¡There are so many things to admire, and borrow, from other cultures! A favorite coveted device of mine is inverted punctuation. Spanish keyboards no longer have a corner on this market. Yet it hasn’t caught on in the world of English authors. Hey, we’ve got the tools at our finger tips now, with modern keyboards. If I hold down the option key while shifting and pecking the question mark, it’s there on my screen. I no longer have the excuse of needing a specialized keyboard. And the exclam doesn’t even require a shift. Just OPTION and 1. (On my Mac, accent marks have become a breeze: simply hold down any key to see the selection. Then choose the one you want.)
If you’re like me, I sometimes don’t realize that an author writing in English is posing a question until I get to the end of the sentence. O yeah, many sentences start with a verbal question immediately evident, making the mark redundant or unnecessary; but other situations are less clear. ¿Hidden questions warrant the courteous and communicative thing by alerting the reader right up front, do they not? ¡Gotcha! ¿Maybe you’re persuaded? Give it a try.
There’s an article in The Atlantic about punctuation today where I’ve added a brief comment urging the argument above. The article can be read here:
Photo by Marvin Orellana for New York Times
Mark Bittman, food writer for New York Times has an adventurous piece in today’s Sunday Magazine about traveling deep into Maya country, an hour south of Valladolid to a town where only Mayan is spoken, in a quest to sample ancient food. Here’s a link:
CLICK: The Yucatán Peninsula’s Food of the Ancients – NYTimes.com
A young Maya man deep in prayer at the end of spring equinox, 2012
Fall equinox is upon us. During spring equinox, March 2012, I attended what turned out to be an open air worship service at Chichen Itza (disguised as a tourist attraction for us gringos, who were welcome and plentiful in number). I imagine there were 20,000 people present, yet it was peaceful and refreshingly orderly. It was more than an astronomical event. Some were even there to worship!
I’ve had a lifelong interest in spiritual expression and devotion. Some folks emote, others attend, write, sing, dance. While an excessively outward expression of self-absorption (such as many of the hyper-artsy contrivances of Burning Man) doesn’t engage me much, I still remain a curious onlooker, hoping to glimpse whatever might be transcendent. Here’s a link to a short essay on spirituality at Burning Man. While not written to be terribly uplifting, it at least allows for the possibility. (I’m edified by learning this):
- Dawning of a new age?
This is the view out my back door this morning at 5 am. The Moon & Venus are dancing with each other. Over the next few days they will arise in the eastern sky as very bright children of our star, Sun. Earth is singing praise as her inhabitants welcome the possibility of a new beginning. And all the trees are clapping their hands.
(To learn the time of moonrise at your location, simply type moonrise at ______ into your search engine, inserting your city, to find a chart.)
Merida has truly enhanced its reputation by advertising itself as “City of Peace.” It’s a very attractive moniker. Last night I screened a documentary film which won an Academy Award for best documentary, titled Strangers No More, which illustrates a profound practice of peace. It takes place at a school for orphans and refugees in Tel Aviv. It’s one of the more uplifting documentaries I’ve ever seen. And it gives me hope that communities can learn to live in peace. It reminds me of Ghandi’s exhortation: ‘Become the change which you seek.’
The public school in the film, Bialik Rogozin, has students from 48 nations which include Jews, Christians, and Muslims studying together as fellow members of the human family. It’s so uplifting! The film can be viewed entirely if you have access to HBO OnDemand documentaries. But if not, you can also view much of it at the film’s official site, linked here: CLICK http://www.strangersnomoremovie.com
“Burn Wall Street”, (photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
If you enjoy Carnaval in Merida, you will want to peek at these amazing photos from BURNING MAN event, in Nevada. Check out this link: