Protons and Neutrons

Protons and Neutrons: A Song

So here’s something a bit unusual, inspired by several things that Doen’s talked about lately.
A few weeks ago, Doen was talking about how the generation a bit younger than I am is really going to shake up the world because it’s the first generation when it’s been okay–even cool–to be smart.  That certainly wasn’t the case when I was young.  A few like-minded geeks tolerated it, of course, but for the most part being nerdy was just, well, nerdy.  Not in any way cool.  Even the bookish nerds stayed away from the sci fi nerds who stayed away from the band geeks, etc.
That all led me straight to the Nerdfighters, and Doen’s recent comments about focusing on being yourself.  Doing what you want.  Knowing that whatever you are is good, even if there are ways you want to improve.  Not caring what others think of you, but not being a jerk, either.
Wait–Nerdfighters?  Yes, Nerdfighters.  It’s an amazing community that was started (I believe) by two amazing men, the brothers John and Hank Green.  John writes laugh-until-you-cry funny, sublimely beautiful novels.  Hank’s a singer and an activist; his songs are geeky and quirky and not for everyone, but I really like him.  Between the two brothers and the Nerdfighters community, they’ve elevated “making it okay to be smart” to a level I never would have imagined.  They give amazing kids and young adults encouragement and space to be outrageously nerdy and geeky and whatever they are, and they bring a lot of beauty to the world in the doing of it.  (You can check them out at Nerdfighters or their youtube  page.)
Anyway, to bring the circle around:  Doen talked the other night, as he so often does, of “now” being all there is.  Just now.  For me at least, that ties straight in to the practice of being fully aware.  And tonight I heard for the first time one of Hank Green’s songs called “Protons and Neutrons:  A Song.”  When I heard it, and especially later when I watched the video, I felt very aware and in the now,  awed by the world, completely nerdy, and very comfortable in my nerdiness.  I could almost feel the protons and neutrons streaming through the photos and through the sounds of Hank’s guitar.  And yes, I realize how dorky that sounds.
Perhaps you won’t like the music, but I doubt anyone will find it grating.  Listen to the lyrics; they’re beautiful and point both to the beauty of being aware and our dizzying inability to see the full picture, at least when we’re not being fully in the now.  I also think the video is gorgeous.  I’m not well-schooled in the Minor White style, but many of the images in this video reminded me of his photographs.
I do hope you like it.   (Full-screen is much nicer.)
(So, I’m not a computer geek, even though I’d like to be.  I couldn’t figure out a way to embed the video in the blog so there’d be a cool image, or even how to copy the Nerdfighters logo.  No pretty picture with this post, but really–the video’s worth the three minutes!)

Learning To Be Free

Daniel Doen Silberberg talks about the things in life that are true and provable. Doen Sensei uses the analogy of our life being a bubble.