February 20th, 2008

Book Cover

In contrast to Bhutan

SFGate has a new website.  They've been telling us it is coming and now it is here.   It flashes between three important events on the left, and Lufthansa flashes all over the place.  Usually, it is easy.  There is a list on the left, and I click on Columnists and then, Jon Carroll, and get my morning fix, though there is no new column today, which it took me awhile to discover, and the new format is complicated, and ads are flashing.   I am a curmudgeon.  I like the old way best!!

I have now figured out how to use the new Chronicle.  All is well!!
alexander calder

(no subject)

All those who are unhappy in the world are so as a result of their desire for their own happiness.
All those who are happy in the world are so as a result of their desire for the happiness of others.

- Shantideva

I am now happy for those who advertise in the Chronicle.  Surely I can put up with a little inconvenience to satisfy their need to sell me what I don't need.  

goldsworthy - branch

Jane Hirshfield -


I wanted something, I wanted. I could not have it.
Irremediable rock of refusal, this world thick with bird song,
tender with starfish and apples.
How calming to say, "Turn right at the second corner,"
and be understood,
and see things arrive as they should at their own destination.
Yet we speak in riddles -
"Turn back at the silence."  "Pass me the mountain."
To the end we each nod, pretending to understand.

    - Jane Hirshfield

gentle waterfall

A silver lining -

My brother sends this:

I read this morning that the housing crisis has lowered the cost of land dramatically and, as such, that allows the various forest and nature preserve groups to buy up much greater amounts of land than they would otherwise be able to afford.  You see…there truly is a silver lining to every cloud!

calder mobile miniature

What binds us -

I look back today for the first poem I believe I heard by Jane Hirshfield and place it here.  It is from Of Gravity and Angels.


There are names for what bind us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down -
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest -

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

    - Jane Hirshfield

north pole moon

Lunar eclipse -

Tonight I walked down to the marsh to see the moon disappear and it is still disappeared.  Cars were speeding by, and lined up at the pharmacy at Walgreen's.  I seemed to be the only one out noticing the movement of earth and moon.   Then, one man came out of the grocery, all excited to see it too, so we shared it.  I don't know what it is that draws some of us to it, and leaves others content inside.  I am waiting now for it to reappear.  It is pretty cloudy, so I will see if I can see.  It is warm this evening.  I find myself wanting to sleep outside on the deck.  I'll see if I am up for dragging enough blankets out there to make a comfy nest.

I heard today that Barack Obama in his speech last night suggested that education for children begins with turning off the TV and video games and having parents read to their children.  What could be better than that?    This guy knows the way to my heart.

Time to settle in with some books, and keep peering out to see the moon.