Ok, Julie Andrews is out with a new autobiography.  Sounds like her whole life was not just one big supercalifragilisticum.  Imagine that.  But, still, I’ll wager that the image of her resting in most minds is the one of her wonderful pirouette in that alpine meadow above Salzburg.  Only the blackhearts among us are not moved by the recollection. 

  News here is that there is scientific rationale behind her exuberance.  Know how your brain is but a bit more than a sodium ion pump?  (Oh, maybe a bit more…) 

  Well, “increasing negative ionization of the air (the kind of ‘charged’ air found on mountaintops, near waterfalls, or at the sea) produces changes in brain growth… The ions can also change the chemical composition of the neurotransmitters, and can elevate or suppress mood, something almost everyone knows (except couch potatoes) who has noted the exhilaration of the mountains, or the depression with a Santa Ana wind.”  – Robert Ornstein 

  Shunryu Suzuki takes the longer view:  “It takes time, you know, a long time, for the water finally to reach the bottom of the waterfall.  And it seems to me that our human life may be like this.  We have many difficult experiences in our life.  But at the same time… the water was not originally separated, but was one whole river.  When you do not realize that you are one with the river, one with the universe, you have fear.  When you realize this fact…You will find the true meaning of life, and even though you have difficulty falling upright from the top of the waterfall to the bottom of the mountain, you will enjoy your life.”


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