I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A larger perspective always helps

Jupiter from Juno flyby
Part of my morning routine is to visit the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) to see what wonder is featured for that day. Earlier this month, this image taken from the satellite Juno, which is orbiting the gas giant Jupiter and making a close encounter every 53 days, caught my eye. It looks like a painting, but it's a closeup of an area of Jovian clouds.
Light clouds swirl around reddish regions toward the lower right, while they appear to cover over some darker domains on the upper right. The featured image was taken by the robotic Juno spacecraft during its 14th low pass over Jupiter earlier this year. Juno continues in its looping elliptical orbit, swooping near the huge planet every 53 days and exploring a slightly different sector each time around.
When I think about the fact that our entire planet would be just a tiny speck against the backdrop of Jupiter, it helps to put some of the problems that I obsess over into a much different perspective, making it easier to take a larger view and relax a little. It's an amazing universe, and daydreaming about Jupiter has long been one of my favorite pastimes.

This weekend is the end of a long four-day vacation for many of us in the US; Thanksgiving was Thursday, a day to visit with family and share a turkey with all the trimmings. We didn't participate in that ritual, but instead I used my Crock Pot to make a wonderful vegetable stew, which we enjoyed with a salad and crusty bread. We had individual desserts that I bought at the grocery store, so I wouldn't be tempted to eat all or most of a pumpkin pie that I drooled over. I love good pumpkin pie, but it's hard for me to justify bringing home an entire pie for the two of us. It's hard enough to keep my appetite in check during the holidays, and I go a little bit off the rails around this time of year.

Today my friend Judy and I will go to see Melissa McCarthy's latest movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me? Several of my friends have already seen it and think that it's her best performance ever. I'm not a fan of slapstick comedy, which is what I usually associate her movies with, but this one is based on a true story and shares its title with a memoir written by Lee Israel. Since I haven't seen it yet, I can't say whether it will live up to its hype, but I'm looking forward to it. As usual, during the last two months of the year, many good movies will be shown at the local theaters in hopes of garnering Oscar nominations for 2019. Judy and I will be busy trying to see them all during the holiday season.

I've finished with the seven acupuncture treatments I signed up for, and I have to say I'm already missing the experience of having all those needles placed in my body once a week for an hour. It has made a huge difference in several areas: first, my sore heel (the initial reason for the treatment) is finally back to normal, and several various aches and pains are lessened, and I feel better overall. The part I like the best is when he puts needles in the top of my head, in my scalp. I get goosebumps all the way down to my toes. Although I've had acupuncture in the past, I had never before had needles placed in my head. I made an appointment for another treatment mid-December and am looking forward to it. If I could afford it, I'd see him once a week just for maintenance. Warren gives a free 30-minute assessment to see if someone might be interested. Check out his website at Active Points Wellness if you live in the area and want to find out more.

Oh, yes, one more thing: yesterday I finally broke down and started watching a PBS Masterpiece Theater series: Poldark. It's a British historical drama and is based on several books. With almost 40 episodes over four seasons, I've got quite a task ahead of me. A synopsis:
This all-new version of the vintage Masterpiece series stars Aidan Turner as Capt. Ross Poldark, a redcoat returning to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War, only to find his father dead and his true love about to marry someone else. A Mammoth Screen production, the series is packed with action, adventure and romance. 
Yesterday I watched two episodes and am totally and completely hooked. Many of my friends have asked me if I watched it and I hadn't, although that has now changed. It reminds me of how I got hooked into watching Downton Abbey, just an episode or two, then being unable to stop as I got invested in the characters. With Poldark, I'm already invested after just two episodes!  Fortunately for me, it's available for free with my Amazon Prime membership.

I am also struck by how different our lives are now, compared to the late eighteenth century in Cornwall, England. It was long before anything that resembles electricity was discovered (1879), and what a difference that one thing has made in our world. It's almost unimaginable, but fortunately we have period historical dramas that remind us. As I sit here communicating with you, my virtual readers, with light from the screen illuminating the room, warmth from the heater, and a functioning toilet, I must say I feel very grateful that I can visit that earlier history without actually having to live it. Yes, life has changed dramatically since then.

