Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Shifting Line

The line separating good and evil
passes not through countries,
nor between classes,
nor between political parties either,
but runs through every human heart.
The line shifts inside us,
it oscillates with the years.
And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil,
one small bridgehead
of good is retained.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Gulag Archipelago

Of Note: With elections coming next week and emotions running high on both sides, it seemed appropriate to step out of our USA-centric mode to look at the larger picture of which Mr. Solzhenitsyn spoke. As a political prisoner in Russia for many years, he had time to contemplate the nature of political good and evil. Surprisingly, this dissadent found it not in large entities, rather in the individual where he saw good and evil co-existing, much like the frozen and fluid water above.

Today's Weather Report: Bright and sunny. Supposed to get into the mid-sixties. Certainly didn't expect that this week! We will be gone over the weekend so I'll be back to the blog early next week.

Watch For Change Snippit: As recycling gathers steam, one surprising area of conservation is reuse of medical devices. While some might say, yuck, we are not talking syringes here. Rather items that can safely be sterilized and reused without harming the next patient. For whatever reason in the last ten years, many devices originally labeled for multi-use were re-labelled for single use, increasing patient cost and waste substantially. Large health systems took the lead here including such notables as Kaiser Permanente. For example, in 2007 this visionary HMO saved $3.5 milion but more impressively eliminated about 45.7 million pounds of medical waste.

PS: I apologize, but I have little control over some aspects of this blog since last week, such as line spacing. Some days I have what I enter, some days not.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Understanding Heart

Hazrat Inayat Khan
The Bowl of Sake

Of Note: And one can Know when the mind is opened. Then we have it all.

Today's Weather Report: Partly cloudy and cold, especially without any electricity for several hours today when the electrician was here wiring the barn. Did you know that we do not yet know all the properties of electricity? We are sure dependant on something that we do not fully understand.

Watch For Change Snippit: 84-year old Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted yesterday on seven felony counts stemming from corruption charges. He spoke in his own defense at the trial and said that many of the gifts he received were just loans. He is quoted as saying that lots of stuff in his house did not belong to him. Hum. The jury did not buy this rationalization. Stevens is up for re-election next week and refused to step down after his conviction. We will see if the people of Alaska value the love of truth more than their very popular Senator, who was one of the prime earmark kings in the Senate. Remember the "Bridge to Nowhere"?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Eyes Have It

"Do not overlook what your eyes cannot see."


Of Note: This is an experiment in uploading a video to the blog. Please forgive my inexperience in videotaping. Hopefully, it will not take as long to view as it has taken to upload the original. My sister, Marie, is my inspiration to try this out as she has posted several short videos from her iphone to family albums on-line. Thanks, Marie!

The Secret of Heaven and Earth

As rivers have their source
in some far off fountain,
so the human spirit has its source.
To find this fountain of spirit is to learn
the secret of heaven and earth.


Of Note: Eventually we all find the source. That is the hope and promise of the ages. Marie took this tunning shot of the Rio Grande River while visiting Big Bend National Park earlier in the year. It may be surprising to note that the sources of all rivers have yet to be ascertained. That fact is a bit humbling, is it not?

Today's Weather Report: The water in the little pond froze over last night. The patterns on the top are geometrical in their design and inspiring in their unintentional artestry. Today is the first day it really feels like winter is upon us, it being in the 20's. Yes, I know it's not officially winter but winter in northern Wisconsin always comes early and stays late.

Watch for Change Snippits: Following a summit, China has agreed with the European Union states that financial institutions should be globally regulated. Whats more, they would participate. The United States is not on-board the global financial initiative at this time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Measure of Darkness

Even a happy life cannot be
without a measure of darkness,
and the word happy would
lose its meaning if it were
not balanced by sadness.

It is far better to take things as
they come along
with patience and equanimity.

