February 21st, 2008

ashes and snow - wings

Good Morning!

I feel refreshed today, rise early and meditate, look out on cloudy skies but not yet rain.

I choose this poem this morning for Barack Obama.  I was driving a great deal yesterday and listening to discussions on talk shows about the beauty of Obama's prose, rhetoric, delivery.   The substance is on his web-site.   Hillary doesn't want to admit that.   He speaks to inspire, and we can go to the web-site and read what Hillary's jealousy, anger, and fear, are not yet letting in.  Oddly, I think if she could relax, she would be for him.  He could use her support, and that would be an unbeatable uniting.  May that be so.  As this poem so eloquently states:  "While all bodies share / the same fate, all voices do not."

Here is a poem by Li-Young Lee.


He is seated in the first darkness
of his body sitting in the lighter dark
of the room,

the greater light of day behind him,
beyond the windows, where
Time is the country.

His body throws two shadows:
One onto the table
and the piece of paper before him,
and one onto his mind.

One makes it difficult for him to see
the words he's written and crossed out
on the paper.  The other
keeps him from recognizing
another master than Death.   He squints.
He reads: Does the first light hide
inside the first dark?

He reads:  While all bodies share
the same fate, all voices do not.

    -Li-Young Lee

from Behind My Eyes

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Morning Poem -

The Main Ingredient is Love


I made a chicken pot pie yesterday,

inspired by my sister-in-law, Jan,

to put a little extra effort into cooking,

intention that had slipped.


I roasted chicken breasts dipped in cream and rubbed with oil,

blanched carrots, sautéed onions,  and made a sauce

rich with butter, flour, and broth.

“Add freshly grated nutmeg,” she said, “and white pepper.”


I no longer provision with white pepper so dashed in some Tabasco sauce,

remembering how my mother would daringly add a dash or two

to meat loaf, with great warnings about the power, the fire.

That was the Midwest before salsas and exotic chilies circled the world.


I made a crust from scratch, butter, flour, salt, and water to hold,

and rolled it out, and placed it in the pan,

filled the pan with the mixture of broth, chicken, carrots, and peas,

and brushed cream on the top crust, making first a C, then, a circle, then,

more dainty cuts. 


That pie baked, in celebration of the lunar eclipse, round at first,

then, decreasing and shrinking,

transferred to our stomachs,

where the heat of presence,

lit the night.








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The sky -

Yesterday when I read the article in the Chronicle on the lunar eclipse, I read some of the comments.  One person was very upset that the article did not say where to look for the eclipse in the sky.  I wonder about that.  Walk outside.  Look up.  Look for something big and round rising in the east as the sun sets in the west, or just look around until you see something that looks like you think a moon might look, then, watch it slowly disappear.  How many directions do we need?  It's not like we live in the deep folds of an origami swan, or do we?

egg stone

Language -

Lately, there has been a great deal of discussion about language and the use and value of words.

Yesterday, in the grocery, I ran into an old friend I haven't seen for years, and we chatted away.  Her daughter who was in my son Chris's class, now teaches at Tam Valley,  in the same classroom where her dad taught and where my sons attended fourth grade.

She mentioned checking out lodging in the area when her daughter got married, and it seems there is a bed and breakfast on my very street.  It is low-key, and though I had heard rumors, I hadn't checked it out, and so today I do.  I see that the location is described, as, among other inaccuracies, as "beachside."   I always thought "beachside," meant by the side of a beach, near sand and within viewing, and certainly easy walking distance of the beach.   Now, we tease that with enough global warming we will have ocean-front property, but I am hoping that is a scenario that will not occur, and, if it does, that B & B will be sunk, as it is lower in elevation than we.  

I was thinking that anyone who made reservations for this romantic cottage by the beach would be very disappointed when they pulled up, but then, I realized that anyone who thinks any place can be all this, maybe deserves the shock.

"Location is best described as Beachside; Downtown; Mountain; Small town; Suburban, and Wine Country."

I assume there was a checklist and yes, there is a beach, a ten minute drive away with no traffic, and SF is a ten minute drive with no traffic, and there is a mountain, and a small town, and, yes, it is suburban, and yes, we drink wine here so I guess it is wine country, though most people consider wine country where they grow grapes and that is further north or south. 

But then I've never looked in the back of this house where the little cottage nests.  Perhaps they have some grape vines struggling to rise in the wind and the fog.  My son likes wine made from stressed grapes.   Maybe, Tam Valley will be the next Mount Veeder.  I love where I live, and I might be pleased to see it so luxuriously described, and I look out and see hills and sky, but no beach, and I am perfectly pleased with that.  An area like this needs no exaggeration.  It is more than enough.

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nuts -

I first heard about this yesterday, though it seems rumblings have been going on for awhile, as those in the building field know.


There may be an underground light-rail subway in SF with three stops along its 1.7 mile route.  It will probably end up costing a billion a mile.  Couldn't we walk, and give that money to education and parks?   Do that many people want to go to Chinatown?   Do we want to tunnel 95 feet below the surface in a heavily congested area of earthquake country?

Would this be happening if our local Nancy Pelosi weren't Speaker of the House?
fish jumping

the debate -

 I am not a television watcher, but decided tonight it was time I watch one of the many debates.  What a great deal of hoopla.  I thought I was watching a football game.   To me,  they were evenly balanced in the first section, and the score was tied.  Then, Barack hit his stride.   Hilary did a sweet last moment and I was waiting for the tear.   Now, the analysis still goes on for those of us incapable of taking a moment to think it through for ourselves.  Are we a hive?

I understand that Hillary had to hit it out of the park.  She is behind and she knew it.  I almost felt, at one point, she conceded, and, as I say, her last words seemed heart-felt.  That said, I thought Barack stepped in and took it away.  He is saying what we want to hear, what we need to hear.

I feel proud of both Democratic candidates.  I think back to the debates of Bush and Kerry, or were they "town meetings" and I could not believe bush with the little pack on his back, answers fed,  and, of course, he wasn't really elected.  To have had such stupidity these last seven years, and to listen to such intelligence tonight, and both Hillary and Barack are bright and thoughtful and know the issues, and they care.  They actually care.  It is such a relief.

The entertainment is over for the night, and it is helpful to know that the Democrats have two wise people running, and they had more.  Surely this is no contest against the Republicans. 

The debate was in Austen, Texas, and I aligned with the applause. 

The people are speaking.  They are listening and aware.  I feel hope in the recognition that it is time for cooperation and change, and Barack Obama still seems, in this moment and according to the analysis I did listen to, "the one."