Home / 2010

Zurück bleiben bitte!, or Public Transportation Captured in 8 Minutes

Cucalorus Film Festival started today. Don’t know what that is? Yeah, I didn’t either until Nathan Maulorico of Unknown Films* announced that his film—by far my favorite indie film**—is going to be screened there. I’ll tell you a little about Cucalous, but I can’t wait to tell you about This… is the Orange Line.

Cucalorus is a non-competitive film festival held in Wilmington, North Carolina. I sort of like their philosophy: “competition sucks. It often takes hundreds of people to make a film, so why does one guy get the little statue?” Cucalorus isn’t about who a mysterious academy determines is the best it’s about the film as art.

This… is the Orange Line is art. It is “an experimental documentary film about the shapes and movement of the Chicago Orange Line L Train from day to night.” It is, for me about the emotions evoked by public transportation.

I grew up in Kansas City, Neosho, and Springfield. Three towns with nothing that resembles the public transportation even Giessen, a town the size of Joplin that we lived in for two years in Germany. But I love public transportation, and trains are the best (and I’ve written about that before).

This… is the Orange Line captures everything I love about riding on trains. Each station has its own personality. Riding trains gives you a view of your city that isn’t normally seen. You see the back of buildings, back yards, graffiti on those buildings, an overhead view of streets you walk on every day. You see all sorts of people on the train doing all sorts of things. You hear some really great musicians—buskers—in the stations or even on the trains.

Not only does Nathan’s artistic eye capture those images well, but the music he chose incorporates the emotions that using public transportation creates in me. The score is Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E Minor.” It captures the pace of the trains so well and so perfectly supports the melancholy joy that I feel when I’m traveling***. You’re surrounded by people, but you don’t interact with them; people sleep (or pretend to) to avoid interaction, and they’re really good at finding a spot to stare at. You’re moving stress-free–no “I hope I can find a parking place” or “What? An accident? My boss is going to be pissed that I’m late!”–but not on your own schedule. You spend most of your time underground (at least in Berlin and many other big cities), but the stations are usually painted in bright colors to hide the sewer-like feel of pipe-shaped hallways that lead you to your train or the surface. You see ads for fancy language courses or DeBeers jewelry or West End musicals, but those ads will be—sooner or later—covered by a different kind of art, street art.

Paired with the images Nathan selected of the L, this short film feels like a verbalization of all that I love and feel about riding trains.


Support Nathan, Unknown Films, and indie films in general:

This… is the Orange Line trailer on Facebook :: This… is the Orange Line on IndieGoGo


* A super cool dude with a lovely wife, who I met through the Springfield Bloggers Association last year.

** I haven’t seen many indie films, but I have a feeling that this one will top the list for a very very long time.

*** And I’m not the only one who thinks that this is a perfect pairing of music and film: The Elgar Birthplace Museum will archive This… is the Orange Line because it is”a beautiful and moving use of Elgar’s music.” Read more about this honor here.

Why I Hate Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering. I don’t remember much specific vocabulary from seventh-grade government class, but “gerrymandering” always stood out in my mind because I think it sounds funny.

The practice itself, however? Not funny. When politicians redraw district lines in order to guarantee their re-election it’s called gerrymandering. So why the uncharacteristic political rant in what is otherwise a politics-free zone?

I heard “Critics Want Redistricting Process Changed in [Florida]” on NPR yesterday morning and it made me mad. Drawing the district that will elect you so that it favors you is cheating. It’s wrong. It is not politics, and it’s about the furthest thing from a representative government as you can be without being some other form of government.

Tell me: why, in the first place, are the elected officials the ones who get to draw district boundaries in the first place? Who originally thought that was a good idea? Three words: Objective third-party needed.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on our dire need for a viable third political party.

[image source]

It’s Like Wanting to Stop During a Run

I was sick last week, had some sort of sore throat bug. That means I drank a lot of hot tea—I believe (not really, but sorta) that drinking hot tea will kill all the bacteria in my throat. It’s a mature belief, folks. When I was in college, I believed that vodka would take care of any upper respiratory problems. Anyway, that also means that I allowed myself two half days for recovery. And believe me, we were a miserable crowd! Rob was sick too and had Thursday off, so we laid around, miserable together, moaning, tossing the Kleenex box back and forth, and terrorizing the cats by throwing Kleenex at them. I even took a nap.

