Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hope is a Path

Hope is a path on the mountainside.

At first there is no path.

But then there are people passing that way.
And there is a path.

~Lu Xun

Of Note: After conducting a series of opinion surveys, California's Institute of Noetic Sciences came to the conclusion that a hopeful subculture is flourishing in the United States. This subculture could be identified by the following shifts in values and beliefs:
  1. A shift from competition to reconciliation and partnership;
  2. A shift from greed and scarcity to sufficiency and caring;
  3. A shift from outer to inner authority;
  4. A shift from mechanistic to living systems; and most significantly,
  5. A shift from separatism to wholeness.
Called by public opinion researcher Paul Ray the "cultural creatives," this group is growing rapidly and currently constitutes between 24 to 28 percent of Americans. They are not alone, of course. In other developed nations, 35% of the population espouse a holistic viewpoint. Even more encouraging was the view of the leader of the Holistic Network based in the UK: "The holistic approach is rapidly becoming a major cultural force. There is substantial and rigorously researched evidence that the majority of the population in the United Kingdom, and other industrialized nations, is adopting a holistic worldview."

(This information comes from an insightful book by Ervin Laszlo,
Quantum Shift in the Global Brain--a must-read for prognosticators of change.)

Today's Weather Report: It started off as hot day today, and muggy. But thankfully, clouds rolled in and mercifully obstructed the sun's rays. We had a small shower sometime during the night with another forecast for this evening. Bring it on. Anything to break this heatwave. The dogs and humans living here have not moved much in the last week or so. But that's OK--with all the big summer projects done, it is time to contemplate the beginning of fall and the impending winter seasons where hibernation is the accepted mode.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Common Depth of Life

Below the wave crests of consciousness,
there is an unfathomable, common depth
of life from which all spirits draw the
springs of their being.

~The Upanishads

Of Note: It is predicted that in the future one faith will spring forth from the myriad of religions blanketing the planet. On the horizon may be the first rays of such a change. TIME magazine announced that this fall the Claremont School of Theology in California "will commence a first on US soil: a theological university that will train future pastors, imams and rabbis under one roof." The United Methodist Church, which funds the school, was not happy about the change and threatened to withhold funding. However, after extensive campaigning by school officials, the church relented. Currently, there are no accredited imam training schools in the United States; this would be the first. For that, Claremont has to gain the endorsement of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, the world's leading Sunni institution. Also on the docket is the need to find Buddhist and Hindu partners. The visionary Rev. Jerry Campbell, Claremont's president, believes that it will take at least 10 years before this project is fully functional. He believes it will be worth the wait. Enrollment is already up 10%.

Today's Weather Report: It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity. Enough said. No one moved very much. Rain is forecast for tomorrow, and the temps will drop into the 70's. Yeah-o. The mosquitoes are merciless the past couple of weeks. All day. Used to be, the little buggers only came out after 9 PM. With all the rain, they are now on round the clock duty to find a blood source. This is the first summer that the screen doors have actually been closed most of the time. The dogs have even respected the barrier. Nothing likes mosquitoes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Future Not Widely Distributed


~William Gibson

Of Note: Global hunger is not a sexy subject. Many people roll their eyes when the topic is broached. After all, didn't Jesus say the poor would always be among us? Doesn't "Love thy neighbor" mean the guy or gal next door? Even at www.thehungersite.com where six sites vie for attention, the "save the animal" site gets six times more hits than the "feed the people" site. So what this means is that people, who go to this Website and by clicking give a free donation to the chosen site or all the sites for that matter, prefer feeding helpless animals to helpless people. By an overwhelming majority. What is it about feeding people that is so uninteresting a topic that it gets bypassed completely when all that is required is a free "click?" On another front, my sister emailed an article touting the fact that the genome of wheat had been cracked. It now joins rice (2005,) corn (2009) and soybeans (2010) in having a genome that is open to scientific inquiry. But not so fast said one food scarcity scientist, who heralded the discovery as the most significant move forward in wheat farming in 10,000 years but emphasized that reforming the politics and economics of food distribution was as equally as important. Nobel prize winner, Norman Borlaug, who is the Father of the Green Revolution, thought that past growing more food, roads were the answer. For without roads, the increased supply could not get to market. It seems that the discussion could go on and on, and all the while people continue without food. Could it be that all the technology and infrastructure in the world will not solve the problem without first a radical shift in the way we think about sharing and cooperation, social justice and equality? Changing our minds; now that would be a revolutionary breakthrough.

