February 2nd, 2008

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Slowly, I go -

I hop up and look outside and it is not raining so I head out for a walk.   I go down to Starbucks where the Highway Patrol hangs out and I get a latte which I carry to a bench along the marsh.  I sit down with the birds, and it starts to rain, just a little at first, and then, a little more.  It is actually delightful, and I realize how many different sounds the drops make as they gather closer together to fall, pounce, bounce.  It is like listening to a horse gallop, trot, and prance.

I walk back the long way, savoring, and partaking in the morning simmer of joy.  

I return and decide to tackle this computer thing.  Joan gives me hints on how to spiff up my site, so you may note that I actually have a picture.  I thought what most signifies me, and I came up with Waterfalls.  I love waterfalls, and this is the time of year when they are especially prolific.  It seems I could have a whole stable of pictures ready to insert, to give a hint of my mood.

I am pretty proud to have one picture.   Joan's pictures move up and down and hop about.  I'm not there yet, so you will have to imagine the movement of the water you see on my post.

Be the water!!   Whoa, that is fun!!!!    Be water and moisture today.  Play!!

A joyful day to you!!

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Strings in the earth and air
  Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
  The willows meet.

There's music along the river
  For Love wanders there,
Pale flowers on his mantle,
  Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,
  With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
  Upon an instrument.

             - James Joyce

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Ancient Joy!

Ancient Joy

The earth is happy here,
the gleam remains
Beauty is here,
the spirit of the place
I touch the faith
which nothing can destroy
The Earth, the living church of
ancient joy.

-John Masefield





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Amazing and humbling -

This is a must-watch.  It is such a triumph of the human spirit that you will smile and find yourself wanting to do all things new.   What have you done with your toes, mouth, chin, and shoulder lately?


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Razorwire -

Razorwire posted this on Connection Well.   I bring it here. 


It's not the shade of difference in the vote tally that colors the views of the partisans, both see red with good reason. It's the hue and cry of "moral high ground" that now tinges this dispute with danger and frightens me.

Don't be foolish. There is no moral high ground in American politics. There never has been, there never will be.

Parties are people, and politics is propaganda. Sure they gin up the base with race baiting, or what would Jesus do, but they're no disciples, they're dissemblers. Any answer alchemists.

Come on, a political party will change positions quicker than a sailor on leave.

Parties are about power, not principle, and it's delusion to think otherwise.

Florida should free you of any notion that elections are noble. It's only a necessary first step in the democratic republican process. A process designed by practical men, of worldly understandings and political propagandists of the first order.

Men so suspect of governance by righteous indignation, the divine right, they designed a system that trumps any temporal high ground with a temple of practical political provenance. We are a nation of laws, not men.

Our founders tried to make clear that governance is a motley undertaking, a real world tapestry, best measured by a previous blue print. An outline agreed upon in cool understanding, not in the heat of contest. When disputes arise in the abstract, the courts fill in the blanks. That's our history, not the dictates of heaven.

Both political parties and their apologists have, by actions and outcry, moved this recount process dangerously close to a quicksand of contempt for the concept of the rule of law. They have attempted to sink the very institutions which constitutionally make those determinations.

We have moved from political shadings of events to lies in black and white and bold. Each party is so insistent on the righteousness of their cause and the higher ground they occupy that any deviation from their divined observations allow total demonizing of any and all that disagree.

We are close to painting our nation into a political corner. A coloring book commitment to party and it's personalities is no longer enough. We are asked to pledge a da Vinci-like commitment to the art of acquiring power, and swear to torch the canvas if we fail.

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Groundhog's Day!!

Tis the day and any groundhog where I live is not seeing a shadow, so that means spring is on its way.

Groundhog Predicts More Winter Weather

Saturday, February 2, 2008

  2-02) 09:09 PST Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP) --

Brace yourself for more wintry weather. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.

The rodent was pulled from his stump by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, top-hat- and tuxedo-wearing businessmen who carry out the tradition.

Each Feb. 2, thousands of people descend on Punxsutawney, a town of about 6,100 people some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, to celebrate what had essentially been a German superstition.

The tradition is that if a hibernating animal sees a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

That was the forecast from Gen. Beauregard Lee, Punxsutawney Phil's counterpart in Lilburn, Ga. Beau did not see his shadow Saturday morning at the Yellow River Game Ranch.

It was the third year in a row the two groundhogs' predictions differed.


A wild and crazy night -

I went up to Book Passage this afternoon to see Jim Wallis from Sojourners speak about his new book, The Great Awakening.

His plane was late, and he had quite a harrowing ride from the airport.  He didn't expect anyone to be out in this weather, but the place was packed, and we enjoyed the wait in the cafe with a cheerful, friendly group of folk.

I have seen him speak before and he is quite a dynamic and extremely funny speaker.  I did buy his book so will be able to post some of the jokes, which I would never remember on my own. 

He is comparing Barack Obama to the British abolitionist William Wilberforce.   He says we need to unite around the force of hope.  He also pointed out that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are all three truly authentic in their religious beliefs, as opposed to the various Republicans who have hijacked, stolen, destroyed, misused, and abused any message that is meant to be there. 

The parking lot was flooded and one of the Book Passage people suggested we stay, but we headed out and I did make it home, though it was not my favorite kind of driving weather.

I didn't realize we were in for such a forceful storm, and we are safely tucked, with candles alight.  

We are certainly not going to have water rationing this year, and I hope the groundhogs' holes aren't flooding on their very special day.

The Chinese New Year is on approach and it is the Year of the Rat!

I imagine all creatures are tucked in for the night.   Though I've seen some budding on the trees, winter is clearly still firmly here. 

If you haven't seen the movie Amazing Grace about William Wilberforce, I recommend it.  It is inspiring indeed!
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Rilke -

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

wildwood retreat center

Sensory Awareness -

Lying as an Activity

By Charles Brooks
excerpted from chapter 18, Reclaiming Vitality and Presence

Lying Woman

Normally in this work we travel along at an everyday pace. For most people at the beginning the attention span is short, and if they are not to wander off we must now and then shift direction. I believe this is the basic difference between our approach and that of zazen. There the student persists through thick and thin for the appointed time, hour after hour, despite all difficulties. Our work, which has a similar ultimate objective of full presence, takes a varying course, with many interruptions, changes, and times for rest.

What we use for resting is what most people unhesitatingly associate with resting: namely, lying down. And since we have only a floor to lie on, that is what we use - hoping, often vainly, that when people lie down they will neither get lost in daydreams nor fall asleep.

But it is by no means assured that in lying the student will either remain awake or come to rest, let alone both, regardless of the hardness or softness of what he lies on. So again and again, paradoxical as it may sound, we work on lying and resting itself. Indeed, we may remember that lying, which is the mode we have chosen for resting, is one of the "four dignities" of the old Chinese saying.

The reader, like the student, will almost certainly assume that work on resting means practicing relaxation. I must state, however, that in certain vital respects it is the opposite. For most people's idea of "relaxation" is a kind of limpness, or what Charlotte often likens to a flat tire, or a flower without water, and this is what the practice of relaxation very often produces. We have heard too much of the "tensions of modern life" and have too little recollection of the marvelous tonicity of healthy living creatures-for instance, our own young children. So lying for us will be an activity, just as standing is. And as in all our activities, we will aim equally at inner openness for our own life processes and at sensitive contact with the environment. Whether this leads to more fatigue or to more refreshment is something each one can discover for himself.

gentle waterfall

Water Falls!

The long moving waterfall

                        At Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?



    - Mary Oliver