Carl Jung

Of Note: Crisis--Equilibrium--Liberation. It is the story of Humanity and its lively evolutionary cycles. This truth is richly illustrated by this ominously dark contrasted by brilliantly lit sunset photo taken by Marie recently from her backyard in Texas.

Today's Weather Report: Can be summed up in two words, snow flurries. Janice Dean at Fox News said that a cold front is bringing lake effect snow to northern Wisconsin, which occurs when cold air travels over the warmer waters of the Great Lakes and brings snow to the areas south and east of the lakes. Michigan is going to get belted as well with Lake Michigan lake effect snow. For northern Wisconsin, this is not a problem once Lake Superior freezes over--usually in December. But if it doesn't freeze over, lake effect snow can continue all winter.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mirror of Silence

Paramahansa Yogananda
Of Note: Ah, silence: if there were only more of it, we think. Hermits had it easy that way. Sitting in some cave with no company but the bats, they had nothing else to do but contact God. But our challenge in modern society is to connect with God holding down a job, shuttling a couple of kids around to various activities and keeping a marriage intact throughout it all. Or fill-in-the-blank. We have many, many stories. It's part of the evolutionary process to figure it out. It stretches the Mind. And in that cave of Mind silence will again be heard.
Today's Weather Report: This lovely fall scene on the Namekagon River has now been superceded by a more winter look--bare branches and overcast skies. An eery silence pervades since the birds have moved farther south. Snow showers, which began this morning, are expected to continue throughout the day. The drip, drip, drip from the roof onto the ground creates the cadence of the day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Still Voice of Wisdom

Two people have lived in you all of your life.
One is the personality,
garrulous, demanding,
hysterical, calculating.

The other is the hidden
spiritual being,
whose still voice of
wisdom you have
only rarely heard
or attended to.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: If it weren't for our Soul, we would be like this scarecrow man plowing his imaginary field. Day after day looking busy but getting nowhere really. The stirring of the Soul brings vitality and direction. The signs of its awakening might be subtle at first. But the "still small voice" will assuredly get louder until it has our full attention. Thanks again to my talented sister, Marie, for snapping this shot of a very busy scarecrow at a local nursery. Apparently, straw people are a specialty there and come in many shapes and occupations.
Today's Weather Report: Clouds upon clouds and chilly to the bone. It is supposed to snow tonight after midnight. That means we might awaken tomorrow with the fluffy stuff on the ground. This pattern is forecast to continue until Tuesday. That means the cats wills start using their litterbox again instead of using the outdoor facilities. Five cats make lots of scoops, let me tell you! (Still using the less than favorable browser. has been unresponsive to date about the problem with the other browser, which is the one they recommend to use.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Dance of Change

There would be no chance at all
of getting to know death
if it only happened once.
But fortunately, life is nothing
but a continuing dance of birth
and death, a dance of change.
Sogyal Rinpoche
Of Note: Our friend was cremated this week. He died of cancer at the age of 57. This afternoon family and friends will gather to speak fondly of him, laugh about his foibles and cry about our loss. It is my guess that he will be watching astonished at the outpouring of love that his death has created and wishing it wouldn't take a death to connect folks in love.
Today's Weather Report: It's raining and quite cloudy. Supposed to keep this up all day. Still in the 50's with lows again in the mid-thirties rather than that day we had 22 degrees. Blogger was not working for me yesterday and again today--so I tried another browser and here we are. Hopefully, this will go through with lying colors. (Well, it went through with partial flying colors; all the spaces were eliminated. But hey, we can live with that, right? Just imagine space where they usually occur, and we'll be set.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Am One

I am only one.
But still, I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something.

And because I cannot
do everything,
I will not refuse to do
the something
that I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

Of Note: I can tell that this solitary nursery cat is a great thinker as he sits in his shadow house contemplating his next move. Or not as the case may be. Maybe he's just considering where he will lay down for a nap. Wouldn't blame him for that. When I first saw the photo by Marie, I wanted to join the feline on that obviously warm cement and bask in the shadows of the lazy afternoon sun.

