Rising in Beauty

Rising in Beauty
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Just Learning

Just Learning
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Freedom on Ice

Freedom is the ability to make choices, with the power to follow them through.

Freedom does not overturn natural conditions or social obligations. All freedom is limited.

One day I fled my stuffy office to breathe the bracing air of a cold day at Bear Mountain. My almost daily walk to the top of the mountain had restored my health and vigor. On this day, however, the snow had frozen. A slick, thick layer of ice armored every hollow and hump of the land. The steepness of my usual path, shadowed by trees, repelled me.
I was attracted instead to the brilliant white swells of polished land in the open, like sea waves suddenly frozen, latent with movement. Exhilarated, I made my way up and over the first swell, on my hands and knees part of the way. Alone in that bright land, I started up the second swell. Soon I was lying on my side, struggling for traction, sliding back as often as I gained an inch by pressure on the surface with my ice encrusted mittened hands.
My boots had no cleats. I had no pitons, not that I knew how to use pitons or ice axes. All I had was my ecstatic desire to be and move in that sun drenched icescape.
I thought about it, there on the ice. If I broke through the ice, or fell with any momentum on its hard surface, I might well be injured. I had no supplies, no water, and the sun would not be out long in midwinter. It would get a lot colder. I was out of sight of the highway. No one knew where I was. I risked injury, impairment of my ability to do my job, and a possible expensive rescue.
I reached my car, muscles trembling, glad to go to a diner for a hot drink. Today it saddens me that this tiny adventure is probably the farthest my life will take me into a land of ice.
About freedom: I am free to jump off a cliff, but I had better learn to hang glide first.

Irene Grumman
February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Today is Day One of the Healthy For Life 12-week online program for changing eating habits. My goals are health, and weight loss.

Today I shared five minutes of belly dancing with some dear friends.

Today I set in motion access to the gym at the YMCA. The stationary bicycle should help, since walking is harder for me with pain in the foot, knee and ankle. Have to let strains heal.

Today is a beautiful day.