April 26th, 2007

Book Cover

Good Morning!!

I am feeling well despite having read the morning paper.  I am sorry to read of the behavior of some of the players on the Warriors team.  I'm sure it is a tough job, but they are well-paid and they are role models for our kids.  I was out walking one morning when clumps of little boys, probably fourth or fifth grade, were riding their bikes to school.  What was their conversation?  The Warriors.  I know it is hard but I think these guys are paid enough to remember to keep their emotions in control and to know that they are idolized and watched by the young as well as the more mature.

I also see that antlers are a big trend in the decor of New York City restaurants.  I don't know where to go with that.

The world is nuttier than I can imagine.

I come across this poem today.  I don't know what to say about it either.  I guess I am a bit blank and fuzzy and though I've flossed between my teeth, I need to floss between and stimulate the synapses of my brain. 

May your day be filled with laughter and running springs.

A Process in the Weather of the Heart
  A process in the weather of the heart
Turns damp to dry; the golden shot
Storms in the freezing tomb.
A weather in the quarter of the veins
Turns night to day; blood in their suns
Lights up the living worm.

A process in the eye forwarns
The bones of blindness; and the womb
Drives in a death as life leaks out.

A darkness in the weather of the eye
Is half its light; the fathomed sea
Breaks on unangled land.
The seed that makes a forest of the loin
Forks half its fruit; and half drops down,
Slow in a sleeping wind.

A weather in the flesh and bone
Is damp and dry; the quick and dead
Move like two ghosts before the eye.

A process in the weather of the world
Turns ghost to ghost; each mothered child
Sits in their double shade.
A process blows the moon into the sun,
Pulls down the shabby curtains of the skin;
And the heart gives up its dead.

Dylan Thomas

Book Cover

another view of it -

I admit I do not watch basketball and probably haven't seen a whole game since I was at UCLA and the days of Lew Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  I did see, in person,  the NCAA championship game where John Wooden retired from basketball.  My mother excitedly treated the two of us to the game.  She loved basketball.  She was from Indiana.  Basketball in Indiana is BIG!

I recommend the books of John Wooden.  He is quite a guy.   I remember him at Pauley Pavilion rehearsing his players.  I had a late-afternoon class so would pass by on my way to the dorm.  The atmosphere was peaceful and kind, and they won, won, won.  

Anyway, it seems the rules have changed on behavior since John Wooden's time and things got a little dicier in basketball behavior.  I am aware of Bobby Knight.  Still, I like to return to the days of the gentlemanly John Wooden.

I check out his web-site that begins with these words:

    "Reputation is what others perceive you as being, and their opinion may be right or wrong. Character, however, is who you really are, and nobody truly knows that but you.  But you are what matters most."

So, it seems perhaps the Warriors were unfairly treated, but, again, I say, I think the players who played under John Wooden knew how to behave, both on and off the court,  and they would attest to that.  He is a man, revered.  

From Wikipedia on John Wooden.

Seven Point Creed

John Wooden's Seven Point Creed, given to him by his father Joshua upon his graduation from grammar school.

  • Be true to yourself.
  • Make each day your masterpiece.
  • Help others.
  • Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
  • Make friendship a fine art.
  • Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  • Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.


  • "Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
  • "Be quick, but don't hurry."
  • "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."
  • "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."
  • "Sports don't build character, they reveal it."
  • "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
  • "Don't mistake activity for achievement."
  • "Goodness Gracious sakes alive."
  • "The worst things you can do for the ones you love are things they could and should do for themselves."
  • "You don't know our coach. He doesn't see color. He just sees ballplayers."
Book Cover

Quail Forest!

My yard has become quail forest.  I had to go "down below" and caused quite a bit of disturbance so will make an effort to visit the lower part of my yard has little as possible while babies are being born.

My roses are blooming bountifully as are the jasmine and daisies.  What a delight these days.  Each day the leaves come closer to the house, embrace!!

I am delight!!
Book Cover


There is a plural for quail, quails, though I have never heard anyone say it.   We say quail and usually mean a collection of them.  I realize I rarely see one alone, and, if I do, he is standing on a rock, either proclaiming or defending, I am never sure which, but always speak to reassure I am no threat or possibility.   They are beautiful birds, and quite wondrously outfitted for the breeding season.

I am reminded  that the word quail can also mean "to lose heart or courage in difficulty or danger, shrink with fear."   If that definition came from the little guys that live around here,  it is totally wrong.  These are sturdy, brave creatures indeed. 
On a roll, I look up the word light in the Thesaurus.  I don't always consider all the meanings and definitions.  How many ways it shines. 