Today's Weather Report: The 22 degree temp we had yesterday morning was apparently the low for the area. That's probably because we are in a depression of land, with Mossback Lake on one side and the Namekagon River on the other. You can catch more on the phenomenon of living between these two at where an essay "Reflections From Mt. St. Mossback Monastery" has been posted under In Transition. This Website is full of useful information that has potential to envigorate the searching soul.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found,
Was blind but now I see.

John Newton
18th century

Of Note: Let's talk about salvation today. General, garden variety salvation about which Mr. Newton speaks. If a wretch was lost and blind, then found themselves and could finally see, what would that be like? The person on the street might think that it would be all glory and light. But I have a sense that it's at least a two-part deal and might actually be kind of horrifying at first. Consider this: in the beginning of this new found illumination, we'd most likely see all the things we had done to others that were less than savory. At the very least, that would be humbling. Then we'd see, really see, what man had done to man and animals and the planet in general. That would be depressing for sure.

For those who survived the first part, phase two would kick in at some point creating a great sense of responsibility and an overwhelming desire to serve humanity. That's what some might call redemption. Even then, light would come in waves and provide only fleeting glimpses of the "peace that passes understanding." With light comes dark of course. Mother Teresa spoke of the dark times in her recently released letters, which some have interpreted as a lack of faith. Most likely it was just the salvation process doing its work.

If "saved" folks talk only of light and angels but neglect to discuss the first eye-opening phase and the dark and light subsequent times, we might wonder if they've really been through the process. This verdant shot was taken at Marie's local Audobon center that opened last Saturday. It is situated in Dallas along the mighty Trinity River on a former dump site. The human caretakers of this saved piece of land get a thumbs up for that bold move.

Today's Weather Report: More of the same glorious sunshine and temps in high forties, low fifties. This morning's 22 degrees was certainly brisk and required a real winter jacket for the first time. The cats know it's cold and are found throughout the day curled up here and there around the house--sometimes in piles of two or even three.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So divinely is the world organized
that every one of us, in our place and time,
is in balance with everything else.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Of Note: Rainbows are the eternal symbol of balance, don't you think? It seems to me that the circles would continue ad infinitum if only we had eyes to see. My talented sister, Marie, took this shot from her front yard earlier in the year. This past weekend, she sent me another batch of lovely nature shots, which will bless this page in days to come.

Today's Weather Report: More bright and sunny. Only a few pillow-y clouds in the sky. It's Currently in the low 40's though 50's are predicted. Lately, however, few days have gotten there. Wonder if that means if the temps rise to the high for a nanosecond, it counts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pervading the Realm of Our Being

Sometimes people get the mistaken
notion that spirituality is a separate
department of life,
the penthouse of existence.

But rightly understood,
it is the vital awareness
that pervades the
realm of our being.

Brother David Steindl-Rast

Of Note: Being Sunday, it seemed appropriate to talk about church. Here is a picture of a portion of my church in the northwoods at Mt. St. Mossback Monastery. Anyone looking for a building will be disappointed, though, because this monastery pervades the whole area and engulfs it in light--at least in my mind. Kind of like the spirituality concept of the Brother above, which has many advantages, one of the most important being freedom. God must have thought a lot about freedom to have made it such a sought after commodity. Buddha spoke of nothing else though He called it liberation. Christ couched the concept in the harmonic of love, which brings us full circle to light. And my church in the woods.

Today's Weather Report: Oh, boy, the clouds are rolling in and showers are predicted as are temps in the 50's. Yesterday it did get up to 57 but with a decided chill in the air. The stiff breeze probably contributed to the cold, uncomfortable feeling. My weather diary noted snow already in 2006 so I'm not complaining. Really.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Taking Themselves Lightly

Angels can fly because
they take themselves lightly.

