May 17th, 2007

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Good Morning!

I slept in somehow and was awakened by the ringing phone and my brother's voice informing me there have been tornadoes in Connecticut, and he and others have no power and may not have power until Sunday.  There is no school and Katy is home reading a book.  I may complain sometimes when my power is out, but there is a peacefulness to it.  I walk more, read more, and enjoy fire and candlelight, so it will work out, and tornadoes in CT. seems a bit unusual to me.  I am grateful their homes and lives are intact.  I give thanks for that.

Jane and I spoke about the two whales caught up in the bay.  When we were at Esalen, she looked down off the cliff and saw a mother whale and baby and two other whales traveling close to shore.  The timing works that these may be the mother and baby.  They were late to be going north and it seemed odd they were hugging the coast.  Prayers today that these two whales, mother and calf,  find healing and an ebb tide full enough to carry them back out of the bay.  They need ocean salt and food. 

Here is Jane's poem of this morning.  Mine is still to come.   Jane and I both were caught in morning dreams.

The basement door was open slightly. As we slept
the breathing house snored it closed and open,
closed and open
throughout the night. A part of me in dreams got up to close it.
But in the world of wakening the door stayed open, breathing.
Each quiver, each chatter of latch to strike plate pulled me up from dreams.
Each hiatus plunged me down. All those who in my life
I wash in worry appeared in places out of context, each one stranger
with each dive into the deep end, the mind’s edge sharp and clean
when I awake to morning.

 - Jane Flint


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Morning Thoughts -

May 17, 2007



One year ago - treatment complete - no wonder I do not wake - then, when I do, fall back to sleep.  One year ago, I prepared my gifts, my altar, learned that Steve the nurse, prayed for us each day.  It is hard to examine such a day, wrapped tenderly in tissue and tucked away.


This year a mother and her calf traverse the delta of San Francisco Bay.

They are lost, but not afraid.

Humpback whale music will be played to lure them back to the Golden Gate.

It worked for Humphrey.


They have traveled further inland than he, setting a world record,

becoming heroes for Humpback whales, their Lewis and Clark.

Songs will be sung, of their wounds, propeller wounds they wear

on their hides, stripes of life, competing, sliding, grating,

and bumping,

like the movement

of continental



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Calvin Trillin Poem


They think that Darwin's got it wrong:
God made us all. Pow!  Just like that.
It could be worse. We still don't know
How many think the Earth is flat.

    - Calvin Trillin

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Sports -

C.W. Nevius has a good column today on the poor sportsmanship exhibited by the Warriors.

Check it out in the SF Chronicle:

He ends the column with this:

Tina Syer, because of her role with the Positive Coaching Alliance, says she can't help but look at games like Tuesday's in terms of the example they set. The group has worked for years to get youth players, coaches and parents to "honor the game." This looked like a how-not-to-handle-defeat educational video.

"Whether the players want to be or not," Syer says, "they are role models. The meltdown we saw was just a terrible example of honoring the game. Naturally, people are going to get frustrated playing sports, and it is more likely in a big game. But I think we all agree that we see the true character of a person in the tightest situation.''

Or, as Covey puts it, "I keep going back to that old saying: Sports don't build character, they reveal it."

It is Bike to Work Day.  If you did,  free muffins plus a great feeling about yourself and the world were your reward.  It seems sad to me that the SF mayor needs a loaner bike for the day.  Now, he notices the potholes.  Maybe riding more often would bring him more awareness of what those who aren't carried in limousines encounter each day.

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Exploring for fun -

Editorial in the NY Times

A Collision Course for Physics

Published: May 17, 2007

Excitement is building among high-energy physicists as construction in Europe of a huge new particle accelerator nears completion, with the first experiments scheduled for next year. It will be the purest exercise of pure science with researchers spending billions of dollars pursuing knowledge with no practical use, but that could add to our understanding of the universe’s fundamental constituents.

The new machine, called the Large Hadron Collider, is being built in a 17-mile circular tunnel straddling the border between Switzerland and France. It will send protons whizzing in opposite directions around the ring, and sophisticated detectors will measure what happens when some collide. The United States started building an even more powerful machine, the Superconducting Supercollider, in a 54-mile ring tunnel in Texas, but Congress axed that project in 1993 for budget savings.

What researchers hope to learn with the new accelerator was described by Dennis Overbye in Science Times. At the very least, they hope to detect evidence of the elusive Higgs boson, a long-predicted particle that is believed to impart mass to other particles. They will also be looking for new forms of matter and for evidence of supersymmetry, a notion that could unite all forces of nature into a unified theory. A long shot would be evidence of new dimensions or tiny black holes.

There is always the possibility that the collider will find little of scientific interest. In that case, high-energy physics would be at an impasse, and physicists might have to accept what some have already declared: that the 20th century was the Age of Physics, while the 21st, spurred by the mapping of the human genome, will be the Age of Biology.

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Poem by W.S. Merwin -


For all the features it hoards and displays
age seems to be without substance at any time

whether morning or evening it is a moment of air
held between the hands like a stunned bird

while I stand remembering light in the trees
of another century on a continent long submerged

with no way of telling whether the leaves at that time
felt memory as they were touching the day

and no knowledge of what happened to the reflections
on the pond's surface that never were seen again

the bird lies still while the light goes on flying.

    - W. S. Merwin

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Celebration -

Steve and I shared a wonderful celebratory lunch at Angelino's in Sausalito.  It was fun to wander among the tourists and view my native land as foreign. 

I began reading Kenneth Koch's book Wishes, Lies, and Dreams, Teaching Children to Write Poetry.  Though it seems to be about teaching poetry writing to children, it is a book on the beauty, joy, and enthusiasm of the human spirit.  I recommend it.  After all, we all our children, just living and tilting at different degrees like leaves in the breeze.