Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Absolutely on Music

Thank you to Lori for the inspiration.

I'm in the process of reading Absolutely on Music and have found myself inspired to retrieve my Suzuki keyboard from my bedroom closet and pick up where I left off in teaching myself to play the piano nearly 20 years ago.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Papoose / Martin Luther King's Birthday 2017 / Alberta Williams King / Dream Variations / Women's March 2017

Around 4 a.m., I awoke, and the word "papoose" came to me, along with a surprising sensation of being loved, cared for, and protected, no matter what danger threatens.  I went back to sleep.  When I woke up again, I realized that today is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just now I found this:

"Also, little known is that in the 1963 March on Washington there was a sizable Native American contingent, including many from South Dakota. Moreover, the civil rights movement inspired the Native American rights movement of the 1960s and many of its leaders. In fact, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) was patterned after the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund."

and this where Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote about his mother, Alberta Williams King.

"My mother confronted the age-old problem of the Negro parent in America: how to explain discrimination and segregation to a small child. She taught me that I should feel a sense of "somebodiness" but that on the other hand I had to go out and face a system that stared me in the face every day saying you are "less than," you are "not equal to." She told me about slavery and how it ended with the Civil War. She tried to explain the divided system of the South—the segregated schools, restaurants, theaters, housing; the white and colored signs on drinking fountains, waiting rooms, lavatories—as a social condition rather than a natural order. She made it clear that she opposed this system and that I must never allow it to make me feel inferior. Then she said the words that almost every Negro hears before he can yet understand the injustice that makes them necessary: "You are as good as anyone." At this time Mother had no idea that the little boy in her arms would years later be involved in a struggle against the system she was speaking of."
"Nothing lights a fire like a dream deferred."
Papoose.  A child.  Something lovingly made, in which a child is kept safe.  All children.  All people.  Loved, cared for, and protected.  We carry the dream as if it were a beloved child. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Self-Portrait with "you" / the mystery of encounter and relationship

A few days ago, I started re-reading a book written by a Zen teacher with Jewish roots.  He had visited a Trappist Monastery and was startled by the anger and violence that appeared along with joy and wonder in the Psalms that were sung on a daily basis.  He talked with the monks about the anger and violence and listened to their perspective that human emotions find healing through expression.  He decided to investigate the Psalms for himself (just as Joni Mitchell investigated for herself the story of Job and that particular definition of "God").

Throughout these translations that came of his investigation, Norman Fischer replaces the word "God" with the word "you."  His perspective is that of a Zen teacher encountering life and death in all its fullness and mystery and sorrow and joy and intimacy.  

Here is what he says about the "you" that he addresses in his own poetry and (I am extrapolating) in his translation of the Psalms:

"The person to whom my poems actually seemed to be addressed was someone much more silent and much more profoundly receptive than any human being could possibly be.  This person wasn't a person at all. It was nobody, nothing, and it wasn't anywhere or at any time.  It was even beyond meaning.  So poetry is important to me not because it gives me a chance to express myself, or to communicate, but because it is an encounter with that which is both so close to me that I can't see it and so far away I can never reach it.  Poetry evokes the unknowable."

(the italics are mine -- am)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

We have this momentum

We have this momentum.  Nothing can stop us.

Wish I had more time for blogging.  My free time is very limited these days.  

Grateful to be self-employed and coming close to being able to pay my bills after 1-1/2 years doing medical transcription editing.  Once I reach the goal of basic survival, my next goal is to be able to put money in savings.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Finally arrived at going forward without regret

Looked for a version of this sung by a woman.

That YouTube version by this man is just what I needed to hear this morning.  Making my way out of the darkly seductive and destructive times in my past and present that this song evokes.

How long can we search for what is not lost?

"How long, babe, can you search for what is not lost?..... Everybody will help you.  Some people are very kind ... Everybody will help you discover what you set out to find ..." (Bob Dylan)

The sun is rising over the foothills this very moment.  My life feels right this morning.  No regrets.  Nothing lost.

