Audrey Hepburn Google Doodle from May 4, 2014
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Audrey Hepburn, a worthy choice to be sure. She was one of the most respective actresses of her time, ranked by the American Film Institute as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema, she is one of the few people to have won an Grammy, Tony, Emmy, Oscar, BAFTA, and numerous other accolades for her work as an actress.
She was also a fashion icon, but she may be most worthy of honor for her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She first did work for UNICEF in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1988 that she began work in an official capacity. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, only a year before she died of cancer at the age of only 45.
She’s a worthy subject of honor, to be sure, but I’m curious what criteria Google chooses. Around this time two years ago the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace launched an effort to ask Google to dedicate a Doodle to Pearl S. Buck.
Just a field down the road from me. It's still beautiful, even in October.
(Composed on October 4) Who had Hillsboro, West Virginia when I was graduating from high school and we were betting on where I would be when my 46th birthday rolled around? Anyone? Because if you had that kind of foresight, you win big! I suspect no one even came close. I sure didn’t see myself living here or in any place like it. Nor did I at any of the subsequent milestones such as when I graduated from college or completed two higher degrees. All that education was supposed to take me to far away and exotic places, which it it did when I went to Morocco in the 1990s. Hillsboro, on the other hand, is a mere 4 hours drive from where I spent the first two decades of my life. That’s hardly far away….
But it is a little exotic! I’ve only been here a couple days so far, but it’s already clear to me that life in rural West Virginia is very different from life in suburban Richmond, Virginia. Too many of us fail to appreciate the internal diversity in this vast land of ours, and when we do, we tend to indulge in negative stereotypes. My experience in life has shown us how wrong those can be.
Give your iPhone a shake and explore the vagaries of love: its joys, passions, doubts, disappointments, insecurities, and finally the grief it too often brings. Or maybe when you have to spend just a little too much time home for the holidays, you’ll want to deliberately line up “boredom” and “family,” and read what comes up, both to kill time and to remind yourself that you are not the only one bored by your family. You can combine subjects and emotions deliberately, or you can “spin” the wheels and see what comes up. There are so many combinations to explore, it seems like you’ll never run out.
I’m talking about a new iPhone app from the Poetry Foundation called, quite simply, “Poetry”. It makes exploring poetry fun. What I’ve been talking about above is a feature that lines up emotions and topics such as love, nature, family, work and play to give you a list of poems relevant to the combination. The poems are from different eras, but all are fairly short and accessible. And even if you don’t like poetry, I bet you are at least a little curious to read what well regarded, “serious” poets have to say about disappointment or blame and family or, even better, disappointment and love. That’s the stuff of standup comedy, not poetry, right?