May 29th, 2007

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Good Morning!

It is another morning encased in fog and bird song.

I read the book Inside the Wire last night.  It is by Erik Saar and Viveca Novak.  It is "A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo."  Erik arrives there, a wide-eyed believer in the United States and our good, and he is ready to work.  He believes in the military model and has gone with his family to church every Sunday of his life.  He certainly believes we need to deal with the "terrorists," but that is not what Guantanamo is about, and we all know it.  Bush and Gonzales have gone against everything moral and ethical, and there is no military order, discipline, or intelligence, and no one involved feels good about it or themselves.  It is another sobering book on just how badly this administration has allowed this country to go astray.  It is sad to see how much this administration has been done to negatively affect this country around the world.  It will be a long build-up back when they are gone.

Friends of mine were recently traveling in Greece.  They said the people there do separate the people here from our government, and they were well-treated.  May we deserve and earn that as we tilt this country back, and stop violating the human rights of others, and again, honoring the Geneva Convention, as we want it honored for ourselves and our soldiers.  It is unfathomable what has happened under this administration. 

Also, I had not realized we send a $4000.00 check to Castro each year for the use of the land at Guantanamo, and each year he tears up the check.  Well, of course.  Isn't $4000.00 a wee bit insulting?   We certainly spend money there,  even though nothing is being accomplished.   Halliburton continues to make out like the bandits they are.

It is an odd way to start a Tuesday after Memorial Day perhaps, and yet, we need to stay feisty and peacefully bring our country back.

I continue to read of how a certain number of meditators affect the crime rate in an area.  It is a day to be peace within, and stretch it out, like an expandable bag, suitcase, purse.  Unfold!    See the peace you cultivate within spread like pollen on the wind.  

Happy Day!

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Cindy Sheehan -

I have felt great sorrow for Cindy Sheehan as she suffered the loss of her son and worked to ensure that there would be fewer forced to suffer in the same way and for the same reasons.   Her son signed up for the military when he was promisted that his spiritual talents would be used, but, what a surprise, the government lied.   This comes from the Associated Press, and I place it here because I want to honor what she did.  I felt sorry for her when the media latched on to her in one way and insulted her in another.  It seemed she had entered a world where she could not win, and now, she gives it up with some very sad statements about this country.  I am saddened by her words, and I hope she finds peace as the grieves the loss of two years and the loss of her son.  I, too, wonder why the Democrats caved in to George Bush.  It is hard not to feel there is a great deal of blackmail going on behind the scenes. 

Up to You Now': Sheehan Quits

(05-29) 07:40 PDT Fort Worth, Texas (AP) --

Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush's ranch, said Tuesday she's done being the public face of the movement.

"I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush," Sheehan told The Associated Press while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

"I'm going home for awhile to try and be normal," she said.

In what she described as a "resignation letter," Sheehan wrote in her online diary on the "Daily Kos" blog: "Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it.

"It's up to you now."

Sheehan began a grass roots peace movement in August 2005 when she set up camp outside the Bush ranch for 26 days, asking to talk with the President about the death of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad.

Cindy Sheehan started her protest small, but it quickly drew national attention. Over the following two years, she drew huge crowds as she spoke at protest events, but she also drew a great deal of criticism.

"I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement," Sheehan wrote in the diary.

On Memorial Day, she came to some "heartbreaking conclusions," she wrote.

When she had first taken on Bush, Sheehan was a darling of the liberal left. "However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used," she wrote.

"I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of 'right or left', but 'right and wrong,'" the diary says.

Sheehan criticized "blind party loyalty" as a danger, no matter which side it involved, and said the current two-party system is "corrupt" and "rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland."

Sheehan said she had sacrificed a 29-year marriage and endured threats to put all her energy into stopping the war. What she found, she wrote, was a movement "that often puts personal egos above peace and human life."

But she said the most devastating conclusion she had reached "was that Casey did indeed die for nothing ... killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think".

"Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives," she wrote. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most."