Add to that my new policy of not working on the weekends. I used to spend too much time working on school, but I’ve started setting boundaries for myself so that I can stay sane and sociable. That means working during pre-determined hours only, and never all weekend. I usually check in on things Sunday afternoon or evening, but I don’t after Friday at 5.

So now it’s Monday and I’m supposed to be working, but that enforced laziness of the sick days plus the vacuum of student emails and issues from the weekend make really not feel like working. All I want to do is play Angry Birds.

But it’s like wanting to stop in the middle of a run.

I feel tired, my legs/ankles/shoulders/feet hurt, I can’t breathe. Whatever the excuse, I want to quit. Sometimes I say so to Sarah and she’ll keep me going, but I try to make myself go on.

“One more step, one more step. Keep going until that tree. Okay, that wasn’t too bad. You can make it until the clearing.”

So today, it has been, “Come on, Linden, grade just three blogs, you can do it. Okay, that wasn’t so bad, do three more. Way to go, keep pushing. :)”

This is why I have that tattoo on my wrist, to remind me that I can do whatever I have to do. Step by tiny step is how it gets done, whether it’s 26.2 miles or grading 50 essays, blogs, and discussion board posts.

How do YOU keep working (or start working) when you don’t feel like it?

How Germany Changed Me

Röntgen Memorial in Gießen, GermanyNumber 56 on my 100 Things About Me list is “Germany changed me.” Ever since I wrote that list (and learned about myself in the process), I’ve been thinking about how Germany changed me.

Every day I experience something that floods my heart with some small experience I had (or made?*) in Germany. Images, smells, sounds, they come rushing to my mind’s eye. And I realize day after day who I was there and who I am here and how everything is just the same but still completely different.

Every day in Germany was a struggle, a heartbreak, an adventure, a lesson, a memory. The most mundane tasks—getting to work, buying groceries, even paying bills—were new and exciting, unique, exposing a different pace of life, different values, a different thought process. Not worse, not better, just different.

I loved it and struggled in it daily. Everything was a challenge for me, nervous that the baker wouldn’t understand my funny accent, excited when she did. Dreading picking up a prescription because the pharmacist asks important questions and tells some complicated, often vital details, thinking surely she would find me stupid for saying yes when the right answer was no. Floating as high as the Johanneskirche bell tower when I understood everything she said to me. Feeling like the village idiot when I couldn’t remember the German I word for “postage stamp” (it’s die Briefmarke) when that is the entire reason I made the trip to post office. But realizing the experience was at least useful when I used the story in class to ease a student’s mind when she blushed at forgetting a simple word.

In Germany, so many of my students had spent time abroad, many as au pairs, many as exchange students. They knew the fears and insecurities of being alone in your world&mash;for I was alone in many ways. Yes, Rob was there with me, but he belongs in Germany, understands it as I probably never will. Experienced it as Home for 21 years of his life, as I have America. Fully bilingual, he can joke in either language, enjoy movies, hear more than gibberish in a crowd on the street. It’s been more years than we’ve been together since he was where I was. I’m not saying he doesn’t remember, but time and success often soften memories.

Now that I’m back home, there is a part of Me that I fear very few understand. When I find a kindred spirit, it’s like a refreshing spring rain.

I can’t spell words I’ve known all my life because the German or British** looks right too (“travelling” will probably forever trip me up now). And I’m an English teacher, for goodness sakes.

I can’t remember the order that shorthand dates go in: is July 4th 7/4/2010 or 4.7.2010? I usually remember eventually, but I have to deliberate, and even then sometimes I’m unsure.

I’ve become stubborn in ways I never imagined I’d be. I refuse to buy eggs in Styrofoam. I avoid using a plastic bag at checkout, even if I don’t have my “Schütz unsere Umwelt” shopping bag with me. And nearly every checker here give me funny looks for that. I enjoy my air conditioning like never before, and blast it in my car until I’m chilly. We dutifully remove our shoes at the door and put on unsere Hausschuhen. I have a hard time understanding why so many people get upset about gas prices but couldn’t care less about riding bikes more or spending tax dollars on installing more sidewalks and greenways***. And having used government-subsidized health care for two years, why so many Americans all bent out of shape about it, for so many wrong reasons.

