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FAT MAN

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Nagasaki August 9th, 1945
Three days after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9 – a 21-kiloton plutonium device known as "Fat Man.” On the day of the bombing, an estimated 263,000 were in Nagasaki, including 240,000 Japanese residents, 9,000 Japanese soldiers, and 400 prisoners of war. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 75,000 people died immediately following the atomic explosion, while another 60,000 people suffered severe injuries. Total deaths by the end of 1945 may have reached 80,000.
The decision to use the second bomb was made on August 7, 1945 on Guam. Its use was calculated to indicate that the United States had an endless supply of the new weapon for use against Japan and that the United States would continue to drop atomic bombs on Japan until the country surrendered unconditionally. 

On August 14, Japan surrendered. Journalist George Weller was the "first into Nagasaki" and described the mysterious "atomic illness" (the onset of radiation sickness) that was killing patients who outwardly appeared to have escaped the bomb's impact. Controversial at the time and for years later, Weller's articles were not allowed to be released until 2006.

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REPORTS ENORMOUS DESTRUCTION

The Event at 8:16am on August 6th 1945 in Hiroshima, Japan
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The bomb was known as "Little Boy", a uranium gun-type bomb that exploded with about thirteen kilotons of force. At the time of the bombing, Hiroshima was home to 280,000-290,000 civilians as well as 43,000 soldiers. Between 90,000 and 166,000 people are believed to have died from the bomb in the four-month period following the explosion. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that after five years there were perhaps 200,000 or more fatalities as a result of the bombing, while the city of Hiroshima has estimated that 237,000 people were killed directly or indirectly by the bomb's effects, including burns, radiation sickness, and cancer.

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0916:02 (8:16:02 AM Hiroshima time): After falling nearly six miles in forty-three seconds, Little Boy explodes 1,968 feet above the Dr. Shima’s Clinic, 550 feet away from the aiming point of the Aioi Bridge. Nuclear fission begins in 0.15 microseconds with a single neutron, initiating a supercritical chain reaction that increases the temperature to several million degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the surface of the sun at the time the bomb casing blows apart. The yield is 12.5-18 Kt (best estimate is 15 Kt). 
It is the peak of the morning rush hour in Hiroshima. Above the city, the fireball is rapidly expanding. 

.1 seconds: The fireball has expanded to one hundred feet in diameter combined with a temperature of 500,000°F. Neutrons and gamma rays reach the ground. The ionizing radiation is responsible for causing the majority of the radiological damage to all exposed humans, animals and other biological organisms.
.15 seconds: The superheated air above the ground glows. A woman sitting on steps on the bank of the Ota river, a half a mile away from ground zero, instantly vaporizes.
0.2-0.3 seconds: Intense infrared energy is released and instantly burns exposed skin for miles in every direction. Building roofing tiles fuse together. A bronze Buddha statue melts, and even granite stones. Roof tiles fuse together, wooden telephone poles carbonize and become charcoal-like. The soft internal organs (viscera) of humans and animals are evaporated. The blast wave propagates outward at two miles per second or 7,200 miles per hour.
1.0 second and beyond: The fireball reaches its maximum size, approximately 900 feet in diameter. The blast wave slows to approximately the speed of sound (768 miles per hour). The temperature at ground level directly beneath the blast (hypocenter) is at 7,000° F. The mushroom cloud begins to form.
The blast wave spreads fire outward in all directions at 984 miles per hour and tears and scorches the clothing off every person in its path. The blast wave hits the mountains surrounding Hiroshima and rebounds back. Approximately 60,000 out of the city's 90,000 buildings are demolished by the intense wind and firestorm.
Approximately 525 feet southwest from the hypocenter, the copper cladding covering the dome of the Industrial Products Display Hall is gone, exposing the skeleton-like girder structure of the dome. However, most of the brick and stonework of the building remains in place.
The ground within the hypocenter cools to 5,400°F. The mushroom cloud reaches a height of approximately 2,500 feet. Shards of glass from shattered windows are imbedded everywhere, even in concrete walls. The fireball begins to dim but still retains a luminosity equivalent to ten times that of the sun at a distance of 5.5 miles.
Nuclear shadows appear for the first time as a result of the extreme thermal radiation. These shadows are outlines of humans and objects that blocked the thermal radiation. Examples are the woman who was sitting on the stairs near the bank of the Ota River. Only the shadow of where she sat remains in the concrete. The shadow of a man pulling a cart across the street is all that remains in the asphalt. The shadow of a steel valve wheel appears on a concrete wall directly behind it because the thermal radiation was blocked by the outline of the wheel.
Russell Gackenbach, the navigator aboard Necessary Evil, at a distance of 15 miles from the atomic blast, is illuminated by light so bright that, even with his protective goggles on, he could have read the fine print of his pocket Bible.
On the ground, the firestorm continues to rage within an area which had now grown to over a mile wide. A gruesome, raging red and purple mass begins to rise in the sky. The mushroom column sucks superheated air, which sets fire to everything combustible. Bob Caron likens the sight to "a peep into Hell.”
A coded message drafted by Parsons is sent to General Thomas Farrell at Tinian. It stated: “Clear cut, successful in all aspects. Visible effects greater than Alamogordo. Conditions normal in airplane following delivery. Proceeding to base."
Enola Gay circles Hiroshima a total of three times beginning at 29,200 feet and climbing towards 60,000 feet before heading for home. It was 368 miles from Hiroshima before Caron reported that the mushroom cloud was no longer visible. 