Where the Yin Yang symbol came from: 

"When observing the cycle of the Sun, ancient Chinese simply used a pole about 8 feet long, posted at right angles to the ground and recorded positions of the shadow. Then they found the length of a year is around 365.25 days. They even divided the year's cycle into 24 Segments, including the Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, using the sunrise and Dipper positions.
They used six concentric circles, marked the 24-Segment points, divided the circles into 24 sectors and recorded the length of shadow every day. The shortest shadow is found on the day of Summer Solstice. The longest shadow is found on the day of Winter Solstice. After connecting each lines and dimming Yin Part from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice, the Sun chart looks like below. The ecliptic angle 23 26' 19'' of the Earth can be seen in this chart." (from sacredlotusdotcom)

Friday, December 30, 2016

This is not easy

When I listen to Deborah Parker speak from her heart, I think of Sabine, and her raw pain and the something else she and Deborah Parker and so many of us have that can be there with the pain that is so real and present and unequivocal.

We are not alone.  We can turn to the power of good memories and the power of beauty and the power of community during times of raw pain. Deborah Parker's words remind me of what I know of  you, Sabine.  It is not easy.  It is not easy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mona Lisa angel and the Sierra Nevada / Visions on a snowy December morning

The angel on Sabine's family's Christmas tree in 1966 reminded me of the angel that was on my family's Christmas tree in 1966.  My mother sent it to me after she and my father replaced it with something else at the top of the Christmas tree.  That might have been in the 1970s.  The angel didn't have a face.  Instead she had a silver-colored globe ornament for a head, which I found vaguely disturbing.  There was a halo above the faceless angel.  It may have been last December that the head fell off.  I thought of trying to reattach it, but something prompted me to attach an image of the Mona Lisa.  For the first time ever when I opened my box of December things, I was happy to see that green angel from my childhood.

"Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues.  You can tell by the way she smiles."
(Bob Dylan lyrics, from "Visions of Johanna," 1966)

You can see the decorations I put out this year for December as well as what is always there.  Even though I don't call myself a Christian or anything else, during December I think about Mary and Joseph waiting for the Baby Jesus to be born.  The ceramic figures were given to me by my mother.  They were brought out during December in my childhood.  I bring Baby Jesus out on Christmas morning.  Two angels given to me by a friend in the last few years are there during December, too.  There is sprig from a eucalyptus tree in a glass of water.  That's new this year.   See the little tree outside.  It has been there for a year or two.  The Principles of Uncertainty, by Maira Kalman.  If you haven't read it, I recommend it.  It is always there to the right of the elephant batik that came to me after my father died.  My Christian father was drawn to that elephant from India.  He traveled to India in the 1970s.  The batik is always there, too, along with  Gentle Wilderness: The Sierra Nevada.  The lavender and orange and gold tapestry rug on the floor is new this year.  My friend, Linda, gave it to me a few months ago.  The woven blue rug comes from Vida nueva and was made by Zenaida Lazo.  On the windowsill is a jar filled with beach glass and beach ceramic from a beach near Port Townsend, WA.  It was a gift from a friend many years ago.  On top of the jar is prism that channels a spectral light show on my walls when the sun shines.  And everyone knows Oboe!  It looks white outside because it is snowing this morning.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Creator Meditation by Gyasi Ross

As suggested, I thought twice before sharing this.  I trust that it is safe with you.  I know that you, my blog friends, will also think twice before sharing it.

A friend mentioned Lily Gladstone in a recent conversation.  Doing a little internet research about her, I discovered this meditation on the Creator:

YouTube description:
A short film written, produced, directed by Natives and starring an all-Native cast. Based on the short story "Unworthy" by Gyasi Ross

Thursday, December 8, 2016

10 years ago meets Mandala #24 on Bodhi Day 2016 and they listen to John Trudell

Ten years ago this morning I began blogging, taking a new direction in my life, having found myself going in circles that were getting smaller and smaller.  My plan was to post a 40-year retrospective of my art work, one day at a time.  I was wondering if I would ever be able to do any art work again.  I was unemployed and unemployable.  