And with that, I have just realized I'm going on and on and need to bring this post to a close. My tea is long gone, hubby is quietly sleeping next to me, and I am beginning to think of the morning tasks ahead of me before going off to the coffee shop to join my friend John for a delightful latte. I am sincerely grateful for having made the virtual acquaintance of so many of you, and I am hoping that this weekend will bring you all good things. Until we meet again next week, please don't forget to look around and give thanks for all that makes up your world. Be well.


Rian said...

Happy to hear that you had a good Thanksgiving weekend! And Poldark is one of our favorites too! Since we ditched cable, we are enjoying Acorn TV - which shows most of the British mystery series... love it!

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, The thing that amazes me about Eye on the Edge is that we are so often on the same page about things. I just in the last couple of weeks had a friend tell me about Poldark because she knew I loved Downton Abbey. So now that you've given it the thumbs up I'll be watching. Thank you for mentioning that it's on Amazon. Otherwise, thanks for your report on the acupuncture sessions. I enjoyed this post, as always! Wishing you and SG a fine week ahead! John

Marie Smith said...

I started to watch the series Shetland this weekend, a mystery series which I love. Poldark is great too. Have a wonderful week, Jan. Take care.

Gigi said...

I hadn't heard of that series. I've loved all your other recommendations, so I'll give it a shot...if I ever finish The Fosters that is.

Glad the acupuncture was so helpful for you.

Have a wonderful week!

William Kendall said...

I have heard of Poldark, just haven't seen it before. Images from space like that are incredible.

Elephant's Child said...

I read the Poldarks series decades ago. A revisit might be in order.
I am thrilled that acupunture brought you so many benefits and that you had a pleasant (and restrained) Thanksgiving.
Enjoy your movie (and your week).

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad the acupuncture was such a success and glad you will go for a tune up. I am doing the same with my chiropractor. I am still out of pain but I want to stay that way.
I don't have a smart TV so that series is not on my table. This time of year I would like to have a nice series to get involved in. Frosty the Snowman no longer fascinates me:))

Red said...

I like historical novels and movies. I would like to live back in the days before electricity. For a while we didn't have electricity on the farm. I am also amazed when I see the conditions Henry VIII lived under.

gigihawaii said...

Never heard of acupuncture on the head. That's a first.

Mary said...

Wow...the irony.
I get the same email daily from APOD and I have been watching Poldark from the beginning. It’s wonderful! PBS has many wonderful offerings. Be sure to watch Victoria, Grantchester, Endeavor, Women in White..to name a few. Anything on Masterpiece is usually excellent.

Yes and I have Acorn too which is excellent! You can’t compare British shows with American TV....IMO British so much better.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, I've been hooked on the Poldark series since watching the first episode of Season 1. Just a week or so ago, I watched the final episode of Season 4 or 5--not sure which.

Way back in the early 1970s, the first PBS presentation of Polkark was on. That was when i was studying for my Master's Degree at the University of Minnesota. I watched it avidly as a totally different life from what I was studying as I took American Studies classes.

The young woman playing Demelza was a fine actress as is the actress for this latest presentation. The man who played Polkark in that first presentation--back in the '70s--has a small part in this most recent one. He's the main judge who will appear in a couple of episodes you'll be watching.


Linda Reeder said...

PBS is a staple in our house on Sunday nights. Right now there are no new Masterpiece programs, and we miss it already. Poldark gets intense, and frustrating sometimes, so I was ready for a break on that one, but also just ended, The Durrells of Corfu, is delightful. Looking forward to a new season of Victoria in January.

Rita said...

I watch anything on PBS Masterpiece Theater. Poldark is another good one! I love to watch period pieces for that same reason--to imagine what life would be like and to be glad I live when I do. ;)

I do not like the slapstick, sophomoric humor of many of the comedies today, either. I have been waiting for Melissa McCarthy to sink her teeth into something more serious ever since I saw her on Gilmore Girls. She has such range but I'm not a big fan of sillyness or gross jokes, I guess, so I am waiting to see this when it comes out on Netflix. Looking forward to seeing her in something far from silly. I'm sure some of her current fans aren't going to like it because this lady she portrays is not very likable. I do hope you enjoy it. :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I will have to check out Poldark. Hope you have a good week! Cold here...barely above zero this morning and a wind chill WAY below zero...and so it begins. :(

Tanza Erlambang - Every Day Issues said...

wonderful picture of space.
I love the movie.
have a great day