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SLOW GROWTH

It’s a slow Saturday here at toMake™. Laundry, the market, cooking, and little stuff in the corners.

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
Badlands Slow Growth
Badlands: Slow Growth. A new CD from my niece Adrian

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Meena the Cat at rest, again
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The studio alleyway gets a second teapot
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Bedside reading . . . Slow Growth

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ATTENTIVENESS

“This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know, that the soul exists and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

Mary Oliver

IMG_8993 - 2018-06-11 at 22-46-23_wmMeena the Cat and Judith in Together Time

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A Message For the Human Tribe’ . . . The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™

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THE ARROGANCE OF SPACE

Copenhagenize your city: the case for urban cycling in 12 graphs

The arrogance of space : “Copenhagenize analysed a section of Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard to show how much space was given over to motor vehicles (red), compared with bikes (blue), pedestrians (yellow) and buses (green). Across the city bikes are used for 62% of commutes; yet get 7% of space. Cars are used for 9% of commutes; yet get 54% of space”
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A short history of traffic engineering : “In many cities around the world, car drivers are prioritized over people on foot, on bikes or on public transport, argues Colville-Andersen”
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What’s likely to give you a head injury?
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SHRINKING NEWS

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The Ever Shrinking Printed Newspaper

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BLAKE, PROBABLY GARDENING IN THE NUDE

To the extent I am necessary at all, I am necessary like a roadside deer — a thing to drive past, to catch the white of, something to make a person pause, say, look, a deer.

Kaveh Akbar | Forfeiting My MystiquePoetry

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THE SPECTER OF INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM


Sheldon Wolin, our most important contemporary political theorist, died Oct. 21 at the age of 93. In his books “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism” and “Politics and Vision,” a massive survey of Western political thought that his former student Cornel West calls “magisterial,” Wolin lays bare the realities of our bankrupt democracy, the causes behind the decline of American empire and the rise of a new and terrifying configuration of corporate power he calls “inverted totalitarianism.”

Wendy Brown, a political science professor at UC Berkeley and another former student of Wolin’s, said in an email to me:
“Resisting the monopolies on left theory by Marxism and on democratic theory by liberalism, Wolin developed a distinctive — even distinctively American — analysis of the political present and of radical democratic possibilities. He was especially prescient in theorizing the heavy statism forging what we now call neoliberalism [… a policy model of social studies and economics that transfers control of economic factors to the private sector from the public sector. It takes from the basic principles of neoclassical economics, suggesting that governments must limit subsidies, make reforms to tax laws in order to expand the tax base, reduce deficit spending, limit protectionism and open markets up to trade. It also seeks to abolish fixed exchange rates, back deregulation, permit private property and privatize businesses run by the state … Neoliberalism supports fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, privatization and greatly reduced government spending.], and in revealing the novel fusions of economic with political power that he took to be poisoning democracy at its root.”

Wolin throughout his scholarship charted the devolution of American democracy and in his last book, “Democracy Incorporated,” details our peculiar form of corporate totalitarianism. “One cannot point to any national institution[s] that can accurately be described as democratic,” he writes in that book, “surely not in the highly managed, money-saturated elections, the lobby-infested Congress, the imperial presidency, the class-biased judicial and penal system, or, least of all, the media.”

Inverted totalitarianism is different from classical forms of totalitarianism. It does not find its expression in a demagogue or charismatic leader but in the faceless anonymity of the corporate state. Our inverted totalitarianism pays outward fealty to the facade of electoral politics, the Constitution, civil liberties, freedom of the press, the independence of the judiciary, and the iconography, traditions and language of American patriotism, but it has effectively seized all of the mechanisms of power to render the citizen impotent.