Now I have been self-employed since August 2015.

On December 4 of this year, I completed "Mandala #24: For Kael," from a series that I started in September 2014, which was when the desire to create returned and has remained to this day.  In the center of my most recent mandala is a photo of a man flying through the air on a snowboard.  He is the son of a friend of mine.

It was a year ago on Bodhi Day, December 8, that John Trudell died. Today I am again grateful for John Trudell's voice with its healing message of survival against all odds.  I am grateful for the blog friends who have shared these years with me.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Undefeated Then And Undefeated Now

"52nd Month: Speaking Without Words About Holy Contradictions," painted by am in gouache and watercolor in June of 1989.  The numbers reflect the years of my life up to that point, beginning with my birth year.  As I was painting, I was meditating on the fact that there had been war throughout my 40 years of life.  Coincidentally, 1989 was the year the South Dakota state legislature passed a bill proclaiming 1990 as the "Year of Reconciliation" between the state's American Indian and White citizens.

Some of you have seen this painting before in different contexts.  As I was thinking about the events at Standing Rock, the image appeared in my mind again.

Monday, November 28, 2016


The first version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that I heard was sung by Jeff Buckley.  It was recorded in 1994. My first listening was early in June of 1997, soon after Jeff Buckley drowned in the Mississippi River at age 30.  I listened and wept and felt immense gratitude.  I had not heard Leonard Cohen's version.  Although I've heard many many versions since then, none moved me again in that way until I heard the Yiddish version by Daniel Kahn soon after Leonard Cohen's death.

Yesterday my copy of Leonard Cohen's final songs arrived in the mail. I listened to it in my car while doing the things I needed to do yesterday and was deeply moved by words like these:

"...When I turned my back on the devil / Turned my back on the angel too..."

"... I heard the snake was baffled by his sin ..."

Although I was expecting only 8 songs, when what I thought was the final song ended just as I arrived home, I realized that there was a 9th track.  Something told me to wait to listen to it until today when I got into my car at 7 a.m., on my way to get together with a group of eccentric friends for what serves well as our breakfast together.  I want to give anyone who hasn't heard the CD the opportunity to have their own experience of that final track.  My guess is that I'll be listening to Leonard Cohen's final songs in my car for some time to come.

In the meantime, here's the song called "Treaty":

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sources of Joy Totem and Coast Redwood Seeds Dream

My friend, Kathy, in the center
My first cousin twice-removed, Lila, with a blue piano in a forest
Leonard Cohen in Greece in the 1980s
Detail, stamp collage by Laura Sindell, in hallway of University of Washington Medical Center
Oboe in the sunlight next to my art and music table, with elephant and Tyrannosaurus Rex

Early this morning I dreamed that, at the urging of a mysterious someone, I checked on the three Coast Redwood seeds that have been in my refrigerator for nearly 45 days.  My plan had been to wait until December 1, per the seed packet instructions, before bringing the seeds out of the refrigerator so that they would sprout, according to their nature and according to the instructions on the seed packet.  By checking on the seeds prematurely, I was going against my better judgment, something I do frequently, with predictable negative consequences.  I dug down in the bedding soil in the first pot and found a tiny redwood tree and experienced great joy.  Then suddenly, as things can sometimes go in dreams, the tiny redwood tree was nowhere to be found.  I looked and looked for it with increasing grief as I realized it was gone.  There were two more pots to check but nothing to be found growing in either of them.  In my mind, I went to what I call "the dark place," which is a place of remorse, regret, guilt, shame, blame and everything that takes the joy out of my life.  Then a man, close to me in age, appeared with his own three tiny bedding pots.  He was someone I had never seen before.  His demeanor was calm and peaceful.  He wasn't following the instructions on the seed packet.  He had placed small smooth multi-colored ocean stones on top of the bedding soil.  He told me that he planned to place the bedding pots in his car for the 45 days.  I came out of "the dark place" in my mind, seeing the light surrounding the man who was following a different set of instructions, following his intuition.  I felt curious and hopeful for all of us.

