March 12th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

When I rose this morning, it was still dark and yet the moon was a gorgeous light in the sky.  I took Steve to the Airporter and car lights were on at 7, so again I wonder how much energy is saved, but I am adjusting to the new time.  The yard is exquisite and the smells amazing.  How lovely is spring!!

Yesterday I set up my new composter and planned lots of veggies for dinner so I would have treats for it, but it seems to need a lot of filling in the moment, and pine needles are not suggested which is a good deal of my lawn waste so I am open to any suggestions on composting.  I have meant to do it for years and now I am set up with a rotating bin filled with the suggested peat moss, and a liquid solution and veggies and lawn clippings.  I feel like there is something else I should offer to this new green God/Goddess on my deck.   I have no idea how long before soil gold will emerge from the slot.  Meanwhile I add goodies and turn the bin.  It is fun and I await my reward.

I just read a book by Henri J. M. Nouwen, called The Inner Voice of Love.  It is about his "Journey Through Anguish to Freedom."  He suggests one reads just a page or two at a time, and wherever one wants to read in the book.  I, however, read straight through, intrigued.  I think, however,  it is how Jane and I also envision the use of our book.   We feel we are getting closer to conclusion and I look forward to moving on through my section of it today.  I feel quite productive this morning and essential phone calls are already made and crossed off my list.

A joyful spring day to All!
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Resurgence -

As I have said before, Resurgence is a wonderful magazine.

Here is an excerpt from one article.

Spirit Sanctuaries

Tishani Doshi reviews The Night Life of Trees, which features paintings by three of the finest Gond artists, Ram Singh Urveti, Durga Bai and Bhajju Shyam.

"For the forest-dwelling Gond tribe of Central India, it is inconceivable to make a painting without a tree in it. So central are trees to the Gond ethos and cosmology that they are worshipped as life-givers, sanctuaries for spirits, on equal footing with the gods."

The book provides a rare glimpse into the visual and poetic traditions of the Gond people. It entices us into a world where the practical, aesthetic and spiritual are inseparable and invites us to re-evaluate the role of trees in our own lives.

"Night Life may not convert you into a certified tree-hugger, but it will force you to think about a special tree in your life; how it too can become a deer with twelve horns."

Check Resurgence out at:

There are some fascinating and inspiring articles on positive change in our world. 

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Halliburton -

Well, either the world is more intertwined than we realize or this is an excellent way to escape scrutiny for no-bid contracts and waste.  Halliburton will headquarter in Dubai.   Interesting.  


Henry Ford - Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, You are right!

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evening -

It is night and the kittens are on the bed waiting for me to come to bed.

I read Orion magazine tonight and find it depressing.   Global warming is frightening.    I sit in my perfect world not quite sure what to do, and yet knowing each of must acknowledge, accept, begin.   It seems one huge step is to eat locally produced and in season foods.  That is easy to do.

Today I passed a house with five sheep in front nibbling grass.  The house had solar panels on the roof.  I could hear more sheep in the background.  I like my neighborhood.  It is quite a composite. 

Carl Jung believed our dreams link us to a collective unconscious, a reservoir available to us of myth, archetypes, resources.   Tonight feels like a night to tap into my dreams.  I'll request remembrance before I go to sleep and see what comes. 

"It is better in prayer to have a heart without words that words without a heart."

          Mahatma Gandhi
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A Path of Peace -

The Abraham Path Initiative is a project to create a safe, beautiful and inspiring walk through the countries of the Middle East.  It would retrace the steps of the prophet Abraham.  It will be similar to El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain and will establish a historical and cultural route for travelers and pilgrims.  You can check it out at:

Abraham was hospitable.  May we all be the same.
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Circling the mountain -

Orion Magazine reviews a book called Circumambulating Mount Tamalpais: A ritual walk by Matthew Davis and Michael Farrell Scott, with a foreward by Gary Snyder.  Amazon gives it five stars and I have ordered it.  It sounds like a healing thing to do, to walk clockwise around the mountain, healing for the world and us, too.    There are ten stops and the walk is less than fifteen miles.  Matthew Davis has made more than 140 circuits of Mount Tamalpais.  It seems time for us each to begin our own walk.

