks for understanding that. Yes, everything I write is pretty much filtered through my adopted culture and mindset. Sometimes it's really hard to look back to the "old way", the way I used to flop around like a fish on the deck of a boat. Now I have some roots.. and that gave me wings. :)

I feel good.Who knows? Maybe there are 16 or 17 million Thais who find me appalling. LOL


Penny, it is said that every time we put something out to the universe - our thoughts, our experiences - our resolutions - it is because someone, somewhere, is needing to hear it.

Many blessings to you as well. :)

Peace, all...


dmmgmfm said...

I regularly read three of the 5 blogs you've chosen to pass your award on to. Mind Trips, The Atavist and One Plus Two are blogs I read every single day. Without fail. I will definitely read the other two since you've recommended them.

On a personal note, I am touched and honored that you would consider my blog worth mentioning, Chani. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the award for the piece of arts in foreign language :)