Today's Weather Report: No rain for several days now but a shower or two is forecast tomorrow. The patch of grass being nurtured by my husband could use a good soaking. Recycling has finally come to rural America. We now have a large recycling bin to match our large garbage bin that is emptied regularly by the fleet of trucks from the waste management company. As for all changes, it has required a shift in thinking about our garbage. Most of the paper has been recycled for several years now in our wood burning boiler, but the rest of the glass, aluminum and plastic has been thrown out with the regular trash. Now we have a separate recycle trash can in our house and feel satisfied that we have joined the rest of the USA in this endeavor. I wish we could compost but last time we tried that it brought all sorts of unwanted critters into the area, and we have enough trouble around here with unwanted, hungry critters.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It Is Not the Eyes That See



~Steve Nation

Of Note: What a surprise to think that it is not the eyes that see. But true it is. The eyes are only the instrument of sight; the mind is the originator. In Catching the Light, Arthur Zajonic said: "The lights of nature and of mind intertwine within the eye and call forth sight." Prior to the activation of the mind, the eyes only see the lights of nature and perceive that splendid view as reality. Hypnotically, we get lost in the scenes, day after day aspiring for this or that in the all-embracing landscape. After the eye has awakened, Reality comes into view. From those who have had the experience, it is not a gradual thing, but something sudden. Chaos followed by revelation. Humanity as a whole is on the cusp of such a happening. Whether it is next year or 50 years from now, we will "know it when we see it" as the saying goes and nothing will ever be the same.

Today's Weather Report: Rain has held off for a few days now. That is much to the relief of my husband who is trying to plant new grass from seed over by the barn. After several starts that have been frustrated by downpours, he thinks this time the window of opportunity has arrived. 10 years ago when I met my husband, he did not own a mower and laughed at those with lawns of any kind. His "lawn" around the house was and still is rocks. But I came into his life and loved to mow. Since then, one patch after another has been turned into lush lawn. Mind you, most is mowed weeds that eventually looks pretty good from a distance. We are talking low maintenance here. However, he has seeded a few patches and is actually pretty good at lawn creation, much to my surprise given his original antipathy for the green stuff.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Command to Love Thy Neighbor



Wheaton College, 12-4-02

Of Note: Bono was certainly onto something with his belief that Jesus was demanding his followers to love. Not many think of Jesus as a commander, but He was indeed--a commander of troops to bring the world into the new age of enlightenment. The formula was and continues to be simple--Love. Humans are hardwired to be love, it is in our DNA. If followed, the command to Love allows us to become who we are. We get in the way of our divine destiny through separatism and selfishness that comes in many forms, some masquerading as altruism or short-sighted political necessity. For example, Thurow and Kilman in Enough: Why the Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty cited a study that showed under the European Dairy subsidies, a cow receives support amounting to $2.20 per day or $800 per year. This was more than the annual income of half the world's population. The Supreme Commander said: Love. We will know we have stepped up to the plate when people worldwide have enough to eat and statistics like this are part of history books.

Today's Weather Report: It was cool this morning and continues so with a very strong wind blowing sporadically. This feels like March weather with a storm brewing--but my husband assured me at breakfast that no rain was in sight. The barn is getting its last coat of paint today. This is one of the last summer projects. Only two replacement doors to go and we will be done. Amazingly, even though there is a large gap under the turret door where I pulled out loads of rotting wood, no rain has come in during all the numerous storms we've had. It will be nice to get that secured for winter, however. Maybe early next week. The dogs are shedding badly so their bodies sense a change in the seasons as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Politics as Poison

How can one talk to a nine year old child about
the fact that his father shot his best friend?

I asked him for his own explanation.
He looked me right in the eye and said:
"I think they have been poisoned,
They have been drinking something that
has been poisoning their brains."

But he suddenly added,
"But now they all are poisoned,
so I am sure it is in the drinking water,
and we really have to find out how
to clean the polluted water."

When I asked him if children were
as much poisoned as adults,
he shook his head and said:
"No, not at all. They have smaller bodies,
so they are not drinking so much,
so they are less contaminated,
and I have discovered that small
children who mostly drink milk,
they are not poisoned at all."