Gary Snyder urges creativity in how each of us chooses to honor and perform this walking meditation.  He says, "The main thing is to pay your regards, to play, to engage, to stop and pay attention.  It's just a way of stopping and looking - at yourself too."

You can check this review and other Orion articles out at
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The importance of priorities -

A civilization is judged by how they care for their elders and the weak.

Seniors food program on chopping block

Food bank chief lobbies against Bush budget cut


A 2-pound block of cheese. Two boxes of cereal. Two pounds of rice. Three cans of orange juice. Three cans of evaporated milk. Two cans of apricots. Four cans of mixed vegetables. A can of beef. And a jar of peanut butter.

It's a rather modest monthly grocery list, but its uncertain fate has caused anxiety among thousands of low-income seniors who rely on the cardboard boxes filled with food they receive from the federal government.

For the second year in a row, President Bush has proposed eliminating the Commodity Supplemental Food Program as a way to save money and avoid duplicating nutritional programs for seniors. The program costs $106 million and provides food boxes to about 500,000 seniors, pregnant or postpartum women, and children. It currently serves 57,000 Californians, including 9,600 in San Francisco and 1,470 in Sonoma. The program currently isn't operated in any other Bay Area counties.

Last year, Congress refused to do away with the program, but agreed to trim the number of recipients by about 10 percent.

The vast majority of the recipients are seniors, who qualify by being at least 60 years old and making $1,100 or less each month. Hundreds of them lined up outside a recreation center in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood on the morning of March 2 to collect their boxes, filled with food purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most of the people pushed carts or dollies to lug their provisions back to their apartments. Many had strong opinions about the president's proposal to get rid of the program.

"He's sending much too much money to Iraq," said Ron Beverly, 67, who has been collecting the boxes every month for seven years. "They could take a few billion and send it this way and feed people here.

"This is really the only way I can survive," he added. "The cost of living in San Francisco is so high that we need this."

Jean Daniel, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Department, said the program operates in parts of 32 states and Washington, D.C. -- and that the president supports shifting those who receive the boxes to food stamps or other nationwide programs.

She added that the president's proposal includes money for states to publicize the changes and help the seniors transition to other programs.

But that rings false to Paul Ash, executive director of the San Francisco Food Bank, which took over management of the program in 2004 at the request of the city.

"We think it's a terrible idea," he said. "It's a great program. It's cost effective, and it serves a group of people -- low-income seniors who are still living in their homes, cooking for themselves, taking care of themselves -- that really have no other option."

Most seniors in California who receive checks through Supplemental Security Income -- a federal welfare program designed to meet the daily needs of poor, disabled and elderly people -- aren't eligible for food stamps. Those who would qualify wouldn't receive the same level of nutrition that they do from the food boxes, Ash said. In addition, he pointed out, studies show that for every $1 spent on nutrition programs for seniors, $3 are saved in Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' health care costs.

He contended President Bush has run up such a huge deficit by funding the war in Iraq, he is looking at comparatively tiny cuts around the edges to save money.

"Perhaps they think this is a population where people won't speak out against it, and they can pull off a little bit of savings," he said.

Ash and others with the Food Bank flew to Washington, D.C. last week to meet with representatives for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and lobby for saving the program. Ash said the message he got was that there is support for saving the program, but that there also are many competing priorities in the coming budget battle.

"What we really need now is a champion to go to Congress and say, 'We need this program,' " said Marguerite Nowak, a food bank manager who was helping with the distribution of food boxes on March 2.

That's certainly the hope of Terrie Frye, who enrolled in the program a few months ago -- just after her 60th birthday. Standing in line in the Tenderloin, Frye said she stretches the components of her box as much as possible and makes a favorite dish of the canned meat and vegetables she calls Government Beef Stew.

She said that without the boxes, she will have to dine more often at St. Anthony's.

"This helps so much," Frye said.