REMEMBER CELEBRATE BELIEVE

REMEMBER that nothing ever happens by chance alone.  Everything happens for a reason.  There are no coincidences.  Every occurrence is part of a master plan and a bigger picture.

 

CELEBRATE every step of the process in getting there.  Celebrate moving onward and upward.  Celebrate coming home.

 

BELIEVE in the bigger picture.  No pain, no gain.  Believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Believe in yourself.  Believe that in the end, everything will be alright.

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London Underground Map: On Being Colour Blind

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The other day my partner and I were discussing a meeting place in London and he asked (in Hebrew of course) “Could you please remind me which colour is that tube line?”

 I had to stop and think, as the answer did not come naturally to me.  While I remember the names of the lines, I do not associate them with their colours on the map. This, I realize, is another manifestation of my colour blindness.

  I was not aware of my colour blindness until my late twenties. We were already in the US,  graduate students at a university town in the Midwest. At a regular check–up at the university hospital clinic, the doctor showed me a series of colourful shapes and  then asked: “Who else in your family is colour blind?" "Color blind?  But only men are colour blind.” The doctor agreed that while red/green colour blindness was indeed rare among women, it existed.

   In writing this post I looked for explanations online, and Wikipedia had a clear answer:

  Colour blindness is the inability to differentiate between different colors. The most common type is red-green colour blindness. This occurs in 8 percent of males and 0.4 percent of females. It occurs when either the red or green cones are not present or not functioning properly. People with this problem are not completely unable to see red or green, but often confuse the two colours. This is an inherited disorder and affects men more commonly since the capacity for colour vision is located on the X chromosome. (Women have two X chromosomes, so the probability of inheriting at least one X with normal colour vision is high; men have only one X chromosome to work with. The inability to see any colour, or seeing only in different shades of gray, is very rare.

  From this explanation I understand that due to its rareness, color blindness among women was not tested when I was growing up. Moreover, even before I enlisted in the army, when we went through a through physical examination, it remained undetected.

   Throughout the years I learnt to ask specific questions about colors and to consult with people who were not color blind. I never thought about color blindness and art until we lived in Iowa City. Being close to several Amish colonies, I had the privilege of getting to know their beautiful artistic quilt work. An artist told me once of the hypothesis that one reason their colors schemes are so different and striking was because many of them were color blind. I am not sure whether it is true but it is encouraging to think that one can use this disorder to create art.

 I often wonder about reaching decisions which are based on isufficent information or partial  knowledge. Being color blind is a good example of not having all the visual information. Thus sitting in London in someone else’s home looking at the paintings on the walls, I remember my own walls back home. Most of my pictures are in black and white. It is not that I don’t appreciate colors, quite the contrary, but when it comes to acquiring art I intuitively choose black and white pictures. Perhaps in this kind of decision, which is private and personal, I do not trust someone else’s eyes, or perhaps I need to feel that this is my level playing field, where at least on the surface, I can see it all and don't miss a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Whales Know A Journey through Mexican California: by Pino Cacucci, translated by Katherine Gregor

For years, few days before my husband's birthday, I used to go to the Travel Section at our local bookstore to look for the perfect book that would capture his imagination. Those were not the kind of books which I would normally choose for myself, but somehow I was always able to find the right book for him.

 Earlier this week, as I was reading through The Whales Know A Journey through Mexican California, by the Italian writer Pino Cacucci (and beautifuly translated by our own Red Room blogger Katherine Gregor), I realized that this was the perfect book for Tzvi my late  husband. Even the name of the publisher was highly appropriate, “Armchair Traveller:”  Tzvi was an avid reader who loved to sit at home and learn about other people’s  journeys and adventures from books.

 The Whales Know is a collection of 20 short charming and erudite essays that combine descriptions of Cacucci's travels through Mexican California with intellectual insights. The essays are rich with allusions and thought-provoking references.

 Sometimes translations tend to be somewhat heavy and cumbersome, as the translator is eager to be as true to the source as possible, and in the process forgets that ultimately the book would be judged by its accessibility and appeal.  However, thanks to the sensitivity and talent of Katherine Gregor, The Whales Know in the English translation has a poetic and natural flow.

  Books about travelling are great reading material all year around, but  this book is especially appropriate to take on vacation. Reading an essay or two a day gives plenty of food for the imagination for the rest of the time. Another unique quality of the collection is that the reader could open the book on almost any page and is sure to find an illuminating passage: for example: from essay number 19 “Frontera:”

 “The border has shaped me from my very childhood and continues to teach me even now I am past fifty. . .The border, no matter how much wire netting and how many trenches are built, always ends up uniting rather than separating those who live in its shadow. “(p. 126) 

  As an Israeli, the issue of borders is relevant and close to my heart. On the Mexican border Cacucci  meets the Mexican author Gabriel Trujillo Munoz  and quotes his writing on this subject (this time Cacucciis himself is in the role of the translator).

 I took The Whales Know with me on my Passover vacation to the Ramon Crater in the Desert Mountain and was very happy with this choice. Since it is a small book, I was able to carry it long while walking on the edge of the crater. Every so often I would sit down read  an essay and then resume the walk. I couldn’t think of a better, or more stimulating, companion. This time I found the right book for me.

 

Here is the link, and the details of the book: http://www.thearmchairtraveller.com/product/439

 The Whales Know

  A Journey Through Mexican California

  By Pino Cacucci

  At 2,000 km, Baja California in modern-day Mexico is one of the longest peninsulas in the world, and certainly one of the most geographically diverse. Following in the footsteps of John Steinbeck, Pino Cacucci travels through endless expanses of desert, salt mountains and rows of cacti with thorns so sharp they can impale thirsty birds. He meets local characters ranging from greedy privateers to Jesuit missionaries - and a cameo from The Doors' Jim Morrison. Yet the cast of characters includes animals as well as people - sixty years ago Mexic became the first country to create a safe haven for whales, and even today these mysteriously intelligent animals play alongside the fishing boats in harmony with humans. Written with humility, humour and heart, The Whales Know is an insight into an ecosystem under threat.

 Pino Cacucci was born in Chiavari, Italy. He is the author of over 20 works of fiction and non-ficto and has won over 16 awards for his writing since 1988.

 Translated by Katherine Gregor

 

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New Home Fresh Start

From red to green, looking forward to a fresh start.

As declared, what was left behind the red door remains.

From this point on will be a new beginning.

 

Green is good!

It signifies prosperity and growth.

I’ll make new friends.

 

Just as I know I will make new connections starting over.

Lessons learned, we keep on moving forward.

Optimism is key making no comparisons with red.

 

My journey while at the red room has taught me many things.

Now it’s time to let it all go and make room for surprises.

I am happy to have found a new home at the green room!

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