I asked him if he had ever
heard the word politics.
He almost jumped and looked at me and said,
"Yes. That's the name of the poison!"

~Magne Raundalen

Of Note: Out of the mouth of babes Raundalen heard tales of horror. She was a Norwegian psychologist working with children from the war-torn area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. With our concentration on Iraq and Afghanistan, we sometimes forget that there are and have been many areas of strife in the world, all of which mold children's minds in subtle and not so subtle ways. To counter a reality gone painfully amiss, the young make up explanations for the chaos around them. Sometimes fanciful stories, but nonetheless true to them. For this boy, politics was equated to poison. Potentially that belief will influence his thinking for the rest of his life. Warring politicians everywhere, including those in the United States, should take special note of their influence on children and carefully consider their collective responsibility to the generations coming up in the world.

Today's Weather Report: Although we had a light rain shower at 4 am, we have sunshine at this moment. Summer jobs around here are winding down, and the feeling of fall is in the air. The full moon of Virgo rises this evening.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lift Up Thy Head

Poverty won't allow him to lift up his head;
dignity won't allow him to bow it down.

~Madagasy Proverb

Of Note: Why people starve when there is enough food to go around is a good question. After all, we can send men to the moon and can't conquer the global logistics of feeding people. Authors Thurow and Kilman explore that conundrum in their book Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in the Age of Plenty. Could it be that some jealously guard the "plenty" as their own? American's expanding waistlines might be the result of this way of thinking. After all, phenomenon is the result of a cause originating in "ways of thinking" whether conscious or not. Thurow and Kilman shared a Gates Foundation study which "estimated that to eliminate hunger in 60 million African households [would take] just over half of what Americans spend to counter overeating. The market for weight loss treatment in the United States, including diet programs and herbal products, has been estimated to be worth $33 billion a year."

Today's Weather Report: Another hot, muggy day on the "ranch." Temps are predicted to be in the mid-80's Fahrenheit today, but currently it is only in the mid-70's and quite pleasant in the house. I hear that in the sun, the heat and humidity are almost unbearable. Speaking of unbearable, a second round of monsoon flooding is currently pounding Pakistan and China. How much more can they take?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Dawning of the Heart


~Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Of Note: Ever wonder what to pray for. Here it is all laid out in simple fashion. Ramakrishna suggests that we forget praying for things and rather pray for the dawning of love and knowledge within the heart of every human being. The Great Invocation to the right is just such a prayer. Once the heart is lit with love and knowledge there is never any going back. How do we know a lighted heart? Someday we will be able to see it visually--at the present we can feel it if our senses are attuned.

Today's Weather Report: This was one of the nine pumpkins I grew last year. They were so plentiful, I had trouble giving them away. This year my pumpkin plants have lots of leaves and buds but to date no fruit. Many of my garden plants have lots of greenery but few blooms or fruit. Must have been that double dose of fertilizer my husband put on them this spring. He knows not to be so "loving" next year. I could hardly believe my eyes but the lake is creeping even closer to the original shoreline. Presently the dock boards are submerged by an inch or so. The five inches of rain we had this week really made a difference. During a couple of the downpours, I tried to picture how a monsoon would feel. Can't imagine rain like that day after day. Right now, 20% of Pakistan is underwater and 20 million people are affected by flooding with no end in sight. Makes our little storms look teeny by comparison.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Working Out Salvation With Diligence




~The Buddha
From His Last Sermon

Of Note: A few blogs ago, I touted Warren Buffet's efforts to influence fellow billionaires to give at least half of their income to charity. A few more pieces of information have drifted my way in regard to this amazing request. The USAID monthly newsletter noted that Buffet said one percent of his income is enough for him and his family and "neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced by keeping more." According to calculations made by Fortune magazine, his plea to the other billionaires could move $600 billion dollars toward philanthropic work. The president of the Rockefeller Foundation said this could easily double or triple the amount of charitable contributions in America. In another source, his son is quoted as saying they did not expect to inherit their father's money and learned to earn a living the hard way--in his case as a farmer. It was not until money was made available for his foundation following his mother's death, that the son had the funds to pursue charitable work in Africa. Warren Buffet has made a name for himself in moneymaking for many years, but this current endeavor, if successful, could be the crowning glory of his career.