Now, awake, a few hours later, I am grateful that the Coast Redwood seeds are still untouched in my refrigerator.  Last week, a friend whose passion is bonsai told me to put the bedding pots outside as soon as I take them out of the refrigerator.  I had planned to keep them inside, despite his suggestion.  Something in me rebels against any authority, no matter how benign.  Sure, I can take suggestions from a seed packet without feeling rebellious, but what is it that makes me bristle when a friend suggests not following the instructions?  

We'll see what happens between now and December 1.  I'll know what to do when the day comes.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Meditation for Thanksgiving 2016

Megan Singer, MA 

Meg Singer (Navajo; Towering House/Biligaana Clans) grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah but for the past few years has called Montana home. Meg has a BA in Literature with an emphasis in YA Native American Literature from Westminster College in SLC, UT. Her Master’s is in Native American Studies with an emphasis on Indigenous Deaf Studies at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. Meg’s academic career has included reviving and performing the Indianist opera, “The Sun Dance Opera”, Natives in Science Fiction, Native Humor, Indigenous films, and Indigenous decolonization theories. In her down time, Meg loves to sing, watch TV, and cook.

From the Minnesota Star Tribune:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
  - Lao Tzu

Thanks to Beth for this quote today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Veteran's Day Sunrise 2016 (revisited a few days later)

(Unable to make the fonts uniform.  Oh well.)

I've been away at Facebook, not posting much here.  Now I am choosing to return here.  In a few weeks, I will have been posting here for 10 years.  That's a substantial part of my life.  When I began to blog, I was at a turning point in my life, stuck, haunted, needing to move forward.  I'm grateful for the community I have found through blogging.  I'm grateful for this place where I can post my art work, my poetry, the music I love, memories, dreams, photographs, and all that gives life meaning.  I've come a long way since 2006 and learned so much from you, my blog friends.

As you know, I don't call myself a Christian or anything else, but this came from a Christian source (plough.com), and I found it to be enlightening regarding the life of Che Guevara:

"What exactly was the heart of Che’s vision, that it still animates young people around the world? His words on the revolutionary power of love hint at one answer. So, perhaps, does a poem found in his backpack after his death:
Christ, I love you,
not because you descended from a star,
but because you revealed to me
man’s tears and anguish;
showed me the keys that open
the closed doors of light.
Yes, you taught me that man is God,
a poor God crucified like you.
The one at your left,
at Golgotha – the worst thief –
he, too, is God.
León Felipe"For some reason, it reminded me of something Leonard Cohen wrote about Jesus:  "He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone."

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Mandala #23: All the Daughters and Sons of Earth and Sky

All the Daughters and Sons of Earth and Sky
We are your daughters and sons
who wish to be of service
who walk together 
who listen for your words
and meet fear daily
and go forth inch by inch
with broken hearts
with deep weariness
moved with love and hope in this place of earth and sky
in which wholeness and brokenness dwell
together through life without end.

Not sure when I wrote those words, but tonight I finished "Mandala #23: All the Daughters and Sons of Earth and Sky"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard Cohen. Dear to our hearts.

Leonard Cohen will live forever, as he said he intended to do.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

Gratitude on a foggy morning after a day when things didn't go as planned

With gratitude to Barbara Earl Thomas and Marita Dingus for their powerful healing work.