Wolin saw the militarists and the corporatists, who formed an unholy coalition to orchestrate the rise of a global American empire after the war, as the forces that extinguished American democracy. He called inverted totalitarianism
“the true face of Superpower.”

Chris Hedges | Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism

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This is Mine, That is Yours

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FOR ALL THAT SHALL BE — YES

“For all that has been — thanks. For all that shall be — yes.”
"In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."

Dag Hammarskjöld | Markings (1964)

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Competing Narratives : Morning Pieces

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A BRIEF OPPORTUNITY

Seizing the opportunity to interact and experience the Other; the ‘living, ever-surprising world around us’ … a sweet 8 mile run today along the muddy river, food of a different sort.

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YA) The River
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Finishing the Blue Mountain 30K

“You can think of death bitterly or with resignation ... and take every possible measure to postpone it, … Or, more realistically, you can think of life as an interruption of an eternity of personal nonexistence, and seize it as a brief opportunity to observe and interact with the living, ever-surprising world around us.”

Barbara Ehrenreich | Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer

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AND LEARN BY GOING WHERE WE HAVE TO GO

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?   
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?   
God bless the Ground!   I shall walk softly there,   
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?   
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do   
To you and me; so take the lively air,   
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.   
What falls away is always. And is near.   
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.   
I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke, from The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke. ©1953

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The Global Harmony Labyrinth

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CO-PAY & THE MORAL CENTER

“Jesus set up free healthcare clinics everywhere he went. He healed everybody and never charged a leper a co-pay.”

“He (Rev William Barber) reserves particular contempt for politicians who rely on racial dog whistles, voter suppression and gerrymandering.” The Guardian.

Meena the Cat says; “Listen to Rev Barber and the Rev Judith.”
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Meena the Number One Guard Cat at Her Post

“There is no religious left and religious right . . . There is only a moral center. And the scripture is very clear about where you have to be to be in the moral center — you have to be on the side of the poor, the working, the sick, the immigrant.”

Rev William Barber

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IN THE END

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Ursula K. Le Guin | The Left Hand of Darkness
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THE 45th PUPPET

Beautiful spring weather passing through the valley. . . time to change the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ with pages from The Nation. Stop by and say hello over a cup of tea of coffee. Or use the link on the right to buy me some beans.
In the upper left corner is a copy
Emory Douglas(The fiercest and baddest art director of all time is Emory Douglas, who as Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist for the Black Panther Party designed and illustrated the Black Panther newspaper from 1967-1980. His bold, provocative graphics and illustrations were a signature for the era, and with his designs for the party’s posters, buttons, banners, and publications he created one of the most memorable and lasting visual brands of all time.) cover for the September 21st 1974 issue of The Black Panther Newletter with Gerald Ford proclaiming ‘I Gerald Ford am the 38th Puppet of the United States.’ Remind you of somebody‽ Now our monopolies just have new names like Amazon, Face Book, Exxon Mobil, and Fox News.
I developed a deep appreciation, better understanding and respect for the Black Panthers during my tenure in Oakland.

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The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™
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Emory Douglas 1974 Collage for The Black Panther Newsletter

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WE HAVE TO START AGAIN

“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”

André Gide

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My Grandfather made this, by his hand, from locally sourced renewable materials. Circa 1920 SE Iowa.

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THE RIVER IS A STRONG BROWN GOD

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Eighteen seconds pouring 31.5 grams is too quick I do admit. Need to adjust the grind!


Over a freshly made cappuccino this rainy April day I thought of and reread T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, the mystical poem Four Quartets. “Midwinter spring is its own season” (the opening lines of No.4 Part 1 of Little Gidding) . . . like today half spring, half winter.
But the excerpt below is from the first of the five sections of No.3 Part 1, The Dry Savages, where, I believe Eliot begins to address our human pain which is connected to the way we think of ourselves and act as goal-driven, greed-driven, self-obsessive individuals instead of as part of a larger whole, a much larger whole . . . letting go of our ego is a death, a small and continuous dying, a challenging process.

