25 September 2009

An inventor of all things.

His name is William Kamkwamba. He is from the African country of Malawi. When he was fourteen years old he dropped out of school because of a nation-wide famine and his family's inability to pay for his schooling any longer. But he still wanted to learn. So he went to the local library and picked up a book, Using Energy, and using rough diagrams in the book, he built a windmill from scrap he found in a junkyard. The windmill produced electricity for him and his family and it powered four light bulbs and two radios.

Poetically Quixote by fourteen,
Most of the people, they didn't know what I'm doing. They all thought that maybe I am going mad and that maybe that I am crazy.
My favorite part,
I went to the library to return the books and the librarian asked me, "Oh, you have built a windmill from the knowledge in this book?"
It reminds me of a beautiful poem I once read,
It is possible
It is possible at least sometimes
It is possible especially now
To ride a horse
Inside a prison cell
And run away

It is possible for prison walls
To disappear,
For the cell to become a distant land
Without frontiers:

-What did you do with the walls?
-I gave them back to the rocks.
-And what did you do with the ceiling?
-I turned it into a saddle
-And your chain?
-I turned it into a pencil.

The prison guard got angry.
He put an end to the dialogue.
He said he didn't care for poetry,
And bolted the door of my cell.

He came back to see me
In the morning;
He shouted at me:

-Where did all this water come from?
-I brought it from the Nile.
-And the trees?
-From the orchards of Damascus.
-And the music?
-From my heartbeat.

The prison guard got mad.
He put an end to my dialogue.
He said he didn't like my poetry,
And bolted the door of my cell.

But he returned in the evening:

-Where did this moon come from?
-From the nights of Baghdad.
-And the wine?
-From the wineyards of Algiers.
-And this freedom?
-From the chain you tied me with last night.

The prison guard grew sad.
He begged me to give him back
His freedom.
Do you see what I mean?

09 September 2009

My harmonica came in the mail today.

I bought a Hohner Special 20 in the key of C along with a self-teach book. I'll be playin the blues in no time.

A friend of mine told me that we aren't just meant to preach to others, but we also must preach to ourselves. I must constantly remind myself: God is good.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us... And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose... If God is for us, who can be against us?
An illustration my good friend made,
The lesson of Jesus' life and the lesson of the Psalms is this: every cave that you're in—wandering along, feeling the rocks, stumbling, stepping, bumping your head—every cave that you are in is a tunnel that opens into glory. It opens into a day like today in Heaven, with the sun shining, and the grass green, and the waters flowing—as long as you don’t sit down in the cave and blow out the candle of faith.
God is my shepherd, I won't be wanting. The cave is a tunnel, just keep walking.

04 September 2009

I love books,

And I love reading.

I went to the bookstore today and bought The Forever War by John Haldeman and Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund. Nylund is one of my favorite writers and I love his imagination. My favorite books by him include what he wrote of the Halo series, Signal to Noise, a Signal Shattered, and a Game of Universe. The middle two are hard to find, and the last one is out of print. Although there are moments of amateur writing in it, a Game of Universe is a brilliant work of art. Also, I love his concept of the Bubble from Signal to Noise. From wikipedia,
A bubble is a self-contained holographic chamber that a person may interface with... Using a bubble's interface, a person can manipulate a super-immersive graphical simulation, drawing on their thoughts and subconscious hunches to create metaphorical situations which aid greatly in communication with others.
This description does not do it justice. But imagine, rather than speaking to someone, simply in your mind dreaming and then understanding. Life would be beautiful: I'd smell black licorice, and you'd grasp a novel.

Here is some lady's commentary on The Forever War. For reasons like this, science fiction is one of my favorite genres of literature,
But it was much more than that. It actually tried to deal with all the complexities, horrors, and paradoxes of war... It was filled with irony--because of the jumps involved, a soldier could find himself obsolete during the course of a single war, or a single battle, and eternally separated from the things he was ostensibly fighting for--and compassion for the human condition without an ounce of sentimentality.

But it was still unmistakably a science-fiction novel, which used a standard SF device--the relativistic effects of faster-than-light space travel--as a metaphor for the displacement and alienation of soldiers returning to a society with which they can no longer connect.
I realized that when I don't read my writing gets worse. I miss reading. And I blame school for me not reading. My favorite poet is Stephen Crane. Here's a poem by him I love,
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
I'm going to write a book someday, whether you like it or not.