Yesterday, my old friend, Linda, and I got up early.  I picked her up at 6:30 a.m. and we set out to drive 1-1/2 hours south of Bellingham to catch a 1/2-hour ferry that would take us to Port Townsend.  From Port Townsend, we would be driving mostly on backroads and through farmland, crossing two bridges and then arriving on Bainbridge Island at around 10:30 in the morning.  We planned to visit our respective friends (my 95-year-old friend and Linda's friend and her friend's husband who was recovering from a serious stroke) and then meet up again to go to the Bainbridge Museum of Art to see the works of Barbara Earl Thomas and Marita Dingus.

What happened, though, was that while engaged in lively conversation with Linda, I missed the turn to the ferry.  About 20 minutes later, I realized what had happened.  We still had time to get to the ferry, but I became inexplicably disoriented and missed the turn again, backtracking about 20 minutes and effectively missing the ferry. At this point, I noticed that my car was nearly out of gas.  We arrived back in the town of Oak Harbor just in time to avoid completely running out of gas and pulled into a gas station.  Things continued to go awry.  I was baffled to find that I couldn't make the gas pump work and went to ask the clerk what was wrong.  She assured me that she would do whatever it took to make the pump work and pushed a few buttons.  When I went back to  my car, the pump still didn't work.  A man appeared, and I asked him for help, thinking I was still doing something wrong and that he would know what to do. He couldn't make it work either and went to talk with the clerk.  Two other kind people came forward to help. Although I had been feeling bewildered and confused, I began to calm down and feel grateful for human kindness.

Because of my earlier inattention, the day wasn't going to go as planned, other people who were waiting for use to arrive on Bainbridge Island would be affected, and I felt dismayed and remorseful.  Linda's cell phone was not working.  I had not brought mine and had neglected to bring my friend's phone number.  My friend, Linda, said kindly, "Maybe there is some reason for this not going as planned.  Maybe you need to forgive yourself."

Of course, she was right.

With the revised plan, Linda made the decision to forego her visit to the art museum and instead spend time with her friends.  We arrived at my 95-year-old friend's place just as she was leaving to go with her daughter to a farewell gathering for a friend, just in time for Linda to call from Rae's phone to let her friends, Louise and Walter, know where to pick her up.  So many things didn't go as planned, and everything worked out just fine.  I walked from Rae's place to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and reveled in the art work of Barbara Earl Thomas, Marita Dingus, and Alfredo Arreguin (I was delighted to find three of his paintings on display).

As I finish writing this, the fog has lifted and it's another beautiful sunny day in the Pacific Northwest.  I was able to take a short walk into Whatcom Falls Park and saw a Virginia Rail in the cattails at Scudder Pond after being alerted to its presence by its distinctive squeaky voice. Time to begin my day's work as a medical transcription editor.

So happy just to be alive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Protection and Care / The Water That Gives Us All Life

Yesterday evening, September 12, along with many others, including children, I went to the Bellingham City Hall for the solidarity rally. Freddy Lane was one of the many speakers, including men and women, young and old, Lummi and non-Lummi.  Freddy Lane was one of those who stood up and made his voice heard about the coal trains a year ago.  That project has been halted.  Many members of the Lummi Nation made the 30-minute drive to Bellingham for this event.  If you are on Facebook, you can listen to what came after the speakers -- drumming, song, dance:


There is hope for the future.  It won't be easy.  A good many of the tribal peoples are not willing to give up now or ever.  Their ancestors survived because they were not willing to give up.  I look to them for inspiration.  They have survived against all odds.  They are saying, "We are not protestors, we are protectors."  They say, "We are one - black, white, yellow, red.  All the races can stand together to protect the water."

Friday, September 9, 2016

Together Through Life Totem Meditation / September 9, 2016

(Click to embiggen)

This morning I woke up at about 3 a.m. sensing something extremely painful throughout my body -- a sensation I couldn't identify.  It wasn't a new feeling.  In fact, it felt very very old -- something I have never wanted to fully feel -- something that would overwhelm a child and, if the child survived, those painful sensations would be triggered again and again throughout life whenever anything happened that even remotely resembled abandonment.

