ECCENTRICITY OF LIFE

The winter market on Saturdays has started up. It’s a short walk now to pick up our CSA share.


Saturday at the Senior Center: the Winter Market

In other news, Venus is visible in the morning . . . & the sun is lower on the northern hemisphere horizon, just in case you didn’t notice, and comes through the windows of the studio in a noticeably different angle. Daylight here at toMake™ studio is 9 hours and 29 minutes with the sun rising at 7:35am MST.


The sun transits at 12:20pm MST not at noon as you might imagine. Because we live so far west (6 minutes into the into the PST) in the Mountain Standard time zone our clocks are 36 minutes behind of sun time. Think of it like this; it takes 36 minutes after noon for the sun to be directly overhead in the south.


But that would mean that the transit (LMT) would occur at 12:36pm MST. The earth does not revolve around the sun in a circular orbit, but an elliptical one, sometimes going faster and sometimes slower around the sun . . . so the eccentricity of earth’s orbit means that the Equation of Time (EOT) is +15min 52sec fast today and this results in Local Time (LT) noon being at 12:20pm MST (12:00+ 36min - 16min =12:20).


An analemma is a diagram showing the variation of the position of the Sun in the sky over the course of a year, as viewed at a fixed time of day and from a fixed location on the Earth. The north–south component of the analemma is due to change of the Sun's declination caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis, and the east–west component is due to nonuniform rate of change of the Sun's right ascension, governed by combined effects of axial tilt and Earth's orbital eccentricity. The diagram has the form of a slender figure eight, and can often be found on globes of the Earth. WIKI.


Running now necessitates more cloths and careful footing on the frozen and often icy trails. Like this morning; a 6-8 knts headwind in the canyon made the 23˚F feel decidedly colder. The river remains open but most of the standing water along the trails is frozen now. Post-election recovery the bulletin board in the alleyway has returned to “normal.”

Out and about in downtown Missoula ? Stop in at The Runners Edge on Higgins a block north of Broadway and see “The Way Across”.


The Way Across: on display at the Runners Edge in downtown Missoula

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WET LEAVES, WET FEET

A wet November walking out and about. And returning back to a cozy warm and dry studio.


November wet


Understory/Overstory by Cathy Weber; a site specific work at the Missoula Art Museum

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WHOLLY GRATUITOUS

A crisp autumn morning, just 35˚F but blue and beautiful along the river. I got the okay from the doctor yesterday to start running again and so I did just that this morning. Dancing along the river trail, up and down the side hill and then off-trail on the way back on the single track. New shoes to soften the landing . . . I feel so grateful that I am still doing this. And approaching my 69th trip around the sun next week. The Equinox arrives this Saturday evening; days and nights equal and the cold means the cat is sleeping close in between us all night long.



“So I think about the valley. And it occurs to me more and more that everything I have seen is wholly gratuitous. The giant water bug’s predations, the frog’s croak, the tree with the lights in it are not in any real sense necessary per se to the world or to its creator. Nor am I. The creation in the first place, being itself, is the only necessity, for which I would die, and I shall. The point about that being, as I know it here and see it, is that, as I think about it, it accumulates in my mind as an extravagance of minutiae. The sheer fringe and network of detail assumes primary importance. That there are so many details seems to be the most important and visible fact about the creation. If you can’t see the forest for the trees, then look at the trees; when you’ve looked at enough trees, you’ve seen a forest, you’ve got it. If the world is gratuitous, then the fringe of a goldfish’s fin is a million times more so. The first question—the one crucial one—of the creation of the universe and the existence of something as a sign and an affront to nothing, is a blank one. I can’t think about it. So it is to the fringe of that question that I affix my attention, the fringe of the fish’s fin, the intricacy of the world’s spotted and speckled detail.”

Annie Dillard : from “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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HURRICAN FLORENCE

Hurricane Florence; water, weather, wind, energy, the earth in motion. Beautiful.









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THE WILD GOD OF THE WORLD

Longest days, the Summer Solstice this past week, the Strawberry moon, and rain rain rain. Saturday a wet market CSA produce pickup.

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The past four weeks we have received 4.3 in. of rain. The river through town remains muddy, turbulent as it moves logs and rocks downstream and builds islands upstream . . . well above mean flow. We have had a high of 82˚F and a low of 36˚F. The cottonwood bloomed with the later second cresting of the river, sending their duff over the trails, and the hills are green.

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On my run last week I came upon a recently fallen hawk. Still warm and breathing I carried it off the trail and laid it in a bed of grasses. I stopped and sat with it . . . then carefully folded its wings and left it to die in quiet, undisturbed I guess. Suddenly it opened its eyes, large yellow eyes and looked at me, opened its talons. I placed some flowers over it and said a prayer, the hawk had more lifetime left, cut short by a power line. But, not unlike Jefffers hawk, was asking my help to die off the trail, in peace and solitude.
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Hurt Hawks

I
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.

II
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Robinson Jeffers | The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry 1903-1920, Prose, and Unpublished Writings

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GO FOR A RUN ANYWAY

Along the river trail this morning; cold (37.5˚F), fresh snow on the mountains, rainy, wet and ankle deep on muddy trails. Oh well, go for a run anyway.