G.K. Chesterton

Of Note: This stately little terra cotta angel will have to stand in for those elusive deva angels who are reluctant to pose for photos. It has been promised that one day soon the angel kingdom will show itself on a day-to-day basis. But til that time comes, the gentle stirring of their wings will have to suffice.

Today's Weather Report: Speaking of elusive, that magic 50 degree temp that I need to continue with the truck painting project has arrived! The sun is shining gloriously, and I can't wait to get outside.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Lord Is Watching


PSALM 121:8

Of Note: Amen. What do you think the Lord would think of the fact that we can send men into the heavens but cannot make heaven here on earth for the million upon millions who are starving?

Today's Weather Report: The sun is playing peek-a-boo again which makes the yellow leaves sparkle when its out. A slight breeze adds to the effect. That we still have leaves is amazing. I'm just waiting until it gets to be 50 degrees today so the truck painting can get to the next stage. The forecasters promise it, but I have my doubts because of that peek-a-boo sun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just a Friendly Smile

The thing that goes the farthest,
Toward making life worthwhile,
That costs the least and does the most,
Is just a friendly smile.

Alfred Criswell

Of Note: Wise old Mr. Criswell is 97 and has seen it all. He wrote this poem in a 12 year-old friend's autograph book over 70 years ago--in 1937 to be exact. In quoting it, the friend, now 82 said it has served her well all these years. Living through the Great Depression, these two know that in times of trouble, a smile goes a long way and costs nothing. Along that line, today is UN World Hunger Day to remind everyone that hunger still exists, and those undernourished or hungry have actually increased in number since 2000 when most countries in the world pledged to do something about it. While the affluent developed countries suffer loudly through the current financial meltdown, undeveloped countries will suffer more. Check out for up to the minute information on what's happening at the United Nations. PS: Look closely and you will see a smile on this sunflower. These gangly flowers are shy and try to hide it, but it's there.

Today's Weather Report: It's a mixed up kind of weather situation outside. Sun comes out for a few minutes, then goes back behind thick clouds. It's playing peek-a-boo with us. The temps are hovering around 50 degrees, not sure which way to go either.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Service As Rent



Rep. Shirley Chisolm

Of Note: Shirley Chisolm personified service in her contributions to humanity. That is service that can be seen. There are other kinds that cannot be seen. Often these are even more potent. Intentional creation through directed meditation is one example. Another is "reclaiming large areas of peace in ourselves. The more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world." These are the words of Etty Hillesum author of An Interrupted Life. Interred in a concentration camp, her ability to perform meaningful outside service was obviously limited. However, she took the opportunity afforded under unbearable circumstances to rearrange her own heart. These powerful emanations are still reverberating today.

Today's Weather Report: More clouds, though rain is not forecast. The temps will get up to the 50's supposedly. We will see about that. Right now it's 42. Good inside project day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hand In Hand

Remember, we all stumble ,
every one of us.
That's why it's a comfort
to go hand in hand.

Emily Kimbrough

Of Note: The collective soul of nature "instinctually" proceeds hand in hand in its development. It's showing this side of Itself in these ostrich ferns, which relish the opportunity to get densely matted and as a unit push each other toward the sun. As nature differentiates into Humanity, this group ability is first lost and then regained through the mechanism of painful struggle. Thus, it's not only a comfort to find the stumbling other and pull them up, it's an evolutionary necessity.

On Another Note: Did you read that the Dalai Lama was in the hospital? Our hearts go out to him and the struggles he has encountered this year. Collectively we can reach out to him, if only in our imagination, and pull him up with our many compassionate hands. A recount of his imaginary visit to our piece of heaven here in northern Wisconsin can be read at my March 27th blog, which can be easily accessed through the archives. His struggles with getting in and out of the boat might bring a smile.

Today's Weather Report: Oh, let the sun shine in, face it with a grin....lalalala. And with it will come warmer temps all the better to finish the truck touchup painting project. One never knows this time of year when the last 60 degree day will occur.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Only In Silence

Only in silence can we begin
to repair the damage to our
sense organs accrued through
the hubbub of daily living.