Germany taught me that environmental consciousness doesn’t have to be a burden. That having an entire house and yard all to yourself is quite the luxury, not to mention the amazing luxury of air conditioning. That not owning a car doesn’t have to be an inconvenience (and—shh!—it can even be fun sometimes!). That taking a big leap out into the unknown with only your spouse and the suitcases you bring with you is always worth the excitement, tears, and memories. That being comfortable and yet not wholly a part of where you live day in and day out wears your spirit down in some ways, but creates in you a new sense of Place and recreates your identity. And that Brie for a buck, fresh bread every day, and a semi-weekly farmer’s market full of the most beautiful flowers is a simple recipe for a contented life.

Even seeing my name (first and last) everywhere affected me. In America, I always have to spell my name out and connect it in people’s minds with a president whose first name is a homonym of mine. I could never buy personalized pencils at gas stations because the closest names to mine were always “Linda” (which I often get mistaken for, even when I spell it out) or “Lindsay.” In Germany, I could just say, “Linden, wie die Bäume” (that’s “Linden, like the trees”) and the German would know exactly how to spell my name and how to say it. Somehow, seeing my name so often, it even being a little bit famous, makes me feel more normal, more connected, more like I belong. Maybe you think this is silly, but maybe you went to school with three people who shared your name.

I am American. But I hope Germans aren’t too insulted when I say that I am German too; like an antithesis to Voldemort’s Horcruxes, I left a part of my soul in Germany because I Lived there.

* That’s for my GLC students, a little inside joke.
**Two of my colleagues were British (Scottish, to be precise) and Germans are typically taught the Queen’s in school.
***Be quiet, Springfieldians, I know; I am proud to live in a community where biking and walking is supported, but considering America in general? Not the same outlook, it seems.

4 Dishes for a Delicious Homemade Mexican Dinner [RECIPE]

Let me start of by talking about my marriage. Rob and I have so much in common, but we’ve got our differences too. For example, Rob didn’t like Mexican food, which has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember.

I don’t know if it was the two years we spent in a country without anything resembling Mexican food except in looks, but when we returned to Missouri, Rob surprised me by craving Mexican food.  I didn’t hesitate and ask, “Why, all of a sudden, do you like Mexican food?” I just hopped in the car and directed him to my favorite place, Cielito Lindo.

Since that day, we’ve been trying every Mexican restaurant we can find in Springfield (our favorite is El Sombrero by the Super Dillons at Kansas Expy. and Battlefield), but we love making our own food at home. Here’s what we had for dinner tonight.

Appetizers: Southwest Salsa Rice Bites; Chips and salsa with queso
Main: Tacos with home-made flour tortilla

Recipes below!

Southwest Salsa Rice Bites

Source: recipe kiosk at Bistro Market
Servings: 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


3 c. cooked brown rice, cooled
1 c. shredded Pepper Jack cheese
4 eggs
1 can (16 oz) chunky salsa*
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
3/4 c. crushed corn tortilla chips
additional salsa and sour cream for garnish (optional)
* We made the salsa ourselves too, with tomatoes from our own garden!


Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine rice and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In medium bowl, beat eggs until well blended. Stir in salsa, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Add salsa mixture to rice and cheese; mix well. Spray miniature muffin pans with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp. rice mixture into each cup, filing to just below the rim. Sprinkle crushed chips over filling, pressing slightly with back of spoon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with additional salsa and sour cream, if desired. Serve as an appetizer or along with chicken fajitas for a complete meal.

Tomato Salsa

Source: Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook*
Makes: 3 1/2 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes


3 lg. tomatoes, seeded and chopped (3 cups)
1 sm. green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c. sliced green onions (5 medium)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno chilies
2 to 3 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt


Mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, vegetables, fish, chicken.