Today's Weather Report: Sears came out to fix my lawn tractor yesterday so I was set to mow all day if necessary. However, rain intervened. Thus instead, it's been a quiet day at the computer catching up on emails and blogging. The weather may clear now, but mowing will have to wait because the grass will be too wet for quite some time. We officially had 3 1/2 inches in an hour earlier in the week--I've never seen such a deluge in Wisconsin. Texas where I'm from originally, yes; Wisconsin, no. That was the day the door flew open without our knowledge, and we had a deluge in the house for a short time as well. We used every towel in the house to pick up that mess but I can say the floors are cleaner than they've been for quite some time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vision With Action


~Joel Arthur Barker

Of Note: And indeed it will, eventually. It is up to Humanity to choose the amount of time it takes to get there.

Today's Weather Report: I'm keeping this short because torrential rains have fallen most of the day. The computer has been turned off twice--sure don't want to lose another DSL modem, wireless router and Ethernet port because of a thunder storm. Interestingly, my husband and I actually ate lunch together for the first time in as long as we could remember because we were not busy otherwise with outside work, computers or TV. The lake is way up now. No more logs show along the edges at all. I wonder if our drought has been called off. On another note, for those interested in biology, four separate cougars have now been identified in Wisconsin based on DNA evidence. One of those came through our area in the last couple of years. We were not surprised by that because many have seen cougars come and go in the past, myself included. But this is now official which makes it truly true.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Solidarity of the Human Family

I would remind you of the integrity
and solidarity of the human family.

We are one people -- one in our relationships,
capacities and desires, our origin and our goal.
It is this essential and recognizable integrity
which is emerging at this time powerfully
in the human consciousness.

In every land and among widely differing people,
the same desire exists for understanding,
for the establishment of right human relations,
and for the expression of that basic goodwill
which is one of the deepest human
characteristics and our divine inheritance.

~Alice Bailey

Today's Weather Report: Continued cooler weather--it required a sweater today. These fluffy purple flowers are called Gay Feathers and festoon my garden from one end to the other. August is not a very colorful month as far as flowers are concerned but the gay feathers make up for it. They also come in white and are quite prolific. Also prolific are the fruit flies which have invaded my bathroom for some reason. I've seen many in the act of copulating in midair. Now that takes some doing. They remind me of the gnats that used to buzz us in grade school--think Texas in August with no air conditioners. The nuns would drag out the gnat oil and dot our noses. Those were the days, for sure.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Two Roads

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth,

Then took the other, as just as far,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

Of Note: Two roads lead to the top of the mountain. One goes straight up the side and the other round and round. Most people traverse the longer trail to the top. Even though both lead to the same destination, some take the less traveled route. It is the more difficult of the two, but worth the effort. Robert Frost was obviously aware of this fact and may have been inviting others to join him on the Path.

Today's Weather Report: Finally, a break in the heat wave, though the South is still in the throes of it--as is Russia. My sister reminded me that Russians are really suffering, and they have no air conditioning either. They continue to fight raging fires as well which is choking the countryside with smoke and killing life-sustaining crops. Accounts of the suffering remind me that a little heat and humidity are not all that bad in the scheme of things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Spiritual Isolation as Liberation

For it is not physical solitude that
actually separates one from other men,
not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation.

It is not the desert island nor the stormy
wilderness that cuts us from those we love.

It is the wilderness of the mind,
the desert wastes in the heart through
which one wanders lost and a stranger.

When we are a stranger to ourselves then
we are estranged from others too.
If we are out of touch with ourselves,
then we cannot touch others.

~Anne Morrison Lindbergh

Of Note: I know several people right now who are having the spiritual fights of their lives physically, emotionally and mentally. Most of them are entrapped in the foggy emotional realm and unable to see with clarity the road ahead. This also describes humanity as a whole, which is in an unprecedented spiritual crisis. Embroiled in chaos, we cannot distinguish what is Real. It is the struggle, however, which provides the deliverance. Without it, no evolution of consciousness would be possible because the chaos would appear quite satisfactory, thank you--as it does to many before they say "Enough! Please." In the struggle is liberation. That is a surprise to many who think spiritual evolution equates to an easy Path. The sooner we realize the truth and step up to the plate, the sooner we will transcend the fog.