In silence, we can finally
begin to hear.

K.P. Riley

Of Note: At Mount St. Mossback Monastery where we live, the silence is almost deafening. At night the stars shine brightly in the heavens, and the Milky Way shimmers brilliantly across the darkened vault of the sky. This path into the woods follows an ancient animal trail along Mossback Lake where silence was mandatory in order not to disturb the other forest inhabitants nor alert an enemy. Back then, the lake was the Namekagon River, which was diverted in the late 1800's for logging purposes to its current course on the other side of our property. This quote was published in Beacon magazine October - December 2008 in an article entitled "The Spiritual Dynamics of Sound." More of the same can be obtained at

Today's Weather Report: Raining and raining some more. It is not so hard, though, that it will knock the brilliant leaves off the trees. A chipmunk in the bedroom awoke me this morning when it decided to crawl into bed with me when pursued by one big cat and a tag-along dog. Jim saved the day by opening the door to let the little thing escape to the rock pile. This greatly frustrated the breakfast plans of the cat and dog who circled the pile for quite some time before admitting defeat.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Guarantee

It is difficult for modern man to conceive of
a time when there will be no racial, national
or separative consciousness in human thinking.
It was equally difficult for prehistoric man to conceive
of a time when there would be national thinking.

This is a good thing for us to bear in mind.

The time when humanity will be able to think in
universal terms still lies far ahead but the fact that
we can speak of it, desire it, and plan for it is surely
the guarantee that is is not impossible.

Humanity has always progressed from state to stage
of enlightenment and from glory to glory.
We are today on our way to a better civilization
than the world has ever known and toward
conditions which will ensure a much happier humanity,
see the end of national differences, of class
distinction and ensure a fuller and richer life
for everyone.

Djwhal Khul

Of Note: The book from which this came Problems of Humanity is a forward looking but relatively brief tome that outlines solutions for the underlying conflicts faced daily by men, women and children everywhere. It outlined no quick fixes because of it's broad time line reaching as far back and as far forward as can be imagined. But Master Khul challenged the people with eyes to see that time was awasting since the opportunities of our particular time in space was unprecedented. First published in 1947, this illuminating book is available from

Today's Weather Report: The tranquil garden scene above was taken in July. It showed northern Wisconsin at its best--though the fall leaves this year have been equally breathtaking. Maybe I've just taken the time to look for the first time. The forecast today predicted the temps should get up into the high 70's with thunderstorms. Looks like the weathermen got it right this time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Investigating the Unexplained

The purpose of science is
to investigate the unexplained,
not explain the uninvestigated.

Dr. Stephen Rorke

Of Note: An open mind and heart are essential for research into the unknown. And almost every area of research would qualify because the list of what we don't know is so much larger than the list of what we do. Many times we get lulled into the false idea we have broken the code about this or that area of research. Humanity will only be given the necessary keys as we are found responsible to handle the information for the good of all.

Today's Weather Report: You won't find me inside much longer with the gorgeous sunshiny day beckoning. After making bread, I'll will be outside for the rest of the day.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Come Simply So


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Of Note: The fairies seem particularly close in the fall, and Marie caught this one frolicking at a local nursery. These are exactly the colors of the woods right now--bright shimmering yellow and multitudinous shades of green. If the fairy would have added a wreath of red maple leaves in her hair, the picture would have been complete. We can use our imaginations, though, and add them ourselves.

Today's Weather Report: Quite overcast with light, but persistent showers. At 40 degrees, Jim decided a fire in the fireplace was essential to take the chill off. He works on his book in front of that cozy fire, and it makes a warm domestic scene.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let Your Dreams Set You Free

Take all that you've become
Set your standards high
You deserve the best. . .
To be all that you can be.
Soar above the clouds
And let your dreams
Set you free.

