Monday, February 18, 2008

Iowa City

University of Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories - designed by Frank Gehry
Staircase in the Old Capitol - University of Iowa
I've just returned from several days in Iowa City, where I was consulting with ACT (American College Testing) for the English portion of the college admission test. While in the Cedar Rapids Airport, I saw a wall-sized poster ad for Maharishi University of Management, which is located in Fairfield, Iowa. Its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, recently died. The poster was a reminder that the guru, who has lived in the Netherlands in recent years, was a entrepreneur as well as a spiritual guide. Back in 1971, Janne and I paid the student rate to undergo training in Transcendental Meditation, which was led by a TM disciple traveling through Auburn, Alabama, where we lived at the time. The trainer,actually wound up staying with us at the farm house for a night or two. He wore a neat sports jacket and tie and brought with him a bag of grapefruit. We meditated for several years, and I still think that I'd probably benefit from twice-daily meditation. My mantra--assigned to me during the training and supposedly a secret--surfaces in my consciousness from time to time, and I still chant it to myself when I need to relax.
David Orr on poet Mathea Harvey
A reading by Naomi Shihab Nye, who says "We are all born poets. Some of us just keep it up."
"A writer is a person who would not have written what he wrote if he hadn’t started out to write it." William Stafford
My essay, "Radiation," is finally available in Drunken Boat

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