“The poem discusses the nature of time and what humanity's place is within time. Life is described metaphorically as traveling in a boat and humanity's fixation on science and future gain keeping the travelers from reaching their destination. Within the poem, Eliot invokes the image of Krishna to emphasize the need to follow the divine will instead of seeking personal gain. . . Krishna's and Arjuna's discussion from the Bhagavad-Gita on acting according to the divine will along with allusions to Dante's Paradiso, the philosophy of Heraclitus, and the Book of Common Prayer. In regards to these allusions, Eliot would mark up his own editions of the works to note where he used quotes or allusions to lines within his work. In particular, his edition of the Mahabharata included a page added which compared battle scenes with "The Dry Salvages.” Wiki.


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.

T. S. Eliot Four Quartets: The Dry Savages 1941

Eliot then goes on to end the poem with these lines:
And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Give me call, text or eMail and stop by the shop to share a cup of coffee, tea or filtered water . . . and freshly shared conversation.

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LISTEN TO THE ART


“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”

Junot Diaz

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31:March Morning Piece

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MERIDIAN LINES

It’s Easter Sunday soon; it follows this week, from the 40 days of fasting or Lent that conclude on Maundy Thursday (Last Supper / Passover), followed by Good Friday & Holy Saturday . . .the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith.” wiki. And Easter is a moveable feast whose date is determined by the seasonal movements of the earth and sun . . . bringing in, here in the northern hemisphere anyway, spring, the Bunny and the eggs, those ancient symbols of new life and rebirth. They appeared in our backyard welcomed in the grass and changing light.
The moveable feast needed to be fixed to a date and so there are the Meridiana Lines and pinholes in the ceilings of churches like the Gnomon of Saint-Sulpice . . . light, the movements of the earth and sun, and spring. It was careful observation of a pinhole of light across a meridian line that allowed Johannes Kepler to understand that the planets in our solar system move in ellipses, not circles.

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CAT NAPPING

Meena the Cat takes, yet another, cat nap. . . with me. Not a surprise as it being spring she’s out and about exhausting herself in the sunny backyard hunting bugs and little tiny stuff.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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MY GARDEN SEEDS

I take such pleasure in saving seeds from my garden harvests; folding in my hands the dried and mysterious code, and then the planting back into the composted soil in the spring. Little delights me more than this simple and economic act . . . to see the seeds return year after year. I hope to never be a criminal because of my garden seeds.

“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”

Michael Pollan | Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

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Corn Seeds 2017

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THE #EarthToo MOVEMENT

The bulletin board in the alleyway got a facelift with the Year of the Brown Earth Dog cards (did you receive yours?) and some Bansky. Always more alley news to come. On my run this morning I saw the heron, so I too stop’d . . . just below Higgings Street bridge in a side channel . . . stop’d still and watching, listening, fishing, being stil.

‘OH, MY POLITICAL POSTS ARE ANNOYING YOU? Sorry, I assumed the future of THE EARTH was worth discussing.’

The Magna Carta Of American Environmental Law Is Under Siege . . . “Citizens need to stop being passive. They need to put pressure on their elected officials, letting them know they are aware that selfish interests and greedy gluttons are pushing an agenda that is not in their best interests or that of their children’s best interests and they are not going to stand for it anymore. What does America desperately need?  There needs to be a #MeToo movement started for the environment.” —Michael V. Finley

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The Bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ :: end of February

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TO THE FULLEST

Once again, I made Run Wild Missoula’s 1200 Mile Club, running more than 1500 miles last year.

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me. . . I believe many runners would agree”

Haruki Murakami | What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.

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Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.

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Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.

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Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.

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YEAR OF THE BROWN EARTH DOG

2018 is the Chinese Year of the Brown Earth Dog. This lunar New Year starts February 16th 2018 and ends on February 4th 2019. And Lent started this week (what is your Lenten practice?); as noted on the toMake™ calendar.
I’m on the letterpress printing Year of the Brown Earth Dog postcards. If you don’t get one in the mail shortly please be sure to eMail me with your current address and I’ll get one sent.

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Design, layout and photopolymer plate for letterpress printed postcards
Year of the Dog

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TASTING OUR INSUFFICIENCY


“Francis of Assisi says in his Testament that when he kissed the leper, “What before had been nauseating to me became sweetness and life.” He marks that moment as the moment of his conversion and the moment when he “left the world.” The old game could not, would not work anymore. That seems to have been the defining moment when he tasted his own insufficiency, and started drawing from a different and larger source - and found it sufficient - apparently even more than sufficient.”

Richard Rohr | Falling Upward

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Meena the Cat getting ready to read the morning paper; Support The Nation.

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SIXTY-SIX TODAY

She’s a birthday woman today; sixty-six young and beautiful, an inspiration and doing well. Happy Happy Happy Dear.

YoungJudy

J and Dog

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PUT EARTH FIRST !

