“Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is. You are eligible because you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own. Stand still, be quiet.”
Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981) I Am That
It matters. It really matters.
I find, after all these years, I am a believer—
I believe what the thunder and lightning have to say;
I believe that dreams are real,
and that death has two reprisals;
I believe that dead leaves and black water fill my heart.
“No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are, at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment. Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game. . . .
You cannot use the word “liberty” when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You cannot use the word “liberty” when you are the most photographed and monitored population in human history. You cannot use the word “liberty” when it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word “liberty” when the state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word “liberty” when 2.3 million citizens, mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our chains—a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist. Either way we are shackled.”
Chris Hedges : Scum vs. Scum Truthdig 5:November 2018
VOTE :: FOR A FUTURE TO BE POSSIBLE.
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
The apple tree and her leaves
U.S. Has Regressed To A Third-World Nation For Most Of Its Citizens
Downtown Missoula, Montana
In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear: America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates. . . The two sectors, notes Temin, have entirely distinct financial systems, residential situations, and educational opportunities. Quite different things happen when they get sick, or when they interact with the law. They move independently of each other. . . Temin paints a bleak picture where one country has a bounty of resources and power, and the other toils day after day with minimal access to the long-coveted American dream.
In the Lewis model of a dual economy, much of the low-wage sector has little influence over public policy. Check.
The high-income sector will keep wages down in the other sector to provide cheap labor for its businesses. Check.
Social control is used to keep the low-wage sector from challenging the policies favored by the high-income sector. Mass incarceration – Check.
The primary goal of the richest members of the high-income sector is to lower taxes. Check.
Social and economic mobility is low. Check.
Lynn Parramore, America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.”
Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
Resident Flamingos at toMake™ Studio
Out & About
The Resident Cat Taking a Break From Her Stressful Life
“It is truth that is at stake, and I believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon oneself, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation’s most powerful judges,”
Chad Ludington: in a statement to the NY Times regarding his classmate Brett Kavanaugh
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.
Fat Man :: Nagasaki, August 9th 1945
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.
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.
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
Badlands: Slow Growth. A new CD from my niece Adrian
Meena the Cat at rest, again
The studio alleyway gets a second teapot
Bedside reading . . . Slow Growth
“This is the first, wildest, and wisest thing I know, that the soul exists and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness.”
Meena the Cat and Judith in Together Time
‘A Message For the Human Tribe’ . . . The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™
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”
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”
What’s likely to give you a head injury?
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
YA) The River
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.”
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
“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.”
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
“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
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.
The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™
Emory Douglas 1974 Collage for The Black Panther Newsletter
“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”
My Grandfather made this, by his hand, from locally sourced renewable materials. Circa 1920 SE Iowa.
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,
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.
“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”
31:March Morning Piece
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.
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
“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
Corn Seeds 2017
‘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
The Bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ :: end of February
“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
My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.
Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.
Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.
Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.
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.
Design, layout and photopolymer plate for letterpress printed postcards
“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
Meena the Cat getting ready to read the morning paper; Support The Nation.
“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
Meena the Cat often escorts me, making sure I stay in line.
Mixing ink and ink draws
There is always something new to stop and read on the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
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.”
“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”
Roy T. Bennett
The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .
Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.
We take a cat nap together.
“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
Christmas Shirts and Ties
“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
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
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.
“What matters is precisely this; the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.”
Virginia Woolf | from a diary entry, 21 July 1912
“Under your skin the moon is alive.”
Pablo Neruda, “Ode to a Naked Beauty”
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.
Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday
Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday
"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
"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"
“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