Happy Beautiful Day, shaking with wonder, exploration and varieties and shades of light, and feathers of birds.

Book Cover

Heron Dance!

I have mentioned Heron Dance before and invited you to have it sent to your email box.  


If you didn't do that, and even if you did, here is some of what come today from Rod MacIver and Heron Dance. 

If the prophets did so, and if Jesus did so, we too must go out into the desert from time to time.

It is not a question of transporting oneself there physically. For many of us that could be a luxury. Rather, it implies creating a desert space in one's own life. And to create a desert means to seek solitude, to withdraw from men and things, one of the undisputed principles of mental health.

To create a desert means learning to be self-sufficient, learning to remain undisturbed with one's own thoughts, one's own prayer, one's own destiny.
It means shutting oneself up in one's room, remaining alone in an empty church, setting up a small oratory for oneself in an attic or at the end of a passage in which to localize one's personal contact with God, to draw breath, to recover one's inner peace. It means occasionally devoting a whole day to prayer, it means going off into the loneliness of the mountains, or getting up alone in the night to pray.

When all is said and done, creating a desert means nothing more than obeying God. Because there is a commandment -- arguably the most forgotten of all, especially by the "committed," by militants, by priests -- and even bishops -- which requires us to interupt our work, to put aside our daily tasks and seek the refreshing stillness of contemplation.

—Carlo Carretto, from In Search of the Beyond

Dear Heron Dancers,

To live a well-lived life, a conscious life, a meaningful life, we each need to carefully think through what of this culture we will make room for in our lives, and what we won’t. To live a creative life, we need to make time for silence, for a relationship with one’s self and one’s God. God is the singular of the plural good.

For years, I’ve had an affinity for National Public Radio news that at times has bordered on an obsession. I listen, often in fascinated horror, and think long and hard about what I’ve heard. I’m starting to wonder about the negative effects of this practice. I’m coming to the conclusion that this, along with many other similar practices, needs to be carefully thought through.

I’m learning that the impact on my creative life of spending half an hour in quiet reverie in the early morning is profound. For the last week or so, bird song has come flooding at me from all directions during this quiet time, but it feels like silence none the less.

The role we make for quiet time in our lives affects the rhythm of our thought patterns and the whole rhythm of our lives.

In celebration of the Great Dance of Life,

Rod W. MacIver

Book Cover

God and Good!

I am still with Rod MacIver's statement that "God is the singular of the plural good."

I had never thought of it that way.  I was so busy thinking about quail and the plural and singular of that, that it never occurred to me that there was a plural of God, but, of course.  Good!
Book Cover

Heron Dance and more!

This also comes from this issue of Heron Dance.

From Zulu Wilderness by Ian Player:

I watched Magqubu. He stood facing the sound, his head moving slightly, following the movement of the animals. He held up his hand, showing five fingers. How did he know there were five rhino when we could not see through the bush? Again it was an intuitive knowledge and the combination of all his senses. There was a sharp cry, like a cat mewing. Magqubu bent down, peering through the bush, then he indicated with his hand that the noise came from a calf. He held his hand up again, showing four fingers and the fifth bent over: four adults and one calf.

— Excerpted from Issue 33, part of our Nature Back Issue Set

I find it especially fascinating because I am currently reading Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer's book, Extraordinary Knowing, Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind.

She came to this subject when her daughter's rare harp was stolen and a guy 2000 miles away told her where it was.   How could it be?   Well, read the book and find out.  I am enjoying it.   : )

Book Cover


Super News!!

I just learned that James Janko, a friend, won the Bay Area Book Award for fiction.   I love his book and gave my own personal review of this book on Amazon, and that is something I rarely do, but this book spoke beautifully to me.  Check it out.  I am thrilled he and Michael Pollan are in the same company.   How inspiring for Janko to win such an award for his first book, and he is working on another one on the Chicago Cubs.    Read "Buffalo Boy and Geronimo."   It's here now!

This is from an article by David Weigand in the SF. Chronicle.  

James Janko's "Buffalo Boy and Geronimo" won the Bay Area Book Award for fiction, while the nonfiction award went to Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals."

The 26th annual awards were presented Sunday at the San Francisco Main Library. The awards honor Bay Area authors and are voted on by book reviewers and book review editors.

Janko, a medic during the Vietnam War, teaches English as a second language at City College of San Francisco and lives in Oakland. His debut novel, published by Curbstone Press, is set in Vietnam during the war.

Pollan's book, published by the Penguin Press, traces "the chain that connects the origin (pasture, feedlot, forest) to the meal," wrote Troy Jollimore in The Chronicle's review of the book last year.