I’m always happy when Meena gets on my shoulders, but when I read The Nation I get very very upset. And so should you. This weeks bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™, as is often the case, is full of pages ripped from The Nation. I’ve been busy with Meena the Cat in the pressroom mixing inks and printing all week. And the big news is we are almost done paying off the loan on the house we were forced to take out to repair tenant and prior owner damage; Ugh! and Yea! Although we are still unable to afford to live in our own house at this time, maybe someday I’ll get my studio back. And I’m working on the ‘PUT EARTH FIRST !’ broadside and hope to begin printing of these later this month.

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”

Andy Warhol | Andy Warhol in His Own Words

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Meena the Cat often escorts me, making sure I stay in line.
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Mixing ink and ink draws
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There is always something new to stop and read on the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

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THE IMPORTANT THING

YA) ’Making the unknown known.’ Must listen, stop and carefully listen, discard the baggage and see the unknown, known the unknown, experience the Other. . . .
Recently I’ve not been successful on the press and after another difficult & stressful day of disappointments Meena the Cat came into the pressroom, got on my shoulders, and nuzzled, kissed and comforted me as I was cleaning up. We go on with the practice, the effort, with making the unknown known.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

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BEING GRATEFUL DOES NOT MEAN

I managed not to slip and fall today; making a challenging 9 mile loop around town, up into the north hills and along the river corridor. But winter running means cleats, keeping a watchful eye and a slower pace. Meena the Cat seems to be professional couch cat these days. I’m grateful for many things and many people these days; especially my wonderful wife, the cat, my feet . . . and a warm place to live and work.

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”

Roy T. Bennett

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .

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Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.

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We take a cat nap together.

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THE MORNING PIECES

Selections from the morning pieces are now online. You can view 800 images from my practice of making a response on a blank sheet of 19 by 24 in. Strathmore Cream paper, more or less on a daily basis. These are not for sale, nor are they finished pieces. I have been doing this since 1995, in the morning before the days’ agenda, while life is still. These images are from 2013


Morning Pieces Book

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TO SEE OUR OWN LIGHT

It wasn’t as cold this morning as had been, 8.1˚F with a light 3 knt wind, but there was a wonderful cover of fresh snow everywhere. Early light I ran slow along the river trail out and back six miles, the only tracks through the deep snow until . . . somewhere along the going a coyote and I made eye contact on the trail. YA) the animal leaving only tracks mingled with mine. Then it was Christmas.


“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”

Hildegard von Bingen l from Selected Writings

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Morning Piece

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Christmas Shirts and Ties

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INSIDE THE RIVER

It was just 15˚F with 5knts wind when I went out for a run along the Clark Fork this morning; eight miles wearing the lightweight Skora moccasin-like shoes so it was a nice quick pace. Then laundry, cleaning the floor, cleaning the cat box, emptying the recycling, etc. . . Saturday housekeeping. And, of course, picking up our winter vegetable share at the market, always a delight. After all that I had some time to work on the reassembly of the espresso machine. There was a tiny grain of the de-mineralizer that was clogging up the solenoid and . . . I hope I got everything back in the way it should. I kept looking at the inky black water of the river, the icy edges and the flows of ice moving downstream. So what stories inside the river remain untold and unsung ? Such things pass along absorbed into the cottonwoods and willows. This time of year a rawness, exposing stories too lost and fragmented to put back together. In this manner they hide from assembly unfinished.


“Inside the river there is an unfinishable story and you are somewhere in it and it will never end until all ends.”

Mary Oliver | “What Can I Say,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

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THRICE ORGANIC

In-season, local and organically grown. WOW, now that’s organic. Missoula Grain & Vegetable Co. supplied eight of the ten ingredients of our vegetable dish tonight. It’s important not to loose sight of the importance of food being grown locally, and using in-season availability as well as the more common understanding of organically produced.