Jillian K. Hunt
Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul

Of Note: My sister, Marie, took this shot at Galveston this past summer. I dedicate this quote to all those on Galveston Island and the surrounding communities who are now coming back to little or nothing. As children, we used to spend some time down there at a high-stilted Crystal Beach cabin. That was one of the communities of which the newspapers ran before and after photos. Before there were rows of houses on stilts, afterward there were none. Zero. All that was left was the occasional stilt sticking its head out of the sand reminiscent of what used to be.

Today's Weather Report: Breezy and sunny. All the various tones of the many wind chimes that reside at our house are ringing in unison. It could sound like cacophony. But as part of the whole backdrop, it sounds sweet to the ears. Yesterday the temps rose to the 60's and the morning jackets were thrown off by the afternoon. Today promises more of the same.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good of the Whole

Free will is initially associated
with liberty and independence.
But ultimately, it concerns right choice
by the discriminating power of mind,
the capacity to choose
the greater over the lesser,
the good of the whole
over the interest of the parts.

Lucis Trust

Of Note: Mom took this very interesting picture in Jacksonville, Florida not long ago. By standing back from the scene, we can see that the smaller mollusks had taken up residence at one time in the larger shell before dying there. As a human, we take that view for granted. As one of the little mollusks, we would not have. Through the discriminating power of mind we can take a further step back to look at the whole unfolding scene--one that is not available to the normal human or mollusk. What we would see is literal patterns of universal interconnectedness, symbolically much like the shells above but on a much grander scale.

Today's Weather Report: The sun is back and with it warmer temps. Today will probably get to the 60's again. This is what I would call a premier fall day. Pumpkins are for sale at the stores. But a really neat sight is seeing them at the area's farms--big and little orange lumps strewn across the fields all the way to the horizon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Calmness, Necessity, Unchanging

Push on to the ultimate Emptiness,
Guard unshakable Calmness,
All the ten thousand things are moving and working.
Yet, we can see the void whither they must return.

All things however they flourish turn
and go home to the root from which they sprang.
This reversion to the root is called Calmness.
It is recognition of Necessity,
That which is call Unchanging.

Knowing Unchanging means Enlightenment,
Not knowing it means going blindly into disaster.

Tao Te Ching

Of Note: Day in and day out, the Ten Thousand Things envelop our being and keep us from the liberating root of spirit, also called Calmness, Necessity and Unchanging. When that root is finally recognized upon the Fiery Path Home, there is no turning back. In the process we bring others with us as their eyes too are opened. And as a group together we all go Home. There is no other way.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday the sun popped out for just a few hours in the evening and the fiery sky above beckoned me to take a picture. If truth be told, it was actually my husband who called upstairs and said I might want to grab the camera and take pictures of a spectacular sunset. If it weren't for him, I would have missed the whole, short show. Today it is back to cloudy with showers, though the temps have warmed a bit to the upper 50's. No need for a fire in the fireplace like yesterday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Waking Up From A Dream

A lifetime might not be enough
to attune ourselves
to the harmony of the universe.

But just to become aware that
we can resonate with it--
that alone can be like
waking up from a dream.

David Steindl-Rast

Of Note: Notice anything strange about this photo? If you look closely, you will see that the picture shows a reflection rather than the tall pines themselves. We can tell that the originating trees are mighty and majestic, but their reflection appear a bit off and drab. Let's imagine that we lived in that reflection. We could never really be in harmony with the Real because we would not know it existed. We would believe that the disharmony of the reflection was all there was to life. Imagine waking up one day to Reality. Just imagine.

Today's Weather Report: Drab, really drab, like the picture above and raining. Pouring would be a better descriptor. Besides that it's in the upper 40's; so, it's a cold rain. A perfect curl up with a book kind of day with a fire blazing in the fireplace, soup cooking and bread baking. Hum, the fire, soup and bread are happening downstairs right now. That must be the signal to go grab the book and enjoy the rest of the day.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crystallized Music

We have , then, in the universe
crystallized music and nothing else.

