Forces of Nature: WordPress Bloggers I Admire

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Incredible. This is the word that comes to mind when I think about the voices and personalities that are here on WordPress.

In only less than a month, I’ve been deeply moved and struck by the vulnerability and joy that I feel coming through the posts I read. It’s humbling, and I’m so thankful to have discovered a community that gives as much, if not more, as they get.

It reminds me of a word from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig:

sonder

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

The individuals I mention below write so evocatively and effectively that they make me feel like I know them in real life. Their thoughts and lives are a force of nature. […]

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Two-sentence horror stories

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Photo credit: Ron Quick

I know it’s not Halloween anymore, but I just have to tell you I am a huge scaredy-cat. Like, the biggest chicken you could possibly know. Everyone who is close to me knows this, and takes advantage of it.

I can’t watch scary movies by myself, all the lights are on when I’m at home alone, and I make sure all the blinds and curtains are drawn in the evening. It’s a problem. I freak myself out all the time.

The mini-stories below are my worst nightmares come true. Every day, when I’m in my kitchen, when I go to work when it’s still dark out, when I go to bed … these things cross my mind. And I hope to God none of these ever happen, because I will literally lose my mind if they do.

Enjoy. […]

Me, my iPod, and 400 miles of I-5

On my profile, it says “I associate places with music…”

This is so absolutely true. Roughly 400 miles of I-5 in Washington state and some of Oregon was the backdrop of the most formative music discovery of my life (see map below).

How, you ask?

Every Friday for a whole year and a half (May 2007 – Dec 2008), my mother, my little brother, and I would drive from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Salem, OR, US. And drive back again every Sunday.

Roughly an 800-mile trip every weekend, […]

The hash-tagging reflex

I read a poem recently about the Paris attacks. The poem was created by travel show host Karuna Ezara Parikh. Below is the poem:

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Poem by Karuna Ezara Parikh

I posted about it on Facebook shortly thereafter:

This puts things in perspective. The first reports I read on the tragedy in Paris were mainly concerned for the safety of some American bands who were in Paris for concerts. I feel ashamed that I only see and pay attention to the “popular” tragedies. If there is a “hashtag” for Paris, shouldn’t there be a “hashtag” for other places where this happens, too? Shouldn’t all those be “trending”? I am ashamed of my own ignorance.

I’m not one to put politically-charged, or even politically-flavored thoughts up for the world to see. My approach has always been, if I’m not an expert, why should I voice my uninformed opinion and add to the rabble of voices out there?

But something has been nagging at me the last few years, with the rise of social media and its power to (dis)inform […]