When you eat locally grown, in-season food, you make an impact far beyond your local market.
There’s more to organic gardening than just swapping one kind of input for another. It in fact requires you to change the way you think about the soil, air and water, how your choices impact your local ecosystem, and how this way of growing affects the person who eats the plant. Which is usually you and your family. It involves a completely different way of thinking, called “ethical living”. When we practice ethical living, we make decisions locally which create as little impact as possible on our environment. These local decisions can have a very long tail. Many reading this page grew up gardening with chemicals, myself included. In those days the idea was to blast every garden insect you could find with insecticide and add huge amounts of petroleum-derived, nitrogen-based fertilizers to your plants so they grew ginormous fruits and vegetables. We know now that this was a recipe for disaster and completely unsustainable. We were warned in 1962’s Silent Spring and again in 1971’s Diet For A Small Planet, but thanks to massive marketing and PR campaigns from the Big Ag companies, those warnings were largely drowned out. Now we’re faced with the hard truth that insects have become resistant to the pesticides invented to kill them and so much synthetic fertilizer runs off farm fields that green algal blooms consume thousands of square miles of the world’s waterways …. This is the unfortunate side effect of trying to increase crop yields as arable land decreases, the world’s population increases, and the standard of living rises in what used to be known as third world countries. These consequences of technology now make it imperative that we support local growing and farming and eating in-season food as often as possible. For we gardeners, that includes growing as much of your own fruits and veggies as you can in an organic garden, the very definition of ethical living.

Todd Heft | Big Blog Of Gardening

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HOW THE NATURAL WORLD COMES TO MEET YOU

Winter Grace
by Patricia Fargnoli

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.


Patricia Fargnoli | Hallowed © Tupelo Press, 2017


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ALLEY ACTIVITY

. . . and in the alley news :: Trump and the Triumph of Fear, the Future of the BLM?, Democracy on the Line, Fake News, the Rage of White Folk, the Succession Movement & Education, Taking a Knee, and and and Climate Denialism Kills.


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THE UNSPOKEN

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“What matters is precisely this; the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.”

Virginia Woolf | from a diary entry, 21 July 1912

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SATURDAY

Saturday and in the early first light I go on an 8 mile run along the river stopping at the bend to watch the mist, I do the laundry, bring back a bounty of our ‘winter harvest’ vegetable share from the market, walk endlessly about with the cat on my shoulders in the afternoon sun, count the fallen leaves, pick a few remaining apples . . . YA) my life is burning with beauty.

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“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”

Yukio Mishima | Forbidden Colors

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THE APPLE

I ate this apple for breakfast this morning. It was a deLIGHT. I stopped and picked it from the apple tree in our yard yesterday. It was, in all ways, prefect.

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LITTLE TRICKLES OF SILENCE

Time to make your reservation for a chat and visit to toMAKE™; now through November 19th M-Sa 10 to 5 you’re invited to stop by during #coffeeneuring and I’ll make you a cup of coffee; espresso, cappuccino, pour-over, caffè latte or tea. I don’t do cup art and there is no charge. . . but you do have to stop and drink it in the shop with me. Please make a reservation; so eMail, text or call me beforehand. Just click on the mug to the right for the link if you do not already have my contact & location information; introduce yourself, your liquid preference, and suggested day & times.

“—I have drunk fresh, cold little trickles of silence.”

Federico García Lorca | Meditations and Allegories on Water (tr. C. Maurer)


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The Moon Is Alive

We’re spending the summer all together here in this northeastern Wash. valley; recovering, processing loss, wondering what the future for us holds. I miss my press, creative work-space & the river . . . but the present moment brings me here together and to say goodbye.

Meena and Me

“Under your skin the moon is alive.”

Pablo Neruda, “Ode to a Naked Beauty”

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Live or Die

Every Event is a GIFT … however some events are challenging, difficult, involve suffering; most, perhaps. Get up, do my practice, run 10 miles in the early deLight, respond to a blank sheet of paper … take action, and live. Ann Sexton (1928-1974), in her most celebrated collection of poetry, Live or Die (1966), a fictionalized memoir of her recovery from mental illness, ends the sequence of poems with Live. I heard her read from ‘Live or Die’ and ‘Love Poems’ in the autumn of 1969 in Cleveland OH. This is what we need to do; live … but don’t poison everything.

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“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”

from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow

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Again, the Song

A sunrise run in the north hills. YA) what places my feet take me. Again, the song. Shirt off but then the weather comes; cool and a light wind. Stopping, stepping, stillness into this wonderment of a day. I always try to go too far ….