"I am going to take whatever I have left and go home," Sheehan wrote.

"Camp Casey has served its purpose. It's for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas?"

It is hard not to have tears and to realize that Memorial Day this year is more than a day but continues until we again treat the people of this country and the world as they deserve.   James Janko, author of Buffalo Boy and Geronimo, speaks of how we have to honor the earth, that when he was a medic in Vietnam during the war, he saw the attachment to the earth, where the umbilical cords and bodies are buried.  We have lost touch with life and death.  We must realize that each death in Iraq is of someone loved, someone's son or daughter, and possibly they are a parent themselves.  Maybe we have to numb ourselves.  Perhaps it is too horrifying, but we have all criticized Nazi Germany and asked how they could have let it happen.  Jon Carroll says he doesn't like taking this to that, but I wonder.  That, too, began.


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On the positive side -

Planting is beginnng on the roof of the new Academy of Science building in San Francisco.  It won't open until the fall of 2008, but native plants are being placed in the roof and the building will be a model of sustainability with the living roof as part of that.  There is much to celebrate. 

As we live in the present, we also balance the past and the future.  So, too,  the joy and the sad. 
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Art -

Following is a link to the second part of an article by Steven Winn on Art and what it does to the unconscious, what happens in us.  It is beautiful and perhaps the highs and the lows are what bring us to it, in production or consumption.  We need it.  We sing, write, sculpt, paint, play an instrument, dance.   We are immortal in art. 

Here is the last paragraph of Steven Winn's article.  I love the phrase,  "that went through me like light through glass."

Steven Winn:

"And then, late in the second act, Labelle began an aria ("Regard, O son, my flowing tears") that went through me like light through glass. The spun-silver phrases, the soft tides and surges of the orchestra, one exquisitely wrenching interval all poured in, weightless and shining. It went on and on, and was over before it started. "The unconscious is the ocean of the unsayable," the writer Italo Calvino once remarked. I was out there, afloat. That's all I can really tell you about what happened that night."

May we all have experiences like that.

Check out the article, and the one before it in the SF Chronicle yesterday:

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Pablo Neruda -


What sizzles
in boiling
is the world’s
into the pan
like the morning swan’s
snowy feathers
and emerge
half golden from the olive’s
crackling amber. 

lends them
its earthy aroma,
its spice,
its pollen that braved the reefs.
in ivory suits, they fill our plates
with repeated abundance,
and the delicious simplicity of the soil.


Pablo Neruda
Ode to Common Things
Bulfinch Press, Publisher

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American Forests!

I receive a magazine American Forests because I like the gift of trees.  You can check them out at:

They have a wonderful ad where you look down on a landscape of trees and buildings, and the ad asks if you can spot the $5 billion water storage plant.   It is the trees.  They catch storm water, reduce air pollution, and improve our health.  Plant trees.

In Berlin, they dispose of Christmas trees at the zoo.  Elephants, camels, deer and sheep nibble on Christmas trees.  The oil in the trees aids digestion in the animals.  There are a multitude of  ways to circulate ease.

Nalini Nadkarni, in her forthcoming book, Trees and Humans: Our Connections to the Arbored World, writes of the spirituality of trees.  "All religions," she says, "use trees as a metaphor for the human condition, which is finite and ends in death."

Of course, we know, the tree decomposes and nourishes new life as it goes, so is there really death or only change of form?  No matter what though, there is healing in trees.

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Steven Wright Humor -

Here are some thoughts by Steven Wright.

"I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one."

"If you are killing time, are you damaging eternity?"

"If a jogger runs at the speed of sound, can he still hear his Walkman?"

"I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract.
            No brush, no paint, no canvas.
                       I just think about it."

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The whales -

The whales are on their way and are off Tiburon and may be out the Golden Gate by morning.  For some reason, they are scurrying along.  I was hoping to get a look at them as they passed by but they may be back to the ocean by morning.  I hope so.  What an adventure this has been for them and for us.  Whales Ho!!  May they find their way back to the ocean and keep heading north.