Saturday, September 26, 2009


This Little Light of Mine.

And from John Lennon:

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Come on and on and on on on
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
On and on and on on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

(from "Instant Karma")

Wednesday, September 23, 2009




Thanks so much to Nancy from Iowa for the bulbs that produced these brilliant early fall blooms. Crocosmia?

Monday, September 21, 2009




R.L. asked about what appears to be a marker at the side of the gravel path leading to Bellingham's Bayview Cemetery. It's not a marker, but a small boulder placed there by a landscape designer. It's a place where people stop and rest. Her question did bring to my mind Bob Dylan's words,"here lies bob dylan," from his book Tarantula, written in 1966. I didn't have to look very far on Google to find the rest of the quote:

“here lies bob dylan
demolished by Vienna politeness-
which will now claim to have invented him
the cool people can
now write Fugues about him
& Cupid can now kick over his kerosene lamp-
bob dylan-filled by a discarded Oedipus
who turned
to investigate a ghost
& discovered that
the ghost too
was more than one person.”

Which got me to searching for Scrooge and the three ghosts he encountered, including the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Here are some of Scrooge's words to that ghost:

"I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope!...I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

Which reminded me of the only Christmas card I ever received from Richard (that must have been around 1990) which, as I remember, read:

"Slowly, slowly, Christmas arrives in the heart."

(it was "Softly…Gently…Joyfully…Christmas arrives in the heart." )

Thanks, R.L., for your question.

I love what I've heard of "Christmas in the Heart"!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


During the years when I was out of touch with Richard, he would visit me in my dreams. In one dream, he was as happy as I'd ever seen him. He wanted to show me an large unusual box-shaped musical instrument that was inlaid with wood. For each instrument that would be in a symphony orchestra, there was wood from a different tree. He pointed to a particularly beautiful wood inlay, looked at me in delight and said, "Oboe."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


60. Chieh / Limitation

A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.

(p. 231, The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm / Baynes, Third Edition, July 1967)

And then there's "Love Minus Zero / No Limit":

"The bridge at midnight trembles."
(Bob Dylan)

Where am I going with this?


Update: Even if the comments function disappeared on this post.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


A few days ago, the art farmer emailed this beautiful photo to me and gave me permission to post it on my blog. A good friend of hers from Georgia identified the small bird as a Brown Creeper. That's Chai looking at the Brown Creeper. Chai is the Bengal Cat who lives on the art farm and who was so ill a few weeks ago but has made a good recovery.

BROWN CREEPER: Certhia familiaris, 5 to 5-3/4 inches

Field Marks: A slim, well-camouflaged, brown-backed tree-climber. Much smaller than a House Sparrow, with a slender decurved bill and a stiff tail, braced when climbing. It ascends a tree spirally, then flies to the base of the next tree.

Voice: Note, a single high thin seee, similar to quick trebled note (see-see-see) of Golden-crowed Kinglet. Song, a thin sibilant see-ti-wee-tu-wee or see-see-see-sisi-see.

Where found: Eurasia; s. Alaska, Canada to Nicaragua. In East to s. mts; winters to Gulf states. West: Mainly resident from s.-c. Alaska, B.C., c. Alberta, c. Saskatchewan south on coast to c. California (Monterey Co.); in mts. to s. California, se. Arizona, sw. New Mexico, w. Texas (Guadalupe Mts.) Irregular migrant to lowlands. Habitat: Mature forest, groves. Nest: Behind strip of loose bark. Eggs (4-8) dotted.

(From A Field Guide To Western Birds, by Roger Tory Peterson; however, internet sources refer to the American Brown Creeper as Certhia americana)

My guess is that it is somewhat unusual for a Brown Creeper to appear and then remain for an extended period of time at the porch window of a second story condominium that overlooks a marsh. Especially when a Bengal Cat is looking out at it.


The art farmer and I were wondering if this little bird had something to do with our dear neighbor, Dora, who died of a stroke on August 1. There is a tradition of stories of birds who appear unexpectedly after the death of a loved one.

Three days after my mother died in December of 1994, a Black Phoebe appeared outside my parents' home on the California coast. It drew attention to itself by calling loudly and flying toward the large windows that looked out toward to the ocean. Then it would fly away a few feet and look intently into the house. For all the times I had visited my parents' home and observed the birds there, I had never been aware of the Black Phoebes that are common in that area.

Richard's sister, who was with Richard when he died, said that as he breathed out for the last time, she had a vision of a bird taking flight.

Thanks so much to the art farmer for the inspiration for this post.

Thanks so much to all who stop by and comment and to all who stop by to look and read quietly.

Thursday, September 10, 2009



When I began this blog in late 2006, it was to be a 40-year retrospective of my drawings, paintings and other art work. My retrospective began with a drawing I had done in high school soon after meeting R. The drawing was a portrait of a young man. As the years went by, I began to think of the young man in the drawing as someone who had witnessed something beyond the range of anything life had prepared him for. Someone like R, who spent most of 1970 in Vietnam.

As most of you know, R died of a brain tumor while in a VA hospital in California in April of 2008. I always thought of him (and still do) as Richard, which is what he asked to be called soon after I met him when we were both 17. Today something tells me to start using his given name when I speak of him here.

Although I've had the CD from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" since sometime in 2001, I wasn't able to listen to it from the time between summer of 2002 and this last few weeks. It was Richard who brought "O Brother Where Art Thou?" to my attention on my 52nd birthday, one of the two days we were together in 2001. His birthday is the day after mine. We were born within 24 hours of each other. Anyway, he had watched that movie with other veterans while they were hospitalized at a VA hospital. He liked it immensely and thought that I might like it, too. He was right.

In a few weeks, I'll be 60 years old. Physically, he won't ever be older than 58. I'm still growing older. We never could be together for very long, but we were always together anyway. I miss him. In his last years, his speaking voice sounded just like Bob Dylan. If he had sung to me, he would have sounded like this:

So happy just to see you smile / Underneath the sky of blue.

Thanks again to Nancy from Iowa who gave me the bulbs that produced the lovely flowers at the beginning of this post. The other set of bulbs she gave me are getting close to their first bloom.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


"We are all, in some sense, mountaineers, and going to the mountains is going home."
(John Muir)

The above photo was taken last year on October 1 when I was in Yosemite Valley, listening to the Merced River and walking where John Muir could well have walked, certainly seeing something of what he saw. Until that day in Yosemite, I always thought of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California as where I wanted to go home.

"We are all, in some sense, rivers, and going to the ocean is going home."
(I wrote that)

Listen to Bob sing about mountains and rivers and a love he threw away.

Listen to a song about going home.

Friday, September 4, 2009


"In the interests of everyone, the artist has a responsibility to use his medium well. In the Tibetan culture, most of the paintings are of deities or Buddhas, and they try to send a message of the value of the spiritual."

(The Dalai Lama)

Today is my youngest sister's 55th birthday. We have been estranged since March of 2003, right after our father's death. I am thinking of her today and sending kind wishes.