A DVD copy of "My Own Love Song," featuring a soundtrack by Bob Dylan, arrived in the mail yesterday. When it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to get back to sleep, I got up and watched it.  A major theme in the film is abandonment and healing from abandonment. Take what you have gathered from coincidence.

Just now I wondered about the etymology of the word "abandon."   

To put someone under someone else's control.

"- ment." Added to verb stems to represent the result or product of the action.

Abandonment.  Who abandoned whom?

Bob Dylan's collection of songs "Together Through Life" was released almost exactly a year after the death of the man I loved for so many years.  Perhaps it was back then that I heard that the songs were written by Bob Dylan for a movie but as far as I can tell, the movie was never released anywhere near where I live.  I do remember hearing "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" and taking it joyfully to my heart because it reminded me of the man I loved who had died.  Then I saw the horrifying video of domestic violence that was paired with it, which broke my denial about the domestic violence I experienced when the man I loved who came back broken from the war in Vietnam abandoned me, or so I thought at the time.  His brother-in-law was trying to show me otherwise when he said, "He would have destroyed you."  I'm wondering if that abandonment was a fierce desperate kindness, impossible to begin to understand or accept until last night. Right now I'm recalling the film, "Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," where the mother says:

"There are some things for which I don't expect to be forgiven, not by my children or even by God."

I can't find the other quote I am looking for, but my recollection is that the mother says that after she attacked her children during a drunken amphetamine-induced rage, she could never trust herself to be close to them again and pushed them away to protect them from her.  

The man I love hit me in an amphetamine-induced rage.  The "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" violence is in the context of amphetamines.  My mother took a prescription amphetamine from 1954 until the day she died.  As I was being beaten up by the man I loved, it felt just like being beaten up by my mother when I was a child.  The difference was that I found the voice that I didn't have as a child, and I yelled as loud as I could, "YOU CAN'T HIT ME." I was not only yelling at him.  I was yelling at my mother.

He immediately stopped.  I don't know for sure, but I think that was one of the many things he did that he felt was unforgivable.  His own parents had beat him.  His sister told me that his father beat him and his brothers until they vomited.  He promised never to hit me again. Many years later he said, "You stood up to me."

We separated soon after that.  

I wonder why this is all coming up again now.  Now I'm remembering the time I was in my bedroom, home on a break from my first quarter of college, when I heard my mother chasing my youngest sister (who was 12 years old at the time) into the bathroom and begin to beat her as she had beaten both us throughout our childhood.  I clearly remember crouching in the hallway next to my bedroom the last time my mother hit me.  I am fairly sure that I was under 11 years old but not much younger.  I remember thinking, "That doesn't hurt.  She can't make me cry." I wonder if she sensed that she had lost her power over me when I didn't cry.  This time, I knew what I needed to do for my sister. I ran to the bathroom and looked at my mother and said in a quiet angry voice, "DON'T YOU EVER HIT MY SISTER AGAIN."  She stopped.  Nothing more was said.  I went back to my bedroom.

There had been no one to protect me.  I am the oldest of three daughters.  My middle sister says that our mother only hit her once and that, in my sister's words, "I deserved it." 

Where am I going with this?  I'm not sure.  I've come a long way since I woke up at 3 a.m.  Have I written anything new?  Each time I tell these stories, I learn a little more about myself and those involved.

I'll be 67 years old in a few weeks.  It is never to late to heal.  It is never to late to truly feel how painful it is feel abandoned and find that I can survive the pain that I couldn't feel until now.  To have reached the point where I don't abandon myself.  That I don't put myself under someone else's control.  That I am now freed to see that what I perceived as abandonment by someone else could be accepted years later as a paradoxical gift.  

Just before the sun rose, I heard a Virginia rail.


It's a beautiful September day.