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“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”

Albert Camus

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the Keep-Alive List

Meena the Cat has been keeping me company here at toMAKE™. To imagine that, as Amy Leach suggests In her “Memorandum to the Animals” and our current lifestyles indicate, there is no intention to find a place for Meena’s tribe in the Keep-Alive List … troubles me. After all she told me one night she had consciousness, whispering in my ear to wake me in the dark still silence; informing me of her place and importance. That our objects and vanity are more important than Meena’s tribe, or any other tribe, is to profane the miracle of life leaving ashes and toxins and little pieces of plastic everywhere. This essay of hers, the Keep-Alive List, the round revolving watery blue we inhabit … are you acquiring more objects that are displacing the other tribes from the Keep-Alive List ‽

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May 4th 1970 Kent State Massacre

Warm weather and working on several editions right now both maps and prints. I hope to get a complete font of lead type for the letterpress someday. It would be nice to start on the book of birthday poems book. I’ve yet to come up with the plan for the illustrations. A series of block prints would work well with the poems; maybe one each decade 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s … Meena the Cat and I have been spending together time. Aside from the head bumping, nibbling and kissing that happens around 5AM we are having a good time together. She stays close by. In 1970 I was nearby the Kent State Massacre; 13 seconds and four students murdered (Agnew’s words). This present moment changed it all for me.

May 4th 1970, The Kent State Massacre
An emotional Governor Rhodes, yelling and pounding his fists on his desk called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries ”…They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America…..” and then the Kent State massacre … the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio …The shootings were ordered by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, agitated by an undercover FBI agent. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.


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practicing

When life presents the inevitable challenges and disruptions, as it is currently doing, it is the personal practice(s) that become so important. It is too late in the game to start, only the hopefully long and fully embedded practice(s) can help and help they do. I meditate & sit, do a morning piece and I run. This past weekend I managed a beautiful ten mile trail race on single track in Lolo with 2,000 of elevation up and then down. My legs got a bit tired on the downhill so I slowed carefully and took in beauty of a cold spring rain. I’m practicing still.



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Sunrise Dance

For the past six years to get to the Easter Sunday sunrise service I have used my wonderful feet dancing about upon the earth. I’ve had this practice running every day during lent and ending with this six mile run, the last 2 miles of which is a long uphill. I leave at 5:30 and cross the Colville River before sunrise. This year under waters of a 100 year flooding in the valley. Early morning, it was just 20*F with fog in the hills and Venus rises, the waining gibbous moon setting, daylight & the earth turning, deer, silence. Everything in motion, turns, now.

Sunrise Run

Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday

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Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday

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An Uncertain Future

With spring announcing itself with a violence of weather, flooding, rain, snow, and a not altogether unexpected but nonetheless unwanted forced departure from Chewelah and the Parsonage, we look to an uncertain future. Meena the Cat and I went out in the blue sky sun today and watched a train make its way south past the meadow.
Just a few more times to run in the valley. I made a nice circumambulation this morning, 7 miles and stop’d to watch the mists lifting effortlessly off the fields and dance away. Mid-sixties with little savings and no jobs we are nevertheless blessed with many strengths, even a nice studio space, and faith that the Joy and deLight and the miracle of life and beauty will cary us on.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

Meena the Cat
train passing by

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Taxes

Meena the Cat and I are finishing up the taxes this weekend. She has yet to understand the concept of helping. We didn’t do very well financially this year but we did live, share, enJOY, make and participate.

Meena and the Taxes

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Equal but Slow

This morning, 3:19am MDT, was the Vernal Equinox, day and night being equal in length … a waxing gibbous moon and the EOT at -7:24 slow … the sun transiting toMake™ studio at 1:43pm MDT, rising at 7:38am and setting at 7:48pm … the meaninglessness of DST persisting. Melting snows and high turbulent waters. I am sad today about the ongoing loss and consumption of beauty and wildness.

"The most intimate thing we can do is to allow people we love most see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.” Amy Harmon, The Song of David

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Sucking Wax

Saturday at the Parsonage is quiet. I did the laundry, took a long run with some hill work covering a good 8 miles, fed the cat, vacuumed the house …. but all along I’ve been thinking about different kinds of food. What comes to mind are summer trips into the backcountry of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks. It’s an amazing and generous place with all that rock, water, sky and the weather. It’s food. Not so far distant from oatmeal really. Because, as Ali Akbar Khan said about music, without this I die. AND, it being spring, between a long winter and summer and a lot of soft earth … I’m like Meena the Cat, dreaming of that summer paradise.

“When spring comes, go to the flowers — why keep on sucking wax?” Antonio Machado

Meena the Cat

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snow and the robins

Later there were a dozen or more robins in the backyard but first there was the morning snow. Thick, big, soft and furious between 7 and 9. Snow that covered everything for a short while, covered as well the ice and made it very very slippery in places. As for me, I took a couple spills on my run; down to the hard ground. Now, a bit beat up tonight but not defeated, just sore.