The whole form of the cosmos is
nothing but a structure built up
of billions of diverse units, crystals,
which are the embodiment of
corresponding rates of vibration,
those rates being the expression
of the activities of the higher planes.

It is, in a word, the result of a
vast orchestra, of which every being
in the universe of whatever
degree of intelligence,
great or small, is a player,
and the Architect of the Universe,
the Great Director.

Dr. A. S. Raleigh
Hermetic Science of Number and Motion

Of Note: What musical note might this honeysuckle bloom represent? Because of the vibrant, alive colors, bet it's a pure tone in some high octave range. I wonder what symphony plays in the whole garden of which this tiny flower is but a minuscule part? What musical note is humanity as a whole? This certainly could give the concept of harmony a new meaning.

Today's Weather Report: Well, it's back to cloudy and in the 50's with rain impending. In reviewing my garden diary, I noticed that last year it was in the 80's a few days at this same time. Sure can't picture something like that today.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Help Your Neighbor


Hindu Proverb

Of Note: This is just another version of the truism that I and my neighbor are one. Another good reason to love thy neighbor as thyself, because in fact, we are one and the same. Not figurative, rather literally. When we have etheric vision, this will be quite obvious. Without it, we have to go on faith. This is a shot of the wild rice beds adjacent to our property along the Namekagon River taken this week. This was prized Native American country because of the bountiful wild rice crops procured from these beds, and indeed there was an Chippewa Indian village next door until about 1880. Not too long ago, really.

Today's Weather Report: Big news is the hard freeze last night. The last remaining flowers are now kaput. Hope to get some seeds later because the sun is out gloriously, even if its chilly. Will finish up the painting as well though it must get above 50 degrees.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Burnt By the Flames

Dive deeply into the miracle of life
and let the tips of your wings be burnt by the flame,
let your feet be lacerated by the thorns,
let your heart be stirred by human emotion,
and let your soul be lifted beyond the earth.

Pir Vilyat Inayat Khan
Call of the Dervish

Of Note: Life is described by the ancient seers as a flame. Not figuratively, but rather literally. Fall is a perfect season to contemplate Life as fire. During this colorful time of year, the signs are everywhere to behold, thus making it easier for the brain to bring through from the mind the incendiary nature of Life.

Today's Weather Report: Yahoo, the sun is showing itself even if it was 34 degrees when I awoke. Last night, I brought in the huge datura, the last of my porch plants, and not a moment too soon. Should get up into the 50's by this afternoon which is all I need to finish the paint job Jim started on the barn. Mind you, this is a little barn, not one of those mammoth structures built for dairy farms. Only have a couple more hours before the job is complete and that should take care of the painting for the year. Already starting to plan next year's work, though. It will give me something to do over the long winter months quickly approaching.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Reflection on Sarah Palin Hair--Part II


Macie's slanted smile came back to me when trying several days later to comb out that mass of curls. In the end, it appeared that more hair was in the wastebasket than on my aching head. In the hour it took to remove the seemingly endless tangles, I finally realized what woman's liberation was all about.

It was about freedom from beehive hairdos, padded bras, waste-tight poodle skirts, heavy makeup and uptight, girdled attitudes to a more carefree space which fostered straight, long hair, jeans and bandanna tops, hippie beads and a let-it-all-hang-out attitude accentuated in many cased by drugs, booze and sex. In that environment, contraceptive management became very important as did higher education.

Losing the teased hair and the rest of it was only the first phase of the woman's lib movement, I thought. As we raised our daughters, we brought them up to be anything they wanted to be with big brains, open hearts and a can-do attitude. Where the first woman's lib bunch believed that men were holding them back, our daughters knew that only they could hold themselves back. We raised no victims.

Some may not like Sarah Palin, but she is a product of this new era when women can be anything they want and are only limited by their own beliefs and attitudes. They can even have sixties-style hair with eighties-era glasses and a 21st century high-powered career and get away with it. Palin is joined by countless numbers of equally or even more talented women of every political persuasion in different but similar situations the world over. As a group, they are blazing the trail for their daughters and all daughters to come.

