April 13th, 2007

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Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut!

Editorial Observer - from the NY Times - 

Kurt Vonnegut

Published: April 13, 2007

If you read Kurt Vonnegut when you were young — read all there was of him, book after book as fast as you could the way so many of us did — you probably set him aside long ago. That’s the way it goes with writers we love when we’re young. It’s almost as though their books absorbed some part of our DNA while we were reading them, and rereading them means revisiting a version of ourselves we may no longer remember or trust.

Not that Vonnegut is mainly for the young. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think he is entirely unsuitable for readers under the age of disillusionment. But the time to read Vonnegut is just when you begin to suspect that the world is not what it appears to be. He is the indispensable footnote to everything everyone is trying to teach you, the footnote that pulls the rug out from under the established truths being so firmly avowed in the body of the text.

He is not only entertaining, he is electrocuting. You read him with enormous pleasure because he makes your hair stand on end. He says not only what no one is saying, but also what — as a mild young person — you know it is forbidden to say. No one nourishes the skepticism of the young like Vonnegut. In his world, decency is likelier to be rooted in skepticism than it is in the ardor of faith.

So you get older, and it’s been 20 or 30 years since you last read “Player Piano” or “Cat’s Cradle” or “Slaughterhouse-Five.” Vonnegut is not, now, somehow serious enough. You’ve entered that time of life when every hard truth has to be qualified by the sense of what you stand to lose. “It’s not that simple,” you find yourself saying a lot, and the train of thought that unfolds in your mind as you speak those words reeks of desperation.

And yet, somehow, the world seems more and more to have been written by Vonnegut and your life is now the footnote. Perhaps it is time to go back and revisit that earlier self, the one who seemed, for a while, so interwoven in the pages of those old paperbacks.

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Friday the 13th!

My grandmother was born on a Friday the 13th and she always said it was her lucky day so I see it the same way.  I leave for Monterey-Carmel in moments and look forward to the drive.  I figure it is a day to drive down Highway 1.

I note that Alice Walker's new book is published by New Press, a not-for-profit press that has been in business 15 years.  It is sad to me that her regular publisher did not think the material would sell.  I think they could set the bar for the market not discourage it, so I encourage us all to support Alice Walker's book,  We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For:  Light in a Time of Darkness.   Just the title works for me.

Happiness and celebration of Friday the 13th, an April day to play!

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(no subject)

I am by the beach in Monterey.  The surf is pounding and I am looking out from my room onto sun, sand, and waves.   It is windy and cool but a few children are out with their buckets and shrieks of joy. 

The drive down was beautiful beyond imagining.  California truly is the state.  I forget sometimes how breathtaking and breathgiving it is and how varied.  We are loaded with beaches, each one unique.

As I drove, I was reminded of my many visits to Jeff when he went to UCSC.  I stopped in Davenport today at one of my favorite places and enjoyed breakfast.  Then I journeyed down to Carmel and checked out the beach there.  My grandmother slept there in the 1920's when she would come down on the weekends from SF.   It is fun to imagine it though it would not be allowed now.  Camping on the beach in Carmel.  I don't think so. 

I drove back along the 17 mile drive and remembered when I rode my mountain bike from northern Monterey  to Carmel and back and still felt great.  Those were different days.

I love my spot for the night and am enchantingly tucked in planning to work.  We'll see!!  This feels like a trip down Memory Lane and that is always good for awhile.  Now, can I put myself into the book and last year?  Hmmm!!   Maybe I'll just soak in the sound of the sea.
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A wonderful new book -

Can you buy just one more?   It is called reclaiming vitality and presence, SENSORY AWARENESS as a Practice for Life.

It is the Teachings of Charlotte Selver and Charles V.W. Brooks.

The foreward is by Norman Fischer, and Richard Lowe and Stefan Laeng-Gilliatt edited it.

It is a wonderful book!!

I looked for the Alice Walker book in the one book store in Carmel which is a New Agey one, but she wasn't there.  It is tough to place yourself without a big label and I'm sure she will.

Again, I recommend the Charlotte Selver book on Sensory Awareness.  I have just begun it and it is a treasure trove.   I'm shining in the light of the jewels.