A friend was giving out dahlia bulbs last spring.  Today my dahlia plant is blooming for the first time.  It looks to me as if it has wings.  A dahlia angel.

Dahlias are "the symbol of a commitment and bond that lasts forever.  The dahlia flower is still used today in gardens and flower arrangements to celebrate love and marriage."

Today I received a message from a distant cousin who lives in Zagreb, Croatia.  We are among the many people who have had our DNA tested and are discovering each other and are trying to figure out who our common ancestors are.  I also heard from a man in Italy who had an Irish mother and from a man from Germany who knows of ancestors from Dresden and from what is Poland today.

My eyes are just like my grandfather whose mother came from Achern, Germany, and whose father came from Stadtlengsfeld, Germany, in the 1800s.  A friend who was born in Dublin said that I looked more Irish than she did.  Although my father's side is almost entirely Norwegian, there is a great great grandfather on that side who didn't marry my great great grandmother and was said to have been German.  Perhaps his ancestors came north to Germany from Croatia or Italy.

My 23andMe results show:

Scandinavian   25.9%
British & Irish 25.1%
French & German 8.9%
Broadly Northwestern European 33.9%
Eastern European 2.8%
Broadly European 3.2%
East Asian   0.2%
Yakut           0.1%

My Ancestry.com results show:

North Africa 1%
Scandinavia  44%
Great Britain 28%
Ireland 13%
Iberian Peninsula 5%
Europe West 4%
Europe East 2%
Italy/Greece 1%
West Asia -- Caucasus 2%

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hupomone (Endurance) / An Open Space

If you go searching for the Great Creator, you will
come back empty-handed.
The source of the universe is ultimately unknowable,
a great invisible river flowing forever
through a vast and fertile valley.
Silent and uncreated, it creates all things. (Lao Tzu, Hua Hu Ching, 39)

In the open space, in the process of looking at a blank page, while waiting for a idea for my next mandala, I came across this, which sounded oddly similar to another song I had heard:

It prompted me to look for this photo of Bob Dylan:

Suddenly I realized that the sound of the Junior Birdmen song reminded of Bob Dylan in more ways than one.  I persevered in searching my musical memory and came up with this:

Can you heard the similarity?

up in the air
upside down (Up in the Air, Junior Birdmen)

and to sing and
dance and run (Tattle O'Day)

I know the joy of fishes
in the river through my
own joy, as I go walking
along the same river.
(Chuang Tzu)

Saturday, September 3, 2016


""... Nothing can describe the darkness behind Bob Dylan. Precarious, thunderous and risky are all good words, but there is also a vulnerability behind his character that many people don’t see today ..."

When my old friend, R, was undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, he was living on the couch in the living room of his parents' house in Modesto, California.  Without that couch, he would have been homeless.  During that time in late 2001 and early 2002, he would talk with me on phone up here in Bellingham, Washington, almost 1000 miles away.  One of the things he did to fill his time was watch hours and hours of movies on DVD. Something that he liked was to listen to recordings of Bob Dylan songs he had never heard before and which I could play for him over the telephone.  Over and over again he would tell me that he had watched yet another movie in which he was surprised to hear a Bob Dylan song as part of the soundtrack, and once it was a song I had just played for him over the phone, "Every Grain of Sand," which can be heard at the end of the harrowing movie, "Another Day in Paradise."  One of the first things we had talked about when we met at the ocean in December of 1966 at age 17 was Bob Dylan.  

In the article linked to in the above quote, the writer mentions several movies in which Bob Dylan songs are part of the soundtrack.  There are at least 245 movies and TV shows in which Bob Dylan's songs have appeared since 1965. 

(Photo:  Looking east on September 2, 2016, late in the day)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Double Rainbow for Sabine

Just before dark, while reading Sabine's blog post written from the hospital, I glanced up and over the east and saw a rainbow.  When I went out on my porch, I realized it was a double rainbow and wished Sabine could see it.