January 7th, 2008

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Good Morning!

Our power is on.  Steve's diligence with the phone calls to PGE paid off.  Many of our neighbors are still without power.  Some have checked into motels.  They want heat, light, and internet connection.  

It is odd when the lights come on.  All the romance of candle and firelight is gone.  What a mess!!

Steve suggested this morning that the whole country might benefit from an experience like this,  two or three days a year.  It would be scheduled in so people could prepare, but we would then see how most of the world lives, well, partially, at least, since it seems almost everywhere in America there is a Starbucks nearby with internet connection and caffeine up and running.   I enjoyed seeing the children still in their pajamas in Starbucks with their raincoats over them.   That was fun.   There was a sense of community and people were amazingly upbeat, perhaps, until yesterday.  The wilting began.  

Anyway, I was thinking that once a week of this experience might be a good reminder, and then, I remembered the bequest to rest on the seventh day.  How could we have strayed so far?  It is fairly recent that stores are open seven days a week, in my lifetime anyway.  Recent is relative, as is comfort.   Today I am dressed for summer because just turning my heat to 62 and seeing the sun and finally getting warm, I feel like I'm in a heatwave. 

I am going to schedule in days without power once in awhile.  I think it is good and I feel like I learned that I could be more adaptable.  I now have added a New Year's Resolution to my list, adaptability.  May it be so.

I kept thinking over the last few days how "Suffering is wanting things to be different than they are."   It is a good reminder for me in my new road toward adaptability.

Though the power is on,  my energy level is down.   We did an exchange, the external world and I.  I feel a bit discombobulated with all that now "needs" to be done, and, soon to be, adaptable am I.

Have fun, and enjoy!
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Gandhi -



"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."

- Mahatma Gandhi


 


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I love this!!



There is a wonderful letter to the New Yorker this week in response to Sam Zell's comment that he deserves what he makes because he works so hard.   I place the letter here.


"Sam Zell, according to Connie Bruck, defends his wealth by reminding us that he "works (his) ass off every day!"  (Rough Rider," November 12th).   This argument has two distinct flaws.  First, I suspect that most drug dealers also work very hard for their money, but we don't factor that into our opinion of their profession.  Second, a typical gardener also "works his ass off," yet is lucky to earn fifteen dollars an hour for his effort.  If by hypothetical comparison, Zell worked a grueling three thousand hours last year and earned fifty million dollars, his hourly rate was $16,667.  Apparently, the issue is less about the work than about the ass doing it."

Vincent Gizzi

East Hampton, N.Y.


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ever happen to you?



An efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "Don't try these techniques at home."

"Why not?" asked somebody from the audience.

"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips between the fridge, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I told her, "You're wasting too much time. Why don't you try carrying several things at once?"

"Did it save time?" the guy in the audience asked.

"Actually, yes," replied the expert. "It used to take her 20 minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in ten."

 


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It IS January!

The momentary sense of heat is gone.  The sun is tucked back in its covers;  I am dressed in wool, and hot chocolate warms on the stove.

                                            The season and I adjust, don hat and gloves.
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"magnificent with being"



Here is a poem by A.R. Ammons


Still

A.R.Ammons


I said I will find what is lowly

and put the roots of my identity

down there:

each day I'll wake up

and find the lowly nearby,

a handy focus and reminder,

a ready measure of my significance,

the voice by which I would be heard,

the wills, the kinds of selfishness

I could

freely adopt as my own:



but though I have looked everywhere,

I can find nothing

to give myself to:

everything is



magnificent with existence, is in

surfeit of glory:

nothing is diminished,

nothing has been diminished for me:



I said what is more lowly than the grass:

ah, underneath,

a ground-crust of dry-burnt moss:

I looked at it closely

and said this can be my habitat: but

nestling in I

found

below the brown exterior

green mechanisms beyond the intellect

awaiting resurrection in rain: so I got up



and ran saying there is nothing lowly in the universe:

I found a beggar:

he had stumps for legs: nobody was paying

him any attention: everybody went on by:

I nestled in and found his life:

there, love shook his body like a devastation:

I said

though I have looked everywhere

I can find nothing lowly

in the universe:



I whirled though transfigurations up and down,

transfigurations of size and shape and place:



at one sudden point came still,

stood in wonder:

moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent

with being!



From The Selected Poems: 1951-1977, Expanded Edition, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 1986 by A. R. Ammons.

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John O'Donohue


"I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding."
-- John O'Donohue


I just learned that John O'Donohue died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep on January 3, 2008.  I have enjoyed his philosophy, writings and books.  He was 53.   

http://www.jodonohue.com/reflections/



Beannacht
("Blessing")
 
On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
 
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
 
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
 
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
 

~ John O'Donohue ~
 
(Echoes of Memory)