August 8th, 2006

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Checking in -

I woke this morning from a dream where people were exhilarated because they no longer had to go outside.  I wondered where this shift occurred.  I remember studying 19th century feminist literature with a look at inside and outside.  It was a huge step when woman stepped outside the home.   Now, we seem, as a society, to have possibly created a wider "Inside" in which to enclose.  Steve worked last night on two 50 story buildings in Macau,  residential buildings, with a separate elevator for the "servants," so we are not talking ghetto here.

I guess I so need the outside that I cannot imagine celebrating enclosure, and, I know it was a dream, but it came from being told to keep my new kittens inside.   Yes, I love my cozy spaces, my special trees and such, but I choose them from a wide array of inside and outside.  Am I truly so privileged that I have that choice?   It seems everyone of my generation is celebrating the freedom we had as children.  We wish children today had the same privileges of roaming that we did.    I read yesterday that a woman was attacked during the day in Golden Gate Park.  I try not to let that influence the activities of my day, and I know that nature, and society, require us to be aware. 

Anyway, that is with me today, as I talk to Jane who is again at the Search Engines Conference.  The focus is not "the word," as it was six months ago, but now, it is the blogger, specifically the one who blogs and connects through a medical condition.   So, not only is my hair "chic," but it seems I am part of something huge.  I find it funny.  I love the world.  I am delighted as can be.   Happy exploring today, both inside and out!
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while sipping wine -

"When somebody tips back a glass of wine, they should be thanking caterpillars."
DAVID L. WAGNER, an ecologist, noting that plants have created compounds like caffeine and tannins to defend themselves against caterpillars.

Quote of the day from the NY Times.
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The peaceful manatee -


A Manatee Comes to Manhattan

Published: August 8, 2006

Eleven years ago today, The Times ran a little piece about a male manatee who decided, for reasons unknown, to swim up the East River. Now, the manatee nation appears to have sent another emissary northward, though the sex of this one is unspecified so far. It was sighted several times in the Hudson River last weekend, along the piers in Manhattan and as far north as Sleepy Hollow. Migration is normal for manatees, but to say that this one was out of its native range is to state the case too mildly. Seeing a manatee in the Hudson is like seeing a moose in Myrtle Beach.

A manatee sighting is a subtle thing in itself — no threatening dorsal fin knifing through the waves, no porpoising, just the quiet, still length of a half-ton mammal’s back on the surface, a place where the water has lost its shine. There is hardly a more benign creature on earth than a manatee, which lives an entirely vegetarian life underwater and is an endangered species. In fact, the biggest threat it poses, especially here so far from home, is simply its unexpectedness. Its natural enemy is boat traffic, which is why we hope this manatee forsakes the Hudson before long.

We tend to notice, of course, only the creatures that surface in the harbor and the Hudson — dolphins, whales, seals, even the barely surfacing manatee. Who knows what other endangered visitors slip past the Narrows and up the river beneath the waves? For now, we’ll try to keep a watch on this one placid summer visitor, who is the antithesis of all things “Jaws.”

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"Who will prefer the jingle of jade pendants
    if he once has heard stone growing in a cliff?"

          Tao Te Ching  (translated by Witter Bynner)

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the new De Young!

   I returned to the new De Young today.  I used the parking garage so emerged at a more human level.   I was early,  and walked around in the fog and gray.  I still thought the tower oppressive, and hovering like the Death Star.   It seemed like a tornado gone awry.   

    My opinion lightened, later in the day,  with the arrival of the sun.  I could then see the changing colors, shadings, and shadows.  Joyce and I headed up the tower first thing, and saw the view with only a few other people.  I enjoyed that.  The Quilts of Gee's Bend, Alabama are magnificent, as are the women who created them.  We enjoyed the video, celebrating these women whose lives consist and consisted of hard work, spirituality, singing, and quilting.  It is an example of using everything and throwing nothing away.   One woman, after her husband's death,  made a quilt of his clothes, so the family could cuddle under the warmth of his love.

     We savored lunch outside, and toured the outdoor sculpture garden and The Three Gems.  The sky was perfectly blue in the hole, and the grasses are growing up on the hill outside.   The entry through bamboo strokes the meditative heart.  

    The landcaping is even more magnificent as it fills in.   We sat in the Garden of Enchantment, where children love to hop upon the benches and sit up high.

                These are my poems from the Garden of Enchantment, where size is irrelevant, and circles connect.  

           Quilts of Gee's Bend, Alabama

        Pockets unfold unfaded,
        dark paths of blue holding light
        that once lined the space for something to carry
        or hold,
        now bold in defining the patterns and fadings of old clothes,
        transposed, through the strong fingers of the heart,  as Art.

             Golden Gate Park

       City oasis,
            We come here - listen to the cars -
                   In - Out -
                            Thresholds bark,
                                  like sea lions
                                     on the rocks.  

         I return to the kittens,
             the best art of all;  they run to me,
                and welcome me home;   they stroke my heart.