A word on tortilla chips. As we’ve been trying Mexican restaurants, we always evaluate three important elements: chips, salsa, and queso. Our favorite chips by far were at our least favorite restaurant, so we were happy to discover chips at Price Cutter that are exactly like those thin, crispy, light tortilla chips. They are in a brown paper bag and called Xochitl (so’ cheel), They’ re nearly $5 for 16 ounces, but they are pure, only four ingredients–stone ground corn, water, lime, and oil–plus have no preservatives, trans fats, or gluten. They might not be your favorites, but they’re definitely ours!

Queso Blanco Mexican White Cheese Dip

Source: Food.com
Because of copyright issues, please click the link above to see the recipe. We followed the directions exactly, except that we kept the pan on low and stirred often, instead of using a double boiler. We used asadero cheese.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Source: Rockin Robin’s Cooking Mexican Recipes
Because of copyright issues, please click the link above to see the recipe. Be sure to start these at least an hour in advance. The dough has to rest and you’ll need to roll out the tortillas.

* Elizabeth told me about this cookbook a long time ago, and it is still my absolute favorite and the cookbook I turn to first whenever I have any question about cooking or need a good recipe. I’m going to be reviewing it soon, but in the meantime, here is the version I have, and I think this is the new version, although I’m not sure.

100 Things About Me: A Textual Snapshot

Way back at the beginning of my second year of graduate school, Dr. Cadle has us write down 100 things about ourselves. I think it was part of an ice-breaker. I enjoyed the exercise then, and I’ve been hankering to write another list for my blog for a while. Been working on it during a few sleepless nights this summer, so here it is, just before my summer comes to an end with classes starting at both OTC Online and Missouri State next Monday.