Today's Weather Report: Brutal heat and humidity continue. If we could, our tongues would be hanging down to the ground, just like the dogs. More rain fell late last night just like every night or two most of the summer. The lake is filling up and the exposed logs along the edges are no longer so. These logs are left overs from the logging era in the late 1800's when this lake was part of the Namekagon River. Because of the elbow bend in the river that is now the lake, many logs got stuck along the sides. Later the river was diverted to the other side of this property to make a straight-away. The loggers were happy with no more bends, and we got a pretty lake. The story is contained in my husband's comprehensive history of the area. His book has been selling like hotcakes this summer--in the hundreds not thousands, mind you. We have been told his book fills a niche to those interested in local history as it spans 350 years. Considering we never expected to sell more than a few, this whole experience has been a pleasant surprise.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

See It for the First Time



~Rabindranith Tagore

Of Note: Creative innovation expands the mind and with the right motive often helps humanity. So it was with two Rice University undergraduates, who used their brains to create a machine to diagnose anemia without power while at the same time being inexpensive and portable. The duo explained that they modified a basic salad spinner into an easy to use and transportable centrifuge that successfully separated blood with no electricity to aid diagnosis of anemia. Sally Centrifuge, the name given the novel device, costs about $30 and can process 30 individual blood samples at a time while separating the blood with 20 minutes of spinning. The two inventors are testing the centrifuge this summer in Ecuador, Malawi and Swaziland. The professor for the class Introduction to Bioengineering and World Health said of the two women: "The students really did an amazing job of taking very simple, low-cost materials and creating a device their research shows correlates nicely with hematocrit levels in the blood. Many of the patients seen in developing world clinics are anemic, and its a severe health problem. Being able to diagnose it with no power, with a device that's extremely lightweight, is very valuable."

Today's Weather Report: At around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity close to 100%, it is almost unbearable. Not to be whine-y, but we have no air conditioning so multiple fans have to do. OK so some would consider that whining. With people dying all over the world from every imaginable condition, I shouldn't even bring it up. The dogs have decided that sitting in one of the garden's ponds is the best recourse. They probably have the bet idea yet. My lawn tractor tire went flat yesterday, and it will be a week before Sears will be out to fix it. That means no mowing for a full week. Amen to that. It might look like a hay field by then but a week's reprieve from mowing will be welcomed. More rain last night and the grass is saying alleluia.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Abide at the Center of Your Being




Of Note: On this very hot and muggy day in a heat wave, it is good to know that we don't have to go far for enlightenment. Actually, we don't even have to go one step since all enlightenment is found within. How can that be? We act as if a search outside will bring the answers we seek. Surprise of surprises, we ultimately discover the Soul is within, where it's been all along. The mystic Rumi expressed this well when he said: "The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along."

Today's Weather Report: It is 84 degrees as we speak with a prediction of an ultimate 94 degrees Fahrenheit today. Then possible storms. Storms descending at these temps could be quite severe. Guess we will watch and wait. Both of the cats who disappeared last week have returned. One only yesterday. The first returning cat was meowing pitifully yesterday as I weeded the garden, and I sensed he was calling the other one. So I said: "The black cat is gone, Gipper" yada yada and when I turned around, the other cat sauntered up without any fanfare. He was definitely more skinny but thankfully had no wounds. Gipper immediately quieted. Now hopefully, things cat-wise will be pretty much back to normal. The only one missing is the yellow cat who was killed by a predator. The flower garden is beyond belief this summer. The plants have grown so large, I am going to wait until the fall the thin them when some of the greenery subsides. Unexpectedly blooming last week were an outside Datura (I usually have one as a house plant) and cactus, which sent out a gorgeous ruffly, white flower for only a few hours. Had I not seen it and snapped a picture, it would have been too late.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Changing Direction


~Chinese Proverb

Of Note: It was a surprise to read that 80% of the world's domestic product belongs to one billion people. The remaining 20% is shared by the other five and a half billion. This is an obvious imbalance of resources. Some would say unsustainable. If indeed this inequity is not sustainable into the future, how will a balancing take place? Billionaire Warren Buffet has one answer. He and Bill Gates have asked 80 American billionaires to publicly give their wealth away before they die or soon thereafter. 40 agreed. Those who have responded are highlighted on the Giving Pledge Website. Most of these uber-wealthy people said that if not for Buffet, they would not have considered giving away their wealth in this way. How did he convince the wealthy to give? According to one, it was Buffet's personal request to set an example and influence others that made a difference. Now that this mover has canvassed the American rich, he will move on to the international moneyed community.