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“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our private world”

Arnold Newman

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HIGH WATER

Warm weather and rain and above average snow pack = lots of water rushing down the river corridor. 25,000 cfs of muddy brown water with debris, mud and the burnt logs from last summers fires. The Clark Fork reached flood stage this week racing past between the dikes below our place. What a marvelous thing; water alive, water in motion, water free and water wet.


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A SENSE OF EXCITMENT

“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”

John Bytheway : How to Be Totally Miserable

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THE PRESS OF MY FOOT

This past four weeks has seen that not-yet-spring | no-longer-winter weather come and go across the intermountain west. A high of 58˚F, low of 21˚F with a mean just below 40˚F day & night. The relative humidity has been about 74% more or less but that should change with daylight now more than 13½ hours. The trails are soft and muddy in places this time of year. It’s a new moon today. When was the last time your naked feet touched the earth ‽

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”

Walt Whitman

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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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EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE

“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 | Unconfirmed
“Geographer Gilbert F. White, according to his biographer in Living with Nature’s Extremes (2006), attributed this to Einstein in his Journal of France and Germany in 1942. Maybe so; but all he does is invoke “Albert Einstein said”. He says nothing about how he knows this, when or where it might have been said, whether he heard it directly or through a friend, or what the context may have been. With the preponderance of misattributions to Einstein being as large as it is, this is not a good sign. There is no striking reason to assert that Einstein couldn’t have said this; but there is also no striking reason to assert that he did.”

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Spring flow on Heron’s Island :: Clark’s Fork of the Columbia :: Downtown Missoula, Montana

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TO BE ALIVE

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Alan Watts

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AS LONG AS YOU'RE DANCING

This being ‘The Weather Report’ I thought I should address the weather in the toMake™ Missoula valley. During the past 12 months we saw a high of 100˚F and a low of -7.1˚F, approx. 20 in. of precipitation and some peak winds of 30+ knts. The most interesting was the summer; hot dry and smoky. There was 12 weeks where the weather was dominated by cloudless, but smokey (from nearby fires), noticeably low humidity, little change in the barometric pressure, and little or no rainfall. Remember to dance if you want to break the rules.

Three Things To Remember
As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules.
Sometimes there are no rules.

Mary Oliver

MissoulaWeather

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GOING SLOWLY

Never mind the weather; get up, get dressed and go out for a run. It was wet (a light but steady rain making the trails icy), cold (29 ˚F) and windy (10 knts from the canyon). Going slowly, I got in a 10km run followed by a warm bath.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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The view from the east window into the canyon.

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THE TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN


“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

Elizabeth Gilbert | Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Sunrise run along the ancient Glacier Lake Missoula shoreline above Missoula.

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WINTER IN MISSOULA

Our life in the studio is cozy and sweet so, even tho it is winter in Missoula, we spend time out and about ! This is good; we all come back to our little black cat and cuddle up on the bed together.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

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out and about by the railroad tracks

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our Christmas tree this year

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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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SO THIS IS WINTER

This week is the Winter Solstice, longest nights of the year. And it is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent [Love] tomorrow. The Equation of Time is 4min 17sec fast. The 2018 Calendar from toMake™ is in the works. We found all this new snow this morning. Along the river, after a bit, mine were the only tracks beside the deer, the rabbits and other small peoples . . . quiet/hushed all the way out to the gate by the railroad tracks; a snowy eight miles. ‘So this is winter’ with the sun now rising at 8:15 MST and days 8hrs 32min. long. Just two more winter share markets, but then comes spring!


“So this is winter – and what remains of the world now that autumn has left us, gone underground with the once luminous grasses and the husks and seeds of all the left-behinds. This is the cold season. Learn to endure it.”

Laura Lush | “Winter,” The First Day of Winter


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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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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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self and other

Snow, rain, hail and the wonders of weather blowing past greeted Meena the Cat and me as we made our way west along the beautiful Flathead River yesterday. Birds and swirling patterns of green water and the ubiquitous trash were in abundance.

“At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other.”
Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology

Flathead at Perma

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Waters Beneath

The Parsonage, I am told on authority, has been experiencing an unusual amount of flooding in the basement. The Colville River (and the Chewelah Creek system), more or less a drainage ditch on behalf of the valley wheat farmers, is quite high. Water is really an amazing force; THE element that gets larger when colder. Think about this little detail for a minute. This expanding and contracting accounts for much of the dynamic forces that shape the planet, crushing rocks. One night when, as building and grounds manager in a Catskill resort, as a winter flooding was coming down the Panther Kill I was awoken by a deep low sound I’d never heard before. In the morning I discovered that massive boulders, some 20 and more feet tall, had been carried down the creek in the flooding. Well, water changes things. The basement flood at the Parsonage in Chewelah reminds me of the Derby Street community that sits atop a buried east bay creek in Berkeley. High waters bring flooding to their basements as well. Derby Street II Waters Beneath, a multi-matrix lithograph, is a response to the waters in motion beneath us.

Derby Street II Water Beneath

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