100 Things About Me

  1. My right eyes waters. A lot.
  2. I have had two surgeries to fix this. Neither one worked.
  3. This is one reason I don’t wear makeup very often.
  4. The other is: I just don’t want to.
  5. Ich wunsche dass ich könnte Deutsch wie ein Deutscher sprechen.
  6. I love having my toenails painted passion red.
  7. I like my nose.
  8. But only from the front; I think profile gives me a huge honker.
  9. I love scary movies.
  10. . . . which has made me afraid of the dark and/or given me a wild imagination.
  11. . . . but I don’t really mind getting freaked out when I’m home alone. It’s an adrenaline rush of sorts. Some people jump out of planes, I make spooks and boogeymen out of creaks and knocks.
  12. My favorite letter is K.
  13. I’m also deferential to a’s and g’s since I changed the way I write them:
  14. My favorite part of speech is the verb.
  15. It doesn’t bother me one iota how nerdy that is.
  16. My favorite pen is the Uni-ball Vision.
  17. When I see others using that pen, I know we’re kindred spirits.
  18. I test the clickiness of pens before buying retractables, when possible. If the sound and resistance of the clicker do not please me, I won’t buy it.
  19. Sometimes I can’t stop saying “Gabourey Sidibe” over and over in my head. I love the rhythm of her name, I think.
  20. Rob and I have six perfect kids’ names picked out, three boy names and three girls names.
  21. We won’t use them all.
  22. And no, I won’t tell you what they are. We’re keeping them a secret.
  23. is my favorite number.
  24. Well, 10.23 is, but I have adopted just 23 for brevity’s sake.
  25. If you know why 23 is my favorite number, we must be good friends.
  26. I also like squares, 16 and 49 being my other favorites.
  27. I remember medium-length number strings (think phone numbers and birthdays / dates) very easily.
  28. I can type 70 to 80 WPM.
  29. I attribute this to 10 years of playing the piano.
  30. . . . and lots of Mavis Beacon as a nerdy teenager.
  31. Speaking of nerdy, my best friend and I spent our junior and senior high school years playing all sorts of card games, eating Cheez-its, and listening to the Beatles.
  32. Sometimes we’d play Monopoly, just to switch things up a bit.
  33. She’s the reason I started running.
  34. I was never an athlete in school.
  35. In fact, I had to go to the nurse’s office and the the doctor’s office after running a mile in PE class one day my junior year.
  36. If I hadn’t paced off a cross country runner, I might have been okay.
  37. Since January 2007, I’ve run several 5- and 10ks, 2 (utterly horrid) half marathons, and one marathon.
  38. I ran my first half mary 14 days after moving to Gießen.
  39. I was lapped by several Nordic walkers.
  40. That totally killed my mental endurance.
  41. I ran my second in Joplin this past June on the hottest day of the summer to that point.
  42. My running partner was 16 weeks pregnant at the time. She was pushing me.
  43. I am very greatful for that.
  44. I practically swam in the horse-trough ice bath afterward. It felt great.
  45. The first half of my marathon was just over an hour faster than the Joplin half.
  46. . . .and I followed that PR by running the second half!
  47. This bothers me, so I am determined to dominate a half mary one of these days.
  48. . . . but it won’t be on any of the 30 days in June (or July or August, for that matter).
  49. I ran my marathon in Berlin, and I loved it.
  50. . . . so much that I got the Brandenburger Tor tattooed on my left wrist as a reminder of what I have and can accomplish.
  51. I’m going to add “marathon runner” in red and in Greek to it later this year, on the 4,500th anniversary of the first marathon ever run.
  52. I like symbolism.
  53. I also like lists.
  54. . . . and sleeping in a cold room. If I could afford it, I’d keep my bedroom right around 63F/17C.
  55. I like being all snuggled under my nice down-alternative blanket.
  56. Germany changed me.
  57. Before we moved back home, I was very afraid that none of my old friends (or family, for that matter) would like the new Linden.
  58. . . . but they still do, apparently!
  59. So anyway, Germany proved to me how easy green living can be.
  60. . . . and it frustrates me how hard it is in the States.
  61. Even the country road we’d run on in Gießen had a nice, wide sidewalk. Here, I can’t walk the shortest route to Walmart because there are no sidewalks and it’s a busy, 4-lane main thoroughfare.
  62. Stores in Germany encourage shoppers to bring their own bags instead of just eating the cost of plastic bags like American retailers. So I always have a bag with me now.
  63. Sorting trash is mandatory and that is supported in every public place, like on the train platforms and in malls. So we sort our trash here and take to the recycling center what our trash service doesn’t take.
  64. Living there for two years convinced me that what I had believed since my first European trip at age 15 is true—that a part of Me is German.
  65. On top of that, living somewhere is to leave a piece of you (not dissimilar to a Horcrux) there. I miss Gießen, Schönow, and Berlin terribly some days.
  66. I fell in love with Rome while we were there for Holy Week 2009.
  67. I also fell in love with Gelato. We ate as much of it while we were there as possible.
  68. I also fell in love with Roman churches, which are on every corner (worse than Springfield, I swear!)
  69. I really got hooked on soccer. During the season (August to May), there’s a game every weekend day, and often during the week as well (we follow the Bundesliga, Premier League, and the UEFA championships/cups).
  70. Nothing beats live soccer when you can hear the fans’ cheers!
  71. I have a two-year hole in my already shoddy American culture knowledge; if It was popular anytime from September 2007 through September 2009, I probably don’t know about It.
  72. This does nit bother me, but it has made for some embarrassing conversations, (“How do you not know about THAT?!”), but also saved me from a few interesting characters (Lady Gaga, anyone? I barely know who she is, thank goodness; Paula Deen, same thing).
  73. I have a phobia of talking on the phone.
  74. It’s stupid, I know, and I’m working through it, but I still prefer SMSs or email/Facebook/Twitter.
  75. Some of my best friends share this phobia or have a general dislike of phone convos. I’m convinced that this is one reason we’re such good buddies.
  76. I’m working on a novel right now.
  77. It’s a weird one. We’ll see if it ever (a) gets finished and (b) gets published. I don’t have any illusions about the likelihood of (b), but (a) will happen.
  78. I understand how truly blessed I am to have the good friends that I do. I try to never take that for granted, but I often fail, I think.
  79. I have secrets.
  80. Some of them are in this list, but some are not.
  81. Listening to certain types of music (classical and jazz), along with certain meaningful songs, is a religious experience for me.
  82. I believe that “different” shouldn’t mean “bad”; it should just mean “different.”
  83. I don’t like talking about my political or religious beliefs because too many people let those topics be too divisive.
  84. Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite flavor combination.
  85. I love the smells of bacon, leather, Aspen cologne, and this one particular type of men’s deodorant.
  86. I am a very deep sleeper, and I think that’s the way to go.
  87. I can pretty much sleep anywhere, especially (but not only) when I’m really tired.
  88. Throughout my high school years, I never ate in the cafeteria. My friends and I ate in the band room, outside, or in the classroom.
  89. I think I did that because the cafeteria always stressed me out. Maybe I don’t like large groups of people chattering all around me when I’m eating.
  90. I really, really hate ticks. They disgust me.
  91. Sometimes I’m convinced that I’m a pretty big failure.
  92. . . . but usually something will happen to remind that I’m not that bad and I can do things right every once in a while, that I do have some useful skills.
  93. I don’t like pulpy OJ.
  94. . . . or stringy bananas.
  95. I have a hard time remembering how to spell these words: definitely, bureaucracy, recommend, and words ending in -ance/-ence.
  96. However, I can usually feel that a spelling is wrong, rather than know it.
  97. I used to have the paragraph on the front of the Absolut vodka bottle memorized.
  98. My closet is organized by color within seasons and then dressy / casual.
  99. I usually sleep on my right side.
  100. I am left-handed.