But that's not all, I thought. The true liberation of women will most certainly be part of the next dynamic phase and a cornerstone of the coming world change. In that enlightened time, our collective, global daughters will not be constrained in any way because of the intrepid mothers who went before them. It will be a time when "each diverse human gift will find a fitting place" to harken back to Margaret Mead's words because the male and female will know they are actually two sides of one reversible cloth.

And just think, some of these girls may look back on the symbol of Sarah Palin hair as one of the first signs that the next door toward even greater human liberation was opening. Who would have thought a simple up-do could take us to such heights?

Of Note: For those less than enamored with Sarah Palin, this essay on daughters is in no way a political statement. Rather she and her famous hair are used as a symbol for the equalization of the sexes happening right before our eyes. Slowly but surely women worldwide are finding their collective voice. It is the unbalanced nature of power that has brought us to where we are now. Both sexes have participated--there are truly no victims here. But we are now moving toward balance or more precisely, rhythm. Inertia, movement/chaos, rhythm. It is the inevitable cycle of Life. I took this reflective shot yesterday standing on the Namekagon River bridge adjacent to our property. Makes you want to just jump into the clouds, doesn't it?

Today's Weather Report: Really overcast this morning and in the low forties. A chilly low forties at that. Looks like rain any minute. The forecast is for a freeze tonight--the first of the season. The painting that needs doing may have to wait until next spring if this keeps up.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Reflection on Sarah Palin Hair--Part I

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values,
we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities,
and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric in which
each diverse human gift finds a fitting place.

Margaret Mead

As you might expect, last weekend was full of excitement as my daughter's wedding was unfolding. She had previously invited me to go as mother and daughter on the Big Day to get our hair done. I'm not much into "getting my hair done" but, what the heck, I thought, this was a once in a lifetime event.

Upon arriving at the Aveda salon at precisely 10:30 am, we were greeted by two eager cosmetologists ready to descend into the uplifting hairdos that would carry us through the celebratory day. Macie from Memphis was my gal. According to her, an up-do master whose artistic vision and skilled hands were the best on the Atlantic coast.

When I asked how Sarah Palin did her hair, Macie said, no problemo, we can do that. Easy. Wait a minute, I said, I didn't want Sarah Palin's hair, just wanted to know how she did it. In short order I found out. Macie's mind was made up.

Before long, burning curlers were strategically placed on every part of my head, then eventually and thankfully removed to create a poodle effect. After which the teasing began.

For those who don't know what teasing entails, think of taking several strands of hair straight up from the head and pulling down with a comb until the hair is wadded near the scalp. This curious process continues until the whole area resembles an afro. OK. Got that picture?

From there, the outer hair was straightened over the teased part, a million bobby pins were place just-so to uplift the back part of the hair and beautiful curls were skilfully crafted to set off the whole thing.

To assure that not one tendril escaped, a half-gallon of hair spray was artfully applied. Not surprisingly, Macie emptied the bottle she had on hand, but quickly procured another to finish off the job. In the end, it wasn't a 1960's bouffant, but pretty close to it.

Only took an hour. What's an hour. I called it a Modified Sarah Palin. Macie just called it a Palin. With a sardonic smile, she said "It's the rage"--after which she announced that's she's a Republican for Obama.


Of Note: Margaret Mead's quote will make more sense when the story is finished. Trust me. Marie took this festive picture of the Modified Sarah Palin and that's my cute-as-a-bug grandson, Gabe, age 3.

Today's Weather Report: More clouds, kind of gloomy but my reward is a windowful of bright red color from the maple trees contrasted with the yellow from the popple. The cosmos and a few sunflowers remain while all the other flowers have turned to seed. This is the time of year for collecting seeds for next season, and several batches are drying in the house.