Today's Weather Report: A perfect day at the ranch as far as weather is concerned. The local paper said we've had a few inches of rain more than the average for the year. Considering we were way below average for the last several years, being above average for a change is welcomed. Two more of our cats are missing this week. Could be that the local wolf pack has run out of deer and are starting to prey on pets. That would be an unfortunate turn of events and an unintended consequence of reintroduction of wild animals to populated areas.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To Be Loved Like the Sun

Even as the sun does not quit for
prayers and incantations to rise
but shines forth and is welcomed by all;
So thou also wait not for clapping of hands
and shouts of praise to do thy duty;
But do good of thine own accord and thou
will be loved like the Sun.


Of Note: The building of a mosque/community center by the site of the World Trade Center is causing quite a stir. Many lament that it is disrespectful to have a mosque built near this "sacred site" because the buildings were destroyed in the name of Islam. Those building the mosque say that they want to promote peace and harmony among and between all and believe the site is a perfect place to accomplish that objective. Mayor Bloomberg says religious tolerance is part of our Constitution and an honored tradition in New York City. Emotions are running high. The question is this: will emotions trump religious tolerance?

Today's Weather Report: A slight breeze is rustling the popple leaves which is making a whooshing sound. Sun is glimmering off them as well with different shades of green shining forth. A perfect day in the neighborhood with temps in the 70's. We had more rain showers yesterday afternoon that came through quickly and left quickly. I was painting and thought I might have been hearing things as the sun was shining on my side of the barn. Looking out on the other side of the barn revealed dark clouds and rain. The dogs, who were playing in the garden stream, were oblivious to the whole thing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Housekeeping in a Dream

If we look into our lives,
we will see clearly how many
unimportant tasks,
so-called 'responsibilities'
accumulate to fill them up.

One master compares them
to 'housekeeping in a dream.'

~Sogyal Rinpoche
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Of Note: The other day a vision came to me in that period between sleeping and waking in the morning. I, the Soul, had been creating the next day during the night and now upon awaking was animating the Personality to enter the ongoing 4-D "movie" (otherwise known as life) with the prepared script. This entering was quite vivid and a conscious choice. A jumping in with the Mind. The Personality in the movie felt it differently, of course, like the movie was the real, but it was quite clear from the revelation that daily life was simply a fabrication, albeit with a purpose. It was the purpose that was all important not the mundane activities with which we fill the day.

Today's Weather Report: Drippy outside, dark inside. Not rain exactly, just moisture that is keeping the rocks wet. The temperature is lovely, the humidity dreadful. Just another day in northern Wisconsin circa summer 2010. Yesterday afternoon while trekking to the barn to paint, I came upon the carcass of an animal that had been eaten by a predator of some sort. It appeared to be a fox, but upon closer inspection was a yellow cat. One of our five most likely although it was hard to tell because not much was left. Upon hearing the story, my husband reported that his large yellow cat had been missing for two days. Guess we know now. That might also explain why the other four have been sticking close to home the last several days.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life Is No Brief Candle


~George Bernard Shaw

Of Note: It took much courage for TIME magazine to run a picture of an Afghan woman on its cover whose nose and ears had been cut off by her husband in Taliban approved retribution for running away from abusive in-laws. The photo is startling. Reading about such sadism is different than actually seeing the results. Here is a beautiful 18-year old with a hole in the middle of her face. Dark hair covers where her ears used to be. The accompanying article highlights how in the last nine years since the Taliban government was routed, women have generally been set free of this kind of oppression. Many women fear that with the withdrawal of UN troops, the horrific scenes like the one perpetrated upon this young woman will once again become the norm. What responsibility do we have as nations to assure this woman and others like her in many other places that humanity will not condone such acts? If you have not seen this TIME magazine, it is worth finding a copy to read.

Today's Weather Report: It is 68 degrees Fahrenheit and gray because of massive cloud cover with humidity near 100%. Looks like rain any minute. Ah, more rain. Wonder of wonders, after a very wet spring and summer, the lake it up at least a foot. I can't imagine the water ever coming up to the original shoreline but any creeping toward it would be nice (rather than the opposite.)