So there you go. Now it’s your turn! Go write 100 things about yourself down. You don’t have to share the on your blog, but I bet you’ll find the experience as refreshing and fun as I did.

Book Challenge Update: 9 Down, 15 To Go

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, was the May book for the Barnes & Noble ladies book club. It’s a dystopian teen novel set in a future time where everyone undergoes surgery at age 16 to become pretty. The surgery is cosmetic, but it seems to effect the emotional and mental views of each person as well.

Many ladies in the book club enjoyed this story, which deals heavily–and a bit too heavy-handedly, in my opinion–with the issues of self-image and environmental economy. Fifteen-year-old Tally, the protagonist, travels to the Rusty Ruins, a dinosaur field of sorts from the time when humans relied on dirty fuel-burning transportation and stayed ugly their entire lives. In the end, Tally’s eyes are opened to the realities of the pretty surgeries and she must make a choice.

The plot was compelling, but I didn’t find myself identifying with the self-image issues the uglies feel. Oh, I have self-image issues, but their “solution” (1) isn’t possible for me (unless I want to look like poor Jocelyn Wildenstein) and (2) it isn’t really a solution. I am pretty sure that Westerfeld isn’t actually condoning pretty surgeries, but without reading the rest of the series, readers cannot be sure what he is actually condoning. I support magic Shallow Hal glasses or something.

The World Cup from a Graphic Artist’s Perspective

I am surrounded by many insanely talented people, and one of those artists is Lorraine, who I met in German class at Missouri State. I love her taste in graphic design and style, and I am continually amazed at the beautiful pieces she finds around the web.

Now that both America’s and England’s Summermärchen are over (and Germany is through to the quarter finals!!!), I think some inspiring World Cup design might lift losing spirits (unless you’re rooting for Germany, in which case, party in the streets!!!).

[image source]
In her Weekly Reader: World Cup Edition, Lorraine shared a great article on World Cup iPhone apps ;), a history of the World Cup logos (I like Mexico 1970 and 1986, and Italy 1990; totally disagree with the author about the Germany 2006 logo), a very German World Cup guidebook, and a beautiful bracket tracker.


These Are the Moments That Change Our Lives

I’m reading Muriel Barbery‘s The Elegance of the Hedgehog for the Barnes & Noble Ladies Book Club. I wasn’t too impressed with the last two books we chose, Uglies and Winter’s Bone, but this book was already on my Goodreads To Read list, so I was hopeful. Last Saturday, I had a couple hours to kill at Barnes & Noble before Rob got off work and we went on a little date, so I got the book off the shelf, ordered a coffee, and started reading. I fell in love with this book by the end of the prologue, which is several chapters long.

I’ve been recording quotations from it, and there is one that I read last night that perfectly describes a sensation I’ve experienced before in my life but never tried to shroud in words, and I just have to share it here in my pensieve.

Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time. Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn–and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb. (91)

Have you ever experienced this?