“Love one another or you perish . . . . We have reached a decisive point in human evolution, at which the only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, a ‘conspiration.’” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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Saturday at the Parsonage

Saturday is laundry day and the blue sky said; ‘hang the cloths outside’. Running this morning was sloppy wet with all the melting but I did manage 8 miles. Last night the temperature remained above freezing so spring is indeed on the way. Lent began this week and so, once again, I’ll do forty days of running. I’ve also been re-reading Buddhist texts and deepening my practice. My legs and heart can use the effort of the running and likewise a deepening of my practice(s). Otherwise … it’s a quiet day at the Parsonage.

“I and all beings are of the same essential value.” Zhuang Zhou

Parsonage living room

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Love One Another

Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday; the theme we (Chewelah UCC) are using to guide us is “Love One Another” taken from John 13:34. It’s a wonderful and a good reminder. I got on the letterpress and did a small run of cards to hand out to the congregation tomorrow evening. I also cleared off the bulletin board in the alleyway at the toMAKE™ studio … it feels good to start this spring season on a clean slate. If you’re wondering about that big inky splash on the board; that’s the ink clean-up from the run.

"Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves." —Thomas Merton, from his essay, "Ash Wednesday"

Love One Another

Bullletin Board in the Alleyway

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seeking interstellar space

As Lent approaches this week I’ve been considering what to give up and what to take on. I’ve often given up all sugars but since I’ve already done this what now …. I’m seeking the interstellar space behind the skin YA). So I’m putting together a practice that I might experience such without LSD. When you get to the base of the trail ascending Siyeh Pass in the Preston Park Valley of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks there are some lakes just off-trail. Only a few people venture here, most are en-route up or down the pass. I like to stop here; STOPing. The grizzles like this place. We call these the “O My God” lakes. It’s the absolute end of the valley. A steep glacier cut of newly exposed rock rises before you and this is life beginning, starting right from this rock, water, dirt, sun, snow, sky … the great JOY, and I’ll say that glorious skin that veils ’interstellar space’. The image is a lensless one taken nearby the upper lake looking down Preston Park towards the Going-to-the-Sun access at Siyeh Bend.


“Scrape the surface of language, and you will behold interstellar space and the skin that encloses it.”
Velimir Khlebnikov

O My God Lakes

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top soil

Speaking of practice … I do a morning piece. I’m sure a Jungian therapist would love to ‘read’ through the thousands of pieces I have done over the years. But no need, it is a practice in the morning to open my eyes to something more in the world, in me, in everyBody and everyBeing.

“Despite all our accomplishments we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Farm Equipment Assoc. of Minnesota & South Dakota

thursday morning piece

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winter blue sky sun & run

Winter blue sky sun and a run. Just 12˚F but the RH must have been near the same as all parts of my body turned a delicate white. I didn’t use the cleats as the roads were clear but there was a lot of ice to watch out for. When you sweat as I do, run as I do … you need to do the laundry. And I do like running in color. Meena the Cat was out in the winter sun to supervise and look-see-smell-watch.

"There are crimes that no one would commit as an individual which he willingly and bravely commits when acting in the name of his society, because he has been (too easily) convinced that evil is entirely different when it is done 'for the common good.'" Thomas Merton

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Meena the Cat

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atheists and lies

“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” Joseph Campbell


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laundry day

Laundry Day. Hanging the sheets in the cold dry winter blue sky sun warmer day. Meena the Cat asleep in the sun. I am wondering if I have a voice, what I can do, what difference I can make in this world

“There is no difference between the Divine and the one who desires to see the Divine.” Papaji


still going strong after all these years


Meena the Cat

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snow moon

It’s the full moon; the full snow moon. And we have snow, lots of wet snow! The EOT is slow at -14min 15sec. … because we orbit round about the sun not in a circle but eclipse. Local noon today at the Parsonage is at 12:05 PST. The sun rises at 7:04 and sets at 5:07 with about 10 hrs and 3 minutes of daylight. Local noon today at toMAKE™ in Missoula is at 12:51 MST. The sun rises at 7:46 and sets at 5:55 with 10 hrs and 9 minutes of daylight. Missoula is so far west (36 minutes or 6 minutes into PST) of local mean time (MST) that it should be in the PST; this means that evenings in Missoula lat a long time in the summer.

“There are stars in your dark side brighter than the sun.” Andrea Gibson, Hook Line

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analemma for toMAKE™ February 10th ©steven r holloway

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snow and light

Meena the Cat takes me for walk down our street … we check out the snow, the light, sounds and smells and the day itSelf together.

“I came to this world to protest.” Maxim Gorky


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snow at the parsonage in chewelah 2017 ©steven r holloway

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