January 8th, 2008

Book Cover

Good Morning!

I am peaceful and serene as I look out, unable to see the homes that I read were flooded when a water main broke.  It seems the street is buckled , a street we use when Highway 1 is blocked.   Hmmm!

It is a morning of gratitude.

We made a fire last night and lit candles and had heat.  Heat is wonderful.  Not too much, of course, but there is a certain amount that is restful and stimulating.

There is an advertising section in the Wall Street Journal for the HDTV.  It shows a picture of the family gathered in front of a TV displaying a fire.  The family holds marshmallows on sticks.  The ad proclaims, "High-Definition TV is the digital fireplace - the new focal point of your living room or family room.  While the warmth of a crackling fire has undeniable charm, HDTVs promise to entertain you and your family all year long, in increasingly varied ways."

One might ask how a TV can make a promise, but you get the gist.

Having spent the last four days watching and listening to a "real" fire, I know that nothing equals that.

Hillary Clinton's display of emotion yesterday seems to invoke a great deal of comment.  I watched it and felt it.  This woman wants more than anything to be the first woman president.  I haven't yet decided how I will vote, but I do believe this woman cares and feels she would make a difference.  I don't yet understand why Kucinich was kept out of the ABC debates.  I can't follow it all, and I was happy that Hillary let us feel the challenge of running for office.  I felt it in my heart.  I know hers was moist and soft.   I don't know how I will vote, but I am grateful to feel what the candidates go through in seeking this office.  It takes a courageous heart.
Book Cover

Orion Magazine -

It is worthwhile to subscribe to Orion Magazine and you can also read it on-line at:


This is a powerful issue and important to check out.  It gives a gentle nudge of awareness, like Beluga whales responding to the G note of a clarinet.

I love the poems.  Here is Jane Hirshfield.

The Supple Deer

The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through it.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer—

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.

- Jane Hirshfield

Book Cover

Zen Quote on Happiness -

Scott Kaufmann in a letter to the editor of  the Wall Street Journal offers this Zen quote as the answer to the pursuit of Happiness.

    "The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does, leaving others to determine whether he is at work or at play.  To him, he is always doing both."

Book Cover

Thoreau -

Our life is frittered away by detail.  Simplify, simplify.

       - Thoreau

This seems especially appropriate today as I am increasingly aware of the wind and rain.  It is clear that all can quickly blow or flood away.  On the other hand, I am cozy and snug inside, so it is to balance safety and chaos, nature and control.   We don't have much control and we do.   Balance emptiness and form.

Book Cover

Outside -

I feel drawn outside as I listen to the rain.  I hear a tree crack,  not right here, but not so far away, as I read this article on the importance of nature for children.   It is written by Richard Louv.. 


I am especially drawn to this paragraph.


Even without corroborating evidence or institutional help, many parents notice significant changes in their children’s stress levels and hyperactivity when they spend time outside. “My son is still on Ritalin, but he’s so much calmer in the outdoors that we’re seriously considering moving to the mountains,” one mother tells me. Could it simply be that he needs more physical activity? “No, he gets that, in sports,” she says. Similarly, the back page of an October issue of San Francisco magazine displays a vivid photograph of a small boy, eyes wide with excitement and joy, leaping and running on a great expanse of California beach, storm clouds and towering waves behind him. A short article explains that the boy was hyperactive, he had been kicked out of his school, and his parents had not known what to do with him—but they had observed how nature engaged and soothed him. So for years they took their son to beaches, forests, dunes, and rivers to let nature do its work.

The photograph was taken in 1907.  The boy was Ansel Adams. 



Book Cover

Paper -

I have become comfortable reading a great deal of news on-line, so most likely consume less paper than in the past, and I am fascinated with this bit of news.  It is from an article by Katharine Merow in Orion magazine.  It seems paper is being made from poop.

"In 2000, Asawawibulkij devised a way to combine disposal of the elephant dung abounding in his native Thailand with protection of the gentle giants who produce it."

Cellulose fibers are extracted from the dung and made into notebooks, greeting cards and bookmarks.  The profits from the sales go into feeding and caring for the elephants at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center.

How clever to realize that "a sizeable fraction of the plant material that goes in one end of a herbivore comes out the other with cellulose fibers little worse for wear."


Book Cover


I'm emailed this:


Last night my sister and I were sitting in the den and I said to her, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all, If that ever happens, just pull the plug.' So she got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine. She's such a bitch.